John Brown Day 2019

20 years of reflection, education, and advocacy for human rights

All are invited to the 20th anniversary of John Brown Day from 2 - 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. This annual event is held at John Brown Farm in Lake Placid and hosted by John Brown Lives!, a freedom education and human rights project dedicated to keeping the spirit of John Brown alive.

Be sure to come early to hike the farm's scenic trails and to see the “Dreaming of Timbuctoo” exhibit, located in the barn. All attendees are invited to the reception at the Olympic Ski Jumps base lodge from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30.

A day of reflection. A day of action.

Keeping with the tradition of past John Brown Days, the afternoon will be packed with conversation, education, and stories from people whose work advocates for human rights. This year’s speakers are:

  • Dr. Barbara Ransby: Historian, professor, activist, and author of Making All Black Lives Matter. 
  • Lewis Papenfuse: Civil Rights advocate and former Director of Workers Justice Center of New York. 
  • Janet McFetridge: Compassionate witness for refugees and immigrants in the North Country.
  • This year's special musical guest is Taina Asili

Who was John Brown?

John Brown Day is held annually to mark the birthday of the great abolitionist, who was born May 9, 1800. Brown is best known for the raid he led on the U.S. Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Va., in 1859 in which he and his followers tried to confiscate weapons to use in an effort to liberate slaves from the South. Brown, who was executed for treason, is buried at the farm alongside several family members and followers who also fought in the raid.  

Guests at the event can view “Dreaming of Timbuctoo,” an exhibition that chronicles the experience of black New Yorkers who gained the right to vote after receiving Adirondack land grants from Gerrit Smith, a wealthy landowner and abolitionist. The exhibition, curated by John Brown Lives!, is a permanent installation at the farm.

John Brown Day 2019

Cost: Free

When: Saturday, May 4, from 2-4 p.m. 

Where: John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Lake Placid

Getting there: From Route 86 in Lake Placid, take Route 73 east and turn right on Station Street. Follow that to its end and turn left on Old Military Road, then turn right on Old John Brown Road, across from the cemetery. John Brown Farm is at the end of the road, at the cul de sac.

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