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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Sunday, May 03, 2020

Online Events and Videos While We Stay Home

With the pandemic, almost every historical site, museum, and society that hosted events has now pivoted to organizing and promoting online events.

Sometimes that means an interview with a historian or other expert at home, produced over a platform like Zoom. Sometimes it’s a video of the site recorded gingerly at two arms’ lengths. Sometimes it’s an older lecture, a virtual tour, or another offering.

This makes it possible to enjoy the resources of distant historic sites, or to partake in two events scheduled for the same day and catch up on others. Of course, that adds tremendously to one’s list of events one really should get to. Even without being able to go anywhere, I’m starting to feel overscheduled.

Here’s the first installment of a periodic roundup of online events and resources that have caught my eye. I hope you find them educational, entertaining, or simply distracting enough.

Last month I chatted with Lee Wright and Carrie Lund of History Camp about what myths of the Battle of Lexington and Concord and what the British troops were seeking on 19 Apr 1775, the subject of The Road to Concord. This month Lee and Carrie had a similar conversation with Alexander Cain, expert on Lexington and Essex County’s response. More video interviews will follow every couple of weeks, and this Thursday there’s a history trivia contest.

Minute Man National Historical Park’s “Virtual Patriots’ Day” videos are all available now, and Jim Hollister is continuing to offer “Ask a Ranger” question-and-answer sessions each Friday.

The Paul Revere House has ongoing audio and radio series.

Check out History Summit for self-produced videos from the authors of over two dozen recently published history books.

Mount Vernon has deep pockets and one of the most extensive livestream video programs with different themes for each weekday:
  • Mansion Mondays – Exploring different areas of the Mansion.
  • Teaching Tuesdays – For K-12 students, teachers, and parents.
  • Washington Wednesdays – Dive into a different piece of Washington history.
  • Tranquil Thursdays – Enjoy the sights & sounds of Mount Vernon.
  • Casual Fridays – We’ll do something new & different each week!
I get the feeling someone there watched The New Mickey Mouse Club as a kid.

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