First Saturday for March focuses on women’s history


DNREC’s First State Heritage Park will explore the stories and contributions of Delaware women on March 2 for the park’s monthly First Saturday in the First State program. The day’s schedule will feature a variety of free events and activities marking Women’s History Month, with the focus on how women have changed the state in many different ways.

Women were a powerful force in Delaware long before they had the right to vote. Many women have been political leaders, social figures and innkeepers throughout the history of The Green, the historical area of Old Dover near the State House dating from colonial times. Visitors will learn about the lives and contributions of the oft-forgotten figures in the “Women of The Green” Walking Tour, leaving from the John Bell House on the hour, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Women have also been leaders in driving political and entertainment fashions, as well as design and activism. “Whatever Shall I Wear?” presented at the John Bell House from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on the half-hour, addresses how clothing speaks volumes about a woman’s station in life, as well as how she related to the world around her by what she wore.

At the Johnson Victrola Museum, 78-rpm recordings of the “The Female Artists of Victor” will be incorporated into guided tours.

At Legislative Hall, guided tours will feature the many women who have worked and served in the state capital, both past and present. The program will incorporate portraits, as well as other information about Delaware’s female legislators.

Programs and activities for First Saturday in the First State on March 2 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. include:

• Whatever Shall I Wear? — John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green. Find out how the clothes that women of Delaware wore expressed their values, classes and personalities, and explore the meanings behind fashion choices.

• Legislative Ladies — Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Avenue. Tour Delaware’s State Capitol building, experience Delaware history and find out more about the women who have served in Delaware offices. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.

• Biggs Kids: Baskets — Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street. Baskets can be made and used in all different ways. Kids ages 5 to 10 can make a basket that reflects their personal style.

• The Female Artists of Victor — Johnson Victrola Museum, 275 South New Street. Guided tours will highlight the female artists who recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic talking machines.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day, guided tours of the Governor’s House at Woodburn (The Governor’s House, 151 Kings Highway) will offer a look at the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, with a special focus on the First Ladies of the First State.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day will be Women of The Green Walking Tour — meet at the John Bell House on The Green, 43 The Green. Many women were innkeepers, political leaders and social figures throughout the history of The Green. Learn about the lives and contributions of these often forgotten figures. Tours begin on the hour.

At 10:30 a.m. will be “The Forgotten Women of the Lincoln Assassination,” at the Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Kathyrn Canavan, author of “Lincoln’s Final Hours,” will provide a preview of her new work about the women whose lives were upended in the split second when John Booth killed President Lincoln.

At 1 p.m., it will be “The Fashionable Bad Girls of Delaware,” at the Old State House, 25 The Green, discussing several stories of infamous women in Delaware’s history.

From 1:30 to 4 p.m., the event will feature “The Once and Future Courthouse,” at the Kent County Courthouse, 38 The Green, Courtroom #1. From the 1690s to the present, participants will learn how the site went from a courthouse to a hotel and back again.

Admission to all of the park sites and programs is free. Centrally-located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard North.

For more information about “First Saturday” events and all First State Heritage Park programs, call (302) 739-9194 or visit www.destateparks.com/heritagepark.