Two Upcoming History Programs in April 2023

Eleanor Roosevelt–The First Lady of the World

On Monday, April 10th at 7:00 p.m. at the Willows, the Westborough Historical Society will present “Eleanor Roosevelt–The First Lady of the World.” The dynamic, beloved First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, will be brought to life by Sheryl Faye. This program is co-sponsored by The Willows of Westborough, 1 Lyman Street, and is supported in part by a grant from the Westborough Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency. It is free and open to the public.

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“America in the Philippines”: An Historical Talk by Jennifer Hallock

On Thursday, April 13, 6:30—7:45 PM in the  Galfand Meeting Room, Westborough Public Library, Jennifer Hallock will present a historical talk on “America in the Philippines.”

Hotly contested stump speeches on transpacific trade, immigration, and national security are not new to American political discourse. Join historian, teacher, and author Jennifer Hallock to learn how our first experiment in overseas empire in the Philippines (1898-1946) launched the American Century and still shapes our country now. She will discuss this chapter of our shared history, and lead a Q&A on the effects we continue to see today.

Interested in a more high-level analysis? Read her article, “Army Trenches and School Benches: The Philippine-American War in the Sugar Sun Series.”   Copies of her books will also be available for sale and to be autographed at her talk.

To learn more, and to register for the talk, visit

Historical Society Program: “Worcester’s Role in the American Revolution”


Below is a notice from the Westborough Historical Society about an upcoming program. Westborough also had an important role to play in the closing of the Worcester court house in 1774, so this program should also be highly relevant to our town.


Many students learned in elementary school that the American Revolution began in April 1775 at Lexington and Concord. There are others, however, who believe with good reason that the Revolution actually began the previous autumn in Worcester. Like every town in Massachusetts, Worcester had a Committee of Correspondence that led opposition to the British, but Worcester also had a radical group (the American Political Society) that pushed for Independence.

Please join us on March 7th, at 7pm, as Robert Stacy, Site Manager for Worcester’s Salisbury Mansion, describes some of the places associated with the beginnings of the American Revolution in Worcester. These include the homes of Stephen Salisbury and Isaiah Thomas, the Court House that the Worcester militias closed, and the taverns where the Patriots and Tories gathered. This program is free and open to the public on ZoomTo register, please use this link:

Historical Society Program: “Made in Worcester” [Corrected Link]

Did you know that Worcester is often celebrated as the birthplace of shredded wheat, the envelope, Robert Goddard’s rockets, Harvey Ball’s Happy Face, and American romantic valentines?

On Monday, February 7 at 7pm, the Westborough Historical Society will present “Made in Worcester” with William Wallace. Wallace is the Director of the Worcester Historical Museum, and he will describe the creativity and enterprising spirit of Worcester natives whose inventions have changed our lives while sharing the truth about Worcester’s firsts, famous, and “also rans.” The program is free and open to the public on Zoom. To register, please use this link: [Updated on 2/7/2022].

Westborough Historical Society Program: “Remembering the 1918 Influenza Pandemic”

On Monday, January 10, 2022 at 7pm on Zoom, the Westborough Historical Society will present their Civic Club Lecture: “Remembering the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in the Age of COVID,” by Professor Ben Railton, Professor of English and American Studies at Fitchburg State University. This lecture explores why the “Spanish Flu” of 1918-1921 was both misunderstood in its own era and largely forgotten for the next century, although five times as many Americans died in this global pandemic than did in WWI.

Prof. Railton is a dynamic speaker with a passion for American collective memories and national narratives. He is the author of six books, most recently, Of Thee I Sing: The Contested History of American Patriotism (2021). His scholarship includes the daily “American Studies” blog, the bimonthly “Considering History” column for the Saturday Evening Post, and contributions to online conversations including HuffPost and We’re History. He’s also a prolific public scholarly tweeter @AmericanStudier.

This program is generously sponsored by the Westborough Civic Club. It is free and open to the public. We hope you can attend! To register for this Zoom presentation, please click this link:


AAS Program: “Before COVID: Illness in Everyday Life in Early New England”

The American Antiquarian Society is holding a virtual program tonight (12/2/20) at 8:00 p.m. that promises to highlight Westborough’s first minister, Rev. Ebenezer Parkman.

The program is titled, “Before COVID: Illness in Everyday Life in Early New England,” and will feature Ben Mutschler, author of The Province of Affliction: Illness and the Making of Early New England, in conversation with Ashley Cataldo, Curator of Manuscripts at the American Antiquarian Society. Mutschler relied on Parkman’s diary and the Westborough Public Library’s Ebenezer Parkman Project website while researching his book. The program is free, but requires advanced registration.  Click here for more information about the talk and to register for it.

Also be sure to check out a short video of Ashley Cataldo talking about Parkman’s diary to promote the program. It’s a chance to see how the American Antiquarian Society houses the Parkman diary and to follow along as Cataldo reads entries that discuss pandemics and illnesses from actual pages in the diary.

The Westborough Public Library Celebrates Women’s Equality Day!

August 26, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote nationally in elections. In 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day both to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment and to draw attention to the work that still needs to be done to reach full equality for women.

Learn more about Westborough and the Women’s Suffrage Movement in the online exhibit, “The Fight for Women’s Suffrage in Westborough.”

Also add to your calendar a talk by Barbara Berenson on “Women’s Rights after the 19th Amendment” on Tuesday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. Berenson is the author of Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement and other books. The program will be a Zoom event, so advanced registration is required. This special program is co-sponsored by the Westborough Center for History and Culture and the Westborough Historical Society.

Advertisement for the National Woman Suffrage Convention in Westborough, 1884.

Join the Westborough Decade Project

Since we are just entering a new decade, the Westborough History Working Group will be selecting a different decade from the 20th century and exploring what life was like in Westborough during that time. As a group, we will select which decade we want to explore, learn how to use the resources here at the library to research that decade, and then create a final project to share what we have learned with the Westborough community.

The Westborough History Working Group generally meets on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the Library.

If you are interested in joining this project, please e-mail Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian, at The first meeting, where we will select which decade we want to explore, will be on Wednesday, January 15 at 2 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the library.

Arcade Building, 1977

Westborough Historical Society Program: “Three Turning Points That Changed American History”

Westborough Historical Society Program: “Three Turning Points That Changed American History,” Monday, January 13, 2020, 7:00 p.m., Westborough Public Library Meeting Room. Prof. Edward O’Donnell of the College of the Holy Cross will discuss landmark movements and events that have irrevocably altered the direction of the nation. Some were groundbreaking political concepts; some were dramatic military victories and defeats. Still others were religious movements or technological innovations. Can you guess the three most important turning points?

Prof. Edward O’Donnell

Prof. Edward O’Donnell, chair of the History Department of the College of the Holy Cross, is an expert in Irish-American history and the Gilded Age. He holds a Ph.d. in American history from Columbia University and  taught at Hunter College, CUNY from 1995-2001. In 1986 he joined the faculty of Holy Cross and hosts the podcast, “In the Past Lane,” which explores topics in U.S. history. Professor O’Donnell is known for providing historical commentary for PBS, the History Channel, ABC World News, NPR, and the BBC. He has curated major exhibits on U.S.history across the nation. Among his books are “101 Things Everyone Should Know about Irish-American History, ”Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality,” and “Visions of America: A History of the United States.”

Dec. 11 Meeting of the Westborough History Working Group

Next Meeting of the Westborough History Working Group: Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 2:00 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the Westborough Public Library.

Are you interested in working with historical documents and records held at the Westborough Center for History and Culture? Come to this meeting to help out. If you plan to attend, please e-mail Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian, at

New: Online Self-Directed Walking Tour of Downtown Westborough

Brand New: The Early Development of Westborough through Church and State: A Walking Tour

Looking for a fun activity to do with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday? Click on the link to this tour on your smart phone and use it to learn about the separation of church and state and how it affected Westborough, MA in this self-directed online walking tour of Westborough’s downtown. The tour starts at the Westborough Rotary and was created by Emily Bartee and Kayla Niece of Girl Scout Troop 30551 as a Silver Award project.