Call to Arms
Contact: Emily Prigot, 508-996-4095 x6105
National Park to host Mass. 54th Regiment soldiers on Feb. 21
Free activities for children
New Bedford, MA- Members of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, a reenactment corps, will be making a special visit to New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park on Thurs., February 21, from 12:00 noon-3:30 PM, as a part of the park's Call to Arms, a day to explore the Civil War. They will share the story of this all-black Civil War regiment and its New Bedford connection, and hold a weapons "drill and dress-up" for students or other interested participants. The Call to Arms event will run from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM and is free and open to people of all ages. New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park is located at 33 William Street, downtown New Bedford.
In addition to the Mass. 54th Regiment's activities, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park will feature other Civil War activities to mark the sesquicentennial year (or 150th anniversary) of the Civil War. All of the national park activities will take place at the national park visitor center at 33 William St. in downtown New Bedford. The day will start at 10:00 AM with Join the Ranks: participants will get their enlistment papers, learn about uniforms, arms, and inspecting the troops. At 11:00, make a Civil War coat of arms. At 12:00, learn about camp life. How did people do laundry in the days before washing machines? Make slippers to wear just like Civil War soldiers did, and join the sing along of Civil War songs. From At 2:00 PM, meet Dr. Saw Bones, who will be ―dressing wounds‖ of the ―injured.‖ At 3:00 PM, learn how members of the Underground Railroad and soldiers were able to send secret messages using Morse and other secret codes. At 4:00 PM, receive your discharge papers from the Army.
Park partner New Bedford Whaling Museum will also be holding February vacation events, including a big Presidents' Day Birthday Celebration on Monday, February 18 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. In addition, that week of Feb. 19-22, the museum will offer scrimshaw craft, tours, films, below decks tours of the Lagoda, and other fun activities. Go to www.whalingmuseum.org for more information.
New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America's nineteenth century whaling industry. The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States. The National Park visitor center is located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. It is open seven days a week, from 9 AM-5 PM, and offers information, exhibits, and a free orientation movie every hour on the hour from 10 AM-3 PM. The visitor center is wheelchair-accessible, and is free of charge. For more information, call the visitor center at 508-996-4095, go to www.nps.gov/nebe, or visit the park's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/NBWNHP
Did You Know?
By the 1840s, black sailors constituted about one-sixth of the labor force; and by 1900, West Indians, Azoreans, and Cape Verdeans had become a majority.