Family Fun: John Brown Lives! Day

John Brown Day Banner - Lake Placid, NYAfter a morning of fishing or enjoying many of the Adirondack waterways, take a stop at John Brown Farm State Historic Site for John Brown Day. The John Brown Farm State Historic Site is hosting the annual John Brown Live! Day celebrating the abolitionists John Brown and Frederick Douglass. This Saturday, May 5 from 2-4 pm.  John Brown Lives! Executive Director Martha Swan informs me this annual event dates back to the 1930s when people would make a pilgrimage to the John Brown Farm Historic Site to honor John Brown, putting a wreath on his grave. This day will honor the friendship between those two abolitionists.

One way to connect children to the history of these abolitionists is for them to meet a direct descendant. Kenneth Morris, Jr, the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglas and great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington will give the keynote address. As Executive Director of the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, Morris draws from his own heritage to help bring an end to all forms of slavery. There will be a youth club from Rochester, the Frederick Douglass Student Club, performing oral passages from Douglass's speeches. 

John Brown Day will also bring to light the current plight of human trafficking in New York. Renan Salgado, Human Trafficking Specialist, will be on site to bring current information regarding the slavery in New York. According to the U.S. State Department, there are approximately 17,500 people trafficked into the U.S. each year. Along with California, Texas, and Florida, New York ranks among the states with the greatest incidence of documented slavery in the country. 

John Brown statueIt doesn't have to be all about the history. The farmhouse will be open for tours with live music and light refreshments in the barn. The property and trails are open, so take advantage of the beautiful Adirondack setting and enjoy the various trails. 

Diane Chase is the author of Adirondack Family Time Tri-Lakes and High Peaks: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities. Her second Adirondack family activities™ guidebook for the Champlain Valley will be in stores summer 2012. 

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