Happy 200th birthday, President Ulysses S. Grant! Join the National Park Service in celebrating Grant’s Bicentennial with a jam-packed day of free events and activities for all ages on the president’s birthday, Wednesday April 27, at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site. Interact with a General Grant living history interpreter, listen to insightful discussions about Grant’s life, enjoy ginger cake and learn about table etiquette in the 1800s, participate in a limited-time Junior Ranger program, and cap off the day with a live concert by the Independent Silver Band.
“Ulysses S. Grant was one of the most important figures of 19th-century America, and the years he spent living in St. Louis had a profound impact on so much of his life,” said Nathan Wilson, Superintendent of Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site. “We are very excited to celebrate and honor our 19th president by hosting this Bicentennial birthday party. We hope the community can join us in celebrating one of the most influential St. Louisans in our nation’s history.”
The Bicentennial celebration is presented in partnership with the Ulysses S. Grant Association and Mississippi State University.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
- All day: In honor of the 200th birthday of one of America’s most famous veterans, create a cheerful card that will be given to residents in Missouri’s veterans’ homes, letting them know about Grant’s Bicentennial year and the president’s appreciation of veterans. Supplies will be provided.
- All day: Kids can earn a commemorative US Grant 200 Junior Ranger badge by completing special Junior Ranger booklet that explores all aspects of Grant’s life.
- All day: Go on a ranger-led tour of the White Haven estate, where Grant lived with his wife Julia before and after his presidency. Before or after the tour, head to the Visitor Center theater to watch the documentary film that details Grant’s life, and visit the park museum, which showcases Grant’s humble beginnings and links them with his future and the state of our country today.
- All day: Take Grant on a second world tour! Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia traveled around the world for over two years after his presidency. They visited royalty, heads of state, and famous landmarks. Pick up a “Flat Grant” at the park’s visitor center to color and take him with you on your travels during his Bicentennial year. Share selfies with Flat Grant on social media with #USGrant2ndWorldTour.
- 9:00-11:30 am: Learn about cakes and table etiquette in the 1800s with Suzanne Corbett, food historian and food ways interpreter, in the White Haven dining room. Enjoy a slice of ginger cake, a favorite of the president’s, in the room where he ate many of his meals.
- 10:30 am and 11:30 am: Park Ranger Nick Sacco and Ulysses S. Grant Association Board Member John Samson will each give a one-hour talk on Grant, his life and legacy in the Visitor Center theater. Visitors can “meet” General Grant (living history interpreter Stan Prater) upon arrival and take pictures with the general.
- 6:30-7:30 pm: Bring a blanket or lawn chair and snag a spot on the grounds of White Haven for a live concert featuring period music by Mt. Vernon-based Independent Silver Band. Outside food and beverages are allowed on the park grounds. (Glass is prohibited.)
Additionally, head to the bookstore in the Visitor Center to shop for park-themed gifts and souvenirs, including a commemorative Bicentennial ornament. Or stop by the Missouri Humanities Council’s traveling exhibit, “Ulysses S. Grant’s Missouri,” on display in the park’s classroom during regular park hours. (Exhibit is available April 27-May 31.)
Entrance to Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site is always free. For more information on the park and the Bicentennial events, visit nps.gov/ulsg or call 314 842-1867.
ABOUT ULYSSES S. GRANT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE: Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site is located in St. Louis County. The park interprets the life and family of Ulysses S. Grant and the enslaved African-American workforce who lived on the property known as White Haven. The park and Visitor Center are open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and January 1. Admission and programs are free of charge. For more information visit nps.gov/ulsg.