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Witch Trials Weekly: February 1692

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Apr 04 2014

Witch Trials Weekly: Video 5, February 12th through February 18th

Church Control

Witch Trials Weekly: Video 6, February 19th through February 25th

The First Examinations


Witch Trials Weekly: Video 7, February 26th through March 3rd

Diagnosis, Witch Cake, and the Spread of the Evil Hand

Witch Trials Weekly: January 1692

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Feb 13 2014

What can we learn from American Muslims?

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jul 13 2013

Last year Kemal Argon, a contributor to Huffington Post, wondered What Can The Salem Witch Museum Teach American Muslims? . Yet this spring after the Boston Marathon bombing a few of our staff, reeling with the aftermath of the horrific events so close to home and family, expressed apprehension about discussing religious, cultural, sexual, gender and racial tolerance in our second exhibit.

tolerance-word-cloud-ii

Fear  +  Trigger  = Scapegoat

Our second exhibit Witches Evolving Perceptions looks at the evolution of folklore and stereotypes that lead to scapegoating, especially of those accused of witchcraft in Essex County 1692.  The formula for a witch hunt fits to explain other scapegoating events, for example the McCarthy hearings in the United States in the 1950’s.

Salem 1692

Fear:  God/Devil

Trigger:  Dr. Griggs

Scapegoats:  150 Townspeople

Japanese-American Internment 1942

Fear:  Imperial Japan

Trigger:  Pearl Harbor

Scapegoats:  100,000 +/- Japanese Americans put in internment camps

McCarthyism  ~1950-1956

Fear:  Communism

Trigger:  HUAC / Senator Joseph McCarthy

Scapegoats:  Blacklisted citizens

AIDS Epidemic Outbreak  1980’s

Fear:  Infection

Trigger: HIV/AIDS

Scapegoats:  Gay community

There are many other examples of witch hunting in the United States and elsewhere in the world throughout history.  Using the formula, it could be said that the treatment of law abiding Muslim-Americans as terrorists in a post-9/11 environment certainly follows.

When the Boston Marathon bombing occurred this spring, one unforeseen result was that tourists visiting the city were rerouted elsewhere, including to Salem; the Salem Witch Museum hosted several unscheduled tour groups, even as the Boston police were chasing down the suspects, and most people in the area were single-minded in their concern.   It was a surreal day where citizens of the metro Boston area were unified in prayer of sorts, while political and social tensions were escalating.

A couple members of our staff struggled with discussing tolerance in our second exhibit that day.  While there were those who felt that Muslims as a whole should not be allowed to immigrate to the United States, others believed that this was the precisely the time to hold fast to our commitment to teach the lessons of intolerance.

To address the conflict, staff members researched various media for a broad sample of opinions on the subject of Muslims in America:  some pro, some con.  We realized that this complicated issue brought to mind the very real conflict between our moral ideals and our naturally occurring human fears and prejudices.  Today as much as in 1692.

We found the research and following discussions somewhat unsatisfying, as none of the opinions expressed were coming from the very people whose presence in our midst we were examining.  Museum director, Tina Jordan, reached out to our Education Director Emerita, Alison D’Amario, to help us get a more personal view of the issue.  Alison has taught English  at the Immigrant Learning Center, Malden, MA through which she’s been afforded a genuine  familiarity with – unedited by mass media –  the daily lives and stories of people, including Muslims, who have decided to live in the United States.

. . . . . to be continued. . . . .

In part II, we’ll recap a moving evening of discussion on the topic of the treatment of Muslims in the Boston area after the fateful marathon bombing of this spring.

Salem Witch Trials Booklist

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jan 17 2013

salem-possessed

*Many resources are available from our online bookstore.

Current Sources:

Boyer, Paul and Nissenbaum, Stephen.  Salem Possessed.

Demos, John.  Entertaining Satan.

Hall, David.  Witch Hunting in 17th Century New England

Hansen, Chadwick. Witchcraft in Salem.

Hill, Frances.  A Delusion of Satan.

Hill, Frances.  The Salem Witch Trials Reader.

Hoffer, Peter Charles.  The Salem Witch Trials, A Legal History.

Karlsen, Carol.  The Devil in the Shape of a Woman.

Mappen, Marc.  Witches and Historians.

Norton, Mary Beth.  In The Devil’s Snare.

Richardson, Katherine.  The Salem Witch Trials.

Roach, Marilynne. The Salem Witch Trials, A Day by Day Chronicle.

Robinson, Enders.  The Devil Discovered.

Rosenthal, Bernard.   Salem Story.

Starkey, Marion.  The Devil in Massachusetts.

Primary Sources: records-of-the-salem-witch-hunt

Rosenthal, Bernard, ed.  Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt

Boyer, Paul and Nissenbaum, Stephen.  Salem Village Witchcraft.

Trask, Richard, ed.  The Devil Hath Been Raised.

Related Works:

Breslaw, Elaine.  Tituba, Reluctant Witch of Salem.

Demos, John.  The Enemy Within

Hill, Frances.  Hunting for Witches, A Visitor’s Guide.

Miller, Arthur.  The Crucible.

Tapley, Charles.  Rebecca Nurse, Saint but Witch Victim.

Roach, Marilynne.  Gallows and Graves.

Russell, Jeffrey.  A History of Witchcraft.

Weisman, Richard.  Witchcraft, Magic and Religion in

17th Century New England.

For Young Readers: swt-unsolved-mystery

Aronson, Marc.  Witch-Hunt (young adult)

Duble,Kathleen. The Sacrifice (grades 5-8)

Jackson, Shirley.  The Witchcraft of Salem Village (grades 5-6)

Rinaldi, Ann.  A Break with Charity. Fiction (grades 6-8)

Stern, Steven.  Witchcraft in Salem . (grades 4-6)

Yolen, Jane. The Salem Witch Trials, An Unsolved Mystery

Maps:

A Map of Salem Village & Vicinity in 1692

This map shows Salem Village, primary location of the Salem

witch trials history, as it looked in 1692.  Sites of houses and public

buildings are noted.  The map is drawn by Marilynne Roach, a

Salem witch trials expert.

Videos:

Three Sovereigns for Sarah

A partly fictional account of the trials focusing on the three

Towne sisters, two of whom were hanged.  The production

was filmed at locations connected with the trials.        2 1/2 hrs

Days of Judgment:  The Salem Witch Trials of 1692

A film designed for school and home viewing that answers

many of the questions raised by the trials.                    1 hour

The Crucible

The 1995 film version of Arthur Miller’s play.  Screen play by the author.

Filmed on location in Essex County.                            2 hours

Gordon Hirabayashi, Japanese Internment Opponent, Honored with Medal of Freedom

0 Comments | This entry was posted on May 30 2012

japanese-american-internment Gordon Hirabayashi was a student in the 1940s when he challenged the internment orders for Japanese Americans during World War II.  Opposing the wartime removal of more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese immigrants from the West Coast to detention centers, Mr. Hirabayashi involved himself in a debate that echoed throughout the remainder of the century.

In February 1942, two months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, approved the establishment of ‘military areas’ to ‘exclude therefrom any or all persons.’ In March a curfew was instituted along the West Coast for people of Japanese ancestry, and in May 1942, the West Coast military command ordered their removal to austere camps in isolated locations.

gordon-hirabayashi-1983 Hirabayashi was imprisoned from March to October, 1942 after refusing to obey curfew and internment orders.  In the 1980s a professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, Peter Irons, found documents revealing that in presenting to the Supreme Court the federal government had held back its own assessment that Japanese-Americans on the West Coast were not dangers to national security. In September 1987the federal appeals court in San Francisco overturned Mr. Hirabayashi’s conviction. He died in January at age 93.

Presidential Medal of Freedom: Obama honors Bob Dylan, Madeleine Albright and others

Gordon Hirabayashi, World War II Internment Opponent, Dies at 93

Japanese American Internment Timeline

Galileo Galilei

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jan 23 2012

“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”

CB059743