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Showing posts from May, 2009

Civil War Remembrance Weekend - Takes Place Every Memorial Weekend

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Every Memorial Day weekend the folks at Greenfield Village pull out all the stops to pay homage to our American heroes who fought (and are still fighting) in the armed forces. They do this by reenacting the battles and the homefront of the war from which Memorial Day actually has its roots, the Civil War. To give a brief history of Memorial Day: Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, "Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping" by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead." (There is also evidence that these ladies also d

Behind the Scenes at Greenfield Village

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Until I began frequenting the Benson-Ford Research Center, located on the grounds of The Henry Ford (where one can search for historical records and photographs of everything Greenfield Village), I had not given a second thought as to what went into the displays and presentations at the open-air museum. Much of what you are about to read in this chapter comes directly from the training manuals given to the presenters. Period-dressed presenters eating dinner at the Daggett Farm First off is the Mission Statement of The Henry Ford: "The Henry Ford provides unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories, and lives from America's traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation. Our purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future. " Authentic. This is the key word. Nothing is placed randomly inside the structures at the Village. The curators carefully consider every object before allowing it to b