The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources offers an aid to help kids – and parents – understand history with its “2nd Saturdays” program, as a number of State Historic Sites will feature the Civil War at events on July 9. This year marks the beginning of the Sesquicentennial observance (www.nccivilwar150.com).
“A new report of the nation-wide proficiency exam by the National Assessment of Education shows the need for U.S. students to improve in the study of history,” said Maryanne Friend, Assistant Secretary at Cultural Resources. “The study reports that American students do worse at history than any other subject, with only about 12 percent of high school seniors proficient in the subject.”
The 2nd Saturdays program showcases authentic North Carolina culture, heritage and arts at the 37 museums and State Historic Sites administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (www.ncculture.com). Additional support for 2nd Saturdays comes from “Our State” magazine.
Battleship North Carolina – Wilmington
“2nd Saturdays: Navigate. Battleship 101 and Demonstrate.” The Blue and Gray Navies Two North Carolinas – From Wood and Sail to Iron and Steam. Ship volunteers stationed throughout the ship engage visitors in specific subjects and areas including: gunnery, radar, sickbay, galley, engineering, and daily shipboard life. Free with Battleship admission. Come navigate this one-of-a-kind North Carolina artifact. For more information call (910) 251-5797. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Bentonville Battlefield – Four Oaks
“2nd Saturdays: 19th Century Fashion.” Members of the civilian re-enacting group, The Carolina Citizens, will give a presentation on clothing and fashion on the Civil War home front at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Visitor Center . Author Deanna Klingel (www.booksbydeanna.com) will discuss her new book, “Avery’s Battlefield,” and sign copies from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; it is one of a young adult series about the Civil War being published during the sesquicentennial observance about Avery Junior Bennett and his hound dog, Gunner, in Virginia from 1861 to1865. Author McKendree Long (www.mckendreelong.com) will hold a book signing for “No Good Like It Is,” the fictional account of two soldiers who rode with Terry’s Texas Rangers, a unit that fought at Bentonville. For more info rmation call (910) 594-0789. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
CSS Neuse – Kinston
“2nd Saturdays: After Appomattox -- N.C. Civil War Monuments 1865-1965.” The “2nd Saturdays” for July will focus on a lecture given by Doug Butler about his exhibit of photographs of N.C. Civil War Monuments. Learn how N.C. remembered what and who it lost during the Civil War. For more info rmation call (252) 522-2091. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fort Fisher – Kure Beach
“Exploring Local Literature: Recent Works of Fort Fisher History.” Explore Fort Fisher ’s literary legacy with a look at some of the recent books on Fort Fisher history, both fiction and non-fiction. Authors will discuss their work and sign books in the visitor center. Special weapons firing, cannon demonstrations and costumed tours will take place throughout the day. For more information call the site at (910) 458-5538. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Historic Stagville – Durham
“2nd Saturdays: Stagville Cinema -- ‘Gone With the Wind.’” The historic site will hold a free viewing of the American Civil War-era classic “Gone With the Wind,” with free popcorn. This will be followed by a contrast and comparison of Historic Stagville to Hollywood ’s interpretation of Southern plantation life. When this Academy-Award winning movie was released, it sold more tickets than any other film in history. For more info rmation call (919) 620-0120. The site opens at 9 a.m. (on regular schedule) but will stay open late for the movie showing from 7 to 11 p.m.
N.C. Maritime Museum - Southport
“2nd Saturdays: Blockade Runners and River Pilots.” See how the pilot s of Smithville became a vital link in the "lifeline of the Confederacy" by guiding blockade runners through the treacherous waters of the Cape Fear . Hear tales of the men who settled what would later become the city of Southport and see the tools of their trade in the “Pilots, Rescues, and Navigation” exhibit. Enjoy fun activities and crafts, costumed "visitors from the past" and special guests from the community. For more info rmation call (910) 457-0003. Noon to 4 p.m.
For more about the commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War in North Carolina , go to www.nccivilwar150.com.
The Department of Cultural Resources is the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina ’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at http://www.ncculture.com/