Fayetteville and the Lafayette Society welcome the American Friends of Lafayette on June 12-14.
Submitted by Hank Parfitt, Lafayette Society President, 910-286-3979 firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 12-14, Fayetteville and the Lafayette Society will host the annual meeting of the American Friends of Lafayette (AFL). Founded at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania in 1931, the AFL is a national organization dedicated to the memory of the French hero of the American Revolutionary War and to the study of his life and times in America and France.
The AFL holds their national meeting in a city of historical significance each year, such as Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington, DC. Visits to Fayetteville by AFL leaders during the Lafayette Society’s annual Lafayette Birthday Celebration led to its selection as a host city. Chuck Schwam, the AFL’s events planner, said “I am very impressed with Fayetteville. The city is steeped in history and Lafayette-related sites. The shops, theaters, and restaurants in the Historic Downtown area offer a magnificent array of entertainment. What better place to hold our meeting than the first city to be named after Lafayette?”
The AFL includes many historians, history professors, and Lafayette authors. However, most members are simply history enthusiasts from all walks of life, united in their admiration of Lafayette. Some of the events during the AFL meeting are open to the public and members of the Fayetteville community will have several opportunities to meet our guests while they are here.
On Saturday, June 14, from 5 to 7PM, there will be a pig-pickin’ with live blue grass music by the Parsons at Myrtle Hill, the circa 1825 home of US Senator Robert Strange, Commander of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry during Lafayette’s visit. The public will have the rare opportunity to tour the house that evening. A specially-brewed French beer by Huske Hardware House will be served along with tea and soda. Tickets are available at City Center Gallery & Books, 910-678-8899.
Earlier that day, from 2 to 4PM, there will be an “All-Lafayette Book Signing” at City Center Gallery & Books in downtown Fayetteville. Authors include Dr. Lloyd Kramer, the Dean Smith Chair of History at the UNC-Chapel Hill, who wrote Lafayette in Two Worlds, an award-winning book that explains the cultural and political significance of Lafayette’s career. Alan Hoffman, who lives in New Hampshire and serves as president of the AFL, will also sign copies of his translation of Auguste Levasseur’s book, Lafayette in America. This journal of Lafayette’s 1824 – 1825 Farewell Tour of the United States gives a panoramic view of our nation during its 50th anniversary. Selene Castrovilla, from Long Island, New York, is a historical reenactor who has written an illustrated children’s’ book Revolutionary Friends. Books by all three authors will be available for purchase and signing.
Also, the public will have the opportunity to see the Liberty Point Resolves at the Transportation and Local History Museum as part of their exhibit Lafayette in Fayetteville. With the help of the museum, the Lafayette Society was able to obtain this important document from the Southern Historical Collection at UNC for the AFL meeting and for public display June 10 through June 21.