Free Lecture Series Launches at Museum of Work & Culture January 10

Virtual Valley Talks Kickoff with King Philip’s War Presentation

 

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Valley Talks, a series of biweekly historical lectures by the Museum of Work & Culture, begins Sunday, January 10. All events are free and take place at 1pm on Zoom. This year's series is presented as part of the Rhode Island Historical Society's Taking a Stand in Rhode Island, a yearlong examination of how the people who have called this place home, from the 17th century to the recent past, have identified aspects of society that needed to shift and how they worked to change them.

 

The series will kick-off with History All Around Us: King Philip’s War, a talk by National Park Ranger John McNiff.

 

Called the deadliest war in American history, King Philip's War was fought right here in southern New England. Roads, landmarks, and businesses all mirror names from this war. But what was really happening? Why, after 2 or 3 generations of Native People and English living side by side did this war come about? 

 

Individuals can register for the talk by visiting https://bit.ly/380mE5v

 

McNiff was born and brought up in RI. He attended Rhode Island College and received his BA in History with a minor in Anthropology in 1979. He spent the summer of 1980 studying archaeology in England through Christ’s College, Cambridge University, and then came back to the US where he worked as a commercial fisherman, in sales, and advertising. In 1984 he began graduate studies at SUNY Binghamton, now Binghamton University in NY, studying Anthropology, specializing in Archaeology. He worked with the Public Archaeology Lab, Inc of Pawtucket and Rhode Island College’s Public Archaeology Program on numerous archaeological projects around New England the 1980s and 1990s.  In 1988 he was part of a National Science Foundation funded expedition to map archaeological sites in the Sonoran Desert in northwest Mexico. He received his MA in Anthropology, specializing in archaeology, in 1990 from Binghamton University. In 1996 McNiff began working with the National Park Service and in 1997 was stationed as a Park Ranger at the Roger Williams National Memorial on North Main Street in Providence where he has presented countless public programs for schools, libraries, historical societies and visitors from all over the world.  He has also consulted, worked on and appeared in several films about the colonial period and particularly dealing with the early Colonial history of Rhode Island.

Other Valley Talks will include:

January 24: Writer & professor Erik Chaput will present on the life of Thomas Wilson Dorr and the 1842 rebellion for constitutional reform in Rhode Island that bears his name.

February 7: Filmmaker Christian de Rezendes will screen a piece of the in-progress Slatersville: America's First Mill Village, which will focus on the man who purchased the Slatersville mill and village in 1915.

February 21: Writers Rebecca Altman and Kerri Arsenault will explore their work about New England manufacturing and the environmental, political, and personal legacies it has left behind.

March 7: Writer and historical reenactor Paul Bourget will examine the Sentinelle Affair, the local underground movement that led to the excommunication of 61 congregants.

March 21: Author David Vermette will discuss how the U.S. mainstream perceived French-Canadians when they were an immigrant community in New England at the turn of the 20th century.

 

President Trump is touting the accomplishments of his time in office in a pre-recorded farewell address to the nation. In the video released today, he acknowledged that he took on the hardest fights, including the coronavirus pandemic, and never chose the path that would garner the most praise. As he prepares to leave office, Trump outlined some of the dangers facing the nation, the most prominent of which he said is a "loss of confidence in ourselves."       About a dozen National Guard members are being relieved of their duties at tomorrow's inauguration. Officials conducted routine background checks and looked at a criminal history database. Some were relieved after fellow guard members reported statements they overheard.       Utah Senator Mitt Romney is calling on fellow Republicans to accept the results of the presidential election ahead of tomorrow's inauguration. He encourage unity and said it is time for the country to move on as the government transitions to President-Elect Joe Biden's administration. He also touched on impeachment, and said proceeding with the Senate trial could help put to rest debates about Trump's actions after a group of his supporters stormed the Capitol earlier this month.        D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is telling people to stay away from the nation's capital right now. She says because of increased coronavirus health risks on top of security issues surrounding Wednesday's inauguration, people should sit this one out. She says it feels strange telling people not to come to her city, but it's the right decision.        New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is giving an update on the state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. He announced new vaccine sites at SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Poly, the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, SUNY Buffalo, and Plattsburgh International Airport, saying more are opening soon. Governor Cuomo also notes the creation of an online "dashboard" that will update residents on vaccine progress.        A man accused of shooting and killing a college grad last week in Philadelphia is out on bail. Police say Josephus Davis has been arrested in the death of 20-year-old Temple grad Milan Loncar, who was shot during a robbery while walking his dog last week. Davis's 200-thousand-dollar bail for a previous assault was lowered to 12-thousand and his 100-thousand-dollar-bail for a previous kidnapping case was lowered to 20-thousand.