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Contact: Todd Arrington, 440-205-3838
James A. Garfield National Historic Site Announces a Busy and Exciting Special Event Calendar for 2010
James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor has released its calendar of special programs and events for 2010. Those interested in seeing a full listing of the programs are welcome to visit the site during open hours on Saturdays and Sundays to pick up a copy, call 440-255-8722 and arrange to have one mailed, or view the full list at www.nps.gov/jaga.
The site will host dozens of special events in 2010, which is the 30th anniversary of the 1980 creation of the home as a National Historic Site under the management of the National Park Service (U.S. Department of the Interior). In recognition of this important anniversary, four special 30th anniversary events will take place throughout the year (March 28, May 23, July 18, and September 25). These events will focus on the National Park Service’s role in commemorating and interpreting Garfield history over the past three decades. The history of the Garfield family, the late-1990s house restoration, and the almost fully original museum collection are some of the topics to be discussed during these special presentations.
The site will also begin a five-year series of programs commemorating the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil War. A special tour of the property related to James A. Garfield’s Civil War service will be held the third Saturday of every month. Several area reenactment groups will hold spring drills on the property on April 17 and May 15, and a two-day soldier encampment will be on the grounds the weekend of July 31-August 1. During June, a special exhibit will be on display from the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History in New York. Looking at Lincoln shows various representations of President Abraham Lincoln as depicted in political cartoons of the Civil War era. From June 1 through September 30, a unique diorama of the battle of Chickamauga, created by local artist Bert Floyd, will be on display in the site’s visitor center. General James A. Garfield fought for the Union at Chickamauga.
The second Sunday of each month will bring programs on various topics as part of the “Sunday Program Series.” The first such program will be held Sunday, January 10 and will provide visitors a chance to participate in a “readers’ theater” drama about the trial of Charles Guiteau, the assassin of President James A. Garfield. Future Sunday programs will feature presentations on such diverse subjects as the life of Mrs. Lucretia Garfield, the early Republican Party, the 1880 Republican nominating convention, and more. Exceptions to the “second Sunday” rule may apply in some months depending on speaker schedules and holidays. Please call the site for more information or check www.nps.gov/jaga for the most up-to-date information.
In addition to these many new activities, several popular existing programs will return to James A. Garfield National Historic Site in 2010. The site will again hold its always popular Presidents’ Day event (February 15), and the Monday after Easter (April 5) will mark the return of the White House Easter Monday egg roll. The annual Old Village Market festival, planned collaboratively by the site and the City of Mentor, will return on four consecutive summer Fridays (July 30, August 6, 13, and 20). The popular “Behind the Scenes” tour will continue to be held the first Saturday of every month. The site will host two immigration naturalization ceremonies (July 1 and September 17), a commemoration of President Garfield’s death (September 19), and a Garfield birthday event (November 13). Plan to visit next October 30 for “An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe” in the Garfield home. This event will include a reading of Poe’s classic story “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Several original volumes of Poe’s works are in the memorial library in the Garfield home.
James A. Garfield National Historic Site also has a brand new Junior Ranger activity book containing games, trivia, and activities for kids. Though primarily aimed at children ages 4-12, any child is welcome to participate. Just ask for it at the front desk when you enter the site’s visitor center. Those completing the proper number of activities are officially sworn in as Junior Rangers and receive a certificate and badge. There is no fee to participate in the Junior Ranger program, which is available every day the site is open.
“We are excited about the many new and returning special events we will host in 2010,” stated Sherda Williams, Site Manager of James A. Garfield National Historic Site. “Between the site’s 30th anniversary, the impending Civil War sesquicentennial, and the 130th anniversary of Garfield’s presidential campaign and election, now is the perfect time to learn more about James A. Garfield and his role in American history. These events and programs will serve to educate the public about Garfield’s life and accomplishments and the era in which he lived.”
James A. Garfield National Historic Site is located at 8095 Mentor Avenue (U.S. 20) in Mentor, Ohio, approximately 25 miles east of Cleveland. The site offers guided tours of the Garfield home, museum exhibits, and an introductory film. The house was completely restored by the National Park Service in the late 1990s, making it one of the most impressive presidential homes preserved for the public. For information call (440) 255-8722, write 8095 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, OH 44060, or visit www.nps.gov/jaga on the Internet. -NPS-