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Geo. Washington Remembered

As you approach the front entrance to the Hancock House there is an large slate paver informing one about the house and its former Boston resident, John Hancock.  At the end of this paver’s script “Horace Moses a Son of Ticonderoga” and benefactor of the building had inscribed ~ “..presented… to perpetuate American Traditions in History and the Fine Arts.”  On this traditional day of celebrating the birth of George Washington we remember a time when his life was honored in a number of ways through-out the land.  As a tribute to those days we share some writings and visuals gleamed from various sources relating to the George Washington Bi-Centennial Celebration of 1932 here in the North Country.


George Washington THS Collection

“The United States of America – the entire world, in fact is paying homage to the memory of George Washington upon the occasion of the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of the “Father of His Country.”  Years, decades, yes, centuries have passed and will continue to do so as time passes steadfastly on – but the name of George Washington and all it implies will always remain livid and undying in the heart of every American. 

This country which he strived successfully to establish became a reality only after Washington and his courageous followers had overcome seemingly impossible and insurmountable obstacles and difficulties.  His splendid ideals, his patience and fortitude and spirit of willing self-sacrifice are emblematic of the loftiest and most praiseworthy principles of this country.

The nation at large honors him — not only on each February twenty-second, but upon every day of every year.  The American people can never forget!

To residents of Ticonderoga and other communities in northern New York – we who daily tread upon the historic ground which once trembled under the marching feet of Washington and his gallant armies – there is even a closer, more intimate and more significant feeling of reverence.

Through the loyal cooperation of individuals and fraternal organizations of Ticonderoga and other towns and villages of the Adirondack Region, the observance of the Bicentennial George Washington Celebration has obtained a splendid beginning.  It is sincerely hoped that the interest and enthusiasm will not falter and that throughout the year 1932 there will be no cessation in the program of events dedicated to the memory of one of the greatest of all Americans – George Washington.”

(Editorial, Ticonderoga Sentinel, February 25, 1932)

 (Left)  From The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC  a circa 1786 plaster bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon.  (Right) On display in our Firemen’s Exhibit Gallery a similar styled bust.  Above is a framed portrait of George Washington that is exhibited in our School Exhibit.

Crown Point – “The Champlain Chapter, D.A.R. held its February meeting at the home of Mrs. George Phinney.  The program consisted of a talk on the Bi-Centennial by Mrs. Eaton, chairman of the entertainment committee: a reading by Mrs. Barker on “Washington in the role of inventor,” and three piano duets by Mrs. John Barker and Miss Faith Packard.”

“Washington’s Association With Ti Recalled by Flight” – George Washington’s association with Ticonderoga is again recalled with the announcement of the flight by Major James H. Dolittle, manager of the aircaraft department of the Shell Petroleum Corporation and holder of the transcontinenetial air record, who, on July 25th, weather permitting, will soar over the city on a 2900 mile flight covering the routes traversed by Washington during his life.  Washington’s visit to Ticonderoga in the summer of 1783 gives us an insight to the Revolutionary leader’s constant desire to travel.  In his notes, Washington records that the trip to Ticonderoga was made to break the monotony of the long wait for the signing of the final treaty papers with England.  On the trip to Ticonderoga Washington was accompanied by Governor Clinton.”

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“WGY Program Feb. 20 Devoted to Washington” – It is particularly suitable that one of the counties named after our first President should do honor to him and at the same time express the interest that Washington showed in forestry.  On February 20th six forestry club members in Washington county will broadcast from WGY AT 12:15 in the program of the WGY Fellowship.  These club members are Winfield Arnott, Cambridge, Jackson Club, ……  Ray Lauder ..who tells of Washington as a timber cruiser; Earl Roberson …giving a short account of his experiences on the Adirondack Forestry Tour; Wm. Roberson.. speaking on second year forestry work in tree identification and seed collection; William Wicks, president of Durkeetown Club and of the County 4-H Council, who tells of the planting of the county  forest last fall by 43 club members…”

“Moriah Celebrates Washington Bicentennial” – Moriah Grange, school and community presented a pageant-play in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington …. “In the Hearts of His Countrymen,” was under the direction of the faculty of Sherman Collegiate Institute and consisted of four episodes and nine parts.  Two parts showed Washington as a boy drilling his “Cornstalk Brigade,” and making his decision not to go to sea, Robert Pereau and Rufus Rundlett playing the parts of Washington as a boy.  Washington as the Virginia Colonel, as General of the Continental Army, and as President of the U.S., was played by Gerald Greenough.  Scenes were laid in the homes of Lord Fairfax and Mr. Chamberlane, Virginia gentlemen, at Mount Vernon, at army headquarters on the Delaware and at Valley Forge, and at the President’s formal reception.  The Thirteen Sisters, representing the colonies, were dressed in Grecian robes, red and blue sashes and silver crowns and formed effective tableaux in the play.  They also danced the gavotte.  Different groups played the old colonial game, “Roman Soldiers,” blind-man buff, drop the handkerchief, the Virginia Reel, and a negro plantation dance. The Grange orchestra of twelve pieces, under the direction of Homer Stone, furnished the music…”

“General Order” – Issued by General George Washington in New York, July 1776.  ~~  The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing a vice heretofore little known in an American army, is growing into fashion.  He hopes the officers will, by example as well as influence endeavor to check it, and that both they and the men will reflect, that we can have little hope of the blessing of Heaven on our arms, if we insult it by our impiety and folly.  Added to this, it is a vice so mean and low without any temptation, that every man of sense and character detests and despises it.”  G. Washington

Eighty children and a number of grown people attended the George Washington party held at the home of Mrs. Benjamin Snow …  Games were played, refreshments served and each family was given a picture of Washington as a part of the George Washington Bi-centennial Celebratrion.  ..program included..Scripture and prayer – Washington’s prayer for the nation (Mrs. Willard Harmond)…

“Sixteen candidates were initiated into the Ticonderoga Lodge of Elks in the George Washington Bicentennial Class ….A turkey supper was served to the members of the lodge at the Community building preceding the meeting.  The principal speaker of the evening was B. Loyal O’Connell of Plattsburgh who delievered a stirring address on George Washington.

“Celebration at Crown Point Drew 18,000 persons” — ..Montpelier Drum Corps, Green Mountain State champions won the corps contest, an important phase of George Washington’s bi-centennial celebration. …second prize…Hudson Falls corps… third prize – Lake George-Warrensburg corps.. and Burlington.. forth.  ..opening ceremonies began with a tree dedication .. memory of.. George Washington, George Clinton…Ethan Allen.. Mrs. Jane Cunnion.. state director D.A.R. dedicated a tree in memory of the soldiers of the American Revolution…American Legion Auxiliary.. a tree to the men who fought in the war of 1812 and Edward E. Spafford… trees in memory of veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American War and the World War.  Addresses were given… “The Significance of the George Washington Celebrations” and “Historical Events at Crown Point and Vicinity.”   Additional music provided by the 7th Artillery band of Fort Ethan Allen (VT)  The day was concluded with a band concert and a display of fireworks.

DAR Washington photo 1932

Ticonderoga DAR celebrating Washington’s Birthday Hancock House Parlor, Feb. 22, 1932

Help us keep American traditions and the Fine Arts alive at the Hancock House ~~ become a member.  Interested in volunteering?  Please contact us.

Want learn more about George Washington and The American Experience?  Read more.  Want to see more about George Washington and his colonial life style?  We make a high recommendation to visit Mount Vernon. A place well worth a visit.

2/22/2015  wgd

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