Posts Tagged 'cultural series'

Black History Month: A Dive Into Pier 4′s Rich History

Every February, our nation joins to celebrate our rich African-American culture and to reflect on important historical events and individuals.

As part of our annual Cultural Series, we will be celebrating the wealth of history that exists in our local community! In anticipation of our Black History Month celebration this Friday, we’d like to share an interesting story that involves icon Harriet Tubman and our very own Pier 4.

Maryland native Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad conductor, abolitionist and suffragist, is one of the lauded figures of American history.  From 1850 to 1860, she led hundreds to freedom, ultimately gaining her the nickname “Moses.”

Baltimore Inner Harbor 1850

A view of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in 1850.
Photo via Maryland Historical Society.

On October 21, 1856, Harriet Tubman helped a young woman named Tilly flee enslavement in Baltimore. Unable to safely bring Tilly to Philadelphia via a northeasterly route, Tubman cleverly devised a scheme to take Tilly on a southern steamboat route, eventually ending in Delaware.

The steamer Tubman intended to use was named Kent and was docked at Dugan’s Wharf (present-day Pier 4 – currently housing a portion of our facility).

Inner Harbor Map 1856

This map of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in 1856 shows where the Kent would dock. Image via Dr. Kate Larson.

The Kent made weekly trips to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and several Chesapeake Bay tributaries.Tubman and Tilly were able to safely make it onto the Kent and travel to Seaford, Delaware.

Eventually, the pair arrived in Wilmington, Delaware, where they met with an Underground Railroad agent who helped Tilly reach Philadelphia and her freedom.

Special thanks to Dr. Kate Larson and the Maryland Office of Tourism for gathering and sharing these facts with us. For more information on Harriet Tubman and her Maryland roots, click here.

The National Aquarium is proud to be a part of such a historically-rich community. We hope to see you at our upcoming Cultural Series celebration

Create New Family Traditions This Holiday Season!

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Winter – just hearing that word makes us reach for a warm mug of hot cocoa and dig out our scarves and wool mittens!

Spending time in nature with your child during this chilly time is a surprisingly fun way to defeat the winter doldrums. So, this holiday season, create a new family tradition by bundling up in layers and venturing out together to discover the quiet wonders of winter.

With your help, your child will notice the little changes that winter brings:

  • Staying Warm: As you zip up your coat and throw on a scarf, point out the change in temperature and how it’s colder now. Ask if your child can see their breath! Around your neighborhood, you’ll see that many of the animals grow a thicker coat in the winter (squirrels and raccoons) to stay warm. Point out the local birds that “puff up” their feathers to trap warm air close to their bodies like a built-in jacket.
  • Super Sleuth: Winter walks are a great time to play “I Spy”. Now that trees and plants have dropped their leaves, it’s much easier to find bird nests, animal burrows or woodpecker nest cavities.
  • Birds on the Move: Point out any local birds you see and ask your child if they are the same birds that they saw this summer. Odds are, some of your favorites may have migrated to warmer weather for the winter and new species may have come from up north.
  • A Flashlight Safari: Now that darkness comes earlier this time of year, there is a unique chance to experience your neighborhood in a new way. Join your child on a flashlight tour of your backyard or neighborhood. Listen carefully for new sounds, discover interesting insects that gather near porch lights and watch for little eyes shining back at you!
  • DIY Decor: Many trees in our neighborhoods have dropped their leaves and your child may notice that they look different. At home, collect fallen leaves, pods or seeds and incorporate these into your holiday decorating!

Want to learn more about family holiday traditions from around the world? Join us for our Cultural Series celebration tonight!

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