Springfield Armory Reunion Offers Historical Learning Through Collective Memory
Opened as an arsenal to support George Washington’s troops during the Revolutionary War, the Springfield Armory served as a major arms manufacturing center for over two centuries. The Armory closed in 1968, becoming a National Historic Site which now provides families with opportunities to explore the intersection of local and national history.
As a workplace, the Armory had an influential role in not only wars, but also the Industrial Revolution. Workers often left the Armory with engineering skills which were transferred to burgeoning industries. This year, in honor of the Centennial of the National Park Service, the “Springfield Armory Reunion” will welcome back armory workers, their friends and families, and all community members interested in learning about these workers’ roles in local history. This multifaceted educational event will cover not only the topics of local and national history, war, and industry, but also music history and dance!
The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is a fascinating resource, in part because of its focus on Armory workers as well as the artifacts the site now holds. On Saturday, July 9th, from 1pm-8:30pm, some of those workers will be present and visitors will witness a short presentation about the very first Armory workers, employed at the Armory during the late 1700s. Workers in attendance will have the opportunity to share stories and memories during a guided discussion. This event will present the opportunity for parents to explain the value of memories and personal experiences for historical learning. Perhaps there is someone in your child’s life whose personal experiences could shed light on historical events. Older, self-directed learners may be interested in using this event as a launching off point for learning about oral history and preservation.
In addition to historical learning, attendees will also be able to engage in kinesthetic learning at 5:30 pm with free swing dance lessons! The event will culminate with a performance by Dan Gabel and the Abletones, an 18 piece Big Band. You and your family will be able to try out your new swing dancing moves! Admission is free. Inclement weather moves the concert indoors. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE).