Highline Historical Society’s ‘Hope in Hard Times’ celebrates the holidays


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The Highline Historical Society invites the community to take a break from holiday shopping and bring friends and family in to see its “Hope in Hard Times” exhibit in December.

The exhibit is located at a special pop-up museum location at 216 SW 153rd Street in Burien.

Focusing on the Great Depression era in Washington State, the Hope in Hard Times exhibit shares local stories of inspiration, neighborliness and the can-do spirit, with displays depicting a 1930s-era chicken farm, what a kitchen from that era would have looked like, what it was like to ride the rails or live in a “Hooverville,” and how some of the government programs like the WPA and CCC helped put people back to work. Traditional toys and games are on display, as well as old radios, sports memorabilia, and fashions.

The exhibit, which originated with the Washington State History Museum and has been made possible with sponsorship by Humanities Washington, is open every afternoon except Monday (and Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), and stays open until 8 PM on Thursday evenings. Admission is free, although visitors are asked to bring an item of non-perishable food to donate to the local food bank.

Several special programs have been arranged in conjunction with the exhibit:

  • Curator Nancy Salguero McKay will lead two workshops to show how best to preserve family heirlooms and antiques. You can pick the date that will work best for you – Wednesday, December 4, at 2 PM or Thursday, December 12, at 6:30 PM.
  • A panel discussion on Thursday, December 5, at 6:30 PM will focus on how to care for elderly parents, people with disabilities, and others with special needs.
  • The Historical Society is holding special oral history recording sessions on the afternoon of Saturday, December 7 – to schedule an appointment in advance, call 206-246-6354.
  • On Sunday, December 8, Historylink.org historian Paula Becker will appear with playwright John Longenbaugh to discuss the life of local author Betty MacDonald, who not only wrote the best-selling book “The Egg and I,” but also wrote a memoir, “Anybody Can Do Anything,” that captured what it was like for her family as they worked all kinds of odd jobs to get through the Great Depression. This program is being hosted at the Burien Library at 1 PM.
  • Back by popular demand, the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound are performing one last radio drama at the exhibit on Tuesday, December 11 at 2 PM.
  • Film buffs will be interested in the Tin Theater’s screenings of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” with Jimmy Stewart, running December 20-23.
  • And Burien Actors Theatre’s holiday show is a family-friendly comedy, “Coney Island Christmas,” which is set during the Great Depression.

For a full schedule of events associated with Hope in Hard Times, visit www.wahopeinhardtimes.net.

The exhibit will remain open through January 4.

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