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This Month in Delaware History

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Blue Hen, DHS Print Collection, Box 24, Print 1

On April 14, 1939, The Blue Hen Chicken was officially adopted as Delaware’s State Bird.  The connection of the Blue Hen to Delaware originates from the Revolutionary War.  Men who served under Captain Jonathan Caldwell of Kent County, Delaware were fond of fighting game chickens as a pastime between battles with the British.  Caldwell’s chickens were tinged in blue and noted for their ferocity, a quality which Delaware troops were pleased to adopt as a reputation.  Today, the most well known Fighting Blue Hens are those of the University of Delaware’s athletic programs. Super Bowl XLVII Champion and MVP Joe Flacco was one.

Above: blue Hen, DHS Print Collection, Box 24, Print 1



Object of the Month

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Left to right: Alice Drew scrapbook: front, Alice Drew newspaper photo, ca. 1924; Alice and classmates, 1922 dance card, ca. 1924; Athlete booklet, Wilmington High School, 1923; 2nd row, left to right: scrapbook parties and dances page, ca. 1924;  scrapbook classmates page.

As the weather warms and Spring fever takes hold, many high school and college students turn their attention to proms, Spring formals, and other special occasions. Dances, parties, pep rallies, and sporting events have long been the center of the student social scene, as evidenced by this month’s collection highlight—a scrapbook that captures the high school experience of a young woman in the 1920s.

This scrapbook, measuring 8”x 9.5”, was compiled by Mrs. Stanley L. Brown (formerly Alice Drew) of  443 Geddes Street while she was a student at Wilmington High School from 1920-1924. Featuring delicate, hand-colored motifs, its fragile pages are filled with newspaper clippings, photographs, programs, dance cards, notes, and other memorabilia that paint a vivid picture of Miss Drew’s extracurricular activities, interests, and lively social life.




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