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Thursday, October 8, 2009

150th Anniversary Commemoration of John Brown’s Raid at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry is just one of the sites participating in a four-state commemoration for the 150th anniversary, or sesquicentennial, of legendary abolitionist John Brown’s raid Oct. 16-18, 2009.

The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Gov. Joe Manchin and the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission will begin the commemoration with an opening ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, at 5:30 p.m., at John Brown’s Fort at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

“West Virginia’s Civil War heritage plays a vital role in our tourism industry, as well as provides an educational component valuable in understanding our state’s history,” said Gov. Joe Manchin. “John Brown is one of the key figures in our state’s and nation’s history and it’s a fascinating story to tell.”

A century and a half after his death, John Brown remains one of the most controversial figures in American history. On Oct. 15, 1859, Brown, along with 21 followers, came to Harpers Ferry, Va., to strike a blow against slavery. The raid failed and Brown was hanged Dec. 2, 1859. Sixteen months later, the country erupted in civil war.

“John Brown's raid drove the nation into the chasm of Civil War. After Brown, there was no more peace for this land of liberty,” adds Rebecca Harriett, superintendent at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Weekend attractions and events include music, theatrical productions, living history exhibits, family and youth activities, and programs conducted by park rangers.

In addition, the West Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission will host a panel discussion about the film “Madam, Martyr, and Myth: John Brown in Film,” on Friday, Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. at the John Brown Museum. Panelists include producer and director of the films “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals,” Ron Maxwell; Dr. Mark Snell; Dr. Charles Neimeyer; Dr. Walter Powell; and Beth White.

For more information about the John Brown Sesquicentennial, visit www.johnbrownraid.org or call 304-535-6298.

For more information on other top events taking place in the area, visit Tope Events USA at http://www.topeventsusa.com