All Lunch & Learn events start at 11:30 a.m. at the Chelsea Restaurant at 335 Middle Street in New Bern. The cost is $17 for Historical Society members and $22 for non-members, which includes a delicious Chelsea entree, bread, dessert, iced tea, and coffee. Reservations and meals must be paid in advance, either online from the Tickets page or by calling the New Bern Historical Society at 252-638-8558. Please select your menu option when ordering. Paper tickets are not issued; simply check in at the door.
Sold out! Please call the office at 252.638.8558 to be placed on the wait list.
Wednesday, March 13
The First & Second NC Provincial Congresses: Another New Bern First
Presented by Dr. Robert Ainsley
11:30 am at The Chelsea Restaurant
New Bern Leads The Way to Independence. Did you know that New Bern hosted the 1st Provincial Congress in August 1774, the first such gathering anywhere in the Thirteen Colonies held in defiance of British orders? Thus was North Carolina the first colony to call for a Continental Congress and develop a list of grievances against the crown in response to King George III and his years of taxation on everything from sugar to tea. New Bern was also the site of the 2nd Provincial Congress in 1775.
Presenting this exciting chapter in history will be Dr. Robert Ainsley. Dr. Ainsley has over 45 years’ experience in education, training and instructional technology programs. He retired from the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) as the Executive Director of the e-Learning and Technology Center after 20 years’ service. He currently serves as an adjunct professor with the Tillman School of Business at the University of Mount Olive and as a consultant/trainer in the areas of instructional development and program management. Dr. Ainsley enjoys genealogical research and is a member of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and the North Carolina Society of the Sons of the American Revolution – New Bern Chapter. His deep interest in history is reflected in his presentation.
A look at previous Lunch & Learn programs:
Wednesday, February 13
New Bern's Rich African American Heritage
Presented by Angela Thorpe, Acting Director, NC African American Heritage Commission
11:30 am at The Chelsea Restaurant
You may have heard about the recent Hollywood blockbuster The Green Book, which features local actor/singer Von Lewis as Bobby Rydell. But The Negro Motorist Green Book, from which the movie takes its title, is a grim reminder of the restrictions on African Americans in Jim Crow-era America. A national listing of businesses that would serve black customers, the Green Book was a bible of sorts for black travelers in a society where they could not gas up, eat a meal, or spend the night in most white-owned businesses. This program will feature Angela Thorpe, Acting Director of the NC African American Heritage Commission, discussing the history of the Green Book, New Bern's own Green Book locations, and the Commission’s North Carolina-wide Green Book Project.
Here to share insights on our rich history is Angela Thorpe, Acting Director of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission, a division of the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in Raleigh. An Air Force brat who traveled extensively as a child, her family’s roots are tied to the small, tobacco-farming community of Pinetops, NC. Angela returned to her roots after receiving a B.A. in History with a minor in African American studies from the University of Florida; and an M.A. in History with a concentration in Museum Studies from the UNC Greensboro. Ms. Thorpe worked at The HistoryMakers video oral history archive in Chicago, IL before returning to North Carolina to serve as the first African American Historic Interpreter at the President James K. Polk State Historic Site in Pineville. She began serving as the Associate Director of the NC African American Heritage Commission in 2017 and is now Acting Director.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
"The Story of the Ghent Community"
Presented by John Leys
Casino and Circus and Trolley, Oh My! One of New Bern's proud historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Ghent neighborhood has a lively and vibrant past. The Historical Society's former Historian, John Leys, will take us back to the days when the neighborhood was developed from the Rhem family plantation and grew with the introduction of the trolley. He'll recall the Casino with sports events, dances, rides and concessions, and reminisce about the fun the children had with the coming of the circus. Who remembers that the famous Gorgeous George had a wrestling match there?! You'll learn about Ghent's about architectural styles, notable neighborhood residents, and the significant influence of the Ghent community in New Bern.
Ghent resident John Leys came to New Bern after finishing his graduate degree at East Carolina University in 1975 and taught French, History and English in the New Bern school system. After retiring as a teacher he worked at the Craven County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Bern Public Library, and Tryon Palace. An active volunteer with the Historical Society, he served on the Board of Directors as the Historian, recently stepping down after ten years of service. John has done extensive research and writing, and written scripts for and acted as a ghost in Ghostwalk and Haunted Evening productions. He has appeared in many productions at the Civic Theatre and was on the founding board of the Rivertowne Players. John loves New Bern and thinks it has some of the nicest people in the world!
Wednesday, October 10th
"Admiral Farragut: The New Bern and Spanish Connections"
Presented by RADM Jay DeLoach, USN (ret)
DAMN THE TORPEDOES! Did you know that Admiral David Farragut is connected to Eastern North Carolina? And that his father was a Spanish immigrant who fought in the American Revolution? At this Lunch & Learn, Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach will illuminate the lesser-known but fascinating history of this famous Civil War Naval hero.
David Glasglow Farragut was born 15 miles outside the frontier town of Knoxville, Tennessee. At the tender age of nine, he would join the Navy to start his 60-year career in this demanding sea service. Despite his southern roots and southern wife, he remained loyal to the Union in the Civil War. He would later become the US Navy's first admiral after the capture of New Orleans in 1862. This presentation will not, however, explore Admiral Farragut's spectacular Naval career but will dive into his family background with a mother with local eastern NC roots and a father who hailed from a foreign shore across the Atlantic Ocean and came to this country to fight the British during the Revolutionary War.
Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 and served on submarines as well as several assignments with Naval Intelligence, 7th Fleet, and Joint Staff. He earned three Masters’ degrees, in Management, Nuclear Engineering, and National Security & Strategic Studies. He also served as an adjunct professor for the Naval War College and taught Joint Maritime Operations. After retirement from the military, he became a member of the Senior Executive Service in the Department of the Navy and led the transformation of the Naval History & Heritage Command as its 12th Director from 2008-2012. He is currently the Vice President of the New Bern Chapter of the NC Sons of the American Revolution. He is also an active participant on the Historian Committee and the Journal Committee for the New Bern Historical Society.