In an effort to ensure the safety of all, all sessions for the foreseeable future now be conducted through Zoom. Upon registration, patrons will be sent a link with a password that will enable them to access the course. A reminder email will be sent again within 24 hours of the start of the class.

Civil War Institute – Summer 2021

Noted AND Remembered: The Grand Reunion of 1913 – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs)

From June 29 through July 3, 1913, more than 50,000 Union and Confederate veterans, ranging in age from 60 to 112, descended on the town and rolling hills of Gettysburg to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil War’s most storied battle.  Some 50,000 spectators joined the veterans for this healing occasion, which would be known as the Grand Reunion.

Instructor: Mike Jesberger

Date: Wednesday, June 30, 6:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here


Hardtack and Sauerkraut: Philadelphia Germans in the Civil War – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs)

Well before the Civil War began, Philadelphia had a thriving German immigrant population, living in such areas as Spring Garden, Kensington, Northern Liberties and Fishtown.  The city’s German populace played a major role in the conflict.  Prominent names included Generals Louis Wagner and George Mindil on the battlefield, as well as Elizabeth Hutter on the home front.

Instructor: Andy Waskie

Date: Monday, July 12, 6:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here


Her Satanic Majesty:  Understanding Mary Lincoln – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs)

Despite the harsh nicknames bestowed on her by President Lincoln’s young secretaries, the character of Mary Lincoln is far more complicated than the well-known image of a shrewish, possibly unstable, First Lady. The woman may have been difficult, but her loyalty and political savvy were a great support to the President.  Instructor: Hugh Boyle

Date: Wednesday, August 11, 6:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here

History Institute

Snooping, Prying and SpyingNEW (8 hours)

This four-part series will explore the role of espionage in American military operations, from the Revolutionary War through today. 

Part 1: The American Revolution Espionage was critical to the success of American struggles to defeat the British. George Washington relied on a vast spy network and personally designed battle plan deceptions and counterintelligence efforts. The British also had their own spy network including many Loyalists, Dr. Benjamin Church and Benedict Arnold. From the Culper Spy Ring and Nathan Hale to invisible ink and secret codes, a web of deception will be explored.

Instructor: Herb Kaufman

Date: Monday, April 26 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here


Part 2: The Civil War  This was America’s first war in which significant numbers of women became spies.  They disguised themselves as men, feigned idiocy, and used their “feminine charms” to obtain secrets.  Men started the first Bureau of Military Intelligence, developed codes, and assumed other identities.  Some were caught and hanged, some just disappeared into history, while others penned memoirs of their exploits and adventures.

Instructor: Herb Kaufman

Date: Monday, May 3 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here


Part 3:  World War II  The underground warfare of espionage, sabotage, disinformation, spies, codes and code-breakers played a critical role in World War. Learn about General Patton’s “Ghost Army,” the “Man Who Never Was,”Germany’s most wanted spy, and the man called “Intrepid.”  How did Goldeneye, Fortitude and Quicksilver help to fool the Nazis? Who were the “Limping Lady,” the “White Rabbit,” and “Tricycle”?

Instructor: Herb Kaufman

Date: Monday, May 10 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here


Part 4: From the Cold War to Today  Beginning with the atomic age and the Manhattan Project, numerous Americans have betrayed America’s secrets and damaged national security. America has remained particularly vulnerable to espionage because society cannot believe that those entrusted with the nation’s secrets would betray us. Foreign spies have also masqueraded as average Americans and leading citizens. Yet trusted FBI agents, scientists and highly placed CIA agents have also betrayed their country.

Instructor: Herb Kaufman

Date: Monday, May 17 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here


Birth of a Frontier – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs)

With the arrival of William Penn and other European settlers, the Native American culture of the Delaware Valley began to decline  The Ohio Valley emerged as a scene of contention among the British, French and Native Americans.  George Washington emerged there as an American leader, and Braddock’s March to the Forks of the Ohio was a dramatic episode in the French and Indian War.

Instructor: Tom Donnelly

Date: Thursday, June 17, 6:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here

When Benedict Arnold Was a Hero:  The Saratoga Campaign – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs)

The courage and leadership of the general who would become America’s most notorious traitor was a key to victory in what has been called the turning point of the American Revolution, but somehow Gen. Horatio “Granny” Gates got the credit. A breakdown in the British high command was another factor.

Instructor: Jerry Carrier

Date:Thursday, July 22, 6:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here


“May God have mercy on my enemies because I won’t”: The Legend and Life of General George Smith Patton Jr.  – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs)

Known as “one of the most complicated military men of all time,” General George Smith Patton Jr. was known for carrying ivory-handled pistols and is regarded as one of the most successful U.S. field commanders of World War II.  While many of his accomplishments are well known, his life and death in 1945 continue to command attention.

Instructor: Herb Kaufman

Date: Monday, August 23, 6:30 p.m.

Fee: $30 – click here