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May 2021

House Blessing Inscriptions: A Pennsylvania Dutch Tradition of Establishment

May 8, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Zoom

This presentation, given by Patrick Donmoyer, Director of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University, features a survey of architectural stone inscriptions and date plaques, with parallels found in written and printed blessings used in the home. A wide range of German-language blessing inscriptions ranging from Berks, Lebanon, and Lehigh will be explained, each with an English-language equivalent, as well as their biblical and historical significance. The history of these inscriptions is traced through the building and stone-carving…

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June 2021

No Fat Above the Collar

June 12, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Zoom

Historian Michael Shay discusses the life and career of Lt. General Hunter Ligget, a Berks County Native son, who rose through the ranks to lead the First Army, AEF in World War One.   This event will be hosted on Zoom. Register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_RYa0tCMESNCGb3US56m79A  

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September 2021

9/11 Day of Remembrance with Rodney Loose

September 11, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue
Reading, PA 19601 United States

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were the deadliest in our nation's history. Join us as we commemorate this tragic day on its 20th anniversary with former FBI Agent Rodney Loose, a native of Berks County and one of the heroic first responders on the scene. Rodney will be sharing his own pictures and experiences, along with showing a short movie that pays tribute to the NY Police officers and first responders. This program will be held in person,…

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November 2021

Remembrances of the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion

November 13, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue
Reading, PA 19601 United States

BHC welcomes historian Ed Matten, as he chronicles his visit to Normandy in June of 2019 by presenting two videos along with discussion. In addition, Ed will share interviews of WWII veterans, recordings from General Eisenhower, old stills, guided tours by experts of this momentous historical event, and the very moving ceremony held with President Trump and President Macron in the Colleville-sur-Mer cemetery. This program will be held in person, inside the BHC Museum Auditorium. The cost of this program…

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December 2021

Second Saturday Program- From Penn’s Common to City Park with Rick Polityka

December 11, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue
Reading, PA 19601 United States

Trustee Richard Polityka explores the establishment of Penn’s Common in 1749 by Richard and Thomas Penn as public commons, or a place for “public recreation.”  However, County Commissioners, starting in 1800, permitted three major intrusions, the water-works, the prison grounds and the fairgrounds. This program illustrates the many changes to the park and its many current attractions including monuments, memorials and the Bandshell. This program will be held in person, inside the BHC Museum Auditorium. The cost of this program…

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February 2022

Second Saturday Program- Back From Battle: The Forgotten Story of Pennsylvania’s Camp Discharge and Weary Civil War Soldiers It Served

February 12 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue
Reading, PA 19601 United States

Co-authors Jim Remsen and Brad Upp draw from military and medical records, pension files, dairies, memoirs, newspapers, and more to present a rich account of Camp Discharge and the men it housed and helped. Eighty-nine Pennsylvania regiments had men at Camp Discharge, and nine of those regiments recruited in Berks County: the 32nd, 36th, 88th, 107th and 198th Infantries; 2nd and 3rd Cavalries; and 3rd and Durell Artilleries. This presentation will include photographs and accounts of individual soldiers, as well…

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March 2022

Second Saturday Program- First Females in Berks County: Past and Present

March 12 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue
Reading, PA 19601 United States

The Women’s History Alliance continues its Suffrage 2020 Centennial Celebration with a documentary recognizing Berks County women who are first in their occupational fields. This program will be held in person, inside the BHC Museum Auditorium. The cost of this program is $5 for BHC members and $8 for non-members. The program fee includes admission to the BHC Museum. Fees will be accepted at the door on the day of the event. Coffee, hot tea, juice and light refreshments will…

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April 2022

Second Saturday Program- The Early Orphanages of Reading and Berks County

April 9 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue
Reading, PA 19601 United States

At the end of the Civil War, Pennsylvania had more orphaned children than most states. Carl Bloss, Archivist Emeritus of Bethany's Children's Home, who previously lectured at the BHC about the Soldier’s Orphans Schools Program (SOS), will speak about the early orphanages of Reading and Berks County from 1729 to 1850, when many orphanages were active. Mr. Bloss will trace the growth and demise of the orphanage system from a Berks County viewpoint. This program will be held in person,…

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May 2022

Second Saturday Program- Before He Was a Catcher or a Spy: Moe Berg’s Year with the 1925 Reading Keys

May 14 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue
Reading, PA 19601 United States

BHC trustee and baseball historian, Brian Engelhardt, presents a program about Moe Berg, who played shortstop for the Reading Keys before a 15 year major league career as a catcher. Fluent in 10 languages, Berg graduated magna cum laude from Princeton with a degree in modern languages. Following his retirement from baseball, during WWII, he engaged in espionage activity for the Office of Secret Service, predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency. Berg’s career in baseball and thereafter as a spy…

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June 2022

Memories of a ByGone Era of the South Mountain Resorts at Wernersville

June 11 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Berks History Center, 940 Centre Avenue
Reading, PA 19601 United States

Historian Paul Miller will share a slide presentation that details the history of the health resorts that once existed on South Mountain near Wernersville and covers their history in vintage historical photographs from beginning to demise.  Included is Grand View, Walter's Park/South Mountain Manor, Sunset Hall, The Preston, Galen Hall, Bynden Wood, Highland House, The Hillside and Belle Alto.  The presentation ties in with Paul's book, "Memories of a Bygone Era- History of the South Mountain Resorts Overlooking Wernersville, Berks…

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