The public is invited to a free program at Old Fort Niagara on Friday, April 28, at 11:00 a.m., to commemorate the bicentennial of the Rush-Bagot Treaty, a landmark agreement between the United States and Great Britain that led to the limitation of naval armaments on the Great Lakes and the creation of the world’s longest undefended border.
The 11 a.m. ceremony will include the advancement of colors and national anthems of Great Britain, Canada and the United States, remarks by officials, a brief history of the treaty and its significance and a rededication of the Rush-Bagot Monument, erected in 1934.
The treaty’s origins can be traced to an exchange of letters between Acting United States Secretary of State Richard Rush and the British Minister to Washington, Sir Charles Bagot, which were exchanged and signed on April 27, and 28, 1817. After the terms were agreed upon by Rush and Bagot, the agreement was unofficially recognized by both countries. It was ratified by the U.S. Senate on April 16, 1818. The eventual outcome of the treaty was the demilitarization of the U.S. Canadian border.
Music for the event will be provided by the Parkside Brass Quintet and colors will be presented by the United States Navy and the Buffalo Sea Cadets. Volunteers will also present a special display of naval equipment from the era.
More information is available on the fort’s website at www.oldfortniagara.org or by calling (716) 745-7611.
Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is located in Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown, N.Y., which is 14 miles north of Niagara Falls via the Niagara Scenic Parkway North. The fort is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (admissions end at 4:30 p.m.). Old Fort Niagara is a Registered National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association (a not-for-profit organization) in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.