The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will sponsor 16 special programs at sites across the state during October.

Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public.

— “Enrico Caruso: The Man With the Orchid-Lined Voice”: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 5, Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. In celebration of Italian Heritage Month, guided tours will highlight the career of famed operatic tenor Enrico Caruso accompanied by 78-rpm recordings of the artist played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. 739-3262.

— “The Trial of Captain La Mort”: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 5, The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Inspired by the real history of pirates along the Delaware coastline, this historical theater production allows visitors to participate in the trial of a fictitious captain and pirate crew. Visitors are encouraged to dress in pirate attire. First Saturday in the First State program. Free. Must register: 744-5054.

— River Towns Fall Festival: Noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 5, Battery Park, 1 Delaware St., New Castle. Family oriented event in the historic Delaware River towns of New Castle and Delaware City featuring food trucks; craft beers; live music; children’s games, amusements and crafts; pumpkin and face painting; and a hay ride. Free shuttle between towns. 322-9802, 323-4453.

— “Delaware’s Naval Heroes and Their Battles”: 2 p.m. Oct. 5, Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Presentation by Bill Manthorpe, retired U.S. Navy captain and author. Part two of the four-part lecture series, “Delaware’s Maritime Heritage.” Free. Must register by Oct. 4: 645-1148.

— “Shakespeare, Poe and Fiends—A Night of Readings From the Dark Side”: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10, New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St. Delaware Shakespeare presents dramatic readings for the Halloween season. Reservations required. Tickets $18 at delshakes.org. 323-4453.

— “18th Century Trades Day”: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 12, John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Day-long series of activities explores occupations of the 1700s including preserving food in the smokehouse, dyeing fabric, carpentry, blacksmithing and making bricks out of clay. 739-3277.

— Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild: 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 12, John Dickinson Plantation. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. 739-3277.

— "The Battle of the Chesapeake": 1:30 p.m. Oct. 12, The Old State House. Multimedia presentation by historic-site interpreter Tom Welch on how the French fleet under Adm. de Grasse paved the way for the surrender of Gen. Cornwallis at Yorktown and the ultimate victory for the American forces over the British. 744-5054.

— “Ships Named ‘Delaware’”: 2 p.m. Oct. 12, Zwaanendael Museum. Presentation by Bill Manthorpe, retired U.S. Navy captain and author. Part three of the four-part lecture series, “Delaware’s Maritime Heritage.” Free. Must register by Oct. 11: 645-1148.

Monday, Oct. 14, 2019

— Delaware State Review Board for Historic Preservation annual meeting: 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 14. Agenda TBA. The Delaware Room, Delaware Public Archives, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. 736-7417.

— Columbus Day: Oct. 14. The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Columbus Day, Oct. 14. The following museums will be closed: The John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum will be closed.

— “The Navy at Lewes and at the Cape”: 2 p.m. Oct. 19, Zwaanendael Museum. Presentation by Bill Manthorpe, retired U.S. Navy captain and author. Final segment of the four-part lecture series, “Delaware’s Maritime Heritage.” Free. Must register by Oct. 18: 645-1148.

— Poetry reading by Jane Miller: 2 p.m. Oct. 19. New Castle Court House Museum. Program at 2 p.m. 323-4453.

— Blackbird Creek Fall Festival: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 19, Blackbird Creek Reserve, 801 Blackbird Landing Road, Townsend. Family-friendly events include outdoor activities, hayrides, display booths, crafts and a hands-on potpourri demonstration by historic-site interpreters from the John Dickinson Plantation. 739-6377.

— Lantern Tour of the Plantation: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 25, John Dickinson Plantation. Program explores the parties, games and entertainment that would have abounded at the plantation during the nighttime in the 18th century. Activities will also include a wagon-ride guided-tour conducted by staff of the St. Jones Reserve exploring the nocturnal life of the estuary. Free. Must register by Oct. 22: 739-3277.

— William Penn Day: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 26, New Castle Court House Museum. Daylong series of programs commemorating the 337th anniversary of Penn’s disembarkment at New Castle, his first landing in the New World. 323-4453.

— “Mysteries of History”: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 26, Zwaanendael Museum. Walking tours explore the unusual tombstones of St. Peter’s cemetery in Lewes. Free. Must register by Oct. 25: 645-1148.

For more, visit history.delaware.gov.