Frederick Douglass returns to Lynn this week to attend his 200th birthday party at City Hall
The Wednesday, Feb. 14, celebration honors Douglass, who came to Lynn in 1841 as a 23-year-old runaway slave, settled here with his wife and young children, and left six years later a famous abolitionist.
Mayor Thomas McGee will offer an official city welcome to Douglass, who is generally regarded as the most prominent African-American of the 19th century.
“I am happy to celebrate Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday here in Lynn on February 14th and throughout the year”, the mayor said. “Frederick Douglass played a monumental role in putting the City of Lynn on the map as a welcoming community where families can come to live, work and raise a family. We are proud to consider Frederick Douglass not only a national hero, but also a true Lynner.”
Lynn school children have been invited to the Lynn party, which starts at 3 p.m. and includes a birthday cake. A storyteller, playing the role of Douglass, will be on hand to talk with children about the abolitionist’s time in Lynn.
Members of the LynnDouglass200 Committee will read excerpts from “I Have Come To Tell You Something About Slavery,” Douglass’s first recorded speech, which he gave in Lynn shortly after his arrival. The abolitionist went on to deliver thousands of speeches here and abroad, earning a reputation as one of the century’s great orators.
Bicentennial birthday celebrations are planned on Feb. 14 — the 200th anniversary of Douglass’s birth in 1818 — in other cities where he lived, including Washington, D.C., Baltimore Md., Rochester, N.Y., and New Bedford. In November, President Trump signed legislation creating a national Douglass bicentennial commission.
The Lynn party is the kickoff to year-long events planned by the Lynn Douglass 200 Committee. A schedule of events can be found on Facebook @LynnDouglass200.
All events are free and open to the public.
Program Start: 3:00 p.m.
Committee Member Introduces F. Douglass 3:00 pm
Frederick Douglass speaks: 3:02 pm
Mayor McGee speaks: 3:12 pm
Mayor McGee invites everyone to sing Happy Birthday to F. Douglass, 3:20 pm