‘First Saturday’ to feature various patriotic traditions

African-Americans have fought in every American war. This historical photograph, of the 4th United States Colored Infantry Regiment during the Civil War, includes several Delawareans. Learn more about their service and their sacrifices at the John Bell House and Kent County Courthouse Saturday. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — DNREC’s First State Heritage Park will explore “Patriotic Traditions” as its theme for the First State Heritage Park’s monthly “First Saturday in the First State” in July. The program will feature a variety of free events and activities.

The John Bell House and Kent County Courthouse will give special focus to the African-American experience during the American Revolution up to World War I. “Fighting for Freedom Beyond the Revolution” at the John Bell House will explore what freedom meant for African-Americans and how they fought for freedom during the American Civil War.

The Johnson Victrola Museum will feature “Stars and Stripes,” during which visitors can enjoy original patriotic music recorded by the Victor Record Company, with a special focus on the music of John Philip Sousa. “Dover’s Heroes of the Revolution” Walking Tour, at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m., will highlight tales of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Here is a list of programs and activities:

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

• Fighting for Freedom Beyond the Revolution

John Bell House on The Green

From the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, learn about the ways African-Americans have fought for country and freedom.

• “Thunder and Rain”

The Old Statehouse, 25 The Green

Enjoy the feature film presentation about Caesar Rodney’s historic ride for independence.

• Stars and Stripes

Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St.

Enjoy patriotic music recorded by Victor Record Company featuring music by John Philip Sousa.

•Biggs Kids: Picnic Blankets

Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St.

Celebrate one of America’s favorite pastimes by making your own picnic blankets, complete with friendly ants in search of treats. For ages 5-10.

• “The Laws of Fun”

Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave.

Tour Delaware’s state capital building, and learn about the legislation that created and protected our state and national parks, and made them available for the public to enjoy. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

• Tours of the Governor’s House

At Woodburn (The Governor’s House), 151 Kings Highway

Enjoy guided tours of the official residence of Delaware’s governor since 1965, and Hall House, the governor’s guest house.

10 a.m., Noon and 2 p.m.

• Heroes of the Revolution Walking Tour

Meet at the John Bell House on The Green

Discover how Dover was a hotbed of activity during the struggle for American Independence.

10:30 a.m.

• Maximizing Ancestry.com to Find your Genealogical Roots

Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Professional genealogist, Sydney F. Cruice Dixon, will share tips and strategies to help researchers become more effective family genealogists, and get the most from Ancestry.com subscriptions.

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

• Tales of Slavery and Freedom Walking Tour

Meet at the John Bell House on The Green

As a border state, learn why Delaware’s position regarding slavery was complex.

1:30 – 4 p.m.

• Legion of Strangers: the Ebony Doughboys Story

Kent County Courthouse, 38 The Green, Courtroom No. 1

Learn about African-American life during WWI, and follow in the footsteps of those who chose to fight and those who fought the battle for equality at home.

Admission to all park sites and programs is free. Fee parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, located at 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. North. For more information about “First Saturday” events and all First State Heritage Park programs, please call 302-739-9194 or visit www.destateparks.com/heritagepark.

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