History Lecture Series Set September 21

OSWEGO – The H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego will open its doors free of charge on September 21 as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 15th annual Museum Day Live!, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Ranjit S. Dighe

On this day only, participating museums across the United States emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington DC-based facilities, and open their doors free to those who download a Museum Day Live! Ticket.

Museum Day Live! will kick off at the Maritime Museum at 11 a.m. with a discussion titled “Canals and American Economic Development” by Ranjit S. Dighe, PhD, as part of the museum’s history lecture series.

Dighe’s discussion will provide an overview of the immense importance of canals in America’s westward expansion and development during the first half of the 19th century.

“The Erie Canal spawned a canal mania,” Dighe said. “including plans for many more canals, which, together with river and ocean transportation, would have made the eastern half of the Lower 48 one big and well-connected market.”

Dighe is a professor of economics at the State University of New York at Oswego who specializes in American social and economic history, and is a member of the board of directors of the Port of Oswego Authority.

He has served as president of the Economic and Business History Society and is the annotator-editor of The Historian’s Huck Finn: Reading Mark Twain’s Masterpiece as Social and Economics History and The Historian’s Wizard of Oz: Reading L. Frank Baum’s Classic as a Political and Monetary Allegory.

His work has been published in Research in Economic History, Essays in Economic and Business History, Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, and other journals.

He has done extensive research on the Great Depression, Prohibition, and American beer tastes, among other topics.

Dighe holds a doctorate in economics from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Oberlin.

The Museum Day Live! Ticket is available for download at smithsonianmag.com/museumday.

Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! Ticket will gain free entrance for two at any participating venue for one day only.

One ticket, per household, per email address is permitted.

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum’s history lecture series is free and open to the public.

The Maritime Museum and Treasure Chest Gift Shop are open daily, 1-5 p.m. (10 a.m. – 5 p.m. in July and August) and are located on the West First Street Pier in Oswego’s Historic Maritime District.

For more information regarding this or other museum programs, contact the museum at (315) 342-0480, or visit hlwmm.org.