Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bang your drum for the Bicentennial

Art courtesy of Howard Hughey

Calling all citizens. A force of state agents and volunteers working on plans for the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 are in need of volunteers locally to help plan the June ceremonies.

"We kindly ask officials, civic leaders, local historians and the public to help organize and hold special events in their communities in mid-June to commemorate the declaration of war on June 18, 1812," said Dr. James McConnell, War of 1812 historian and commission secretary. "Our goal is to have several hundred of these special events taking place across Michigan."

How about teachers looking for a great class project or Brownie troops in need of a service project?

The preferred dates for all events are Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17.

McConnell encourages anyone interested in learning more to check out Michigan War of 1812. The site features an event program template and further details to assist in developing ideas for community events.

"The commission has developed these materials to make it simple for people to participate in this historic occasion," said Phil Porter, commission chairperson and director of Mackinac State Historic Parks. "Michigan played a prominent role in the War of 1812 as a center of several major military encounters, including Monroe, Detroit and Mackinac Island. It's important to commemorate the declaration of war in communities and remember this important chapter in Michigan's history."

Also, as part of their ongoing effort to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the outbreak of the War of 1812 the Michigan Commission and Michigan Council for History Education are issuing a unique challenge to Michigan students in grades 3-12: participate in an exemplary essay contest by researching and writing about the importance of the War of 1812 for Michigan. One entry per student is permitted, and entry deadline is April 3.

Entry forms and contest guidelines can be found under "Workshops and Special Events" at  Michigan Council for History Education." Got more questions? Completed event registration forms and questions can be emailed to McConnell at jam1776@sbcglobal.net.

Looking for inspiration?
The Lorenzo Cultural Center is bringing the state's early history to life through May 4 with its presentation of "Becoming Michigan: From Revolution to Statehood.”

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Activism is my rent for living on this planet -- Alice Walker

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