The public is invited to a free program at Old Fort Niagara at 11 a.m. Friday, April 28, to commemorate the bicentennial of the Rush-Bagot Treaty, a landmark agreement between the U.S. 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 ceremony will include the advancement of colors and national anthems of Great Britain, Canada and the U.S., 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 U.S. 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. 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. 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.