12/18/2014 11:19:22 AM
Day of Living History
Monday, May 05, 2014
By Kristen Bossio '16
As the semester drew to a close, students gathered in the front of Siena Hall to watch Revolutionary War marches, hear cannon fire and play various 18th and 19th century games, including cricket. It was Siena College’s sixth annual Day of Living History and re-enactors helped students experience life during several historical time periods, including the Revolutionary and Civil War eras.
Sponsored by the History Club and the McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution, the annual event is meant to expose the Siena community to history in a way that most students have never seen before.
“As a history major, I am surrounded by the subject all the time,” said event organizer Francis Butler ’15. “When we have the Day of Living History, however, people from the community and from Siena who do not live and breathe the subject as much come out and have tons of fun learning about the past and interacting with the re-enactors.”
One of the most popular activities of the day was cricket. Students learned the rules of the classic 19th century game and then played competitive matches against each other, with some help from the instructor, of course.
Some of the other activities were traditional rope making, 18th century candle dipping and learning how to write with a quill pen and ink bottle. Students could also try on traditional clothes and see medicine from the Civil and Revolutionary War eras.
“I’m a history education major, so it was really cool for me to see history being taught in such a unique and engaging way,” said Delia Ernst ’17. “I learned how to play cricket which was a ton of fun and not something I would otherwise have been able to try.”
The Day of Living History was open to people outside of the Siena community as well. The Urban Scholars Program participated this year and the faces of the kids lit up when they saw the firing demonstration and participated in activities.
“Saving history and promoting it does not mean that you have to major in it or have a Ph.D.,” said Butler. “Rather, it is our civic responsibility to preserve our heritage and understand who we were by knowing where we have been as a society. If a student can feel the spark of lifelong learning by attending this event, then that justifies all the work we put into the Day of Living History each year.”
Along with the displays, demonstrations and games, Siena College students delivered presentations.
Contact: Ken Jubie
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