This past weekend a group of dedicated War of 1812 reenactors gathered in Raleigh, NC on the grounds of the State Capitol and at the Mordecai Historic Park to reenact and commemorate the 200th anniversary of the United States' declaration of war against Great Britain in 1812. At the State Capitol the declaration was read and the Wake Volunteer Guards militia fired muskets and a cannon. Later that evening a ball was held at the Raleigh City Museum to cap off the day's activities. And with that, the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 officially began in North Carolina.
This weekend the NC Department of Cultural Resources War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee officially begins its commemoration of the little remembered and even less understood war that was pivotal in creating a sense of national pride and unity both here in the United States and in Canada. The Committee will kick off it's commemoration with a day-long symposium focusing on the naval war on Friday, June 29 at the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Saturday the commemoration will continue with a living history program on the grounds of the Beaufort Historical Association featuring US Regulars, militia, British forces, and sailors.
There are also activities taking place in the colonial capital of New Bern, at Tryon Palace. "The War America Forgot" will include character based tours of the site's Federal era house, the Stanly House, as well as children's activities in the North Carolina History Center. Also, on Sunday afternoon, yours truly will be giving a lecture called North Carolina War of 1812 Personalities featuring brief character sketches of five North Carolinians of the period.
All in all, both weekends included, I think North Carolina has done quite a good job getting the Bicentennial commemoration started. Another symposium and living history program will be held in October, along with many other living history programs, lectures, etc. in between. I hope that you will find time to attend one or more of these great events!