U.S. Grant's 191st Birthday Celebration
April 19-20, & 21 2013
History of the Grant Birthday Celebration in Galena
In the spring of 1893, the Grant Birthday Association was organized. Its purpose was to perpetuate the custom of annually celebrating General Grant's birthday, April 27th. The Association continued the celebrations until 1924. During the 1895 celebration, the City was presented with Thomas Nast's "Peace in Union" oil painting depicting Lee's surrender to Grant in 1865. This 9'x12' painting now hangs in the Galena History Museum. In 1904, Grant's oldest son General Frederick Dent Grant, with his wife and distinguished visitors, came to Galena and took part in the Birthday celebration, which was held at Turner Hall. As an important part of the program, he presented the Grant Home to the City of Galena, in the name of the heirs of his father's estate. In 1932, the City gave the Grant Memorial Home to the State of Illinois. The two cannons that are in Grant Park were given to the City during other Grant Birthday celebrations.
Grant Birthday Festivities Expected to Draw Large Crowds
Galena, IL – After serving with the United States Army and starting a family with Julia Dent, Ulysses Simpson Grant made his way into Galena. While here, he helped to run the local branch of his father’s tannery, but he wasn’t here for long before he disembarked for combat against the southern rebellion. During the Civil War, Grant made quite the name for himself. He worked his way to the title of Commanding General and became the union’s most celebrated hero. He returned to Galena afterwards with an appropriately hearty welcome, and it was from here that he managed two successful presidential campaigns.
SCHEDULE of EVENTS
NOTE: all activities at the Galena & U.S. Grant Museum
(211 S. Bench St.) unless otherwise noted.
FRIDAY - April 19
5-6pm Lamplight Grant Home Tour; at the U.S. Grant Home, 500 Bouthillier Street. Donation.
5-8pm Members-only museum open house and preview: Images of Grant: President and Commander-in- Chief exhibit, featuring artifacts from the collection of Bill Margeson. Refreshments.
6:30pm Members-only Interview with the First Ladies, featuring Mary Todd Lincoln (Donna Daniels), Julia Dent Grant (Peggy Whitney), and Varina Howell Davis (Roberta Grenz).
SATURDAY - April 20
9am-4:30p.m. FREE museum admission, refreshments, and birthday cake; new exhibit Images of Grant: President and Commander-in-Chief
10am-4pm 2nd Kentucky Cavalry on patrol
10am-5pm 3rd Iowa Light Artillery at Gateway to History
11am Home Front Pie Auction, at Gateway to History, 403 S. Main St.
Noon 2nd Kentucky Cavalry and the Cunning Kidnapper Trial
1pm "From Shiloh to Vicksburg: The General and Mrs. Grant" portrayed by Scott and Peggy Whitney
2pm "The Enigmatic Lives of Joshua and Fanny Chamberlain" portrayed by Ted and Faye Chamberlain
3pm "Decision on the River Queen" discussion to end the Civil War with President Lincoln (Max Dan-iels), Generals Grant and Sherman (Larry Werline, Bill Teshner), and Admiral Porter (Ray Ott)
4pm "Emancipation Proclamation" with Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln (Max and Donna Daniels)
6pm History and More! Trivia Quiz at the DeSoto House Hotel Ballroom. Teams of up to four people. $10/person quiz only; $30/person dinner and quiz. (Registration Required: 815.777.9129) Quiz begins at 7
SUNDAY - April 21
9am-4:30pm FREE museum admission, refreshments, and birth-day cake
10:30am Civil War-era church service & pot luck luncheon; at the Methodist Church, 125 S. Bench St.