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The World Comes to the Merrimack River Valley: One Hundred Years of Immigration History in One Hour

February 22, 2021, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Prof. Robert Forrant, Ph.D. Distinguished University Professor of History, UMass Lowell

Massachusetts has a history of immigration dating back to newcomers’ first settlements building colonies along the New England coast. Immigrants continue playing a vital role in the Commonwealth today, making up 16 percent of the population. In 2020, over a fifth of the state’s labor force is foreign-born, many of them in frontline positions helping us to survive the pandemic. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the top countries of origin were French-speaking Canada and Southern and Eastern Europe. Today’s top countries of origin are China, the Dominican Republic, India, and Brazil. Through a careful look at Merrimack River valley history, we will spend an hour discussing this ‘old’ and ‘new’ immigration and leave our discussion with a greater understanding of the region’s rich immigration history.

Robert Forrant is Distinguished University Professor of History at UMass Lowell and a Lawrence History Center Board member. An authority on labor and immigration history, with a particular focus on Massachusetts and New England, he is working on a book titled Lowell: The Worlds and Histories of a New England Mill City. Forrant is the recipient of the UMass President’s Award for Public Service, UMass Lowell’s Martin Luther King Jr. award, and a Massachusetts History Commendation from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


February 22, 2021
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Event Category:
Students, Faculty, and Staff and Open to the Public


Online with Zoom
United States + Google Map


Dermot Luddy
We welcome requests for sign language interpreting and other access requests (i.e. Computer Aided Real Time (CART), food allergies, etc.). Please contact the host of this event for requests, questions or event information.
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