Past Events

Saturday, 2/28/15
Teacher Workshop

In the 1800s, Philadelphia was home to a vibrant African American community that stood at the center of antislavery and civil rights activism, before and after the Civil War.

Thursday, 2/26/15
Special Event

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, HSP has partnered with area institutions to host events based on Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle. These four documentaries feature riveting new footage illustrating the history of civil rights in America. Events will focus on whether or not equality is ensured with the passage of new laws or amendments.

Thursday, 2/19/15
Special Event

Philadelphia actor Makoto Hirano gives voice to over thirty characters in a one-man tour-de-force performance about Gordon Hirabayashi. A college student who was simply looking for love and the American Dream, Gordon found himself confronted with the ultimate challenge to his freedom: the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate people of Japanese ancestry during WWII. Gordon embarks on a profound and wild adventure in defense of our Constitution, discovering his Quaker faith, hitchhiking to prison, and taking his fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

Saturday, 2/7/15
Teacher Workshop

This teacher workshop focuses Economic Engagement and Financial Literacy for students.  Teachers will receive historic resources and contemporary tools for teaching about the subjects as well as delight in a keynote address from the author of a new book about how schools taught these subjects in a hands-on manner.

Wednesday, 2/4/15
Lecture/Panel Discussion

For many of Pennsylvania’s early German-speaking settlers, handwriting was more than a communication tool.  It was also a component of religious devotion.  Highlighting objects in the HSP collection, this presentation by Doctoral student Alexander Lawrence Ames explores the complex relationship between Pennsylvania German spiritualism and the visual presentation of devotional texts. 

Tuesday, 2/3/15
Lecture/Panel Discussion

An exploration of real-life letters, newspaper clippings and more from survivors of Japanese Internment in the context of the Philadelphia premiere of the play Hold These Truths. The event will kick off with a sneak peak of Hold These Truths, performed by local actor Makoto Hirano, a one-man show about the real life journey of Gordon Hirabayashi, the man who famously defied forcible removal and took his case all the way to the Supreme Court... twice!  This will be followed by a document display and discussion by Dr.

Wednesday, 1/28/15
Lecture/Panel Discussion

Teaching and mastery of handwriting is under attack as being less relevant with today’s digital communication. Dr. Robert J. Mahar will provide a brief review of the history and present status of handwriting, revealing the central role that cursive handwriting has served in society.

Thursday, 1/22/15

As HSP’s collection of over 20 million manuscripts suggests, the art of calligraphy and hand lettering was a requisite for any young professional. From accounting to academia to personal diaries, calligraphy was a must. Join the Young Friends for wine, beer, light fare, and their first ever hands-on workshop with a beginner level class on the lost art of calligraphy led by the Philadelphia Calligraphers' Society. 

Wednesday, 1/14/15
Lecture/Panel Discussion

Not everyone knows that a Philadelphia brewer penned the most famous document in American history. As an assistant Secretary to Congress, Timothy Matlack engrossed the Declaration of Independence. But how was it that a beer-bottler, infamous for cockfighting, once confined to debtor’s prison, was given this responsibility?

Tuesday, 1/13/15

Take a look at penmanship throughout  United States history from original documents.  View items from HSP’s collection of quintessential penmen including John Hancock and Timothy Matlack. Long before the invention of the typewriter our Founding Fathers set up an entire government using only pen and paper. How did they do that? In this display we look, not only at examples of our Founders’ scripts,  but also the manuals and instruction books which taught more than a century of Americans  the art of fine penmanship.

Wednesday, 12/3/14
Genealogy Workshop

Irish family history has always been described as difficult because of the absence of 19th century census data.  Professional genealogist Frank Southcott will look at the importance of basic family research in the United States and explore the various alternative resources to develop the Irish family in Ireland.  Ideas for how to approach the research in Ireland will be discussed.  Several actual family examples will be detailed.

Saturday, 11/22/14
Special Event

At an isolated log cabin in the harsh wilderness of Indiana circa 1817, the rhythms of love, tragedy, and the daily happenings of life on the developing frontier shaped one of our nation's greatest heroes: Abraham Lincoln.

Using black and white cinematography to conjure an America where the land was raw, The Better Angels sheds new light on the formative years of the future president and the two women who molded him into one of the most revered men in American history.