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Column: Atlanta History Center celebrating end of slavery
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
June 12, 2013 01:46 PM | 2675 views | 0 0 comments | 99 99 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
A two-day celebration Saturday and Sunday at the Atlanta History Center on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead will focus on the appreciation, reconciliation and commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S.

Thanks to Bank of America, guests will receive free admission as the finale to a 2013 series of free monthly weekends. Funding for this program is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of Fulton County Arts Council.

The “Juneteenth: First Day of Freedom” theme of freedom and family history will include a variety of genealogy workshops, a play titled “The Order of Freedom,” written by center playwright Addae Moon, kid-friendly activities and self-guided explorations of the current traveling exhibition, “Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello: How the Word is Passed Down.”

Juneteenth commemorates the news of June 19, 1865, that slaves in Texas were free. The general order, read on the steps of Ashton Villa at 2328 Broadway in Galveston, came almost three years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation Sept. 22, 1862.

This Jefferson traveling exhibition features more than 280 objects from Monticello’s collection as well as artifacts from archaeological excavations at Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia plantation — the best-documented, best-preserved and best-studied plantation in North America. Objects on display include the former presidents’ personal items such as a chess set, books, spectacles and a replica of the portable desk used to draft the Declaration of Independence; ceramics and kitchen utensils and personal items of enslaved families such as jewelry, clothing, tools and combs made with bone handles. The exhibition also provides the opportunity to reflect on Jefferson — one of 12 American presidents who owned slaves.

The center’s existing programming, ongoing monthly public programs and family festival days on the 33-acre main campus are designed to complement this new exhibit.

Information: (404) 814-4000 or

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A notable local military historian, Deborah G. Lindsay, will be the keynote speaker for the Atlanta World War II Round Table summer luncheon June 20 at Petite Auberge restaurant on North Druid Hills Road in DeKalb County.

Lindsay has traveled extensively around the world to widen her knowledge of the war and military history —including battlefields and museums. She is currently writing a book on the history of concentration camps, and serves on several museum boards of trustees including the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. She will be spotlighting the New Orleans museum and its major renovation and expansion projects in her illustrated presentation at the luncheon.

The nonprofit round table was organized in Atlanta in 1986 with a diverse membership which includes men and women, retired officers and enlisted personnel from all branches of the military, along with family and friends who gather to share and remember. It hosts monthly informational luncheons and partners with other nonprofits offering services to veterans such as: the Roswell Rotary Honor Air transporting ill veterans to the Washington veterans’ hospital, the Honor Flight Fayetteville that takes heroes to visit the memorial in Washington and a unique Round Table Lending Library of books pertaining to history and patriotism.

The public is invited to attend the $15 per-person luncheon, with no reservations required. The 2013 commander is Randolph Goulding and John Kovach serves as adjutant.

Information: (770) 436-4254 or visit

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The first week in June, Trees Atlanta hired 100 new four-legged employees — hungry sheep! Their one and only task this summer is to eat and eliminate kudzu in several greenspaces throughout Atlanta. Trees Atlanta’s education and outreach programs surrounding the sheep initiative is called Have Ewe Herd? The kickoff Breakfast with the Sheep is free and open to the tree-loving public June 21 at the Chastain Park Conservancy headquarters on Powers Ferry Road in Buckhead.

The event will give folks of all ages an opportunity to meet the sheep and see them in action. Refreshments are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Exotic plants like kudzu and English ivy are among the most invasive ones in the Southeast. In addition to planting and caretaking native trees, Trees Atlanta volunteers are committed to removing these pesky wild plants from greenspaces in the metro area to improve the health of Atlanta’s collective urban forest and clear the way for future planting of beautiful trees.

 “Sheep offer a low-impact solution for controlling invasive plants without using expensive and sometimes dangerous herbicides,” said Trees Atlanta Forest Restoration Coordinator Brian Williams. “As long as the sites do not contain sensitive or endangered plants that we want to keep safe, hungry sheep can graze all day and help us safely eliminate unwanted plants.”

Sites are protected by human shepherds and guard dogs and surrounded by electrified temporary fencing to keep sheep safe and on task.

Trees Atlanta is a nationally recognized nonprofit citizens group dedicated to protecting and improving Atlanta’s urban forest. Since 1985, with the help of 4,500 volunteers, it has planted and distributed more than 96,000 trees.

The partner in Trees Atlanta’s eradication effort is the conservancy. Founded in 2003, it is also a volunteer nonprofit whose mission is to work with the city of Atlanta to restore, enhance, maintain and preserve the historic Chastain Park area.

Reservations and information: (404) 522-4097 or visit or

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