Lee#039;s 200th birthday celebrated on Friday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 13, 2007

The 200th anniversary of the birth of a favorite son of the Confederacy will be celebrated in the Camellia City next Friday, January 19.

&#8220Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807. We are going to honor him on the exact anniversary of his birth,” said Dr. Michael Daniel, a professor at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College and a member of the Butler County Historical and Genealogical Society (BCHGS).

The BCHGS and the local United Daughter of the Confederacy chapters are coming together to commemorate the famed Confederate general as they celebrate southern history.

The event kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday at the Confederate Monument in Confederate Park downtown (weather permitting).

&#8220Our UDC members will be on hand to re-dedicate the monument and a ceremony will be held to honor Gen. Lee,” Daniel said.

&#8220A prayer, special remarks and the song, ‘How Firm a Foundation,' which was sung at Gen. Lee's funeral, will all be part of this re-dedication.”

Following the re-dedication ceremony, the program will move across the street to First United Methodist Church.

Students from the fourth and fifth grades at Fort Dale Academy will be an important part of the program at the church, Daniel said.

&#8220The FDA fourth graders have been researching important Civil War figures as part of their Alabama History classes.” Daniel said.

&#8220Not only will they share the information they have learned, each student will be dressed in period costume, which I think will add an interesting and fun aspect to the program.”

In addition, the FDA fifth graders have been creating southern-themed artwork that will be on display at the church.

&#8220This is a way to get our elementary-age children involved in history and historical activities,” Daniel said.

Several historical presentations will be part of the afternoon.

Greenville's Ann Feathers, vice-president and president-elect of the Alabama Historical Association, will share the history of the Confederate Monument and Confederate Park, while Daniel will talk about the colorful history of Confederate flags.

Local musicians Charlie Kennedy and Angela Rouse are slated to lead the audience in singing tunes popular with Confederate soldiers and their families back home, while local high school students will read their award-winning essays on the South.

Refreshments will be served in the church fellowship hall following the presentations.

The event, which takes the place of the regular BCHGS quarterly meeting, is slated to run until approximately 6:30 p.m., Daniel said.

&#8220We hope many local citizens will turn out and join us next Friday for this very special event.”