Bicentennial Birthday Weekend

Rangers give talk for visitors
Sunday's line grew long and rangers were ready to give exciting talks to visitors as they waited to enter the home of Douglass.

NPS Photo: Rachel Hendrix

On February 17 & 18, 2018 the National Park Service welcomed over 5,000 visitors to Frederick Douglass National Historic Site for a grand weekend kickoff of the yearlong bicentennial celebration of Frederick Douglass's birth.

The weekend festivities allowed visitors to step inside the world of Frederick Douglass and experience how he lived his life as a global activist and revolutionary leader by exploring his historic home, dancing to musical performances from Douglass's era, enjoying powerful remarks from guest speakers and presenters and so much more!

 
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Duration:
2 minutes, 18 seconds

The Legacy of Frederick Douglass lives on.

 
Oratorical contest winners pose with park leadership.
Park leaders presented the winners with honorary awards after they exceptionally performed excerpts from Douglass speeches.
Click on the image to see a performance from one of the winners, available on our Facebook page.

NPS: Rachel Hendrix

One of the most empowering moments of the weekend programming took place when visitors had the opportunity to witness kids interpret the transformative power of language that Douglass often used during his most famous speeches.
Winners of the 2017
Annual Frederick Douglass Oratorical Contest spoke powerful words during Saturday's opening ceremony that stunned the entire crowd.

 
Puppeteers perform a show on Douglass's life.
Double Nickles Theater professional puppeteers performed an exciting educational program on Douglass's life and the reason we celebrate his bicentennial birthday.
Click on the image to see their performance available on our Facebook page.

NPS: Rachel Hendrix

The Anacostia Arts Center, located just a few blocks from Douglass's home served as a location for hosting a number of kid-friendly activities throughout the weekend, including a photo booth station where kids took historic themed photos dressed as Douglass, enjoyed a lively puppet show on Douglass's life presented by the Double Nickels Theater, participated in an exclusive bicentennial Jr. Ranger program, and other great activities all designed to honor Frederick Douglass's 200 year legacy.

 
Douglass descendant presents opening ceremony remarks
Kenneth B. Morris Jr., a direct descendant of Douglass presented powerful opening ceremony remarks. Click on the image to see his entire speech available on our Facebook page.

NPS: Rachel Hendrix

Kenneth B. Morris Jr., the third-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass and the Co-Founder and President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives was the honorary guest speaker during Saturday's opening ceremony.

Visitors were also able to enjoy remarks from Robert G. Stanton, Former Director of the National Park Service and Member of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; David Blight author and award-winning historian; Leigh Fought, renowned Douglass historian; and many more honorary guests.

 
 

Last updated: March 30, 2018

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