Fort Stanwix Celebrates its 75th Birthday

the 1935 Rome Sentinel in faded yellow, Headline: Roosevelt signs law to accept land grants, new National Park Shrine

Rome Historical Society

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News Release Date: August 7, 2010

Contact: Mike Kusch, 315 271-5796

Rome, NY: After years of work by citizens of the City of Rome, New York, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Wagner-Sisson Bill on August 21, 1935, to establish Fort Stanwix National Monument "for the benefit and inspiration of the people."

To celebrate this milestone, and to thank the community for its efforts, Fort Stanwix will celebrate the national monument's birthday with activities throughout the weekend of August 21 and 22, 2010, and a grand 75th birthday party under a tent the evening of Saturday, August 21.

Activities will include a timeline encampment, concerts and behind the scenes tours on Saturday and Sunday, and on Sunday 1935 at the Movies shown at the Capitol Theater.

Saturday evening starting at 7 p.m., the grand birthday party will be held under a big tent. The celebration will include a community concert and dance featuring the No Name Band playing popular music from the 1930s. Please bring your lawn chairs, blankets and dancing shoes. During intermission, everyone who wishes will sing happy birthday and the cake will be cut and served with ice cream and soda. Come out, enjoy, and celebrate Fort Stanwix National Monument's 75th birthday.

Schedule of Events August 21 and 22, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Living History Encampment
10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Behind the Scenes Tours
10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Family Programs
11 a.m. (Food Fort) and 3 p.m. (Making and Flying Kites)

Linda Russell Concert
1 p.m.

75th Birthday Celebration
7 to 9 p.m.
Celebration Includes
-Birthday Cake and Ice Cream Social
-Community Concert and Dance
-Musical Performance by the No Name Band
Ballroom Dancing with Instructors Gina and Luca Esposito

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Living History Encampment
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Behind the Scenes Tours
10 a.m., 12 noon and 2 p.m.

Family Programs
11 a.m. (18th Century Toys and Games)

Linda Russell Concert
1 p.m.

1935 at the Movies at the Capitol Theater [1935 prices, 35 cents adults, 15 cents children]
-Review of the Year (1935) by Hearst-Metrotone News 
-Tit for Tat; a Laurel and Hardy Short Flim
-Dancing on the Moon (Fleischer Comicolor Cartoon)

-Feature Film: Farmer Takes a Wife; with starring Janet Gaynor, Henry Fonda, and Charles Bickford

"We are excited about celebrating the 75th birthday of Fort Stanwix National Monument," said Mike Kusch, Chief of Interpretation and Resource Management. "We earnestly wish to thank the people of Rome for their efforts to preserve and their patriotism to establish and keep an important National Park Service site within their community. We at Fort Stanwix National Monument are proud to serve the people of Rome and the people who visit the park from all over the United States and the world. Thank you very much."

You may be asking yourself: "But, the fort was not opened until 1976?" This is true. The reason why the fort was not built and opened until 41 years later is that the bill, like many bills establishing National Park Service sites, had an interesting and commonly used clause: "The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to accept donations of land, interests in land and/or buildings, structures, and other property within the boundaries of said national monument as determined and fixed hereunder, and donations of funds for the purchase and/or maintenance thereof, the title and evidence of title to lands acquired to be satisfactory to the Secretary of the Interior." In other words, the property and/or the money to purchase the property had to be donated. The property was donated to the Secretary of the Interior in the 1970s.

The mission of Fort Stanwix National Monument is to preserve the location and objects associated with the military, political, and cultural events that occurred at the site and provide opportunities for visitor understanding and appreciation of these events. Fort Stanwix National Monument is significant because it commemorates the broader contest of nations for economic and political control of the rich resources within the Mohawk Valley region of New York State during the 18th century: in particular, the Siege of 1777, the stories of the combatants involved, and European-American Indian and United States-American Indian relations.

Fort Stanwix National Monument is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the park is free. Activities are ongoing unless noted. For more information about upcoming events please call the park at (315) 338-7730. Please visit the park’s web page at for additional information about the park and up-to-date news about park events.

                                                              - NPS -

Last updated: March 31, 2012

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

112 East Park St.
Rome, NY 13440



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