Editor's Note: The following was provided by the Lincoln Society. If you would like to post your news to Patch, click here.
PEEKSKILL, NY--With interest in the Civil War strong due to the conflict's 150th anniversary and such movies as "Lincoln," the Lincoln Society in Peekskill is planning an all-out extravaganza this coming Saturday.
Exciting events will include:
- A thrilling re-enactment of Lincoln's visit to Peeskill 150 years ago with a noted Lincoln reenactor, Civil War soldier reenactors and the West Point Honor Guard.
- Multi-gun salute by both modern soldiers and reenactors to those who served and fell.
- A chance to see Northern Westchester's newest and most exciting historic facility, the Lincoln Depot Museum.
- Gala Evening Activities that include the Lincoln Presidential Banquet/Dance and a speech by noted scholar Dr. James Oakes.
America's oldest and most-respected Lincoln Society will be living up to its sterling reputation yet again this coming Saturday, Feb. 9, with a day of events that will be dramatic, educational and entertaining.
Memorials will start at 10:30 a.m. with a wreath-laying at the Lincoln Exedra on Peekskill's Lower South Street. At about 11:15, Lincoln himself as reenacted by the respected Mike Griest, will be welcomed at the Metro North train station. There will then be a march to the Lincoln Depot Museum, where local dignitaries will make presentations and refreshments will then be served.
On Feb. 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.
Mr. Griest will present Lincoln's brief speech on Saturday. In a celebration of the democracy the Great Emancipator perished to preserve, local political figures will also be speaking, among them New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Westchester County Legislators John Testa and Katherine Borgia, Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster and Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi.
Free refreshments will then be served in the Lincoln Depot Museum, which has been totally refurbished in recent years. Tours of the new facility will also be available.
Starting at 6:00 pm Saturday evening, the Lincoln Presidential Banquet/Dance will be held at Colonial Terrace on 119 Oregon Road in Cortlandt Manor, NY that will include:
- Gourmet appetizers, food and drink.
- A talk by Professor James Oakes, a distinguished scholar whose works include The Ruling Race: A History of American Slaveholders and Slavery, The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery Politics, and The South as an American Problem.
- A book signing by Professor Oakes.
- A silent auction featuring rare Lincoln collectibles and other material.
Tickets to this black tie optional event are a very reasonable $95 each. All attendees will automatically become members of the Lincoln Society in Peekskill. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by contacting current Lincoln Society President Janice Molloy 914-739-0381. For more information, visit www.lincolnsociety.com.
Professor Oakes will be presented with the Society’s "Lincoln Legacy Award." The "Champion of History" award will be presented to Eagle Scout David Gomez for his research on civil war grave locations in Northern Westchester, while local historian and former Lincoln Society President Tony Czarnecki will receive it for his writing and educational efforts.
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.
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 Feb. 9.