Welcome to Worcester Historical Museum’s YouTube Channel connecting viewers with political, social, and cultural history in an informative, immersive, and sometimes entertaining manner. Explore the Worcester story…
CLICK the RED program titles for Worcester past, present, and future.
Every year since 2001, Worcester Historical Museum has presented “The Harvey Ball Smile Award” to a local individual, group, or organization responsible for helping the entire community smile. The evening also celebrates Harvey Ball and his legacy as the creator of the iconic smiley face, the international icon for happiness and good. The Harvey Ball on October 2, 2020, recognized 20 community partners on the 20th anniversary of “The Harvey.”
CELEBRATING WOMEN 1OO – PRETTY POWERFUL PROGRAM SERIES
In anticipation of Worcester Historical Museum’s landmark exhibition, PRETTY POWERFUL: 100 Years of Voting & Style will celebrate the centennial anniversary of women’s right to vote through fashion and the changing roles of women. Programs will continue through spring 2021 with a grand capstone commemoration celebrating a century of women’s social and political activism in Worcester and beyond.
Celebrate the iconic LITTLE BLACK DRESS. Featuring fascinating historical factoids and special appearances by fashion designers, artists, and fashionistas. Learn secrets on how to glam up your LBD for the holidays and beyond. Presented by the Worcester Historical Museum on November 18, 2020, the program includes powerful photos, videos, stories, and voices.
The Anita Hill conversation continues! Nearly three decades after she accused Clarence Thomas of inappropriate behavior at the 1991 U.S. Supreme Court Senate confirmation process, Anita Hill is at the center of an inspiring discussion on women’s rights, equality, harassment in the workplace, and relations between genders and races. Presented on May 23, 2020, by Worcester Historical Museum in partnership with Worcester Black History Project, Pathways for Change, Inc., and the City of Worcester’s Committee on the Status of Women as part of the Museum’s PRETTY POWERFUL Program Series.
Historian, teacher, and author Barbara Berenson (served as a Senior Attorney at the Massachusetts. Supreme Judicial Court from 2004 – 2019) gave an informative and compelling presentation on milestone moments related to women’s rights to vote throughout the past 100 years. Presented on June 25, 2020, it includes powerful photos, stories, and voices. Presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Worcester Area.
Despite what popular histories might tell us, the road to the 19th Amendment in the US was neither straight nor smooth. Nor was it the triumph of a few especially strong leaders. In this talk, Holy Cross History Professor Stephanie Yuhl (Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; Peace and Conflict Studies) explores the wide array of diverse women who, despite internal and external tensions, created a powerful movement for women’s full citizenship and personhood, symbolized in the right to vote. Presented on July 30, 2020, in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Worcester Area.
Worcester Historical Museum partners with the Worcester public to chronicle and better understand our community histories. From the Latino History Project of Worcester, LGBTQ+ Worcester FOR THE RECORD, and the Worcester Black History Project, WHM and our community partners work to ensure that we all take our place in history. The following programs present important research-driven storytelling from these community history projects. YOUR history matters.
LATINO HISTORY PROJECT OF WORCESTER
Unrest continues across our country with the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. These incidents renew scrutiny on older cases including the July 1993 death of Cristino Hernandez at the hands of the Worcester Police. Severely beaten, Hernandez’s incident was partially captured on video similar to the Rodney King tape. Aldo Garcia Guevara (Prof. of History at Worcester State University) joins Ricky Escobar (Hernandez’s nephew), Dr. Hector E. Piñero (Attorney), Joseph S. Hennessy (Civil Rights Lawyer and former police officer), and Hon. Judge Margaret R. Guzman to remind the public that police brutality has been going on for years and affects Latinos, Blacks, and other people of color as well.
BLACK HISTORY PROJECT OF WORCESTER
Hundreds of images depict the everyday lives of Worcester’s Black Worcester residents, many of whom resided in the Beaver Brook neighborhood with their children, neighbors, and loved ones. In 2003 Charlton resident, Frank Morrill purchased a collection of thousands of images taken by local photographer William Bullard between 1897 and 1917. A significant number of those photographs were of Black Worcester residents—a surprising find considering that people of color made up 1% of the city’s population at that time. Join the Worcester Black History Project, Worcester Historical Museum, and Frank Morrill for a discussion and exploration of Bullard’s photographs and the Worcester people whose lives he documented.
Data suggests that Black and Latinx communities make up a disproportionate number of COVID-19 deaths. Though 5% of Worcester County’s population is Black, they represent 10% of the people seen at Worcester hospitals with COVID-19. Similarly, 11% of Worcester County‘s population is Latino, yet they represent 30% of people seen with COVID-19. Dr. Jennifer Bradford, who specializes in Family Medicine, Public Health, and General Preventive Medicine at UMASS Memorial, joined Black leaders on May 20, 2020, to examine these issues.
George Floyd’s death sparked widespread protests in the U.S. over police abuse. On September 1, 2020, Worcester Historical Museum presented a forum on race and policing and the double consciousness of being a Black police officer for an institution that is seen as racist and dangerous to the Black community. The panel includes Dr. Charlotte Haller (Prof. and Chair of History and Political Science at Worcester State University), Prof. Hernandez Stroud (Brennan Center of Justice at NYU School of Law), police officers and captains, and Ethical Society of Police board members who share reactions to recent protests, explore perceptions of police violence, and discuss solutions to what is required to achieve systemic change.
The tornado first touched down in Petersham about 4:25 p.m and a column of instability led to the formation of an F-4 twister that pummeled Rutland, Holden, north Worcester, Shrewsbury, Westboro, and Southboro before retreating into the sky about an hour later. It destroyed most of Assumption College, which in the aftermath, moved to a new location; part of the main administration building still stands at what is now Quinsigamond Community College. From the Marvin Richmond Collection at the Worcester Historical Museum.
Baseball has always been a favorite pastime in Worcester. Previous to 1865 the game was commonly called “round ball” and the old Common was the playground for everybody who wished to participate, three or four games going on at the same time on holidays. For several years previous to 1860 the only organized club in the city was the “Mechanics.” The first professional team in the city was the Irvings, who flourished in 1877-8. The following year the game was loudly boomed and the “Worcesters” were organized to represent the city in what was called the International Association. In 1880-81-82 the Worcesters were in the National League and baseball prospered as never before or since. The city was not large enough however to support a League team, and at the close of the season of 1882, the Worcesters ceased to exist. Baseball remained practically at rest until 1888 when a team was organized to represent the city in the New England BaseBall Association. Commentary by Bill Ballou in this video created by Pagano Media for Worcester Historical Museum to welcome the Worcester Tornadoes in 2005.