Delaware Public Media

History Matters

Monthly during The Green
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History Matters digs into Delaware's past each month to explore connections between key people, places, and events in history and present-day news.  It's produced in collaboration with the Delaware Historical Society with help from partners at the Delaware Public Archives, Hagley Museum and the Lewes Historical Society

Ways to Connect

Szymanski Collection / Delaware Historical Society

This month’s History Matters, produced in collaboration with the Delaware Historical Society, was inspired by University of Delaware Black Studies professor Tiffany Gill’s book - “Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry.”


Dr. Gill explores how self-employed African American beauticians played an often-underground role in the Civil Rights movement.  For example - having NAACP pamphlets and other similar mail sent secretly to their under-the-radar storefronts.

Gill’s primary focus is on beauty shops in the South, but we wondered if shops locally played a similar role.

To find out, Delaware Public Media’s Megan Pauly spoke with Wilmington residents and local historians about their recollections of – and research into - Delaware’s beauty shop industry.


Courtesy Roger Horowitz

Delawarean and food historian Roger Horowitz knows a thing or two about food - including kosher foods.

Friends of Brandywine Springs


Brandywine Springs Park in New Castle County may look like a common park, but it has a rich – and unique - past: as both home to natural springs and an old historic amusement park during the late 1800s and early 1900s.


Delaware Public Media’s Megan Pauly takes us back in time to learn what the park was like then in this month's History Matters, produced in collaboration with the Delaware Historical Society.



Delaware Historical Society

There was a time on the Delmarva Peninsula when passenger trains took people up and down the spine of the First State.

Hagley Museum & Library

During the industrial revolution and into the WWII era and beyond, shipbuilding played a key role in the evolution of industry and livelihood in Wilmington.


While the shipyards that dotted the waterfront are no longer in existence, the dockyard culture is still alive and well through the Kalmar Nyckel’s crew that maintains and sails a 1600s model ship for tourists and educational purposes.


In this month’s History Matters - produced in conjunction with the Delaware Historical Society and the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation - Delaware Public Media’s Megan Pauly tells us more about the history of shipbuilding in Wilmington.

Lewes Historical Society

It was the precursor to the U.S. Coast Guard and its tender boats grace the museums of the Lewes Historical Society (LHS) close to the Canal. Lewes was not only a shipbuilding capital but home to the rescue service that saved many an ailing seaman. 

Myna German

Little did we know that one fish – not even edible fed generations of Lewes Delaware seamen and their families.

Delaware Historical Society


Lewes is a city with a rich history for many reasons: it was founded in June of 1631 the first city in the First State, a key port for ships making their way to Philadelphia and even home to what historians claim is the home of the first shipyard owned by free African Americans.

Delaware Historical Society

The Delaware Historical Society recently offered community members an insider look at board games from their collection, and even gave them a chance to play some games.

Delaware Historical Society

Our two part History Matters on the history of the fight for women’s rights in the First State concludes this week with a conversation with leading women’s rights historian Anne Boylan, author of “The Origins of Women’s Activism,” about the role of Delaware women in the women’s suffrage movement.

Delaware Public Media’s Megan Pauly interviewed her in historic Warner Hall on the UD campus. The hall is named after Emalea Pusey Warner, who was part of the original Women’s College and is still used as an all-female student dormitory today.