PLATTSBURGH - The 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain's arrival in America is resulting in celebrations across the region, with organizations like the Plattsburgh Public Library getting in on the action.
The library recently received a $1,000 grant from the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Commission for programs the library has planned for the public in honor of the event. Library director Stanley A. Ransom said the commission's funding, paired with other grants, including $200 from Community Bank, N.A., will make the programs a reality.
"I'm interested in history and also I thought that this is one time when we should try and celebrate the kinds of things we have in this area," said Ransom, "and also try and think of what we could do as a legacy for the next hundred years."
The first program the library will host is a discussion this Wednesday, Feb. 18., featuring lecturer Dr. Kevin Dann, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The program, which will be held in the library's newly-renovated second-floor auditorium, will discuss the celebration that took place in 1909, said Ransom.
"Imagine the president of the United States came to Plattsburgh in 1909 and took part in the celebration," said Ransom. "[Dann] talks about it from that standpoint. About the celebration and how we celebrate our anniversaries in history."
Other programs will be held throughout the year, including an essay contest now under way for middle school and high school students who are library cardholders.
"We'd like an essay on 'What is the significance of Lake Champlain in history and today?'" Ransom explained. "So, it's kind of open-ended."
Entries will be due Sept. 1 and winners will be chosen Sept. 12. The contest will award $400 to first place winners, $300 for second place winners, and $200 for third place winners. Middle school entries will have a minimum of 500 words and high school students are asked to write at least 1,000 words.