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Contact: Emily Prigot, 508-996-4095 x6105
National Park to hold Voices of the Past event
to Celebrate Black History Month
A day of celebration of African Americans from New Bedford's past.
New Bedford, MA— Would you like to make candy from 19th century confectioner Polly Johnson, or test your skill throwing a harpoon? The past will come to life, on Thursday, February 20, as African Americans from New Bedford long ago make an appearance at New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.Celebrate Black History Month as costumed re-enactors will take on the personages of abolitionist and confectioner Polly Johnson, toggle harpoon inventor Lewis Temple, escaped slave Henry "Box" Brown, Civil War hero William J. Carney, Jr. and Harriet Jacobs, author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself.Ruth and Abby, the national park's 1850s ladies, will be chatting about their friend Maria Fleetwood, who made her home in New Bedford after escaping Southern slavery.The events take place between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, and all events are free and open to people of all ages.
Activities include candy making, creating pin cushions, harpoon-throwing, and related craft activities. Hunt for hidden clues in the park's visitor center to win a prize, or try out the park's new Kids' Corner.
Plans are already being made for an April vacation activity day called "Welcome Home, Charles W. Morgan." Further information on this and current activities may be found at the park's website at www.nps.gov/nebe.
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