Epidemic!
Oct
20
2:00 PM14:00

Epidemic!

  • Coastal Institute Auditorium, URI Bay Campus (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Pandemic viruses have had dramatic impacts on South County for centuries. Join the South County History Center as we explore some of these health epidemics, including the history of smallpox presented by Dr. Ashley Bissonnette of the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and the 1918 flu presented by Dr. Kenneth McIntosh, professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard School of Public Health and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. An exhibit of medical artifacts from the Center’s collection will be on display before and after the program.

Photo: 1918 public health notice, courtesy of National Library of Medicine

This program is presented as part of the Center's series "Resilient Rhode Island: Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State."  The series is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders.

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The Great New England Vampire Panic
Oct
24
6:30 PM18:30

The Great New England Vampire Panic

  • South Kingstown Land Trust Barn (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Exeter, Rhode Island, 1892: After a large exodus of residents, only 900 people remained in this nearly deserted rural village. Frightening and mysterious sicknesses repeatedly struck families throughout town. Residents searched for the cause and reached the unusual conclusion that the culprit was Mercy Brown: 19-years-old, recently-deceased and a vampire.

Dozens of supposed vampires were identified throughout New England during this century-long panic, now believed to have actually been caused by tuberculosis or “consumption.” Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni, former Connecticut State Archaeologist, will explore his study of this folk belief and a possible vampire burial discovered nearby. Discussing the incidence of consumption and the great fear it inspired will be public historian Dr. Mary Babson Fuhrer.

An exhibit of medical artifacts from the Center’s collection will be on display before and after the program. Halloween treats will be served following the program under the full moon.

This program is presented in partnership with the South Kingstown Land Trust.
Photo: The Boston Daily Globe, January 27, 1896

This program is presented as part of the Center's series "Resilient Rhode Island: Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State."  The series is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders.

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One for the Books: Major (and Memorable) Weather
Dec
1
2:30 PM14:30

One for the Books: Major (and Memorable) Weather

Resilient Rhode Islanders have experienced their share of extreme weather.  From blizzards and hurricanes to sunny weather, meteorologists study atmospheric conditions to ensure that we can prepare for the worst and enjoy the best of Mother Nature.  

Join us as we explore the science behind weather forecasting and discuss some of our area’s most memorable weather events with a panel combining 75 years of experience: WPRI’s Chief Meteorologist Tony Petrarca and Bob Thompson, former Meteorologist-in-Charge for the National Weather Service in Boston.  

This program is presented in partnership with the Kingston Free Library and is offered as part of "Holiday in Kingston Village," a community-wide event. On Saturday, December 1, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., the Center will offer free admission to the Jail along with special sales in the gift shop.

Photos: Tony Petrarca, WPRI; Bob Thompson

This program is presented as part of the Center's series "Resilient Rhode Island: Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State."  The series is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders.

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Where the Land Meets the Sea: Hurricane Sandy and Its Impact on Rhode Island's Archaeological Record
Oct
2
6:30 PM18:30

Where the Land Meets the Sea: Hurricane Sandy and Its Impact on Rhode Island's Archaeological Record

Hurricanes and Nor’easters have routinely battered the Rhode Island south coast impacting the lives of many of its residents and resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. In addition to significant property damage, storm surge and wind-driven waves from Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 eroded considerable sections of the state’s south shore damaging many historical and archaeological sites situated at the contact between the land and sea. 

Jay Waller, senior archaeologist with the Public Archaeology Lab and South County History Center trustee, will discuss the often-overlooked effects that storms have on Rhode Island’s archaeological heritage and summarize the results of recent emergency response and preservation planning surveys conducted in response to this recent disaster. These archaeological surveys represent the first large scale, systematic attempts to identify and evaluate vulnerable archaeological sites situated along the Rhode Island coast.

Photo: Archaeologists recover Native American artifacts on Block Island.

This program is presented as part of the Center's series "Resilient Rhode Island: Disasters & Determination in the Ocean State."  The series is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities seeds, supports and strengthens public history, cultural heritage, civic education and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders.

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