(Washington, D.C.) — Traditionally considered the end of summer, Labor Day weekend is often used as a final opportunity to enjoy the outdoors before the change of season. In honor of this time, the American Battlefield Trust – a national battlefield-preservation organization – encourages everyone to get outside and learn about history with activities at historic sites nationwide.
Sept. 1: Labor Day Celebration at Fort McAllister, Richmond Hill, Georgia
Join Fort McAllister State Park for a relaxing and entertaining day for the whole family. Civil War historic interpreters will fire rifles and cannons throughout the day while presenting living-history programs, and period games will be available. Located south of Savannah, the park’s well-preserved Confederate earthwork fortifications were attacked seven times by Union ironclads during the Civil War. They didn’t fall until 1864, when Union Gen. William T. Sherman ended his “March to the Sea.” Learn more.
South of Savannah, Georgia, Fort McAllister State Park’s well-preserved Confederate earthwork fortifications were attacked seven times by Union ironclads. The works didn’t fall until 1864, when Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman ended his “March to the Sea.”
Sept. 1: Living-History Camp at Sackets Harbor, Sackets Harbor, New York
During the War of 1812, a failed British attack at Sackets Harbor, a U.S. naval base and shipyard, saved America’s Great Lakes Fleet. Its capture would have handed the British control of Lakes Ontario and Erie and opened the central United States to invasion from Canada. This Labor Day weekend, visit the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site for their 1812 Marine Guard Memorial Grove living-history camp. Learn more.
Pictured here, New York's Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site was the scene of an 1813 battle in which America’s Great Lakes fleet was saved. Its capture during the War of 1812 would have handed the British control of Lakes Ontario and Erie and opened the central United States to invasion from Canada.
Rich Clauss, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Bureau of Historic Sites
Sept. 1-2: Living-History Program at Point Park, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
In the fall of 1863, Confederate soldiers camped and trained in what is now Lookout Mountain’s Point Park. These soldiers were preparing for the final battles for Chattanooga, combat that would ultimately open the deep South to a Union invasion. Join Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park this Labor Day weekend for a special living-history program during which the 16th Alabama Living History Regiment will conduct infantry demonstrations for park visitors. Learn more.
Sept. 1-2: Fort Fisher in World War II, Kure Beach, North Carolina
During January 1865’s Second Battle of Fort Fisher, the garrison of the Confederate “Gibraltar of the South” surrendered, opening the way for a Federal thrust against Wilmington. This Labor Day weekend, join the historic site to learn about Fort Fisher’s role as an anti-aircraft training base during World War II. The program will include military and civilian reenactors, tours, weapon demonstrations, special guest speakers, and arts and crafts.
Sept. 1-2: Union Garrison at Fort Clinch, Fernandina Beach, Florida
At different points during the Civil War, Fort Clinch was used by both the Union and Confederate armies as a safe haven or base of operations. Now, the 19th century fort is one of the most well-preserved in the country. On Labor Day weekend, Fort Clinch State Park will offer visitors the opportunity to interact with historians and experience life in the fort as it was in 1864. This includes soldiers in period costumes, firing demonstrations, marching drills, cooking and other daily activities. Learn more.
At different points during the Civil War, Fort Clinch on Amelia Island in Nassau County, Fla., was used by both the Union and Confederate armies as a safe haven or a base of operations. Now, the 19th-century fort is one of the most well-preserved in the country.
American Battlefield Trust
Sept. 1-3: Back to School at the Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This Labor Day weekend, the Museum of the American Revolution invites families to learn about the history of our nation’s founding and find out how children in the 1700s learned their ABCs, apprenticed for trades, and grew up to be revolutionaries. Kids age 12 and under will receive free admission to the museum throughout the weekend. Learn more.
Sept. 1-3: Labor Day Weekend at Fort Scott,Fort Scott, Kansas
Visit Fort Scott National Historic Site for tours, demonstrations, and living history programs about westward expansion, “Bleeding Kansas,” and the war that followed. During the Civil War, Fort Scott served as a general hospital, a major supply depot for Union armies in the West, and a haven for people fleeing the war. Learn more.
During the Civil War, Fort Scott in Kansas served as a general hospital, a major supply depot for Union armies in the West, and a haven for people fleeing the war. Pictured here are the barracks and courthouse at Fort Scott National Historic Site, south of Kansas City.
American Battlefield Trust
Sept. 3: Songs of the Labor Movement at Saint Paul’s Church,Mount Vernon, New York
Visit historic Saint Paul’s Church for tours recalling the various occupations over the centuries of men and women buried in its historic cemetery, as well as a special presentation of “The American Labor Movement through Song” by music historian and educator Robert Cohen. Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site was used as a hospital following the Revolutionary War Battle at Pell’s Point in 1776. Learn more.
For more travel ideas, visit the American Battlefield Trust’s events calendar, check the National Park Service events calendar, or check in with your local state park, museum, or historic site.
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. To date, the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 50,000 acres of battlefield land associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.
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