"Posterity will owe everlasting thanks to John Brown for lifting up once more to the gaze of a nation grown fat and flabby on the garbage of lust and oppression, a true standard of heroic philanthropy, and each coming generation will pay its installment of the debt. . . . John Brown saw slavery through no mist or cloud, but in a light of infinite brightness, which left no one of its ten thousand horrors concealed." Frederick Douglass

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

May 2, 2009 – Rededication of John Brown House

Description: The rededication and grand opening of the John Brown House will include house tours, a public reception and a walking tour of John Brown sites in Chambersburg .
Time: 1:00 P.M.
Location: 225 East King Street , Chambersburg , PA
Contact Name: Ann Hull
Contact Number: (717) 264-1667
Website: http://pafch.tripod.com

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JOHN BROWN DAY LAUNCHES 150TH COMMEMORATION

2009 marks the 150th anniversary of abolitionist John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry and his subsequent trial and execution. The annual John Brown Day Celebration on May 8th-9th in Elizabethtown and Lake Placid , respectively, will launch a yearlong commemoration of Brown, whose raid on Harper’s Ferry set the nation on a path to Civil War.

In this year that marks the election of the first African-American as president, Brown’s determined effort to tear down the institution of slavery that held over 4 million in bondage has special meaning and is drawing special attention as historians re-examine his life, his actions, the repercussions and the many rumors and circumstances that surround this most controversial figure that changed the destiny of our nation.

On Friday, May 8th, the 1940 western, Santa Fe Trail, will be shown at the Old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown , NY , at 7:00 p.m. The film features Raymond Massey as Brown and also stars Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and Ronald Reagan. Brendan Mills, Site Manager at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site, will lead a post-screening discussion.

The John Brown Day Celebration will continue on Saturday, May 9th, the anniversary of Brown’s birth, from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site on the outskirts of Lake Placid .

JW Wiley, Director of the Center for Diversity, Pluralism and Inclusion at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh , will give the keynote address. Author and storyteller Sandra Weber will perform an original work, “Times of Trouble” about the life of Mary Day Brown, wife of John Brown. In period costume, Weber and musician David Hodges will weave narrative and song to present a portrait of Mary, from her early life and marriage to John through her hardest times of trouble in the aftermath of the Harpers Ferry raid.

Anti-slavery singer Jim Mandracchia will perform hymns and freedom ballads from the period and Brad Hurlburt, a teacher in Keene Valley , will give a dramatic reading of Brown’s last letter home to Mary in which he expresses his dying wish that his body be brought back home and buried at the family homestead in North Elba . Westport author and filmmaker Libby MacDonald, Naj Wikoff and other invited guests will also participate in this first-in-a-series of commemorative programs that will take place in the North Country.

The Town of North Elba and Essex County, in partnership with the Adirondack Center for History, the Lake Placid North Elba Historical Society and John Brown Lives!, and lead by the Lake Placid Essex County Visitors Bureau, are planning their own special events, which will be announced at a press conference held as part of the May 9th activities.

John Brown Day is free, open to the public and will be held outdoors. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Martha Swan, John Brown Lives!, at 962-4758.

For more information about the yearlong commemoration in the Adirondacks , contact Naj Wikoff at the Lake Placid Visitor’s Bureau.
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I am enjoying adding John and Mary Brown events and photos to the front page of the Allies for Freedom website. Hope you will enjoy them too! Thank you for sending. www.alliesforfreedom.org

Jean Libby, editor
Allies for Freedom

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