Wilmington, Delaware. The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation announces its Lecture Series for 2012, “Monumental Maritime Anniversaries.” This series features three ships of international renown, each of which made a significant contribution to our maritime heritage. These lectures complement the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s mission of preserving and promoting our cultural and maritime history for the education and enrichment of all.
The first lecture, entitled "'The Things They Carried' Aboard Kalmar Nyckel, in 1637-38," features KNF's very own Senior Historian and Director of Education, Samuel W. Heed. Heed will give a special presentation about the original Kalmar Nyckel to honor its first transatlantic voyage in 1637-38, the one which brought the first permanent European settlers to Delaware and the Delaware Valley. Sometimes called the “Mayflower of the Delaware Valley,” Kalmar Nyckel served as Peter Minuit’s flagship when he landed at “the Rocks” in March of 1638 and built little Fort Christina in what is present-day Wilmington. The original Kalmar Nyckel saw bloody action and served the Swedish navy both before and after making a total of four roundtrip crossings of the Atlantic – from 1637-1644 – for the colony of New Sweden. She is rightfully considered one of America’s most important colonial ships, and her transatlantic record of endurance stands unmatched by any documented ship of the era.
Inspired by a recent working visit to the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, Sam Heed’s talk is designed as a special tribute to the original Kalmar Nyckel and crew as well as a way to honor the men and women who sail her reconstructed namesake today. Heed says, “It’s intended as a meditation on 17th-century sailing and transatlantic voyaging. It’s an attempt to answer the questions I’m asked all the time – namely: What was it like? Who sailed these ships, and how did they live? Where did they come from? What did they bring with them? How did they ever make it?”
The presentation will include a special performance by the Kalmar Nyckel’s chantey band, led by local musician and crewmember Fred Litcofsky. Also included in this special celebration will be the photographic artistry of crewmember Andrew Hanna and never-before-seen film outtakes of the ship from Deep Sea Productions’ NATGEO TV Special “Return of the Ghost Ship.”
The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s 2012 Lecture Series is sponsored in part by the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware.
THIS PROGRAM IS PARTIALLY FUNDED BY A GRANT FROM THE DELAWARE HUMANITIES FORUM, A STATE PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES