J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, May 31, 2019

“Declaring Independence: Then & Now” in Concord, 2 June

The next session of the “Declaring Independence: Then & Now” public reading and discussion of the Declaration of Independence will take place on Sunday, 2 June, in Concord.

“Declaring Independence: Then & Now” is a program developed by the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area and the American Antiquarian Society. I observed multiple sessions last year as part of an American Association for State and Local History evaluation. Every session is different, depending on what the local partners and attendees choose.

The basic questions are:
What does the Declaration of Independence mean today and what did it mean to citizens throughout the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area when it was conceived and debated during their lifetime? The thought-provoking public performance piece Declaring Independence: Then & Now seeks to answer this question by integrating a reading of the Declaration of Independence with first-person accounts presented by living-history performers. As the 18th-century words and ideas are performed, the narrator explores their meaning to challenge the audience to consider their relevance and power for today.
The First Parish in Concord’s Social Action Council is hosting a session at the First Parish, 20 Lexington Road, from 12:30 to 2:00 P.M. The event is free, and the public is invited to come and participate in the discussion. 

The next “Declaring Independence: Then & Now” session on the schedule is at the First Parish Church of Fitchburg, 923 Main Street, on Thursday, 20 June, starting at 6:00 P.M. That is co-hosted by the Fitchburg Historical Society. 

1 comment:

Victor said...

The Declaration announced that the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America.