As part of the National Park Service’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Natchez National Historical Park offered a “Meet the Presidents and Picnic” on April 1st.
Actors George Buss and Larry Elliott visited Natchez in character as Jefferson Davis, president of the seceding Confederate State of America, and Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States. Dressed in historic costumes appropriate to 1861, they visited local schools as well as meeting and greeting people in various locations around the city.
Jefferson Davis, Abe Lincoln, and Mary Todd (Mary Elliott), visited 300 children in assemblies at the Natchez schools on Friday. Saturday they gave two programs at Vicksburg National Military Park and visited sites in Natchez. The two also discussed their viewpoints on the recent election of Lincoln and on secession at the gazebo in Natchez Bluff Park overlooking the Mississippi River.
This Civil War 150th event reached approximately 950 people in Natchez and Vicksburg. Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services David Wyrick said, “We were very pleased with the program and feel the public responded well.”
All comments were extremely positive, such as hoping that the National Park Service will continue to offer a series of these types of programs.