Stay engaged with the MHS this year.

“The small Pox! The small Pox! What shall We do with it? I could almost wish that an innoculating Hospital was opened, in every Town in New England. ”
Featured Item from the MHS Collection
“Not a dream”: A Portrait from Margaret Hall's World War I Memoir

Massachusetts-born American Red Cross worker Margaret Hall took this portrait of Mildred Mitchell, a fellow volunteer in France, late in 1918. For a photograph taken so close to the western front that the guns could be heard more or less constantly, the image might seem unusually serene. Mitchell sits in front of a fresco, staring into the distance with a curious expression. Whatever the original intent behind the posing and taking of this picture may have been, Hall gave it the caption Not a dream. The contemplative scene represents the exception, not the rule, of a volunteer’s life in wartime France. Read more about Margaret Hall and her photographs.

View more of her photographs at and learn about her memoir at
This Weeks Online Programs

On Tuesday, 16 February, at 5:15 PM, Trysh Travis, University of Florida, presents Boston Women on Drugs with comment by Elizabeth Lunbeck, Harvard University. In the mid-20th century, Boston emerged as a laboratory for “the modern alcoholism movement,” a campaign to replace penal responses to chronic drunkenness with medico-moral treatment focused on returning white men to their appropriate roles as breadwinners. In the late 1970s, radical feminist and women of color community health activists in Boston and Cambridge critiqued this system. This paper examines their attempts to create a more equitable, responsive, and genuinely feminist approach to substance abuse and assesses their strengths and shortcomings. This program is part of the History of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Seminar series. Seminars bring together a diverse group of scholars and interested members of the public to workshop a pre-circulated paper. Register for this online seminar.

On Thursday, 18 February, at 6:00 PM, Nicole Maskiell, University of South Carolina; Elon Cook Lee, National Trust for Historic Preservation and moderator Jared Hardesty, Western Washington University, present Confronting Racial Injustice: Slavery, Wealth Creation, & Intergenerational Wealth. From the 17th century to the 21st, enslavement—even when it took place outside of Massachusetts—shaped the province and the state in significant ways. It was and has been central to creating wealth: family fortunes, institutional endowments, and public budgets in the Commonwealth have all benefited from its spoils. This panel discussion between academic and public historians explores Massachusetts’s connections to slavery and the trade of enslaved people, the wealth—and the poverty—enslavement created and bequeathed, and how the legacies of enslavement are reflected in injustices that haunt Massachusetts to this day. Developed by the Northeastern University School of Law Criminal Justice Task Force, Confronting Racial Injustice is a free, five-part series hosted by the MHS and sponsored by a number of Boston-area organizations. Register for this online program.
Upcoming February Programs
On Tuesday, 23 February, at 5:15 PM, Sean Fraga, University of Southern California, presents A Portal to the Pacific Ocean: Puget Sound, the Transcontinental Railroads, & Transpacific Trade, 1869–1914 with comment by David Armitage, Harvard University.

On Wednesday, 24 February, at 5:30 PM, Julia Rose Kraut presents Threat of Dissent: A History of Ideological Exclusion & Deportation in the United States.

On Thursday, 25 February, at 5:30 PM, Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Crystal Feimster, Yale University; Chad Williams, Brandeis University; and Hasan Jeffries, Ohio State University, present Protest & Citizenship: Revisited.

Visit for more information and to register for programs.
Interested in Viewing Past Programs?
If you missed a program or would like to revisit the material presented, please visit or our YouTube channel. A selection of past programs is just a click away.
Share Your COVID-19 Experience(s)

The MHS invites you to contribute your COVID-19 experience(s) to our collection. Record your experiences on a daily, weekly, or intermittent basis. You can contribute your thoughts and images online. Visit our COVID-19 web display to learn more and to share your thoughts. Or you can keep a journal and donate it to the MHS. Contact for more information.  
Thank you to everyone who has shared so far. If you have not yet done so or would like to contribute again, please visit You can also read what others have shared.

Our Members are the heart of the MHS community and an integral part of the MHS story. Become a Member to help make possible the Society’s mission to promote the study of American history. Receive benefits including invitations to enhanced Member-only events; free or discounted admission to special programs; and access to publications such as our calendar of events, newsletter, and Annual Report. Learn more at