Lectures, Music, & More!

People still talk about the stunning series of programs over a four year period that coincided with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Many of these events featured skilled re-enactors in period dress and filled the community room at the Avon Public Library to standing room only.

The Society continues to offer remarkable presentations on a wide range of topics, providing an informal forum for professors and researchers, home-grown experts, published authors, and local history enthusiasts to share their fascination with the history of our region. These enthusiastic speakers are all knowledgeable in their area of expertise and we truly appreciate their willingness to engage our audiences.

We offer these programs at different times of the day and on different days of the week to provide the community with a variety of access options. These events are usually held at the Avon Free Public Library or at the Senior and Community Center at little or no cost to the public. However, if you enjoyed our program, please consider making a donation to allow us to continue our Mission.

Please contact us if you wish to be considered as a speaker for future programs. If you would like to make a donation to support the programs offered by the Avon Historical Society, you can do so by visiting our Donations Page.

Examining Freedom of the Press: Lecture Series

Avon Free Public Library, 281 West Avon Road

A series designed in partnership with the Avon Free Public Library, Avon Historical Society, and Avon Senior Center, with support from Avon High School. Events will run from June – September 2018, including Friday films and post-viewing discussions.


Meet John Adams! A dramatic portrayal by George Baker.
Saturday, June 9, 2018, 2:00 pm

Since 2008, George Baker has portrayed John Adams and his family to businesses, universities, libraries, national conventions and venues. Join us for his program, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, their historic relationship from the American Revolution to 1826, the 50th Anniversary of the United States. All ages are welcome! No registration required.

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Inside the Inaugural Address: Lessons in the Great American Experiment
Monday, June 11, 2018, 2:00 pm

Inaugural addresses offer a window into the trials and tribulations of the political past. Presidents sometimes complain about previous administrations, define the principles on which they will govern, or challenge the nation to reach new heights. Inaugurals also follow particular organizational guidelines, except when they don’t. They are both commentaries on the nation, and introductions to America. Some are well known, some are not, but they all offer a front row seat to what was on the mind of a new chief executive. This lecture and discussion will be led by Matthew Warshauer, History Professor at Central Connecticut State University.

Parties, the Press, and Political Politeness: Well, Not Really!
Monday, June 18, 2018, 6:30 pm

Oh, the good old days! When politics was polite and statesmen ran the nation. Don’t believe it for a minute. Partisanship and mean-spirited political battles have always been at the center of the American system. “Factions” and the “baneful weed of party strife” have been tearing at the United States since its inception. Perhaps it’s why the constitutional convention in Philadelphia has been referred to as a “miracle.” This lecture and discussion will be led by Matthew Warshauer, History Professor at Central Connecticut State University.

The Alien and Sedition Acts
Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 2:00 pm

This program will discuss the origins, purposes, implementation, and ramifications of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and briefly trace the interplay among liberty, national security, and party politics from George Washington’s presidency to Donald Trump’s. The Alien and Sedition Acts were four separate laws, the first three pertaining to foreign nationals and the fourth to American citizens. This lecture and discussion will be led by Dr. Francis Coan, Chairman, Social Sciences Department and Professor of History, Tunxis Community College.

The Enigma of Benjamin Franklin
Tuesday, June 26, 2018, 2:00 pm

Who was Ben Franklin, really? How did his political loyalties influence journalism in 18th century America? Join us for this roundtable discussion of Ben Franklin and his influence on American politics. Please read The Americanization of Ben Franklin by Gordon Wood before attending (copies of this book are available at the reference desk), as it will serve as a launch point for this discussion. This discussion will be led by Stephen McGrath, History Professor at Central Connecticut State University.

PDF document: Examining Freedom of the Press (lectures for June) & Summer Film Schedule