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Couldn’t attend the live lecture of House Histories and Fascinating Finds? View a video of the lecture here. Need the Handout? Download a copy of the accompanying handout in PDF format here.



The Massachusetts 54th Regiment
Speaker: Shawn Quigley, Boston African American National Historic Site, National Park Service
Thursday, February 16, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Virtual – via Zoom (link will be sent on 2/15/23 to registered attendees)
Register on Eventbrite here.

In May of 1863 the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, one of the first African American regiments to fight for the Union during the Civil War, marched out of Boston. The Regiment was formed immediately following the Emancipation Proclamation. The 54th Regiment changed public opinion about African Americans serving in combat and helped inspire over 180,000 African Americans to enlist in the Union Army.
Join us virtually as we explore the history of this regiment and their critical contributions during the American Civil War and the monument erected and recently restored to honor the regiment. Shawn Quigley has been a park guide for the National Park Service at the Boston African American National Historic Site since 2012. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from Suffolk University in 2014 and his master’s in American studies at UMass Boston in 2017.


Blood & Ivy: The 1849 Murder That Scandalized Harvard
By Paul Collins
Discussion Leader: Nancy Denise White
In person: Wednesday, March 15, at 7:00 p.m.,
Local History Room at Charlotte and William Bloomberg Medford Public Library
Free. Register here on Eventbrite.

Join us to discuss Blood & Ivy, a compelling true-crime story of scandal and murder at America’s most celebrated university.  On November 23, 1849, one of the Boston’s richest men simply vanished.  Dr. George Parkman, a Brahmin who owned much of Boston’s West End, was last seen visiting Harvard Medical School.  Police scoured city tenements and the harbor, and offered hefty rewards for leads for the whereabouts of Dr. Parkman. But one Harvard janitor held a much darker suspicion: that Dr. Parkman had never left the Medical School building alive. His shocking discoveries in a chemistry professor’s laboratory engulfed America in one of its most infamous trials: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. John White Webster. It became a landmark case in the use of medical forensics and the meaning of reasonable doubt.

During the book discussion, we will examine the character of the victim, the accused, and the hero, the police investigation and compare nineteenth-century and contemporary investigation methods. We will also discuss the trial and the legal principles it established. Intertwined in the story are characters and families you may be familiar with including writer Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Co-Sponsored by MHSM and the Charlotte and William Bloomberg Medford Public Library.

Join us in person on April 13th  [Below] when we discuss the trial and the legal principles it established!


Journaling through History: Mary Folsom Blair and Changing Times for Women
Phil Primack
Thursday, March 16, 7:00 p.m.
Location: Charlotte and William Bloomberg Medford Public Library
Free. Register through the Library Calendar at: https://medfordlibrary.org/events/

As the 20th century dawned, women, even in rural New Hampshire towns, were experiencing new roles, challenges, and opportunities. The journals, letters, and other writings of Mary Folsom Blair (1881-1973), who spent most of her life in Epping, reflect that era and, as Mary put it, “the pain and sorrow this world holds for a woman.
Co-sponsored by MHSM


Getting to Know Amelia Earhart
Speaker: Melanie McLaughlin
Thursday, March 23, 7:00 p.m.
Location: Charlotte and William Bloomberg Medford Public Library
Free. Register on Eventbrite here. 

An inside perspective from Medford School Committee member, Melanie McLaughlin, who was the Associate Producer on the PBS American Experience Amelia Earhart biography, “The Price of Courage”. The program will include a screening of the 60-minute documentary as well as a presentation on the research involved including rare archival footage and a question-and answer period.

Melanie Perkins McLaughlin, Ed.M. is an Emmy-award winning investigative filmmaker with over 20 years’ experience in broadcast media production. She has worked on films for PBS, ABC, HBO, the BBC, the History and Discovery Channels. McLaughlin produced, directed and narrated the Emmy award-winning story of trauma and resilience, “Have You Seen Andy?” Melanie is also a member of the Medford School Committee.


Murder at the Harvard Medical School
In person, speaker: Honorable Dennis J. Curran, Justice, Massachusetts Superior Court (ret.)
Thursday, April 13, 7:00 p.m.
Location: Charlotte and William Bloomberg Medford Public Library
Free. Register on Eventbrite here.

The case Commonwealth v. Webster, the most legally historical trial in the history of Massachusetts, established the legal principal “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” a requirement that has since been adopted by most other states. This was the first trial to use forensic science, forensic evidence, forensic experts and dental forensic evidence in trial. It also defined “murder” and “manslaughter”.  Few, if any, cases have produced the number of fundamental legal principles used throughout our nation today as Commonwealth v. Webster.  This presentation will address the compelling and intriguing facts behind this landmark decision on so many issues in criminal jurisprudence.

Thanks to the Medford Arts Council for supporting MHSM in 2022

https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5daf1964c6ef27112dfe2480/1579285354734-6VF1URPGGUUAIHNZ7W53/ke17ZwdGBToddI8pDm48kLqeu7G4FqzW8EmoqaGWzhRZw-zPPgdn4jUwVcJE1ZvWQUxwkmyExglNqGp0IvTJZUJFbgE-7XRK3dMEBRBhUpwd3KsdC60xe6xA3C-cMVShlgCrC9Ff9vw8YszfwhcWoSCSfIAKRwT1HhFsuyviSg0/MAC_MCC_Logos_CMYK_v2.jpg?format=500w“These programs are supported in part by a grant from the Medford Arts Council, a local commission that is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the City of Medford.”

Black Heritage Trail Virtual Tour, February 2022