A day of free activities including guest speakers, living history programs, a wreath-laying and a book-signing at Andrew Jackson's Hermitage on Friday, Jan. 8, will mark the 201st anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans.
Thousands of guests are expected to visit the presidential home for the annual commemoration of the pivotal - and astounding - victory for U.S. troops led by Gen. Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 that forced the British to withdraw from Louisiana and brought about a great sense of pride for a young America.
From 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., guests can tour the presidential home free and participate in the following activities:
At 11 a.m., the National Guard will participate in the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Jackson's tomb. The ceremony will include remarks from special guest speaker Lt. Gen. (Ret.) John M. Pickler, as well as from the General Society War of 1812's President, Gen. Thomas Jacks and the National Society United States Daughters of 1812 President, Linda Tripp.
Throughout the day, living history programs will feature War of 1812 soldier re-enactors, and the main theater will run a movie marathon of films featuring Jackson and New Orleans.
At 1:30 p.m., visitors can join author David Plater as he hosts a talk and book-signing for his work, "The Butlers of Iberville Parish, Louisiana."
"By forcing the British to retreat, General Jackson's victory in New Orleans surprised the world, made Americans proud and put Jackson on the path for presidency," said Howard Kittell, CEO of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage. "It's an honor to be able to bring guest speakers and a day of exceptional programming to our guests free of charge on Jan. 8. Guests really get to understand the impact of the victory and the shaping of America."
In addition to touring The Hermitage, visitors are welcome to check out its newest exhibit, Andrew Jackson: Born for a Storm, launched for the bicentennial anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. Born for a Storm covers 4,200 square feet and includes significant Jackson artifacts from The Hermitage collection, such as Jackson's presidential carriage and a gold presentation box given to Jackson for his victory in the Battle of New Orleans. A special section is dedicated to Jackson's historic victory in the battle, and visitors can relive the war story through interactive maps and graphics detailing his ragtag army's defeat of a highly trained and experienced British force. A major piece of the exhibit covers the Age of Jackson, including his campaigns for president and policies that defined his administration, such as his battles with Congress, war against banks and Native American removal.
Jan. 8 is The Hermitage's annual free day for visitors; however, U.S. military personnel, active and retired, receive free admission year-round.