The following was provided by the Lincoln Society: On Saturday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. the Lincoln Society in Peekskill will throw a parade and party to celebrate the 151st anniversary of Lincoln's visit to Peekskill. The event will feature:
- Free Parade and Event Re-enactment, including Civil War Reenactors, West Point Honor Guard.
- 21-Gun Salute to Civil War Veterans and Lincoln himself.
- Gala Evening Activities That include Dinner Dance, Speech By Leading Lincoln Expert Professor David Blight, Opportunity to be photographed with Lincoln Reenactor.
In recent years, this City and its Lincoln Society have won national recognition. Mike Griest, who reenacted Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Society in Peekskill for many years, appeared on "Fox and Friends" on Sunday, February 12th. Last year, the National Parks Service choose Peekskill as one of the stops on its Lincoln Inaugural Tour.
On February 19, 1861, Abraham Lincoln made his only stop in Westchester County on the way to his inauguration in Washington, D.C. Because of this, the community felt a special connection to him, and, in 1903, Peekskill established what is felt to be the first Lincoln Society in America.
Ever since then, for more than a century, the Lincoln Society in America has carried out its mission of education, inspiration and support with a series of events. Among the most important in recent decades have been re-enactments of Lincoln's arrival in Peekskill and his subsequent speech.
This year's exciting events will feature:
- A free parade and reenactment of Lincoln's visit to Peekskill taking place at the East side of the city's Metro North station.
- A march towards the site of the Lincoln Depot where the speech actually took place will occur at 11:00 am. The march will include dozens of Civil War reenactors and the West Point Honor Guard.
- A reenactment of Lincoln's speech in Peekskill from 151 years ago.
- The firing of a 21-gun salute to pay tribute to Lincoln and those who served and died in the Civil War.
As is also traditional, later that evening, The Lincoln Society in Peekskill will hold a gala, black-tie event at Colonial Terrace on 119 Oregon Road in Cortlandt Manor, NY that will include:
- Gourmet appetizers, food and drink.
- A chance to be photographed with nationally-recognized Lincoln Reenactor Mike Griest.
- Live big band music by the vibrant group "The Big Kahuna."
- A talk by Professor David Blight, one of the nation's leading Lincoln scholars. In the last five years, two of the Lincoln Society's speakers have gone on to win Pulitzer Prizes, and Blight is regarded as a contender.
- A book signing by Professor Blight.
- A silent auction featuring rare Lincoln collectibles and other material.
Tickets to the event are a very reasonable $95 each. All attendees will automatically become members of the Lincoln Society in Peekskill. Tickets will be available at the door or can be purchased beorehand. For more information, visit www.lincolnsociety.com.
Professor Blight will be presented with the Society’s LINCOLN LEGACY AWARD. Mr. Griest will be honored with the Society’s CHAMPION OF HISTORY AWARD.
Peekskill has worked hard to maintain its connection to Lincoln over the years. At the urging of the Lincoln Society in Peekskill, a Lincoln Exedra monument on South Street was erected in 1925 and Peekskill’s 19th century railroad depot was finally renovated. At this site, a life-size “Lincoln in Peekskill” statue was dedicated in 2007. The Lincoln Depot Foundation will open a museum at this location next year.
All members of the community and all students of history are welcome to join members of the Lincoln Society in Peekskill when Mr. Lincoln makes his return visit to Peekskill on February 18th.
For more information, call Tony Seideman at 914-737-8776.