Westborough Local History Pastimes – For the Week of March 30, 2020

pas·time – /ˈpasˌtīm/ – noun

  • an activity that someone does regularly for enjoyment rather than work; a hobby. “his favorite pastimes were shooting and golf [and local history!]” (Source: Lexico – https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/pastime)

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Historically, when human beings have time on their hands, they tell stories. (See my last blog post where I discuss Boccaccio’s The Decameron.) The first local history pastime on my list below asks us to tell the story of how two big events, the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, shaped daily life in the 1950’s. 

Time will tell how our experience with the coronavirus will shape our future, but I hope that any of you who lived during the 1950’s–or have an interest in this topic or time period–will take the time to share your memories or share your research on this topic and help us tell our story about what it was like to live in the 1950’s.

–Anthony Vaver, Local History Librarian

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Westborough Korean War Monument
  • Westborough in the 1950’s Project. The Westborough History Working Group at the Westborough Public Library is teaming up with Westborough TV to create programming and an eventual film on Westborough in the 1950’s, and we need your help. Over the next few months, we will be gathering from the Westborough community photographs, memories, images of ephemera, and other information about what it was like to live in Westborough during this formative decade.

This week we are asking the question: How did the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War affect life in the 1950’s, either in Westborough or American society in general? 

Whether you lived in Westborough during this time or not, submit your reflections by clicking here. If you were not alive during the 1950’s or were too young to remember, then perhaps you can use this question to interview someone who did or do some research to try to answer the question a different way.

In the coming weeks, I will be asking more questions about daily life in the 1950’s and pose other ways for you to contribute content to our 1950’s project.

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  • Research your ancestors (or other historical person). Until April 30, you can use Ancestry.com from home (normally, you have to be in the Westborough Library to use this database). Every time I search this database, I discover something new about my ancestors, so if you have never used it or haven’t searched the database in awhile, you will be amazed by the resources that it offers.

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List of Males over 16 Years Old, 1777
  • Early Census Record. I recently received my U.S. Census form in the mail and filled it out online this weekend. Once you have submitted your form, take a look at an early Westborough census record: List of Males Over 16 Years Old, 1777. This census was used to determine and identify the number of soldiers that Westborough was required to send to fight for the American cause during the American Revolution.

By the way, your participation in the U.S. Census is important not only for its use in developing public policy and for allocating resources to our state and town, but also because it will provide key information for your descendants, who at a future date may be using Ancestry.com or some other resource to discover information about you.

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