NSCDA Instrumental in Establishing Flag Day

Thursday 14 June 2018

Did you know that the NSCDA played a major role in building momentum to establish Flag Day as a nationally recognized day of remembrance? [caption id="attachment_12538" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Two young girls hold American flags next to a plaque honoring Bernard J. Cigrand in Waubeka, Wisconsin, around 1949 as part of a Flag Day commemoration. UW Digital Collections [Two young girls hold American flags next to a plaque honoring Bernard J. Cigrand in Waubeka, Wisconsin, around 1949 as part of a Flag Day commemoration.
UW Digital Collections][/caption]On June 14th, 1885, a 19 year old school teacher in Wisconsin named Bernard Cigrand displayed a 10-inch, 38-star flag in a bottle on his desk and asked his students to compose an essay on the significance of the flag. He chose this particular day because on June 14, 1777 Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the United States flag. And thus began Cigrand's life-long devotion to making Flag Day a national day of observance. In 1889, New York City kindergarten teacher, George Balch, held a Flag Day ceremony for his students, and his idea was later adopted by the New York State Board of Education. Two years later, in 1891, the idea of Flag Day had spread to Philadelphia, where the Betsy Ross House held a ceremony. In 1893, at the urging of the Sons of the Revolution, the Pennsylvania Society of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. The Public Schools of Philadelphia joined the movement and hosted a large rally of students in Independence Square. The following year, the governor of New York followed suite and directed that on June 14th the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. However, it wasn't until May of 1916, that President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for a nation-wide observance of Flag Day and not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th as National Flag Day. Bernard Cigrand lived to see President Wilson's proclamation; his life-long quest fulfilled. Unfortunately he died in 1932, a full 17 years before President Truman's Act of Congress. Today many of our properties across the United States host Flag Day ceremonies and celebrations and we encourage all Americans to fly their flags in commemoration of the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777. DSC_3591  

NSCDA Feature in The New Criterion

Monday 11 June 2018

Thanks to New York Dame Veve Brown for her lovely exploration of women in preservation, featuring the NSCDA. Read the article, HERE.

Museums & Community Engagement at The George Washington University

Tuesday 22 May 2018

An exciting pilot class was launched this past semester in the Graduate Museum Studies program at The George Washington University. Max van Balgooy, Assistant Professor and President of Engaging Places LLC, used four NSCDA properties for his inaugural class, Museums & Community Engagement. Over the course of the semester, ten students worked to create community engagement plans for the Neill-Cochran House Museum in Austin, TX, Mount Clare Museum House in Baltimore, MD, Hoover-Minthorn House in Newberg, Oregon, and Craik-Patton House in Charleston, WV. Their plans were informed by taped interviews that Max had with the museum Directors, and by heavy use of a Geographic Information System (GIS). Through the use of GIS, the students were able to see where the museums’ visitors and supporters lived, what areas they weren’t pulling visitors from, where the museums sat in relation to schools, and many other useful bits of data. Catherine Nuzum, Curator of Special Projects for the NSCDA, had the opportunity to watch the presentations of the students’ work on the final day of class and to participate in the subsequent discussions. Their plans were interesting and wide-ranging, incorporating such ideas as garden to table programming, collaboration with other local museums, and targeting social media minded millennials. Particularly heartening was the students’ awareness of the overall NSCDA museum network and the potential for collaboration amongst the sites. They, in turn, were thrilled to hear about the NSCDA Museum Alliance and that the idea for collaboration is indeed on the minds of many. Attendees of the Museum Properties Workshop during the Region II/IV Conference in Philadelphia this past April heard from Max firsthand as he explained the class in great detail and showed examples from the students’ PowerPoints. His presentation was of great interest to everyone in the room, and many thoughtful discussions ensued afterwards. Max will likely continue the class in the years to come, and there seems to be a desire for the NSCDA to remain a willing participant in the program so that more sites can benefit from the insights of these emerging professionals.