Welcome to the "Beyond the Bell" calendar page! We currently have special events scheduled for the months of February, and March, as well as a number of ongoing events and activities that can be enjoyed for as long as the weather remains decent.
Thursday, March 6th
Abigail Adams, Lady of Letters
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had their share of correspondence that historians have used to understand the ideas that shaped the early American republic. John and his wife, Abigail, also exchanged letters. Now, the correspondence and the diaries of Abigail and her sisters, also accomplished women in their own rights, have come to light. Diane Jacobs gives her audience a fascinating front-row view to a feminine interpretation of the lives and times before, during, and after our revolutionary fight for freedom.
Thursday, March 6th
Relive the Golden Age of Radio
It's the year 1932 and the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks (shameless plug!) has just been created. All over, people are being swept away by a magical device called radio that brings them news and entertainment from down the street and around the world. The Powel House captures the excitement of the age with recreations of two episodes of the "Walker and O'Dare" private eye program and a quiz show that invites audience members to show their knowledge of that era in American history and win prizes for doing so.
Friday, March 7th
The monthly "First Friday" celebration returns to the Chemical Heritage Foundation. To kick things off, they'll take on the notion of cities being concrete jungles with their special guest Mary Seton Corboy from Greensgrow Farms, an expert on the role of community gardens and urban farms in the sustainability movement.
Monday, March 10th
Privacy in a Surveillance World
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Angwin discusses her soon-to-be-released book on privacy and security in a world of restless surveillance, offering strategies for protecting your personal data. Reservations are recommended.
Wednesday, March 12th
Classical Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts
Classical Chinese architecture survived almost unchanged for almost two thousand years, before western ideas, in the form of the Beaux-Arts, made major inroads after the fall of imperial China in 1911. This lecture explores the Beaux-Arts education of China's first generation of architects and follows the progress of Chinese architecture through the tumultuous '30's and '40's into the Soviet-influenced '50's and '60's and beyond.
Saturday, March 15th
Early Canals and Railroads in Pennsylvania
For over thirty years in the early 1800's, the state of Pennsylvania built, owned, and operated the largest and most technologically advanced railroad and canal system in North America. At one time, it was so prosperous that it was thought that it would generate enough revenue to run the state without the need to tax the citizenry any longer. Yet, by the middle of the century, it had all been sold off, often for pennies on the dollar. Learn more about it and the modern-day efforts to rediscover, rehabilitate and restore portions of this immense project.
Monday, March 24th
Looking Back on the Arab Spring
Three years ago, uprisings spread through the Middle East and North Africa, when millions of people took to the streets in the name of personal liberty and human rights. Overthrowing a government is one thing, but undertaking the building of its replacement is another. Join George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece, and a host of others as they look back and assess the lessons learned from the recent turmoil in that always interesting region of the world. Reservations are recommended.
Tuesday, March 25th
The State of Free Speech
What's the state of free speech in America, today? What should be protected and what should be condemned? From a pro-lifers' right to protest to a duck call makers' right to express himself, a panel of leading thinkers on the issue of free speech will discuss it all. Cocktails and refreshments precede the presentation. Reservations are recommended.
Thursday, April 3rd
The Politics of the Pythians
These Pythians weren't your typical "secret society." In fact, the only thing secret about them is their role in the early history of black baseball. Long before the Negro Leagues gave us Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Jackie Robinson, as America emerged from the Civil War, Octavius Catto formed and fielded the Philadelphia Pythians, the first black baseball team. They were, therefore, the first team banned from baseball based on the race of their players. But, they carried on and created a story that's about more than just sport.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
6 - 7:30 p.m.
Historic Philadelphia offers outdoor history tours, after hours events, and pub crawls. All of the details are on our Shows and Tours page.