Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dead president honors dead vice president

This is a reminder that dead President James Madison makes a rare appearance at the Senate House State Historic Site, 296 Fair St., Kingston, Saturday at 2 p.m.

Madison will honor dead governor George Clinton, who served as his vice president until his’s death in office in 1812.

Holding a press conference and free public reception at Senate House State Historic Site as if it were May 31, 1812, shortly after Clinton’s death the previous month on April 1812.

Madison will reflect on Clinton’s great virtues and accomplishments. He will later take questions from the press and public, such as “How come you are here if you’re dead?”

Eighteenth and early 19th Century music will be performed by musicians in period dress. The public can also view a small exhibition on Clinton, in the Loughran House, part of the historic site campus.

The day’s events are part of a day-long celebration of Clinton, New York State’s first and longest-serving governor; a hero of the American Revolution; the person largely responsible for insuring the adoption of the Bill of Rights; and ridiculous overachiever.

Clinton was buried in Washington, D.C. But in recognition of Clinton’s importance to New York and American history, New Yorkers, on May 30, 1908, celebrated the return of his body to his home state with a re-internment ceremony and the dedication of a prominent monument in Kingston’s Old Dutch Church cemetery on Main and Wall streets.

In addition to the Senate House events, there will be a 1 p.m. gravesite ceremony at the Old Dutch Church, and a 4 p.m. tea at the Wiltwyck Chapter House of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Admission to this event is free. Admission to the museum and Senate House is $4, $3 for seniors and children.

Call the site at (845) 338-2786 or visit the State Parks Web site at www.nysparks.com.