ST PAUL'S CHURCH NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE

Attraction

For Immediate Release:

November 21, 2011

Shakespeare, Abigail Adams and the coming of the Civil War

Highlights January – June Program Schedule

at National Historic Site in Westchester County

An exploration of the causes of the Civil War by an eminent historian, a performance of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Hamlet, and a visit by First Lady Abigail Adams highlights the January – June 2012 Program Schedule, at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, in Mt. Vernon, NY, it has been announced. Admission to all events is free.

Acclaimed historian David Reynolds explores the influence on the coming of the Civil War of Harriet Beecher Stowe’ landmark novel “Uncle Tomb’s Cabin” and John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry, in a talk on Sat., April 14, at 2 PM. A Distinguished Profess at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York, Professor Reynolds’ books include Mightier Than the Sword: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and the Battle for America and John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Sparked the Civil War, Killed Slavery, Seeded Civil Rights. Dr. Reynolds’ address marks the 8th annual Aronson Memorial Lecture, which commemorates a devoted volunteer at St. Paul’s in the 1980s and 1990s.

Returning for a third consecutive Shakespeare in the Church, the outstanding Red Monkey Theatre performs William Shakespeare's classic tragedy about the Prince of Denmark, Hamlet, in the historic church on Sat. Jan. 14, beginning at 1:30 PM. Marking Women’s History Month, Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams, visits St. Paul’s on Sat., March 10 at 1 PM, for a discussion about her life near the church in 1797, among other topics. On the same afternoon, the internationally renowned Ajkun Ballet Theatre presents a special dance sequence evoking the lives of Abigail, Anne Hutchinson and Eleanor Roosevelt, all connected to St. Paul’s.

“Through diverse mediums, these presentations help our visitors explore a broad assortment of historical stories that are, in various ways, preserved and presented at St. Paul’s,” says site manager David Osborn.

Special Dates on the Historical Calendar

Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, along with underground railroad icon Harriet Tubman, dramatize their pivotal historic roles as part of a celebration of President’s Day and Black History Month, Sat., Feb. 11, from noon to 4 PM. Additionally, historians consider Presidential leadership across the administrations and the poignant story of emancipation during the Civil War.

Walking tours, music, talks and living history demonstrations on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, recall the lives and stories of soldiers interred in the historic cemetery.

Colonial Day & the Tower

“We also invite the public to step back in time for the sounds, sights and smells of colonial days, on Saturday, June 9,” says Osborn. “Crafts, music, dancing, cooking and arms presentations, on the historic village green at St. Paul’s, highlight that event.” The Church Tower Walk is a featured event on Saturday, May 14, from noon to 4 PM, along with guided tours of the church and historic cemetery, and a special performance by the students and faculty of the Music Conservatory of Westchester.

Additionally, church tower tours are offered every other Friday, at 3 PM, beginning April 22. “Lace up your hiking shoes for a historic climb up the wooden staircase in the Church tower, leading to the 250 year-old metal bell,” Osborn explains. “This is the most vivid historical experience at the National Historic Site.”

(The complete schedule of January - June 2012 programs is enclosed.)

St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site is located at 897 So. Columbus Avenue, in Mt. Vernon, NY. It is easily accessible by the Hutchinson River Parkway (Exit 7, Boston Post Road) and Interstate 95 (Exit 13, Conner Street) from Westchester County, New York City, Connecticut and northern New Jersey. The site is also convenient to public transportation from New York City. For directions and information, call St. Paul’s Church N.H.S. at 914-667-4116, or visit us on line at, http://www.nps.gov./sapa.

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Program Schedule

January - June 2012

St. Paul's Church National Historic Site is open for regular tours of the historically rich, 340-year-old site Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM -- closed on Federal Holidays, unless otherwise indicated. The site is open the second Saturday of every month, and other dates/times as listed in this program schedule. Parking and admission are free.

Sat., Jan. 14, open from Noon to 4 PM

Shakespeare in the church: Hamlet

At 1:30 PM, enjoy a performance by the Red Monkey Theatre Group of William Shakespeare's classic drama about the tragedy of the Prince of Denmark, performed in the historic church. Also view the site’s feature exhibition, “A Clash of Cultures: Anne Hutchinson’s Brief Life near St. Paul’s Church.”

Sat., Feb. 11, open from Noon to 4 PM

President’s Day & Black History Month
Please join us for talks and re-enactments commemorating President’s Day and February as Black History Month, including appearances by Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and underground railroad icon Harriet Tubman -- historic activities for children. Program includes a special talk by a Yale historian about emancipation during the Civil War, and a consideration of Presidential leadership across the generations by Professor Andrew Robertson of Lehman College.

Sat., March 10, open from Noon to 4 PM

Women’s History Month Event: Abigail Adams & Ballet

In recognition of March as Women's History Month, at 1:00 enjoy a dramatic presentation by Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams, who lived near St. Paul’s in the 1790s. At 2:00, the world renowned Ajkun Ballet Theatre presents a special dance sequence evoking the lives of three prominent women from American history associated with St. Paul’s -- Anne Hutchinson, Abigail Adams and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Sat., April 14, 2 PM; open from noon to 4 PM

Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and the coming of the Civil War

Recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, acclaimed historian and author David S. Reynolds, a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York, explores roles of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry in the origins of the Civil War., delivering the annual Aronson Memorial Lecture. Among Professor Reynolds’ publications are, Mightier Than the Sword: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and the Battle for America and John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Sparked the Civil War, Killed Slavery, Seeded Civil Rights.

Fri., April 20, 3 PM

Church Tower Walk

Join us for a hike up the wooden staircase in the Church tower, leading to the historic, 250-year-old metal bell, one of the oldest in the country. (Note: This program is repeated, every other Friday, weather permitting -- May 4, May 18, June 1, June 15, June 29.)

Sat., May 12

We’re open for regular tours of the site, from noon to 4 PM.

St. Paul's Historic Dinner, will be held from 5 to 9 PM:

The Historic Dinner event commemorates the 100th anniversary of the landmark Presidential election of 1912, energetically contested by four candidates -- Woodrow Wilson, Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt and Eugene Debs. The event features a historical talk, period meal, music, and a glimpse at the Mt. Vernon area in 1912. Contact the site at 914-667-4116 for ticket reservations and details.

Monday, May 28, Memorial Day

Soldiers’ Stories & Songs

The site will be open, regular hours, 9 AM to 5 PM, with walking tours recalling the lives and stories of soldiers interred in the historic cemetery. There will also be talks, music, and living history demonstrations.

Sat., June 9, open from Noon to 4 PM

Colonial Day

Join us for Colonial era style music, dancing, crafts, games and arms. There's also special tours of the Church Bell Tower and of the colonial section of the historic cemetery, and a recital on the historic pipe organ.

Schedule is subject to change.

For more information:

914-667-4116; www.nps.gov/sapa

St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site

897 S. Columbus Avenue, Mt. Vernon, NY 10550

914-667-4116 www.nps.gov/sapa

Contact: David Osborn, site manager, 914-667-4116; dho59stpaul@yahoo.com