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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Saga of the DuPont's comes to life at Belmont Hall in Smyrna

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  • "The DuPont Story, The Delaware Story" will be brought to life when E.I. and P.S. DuPont step out of the pages of history on Tuesday, April 30, 7 to 8 p.m. at Belmont Hall in Smyrna. The historical interpretation, part of the 80th Anniversary Dover Days lecture series sponsored by WDDE Radio in Dover and hosted by the Friends of Belmont Hall, is free and open to the public.
    Belmont Hall is located off of Smyrna Leipsic Road.
    The evening will include a first person, multi-media history presentation by Greer Firestone, a native Delawarean, author and playwright. He became interested in the DuPont legacy while conducting research at the Hagley Museum and Library for a live theater production he wrote in 2003.
    The one-man show, in which Firestone portrays both E.I. and P.S. DuPont, highlights the family's saga from 1802 to the 1950s. Dressed in an elaborate period coat, Firestone opens the evening as E.I. DuPont who presided over the Hagley Company during the early 1800s. Resonating themes include integrity, stewardship of the land, vision and philanthropy.
    "The film clips you will see come from a Hollywood motion picture commissioned in 1952 for the 150th celebration of the DuPont Company," Firestone said. "Growing up in the 1950s, every "B" actor in Hollywood was in this production. If you look closely at the final WWII clip, you will see Perry White from the Superman television series."
    "This is a story about the coming of age of America as it is about Delaware," Firestone said. "And without the invention of DuPont gunpowder, the outcome of the Revolutionary, Civil and World War I could have been much different."
    The historical interpretation includes Firestone's "quick change" from E.I. DuPont to the portrayal of P.S. DuPont's many contributions, including the purchase of property near Kennett Square because it included a rare stand of trees – today that property is Longwood Gardens, visited by millions from around the world.
    To reserve your seat, call (302) 264-9048 or email at belmonthall.de@gmail.com.
    The presentation is part of the 80th Annual Dover Days lecture series as a prelude to the festival weekend, May 3-5. For the complete schedule of lectures and festival activities, visit the official festival website: http://www.doverdaysfestival.com, or call Kent County Tourism, 302-734-4888.

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