Monday, October 19, 2009

The History of New England Whaling

At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 12, the library will host The Golden Age of New England Whaling, a talk presented by independent historian Mike McKinley. This lecture will focus on the fascinating history of the New England whaling industry during the nineteenth century, including information on the types of whales pursued, descriptions of whaling ships and their crews, and the ordeals of whale attacks and mutinies at sea.

Mike McKinley earned his Bachelor’s degree in history and liberal arts from Plymouth State Col-lege, and went on to obtain his Master’s degree in history from the University of Idaho. He has been employed with the National Parks Service as a seasonal park ranger and historical interpreter at a number of historic sites and monuments. When not working with the park service, Mr. McKinley is an independent historian who presents lectures for libraries, historical societies and schools.

In this program, Mr. McKinley will explore the importance of the whaling industry to the industrial and economic development of the United States. During its so-called Golden Age, from 1812 to the 1850s, whaling was the third most viable industry in the region and ranked the fifth most important in the nation. Mr. McKinley will discuss what life was like for those aboard the whaling vessels, as well as for the wives and children left ashore in the numerous whaling and port towns.

This free public event is being sponsored by the Friends of the Londonderry Leach Library. It will be held in the library’s lower level meeting room. Light refreshments will be served.

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