Public events to mark War of 1812 declaration of war

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Contact:  Jolene Priest, 517-335-8155
Agency: Natural Resources


June 4, 2012

From the historic Franklin Cemetery to the scenic setting of Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, communities, historic groups and civic organizations are commemorating the 200th anniversary of the outbreak of the War of 1812.

“The Territory of Michigan was a key battleground in the War of 1812,” said Jim McConnell, secretary of the Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. “The commission is excited to see these outstanding public events across the state commemorating the start of this conflict.”

More than a dozen programs will be offered to the public now through mid-July to commemorate the bicentennial of the Declaration of War that began the War of 1812. The war officially began on June 18, 1812, following a secret message to Congress from President James Madison.

Key public programs include:

  • The Henry Ford Museum’s public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 18, on the museum’s front lawn. Program highlights include comments from Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, and Jack O’Reilly, mayor of the city of Dearborn, a patriotic reading and a musket salute by the First Michigan Regiment re-enactors.
  • The River Raisin National Battlefield Park’s ceremony at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 18, featuring the raising of the “Star Spangled Banner” and a reading of President Madison’s war message to Congress. For more information, contact Ralph Naveaux at
  • Mackinac Island State Park’s re-enactment at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17. This event includes a re-enactment of the surrender of Fort Mackinac to the British and Native Americans and comments by Mackinac State Historic Parks Director Phil Porter. Visit for more information.

In addition to these major events, enjoy local declaration of war programs at the following locations:

  • Downtown Farmington’s flag-raising ceremony, 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, at the Farmers Market. Contact Brian Golden at
  • Rochester’s flag-raising ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 18, at Cranberry Lake Farm Historic District, Charter Township of Oakland. Contact Barbara Barber at
  • Vicksburg’s “War of 1812” program by Brian Dunnigan at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19, at the Vicksburg Historical Society. Visit for more information.
  • Mill Race Village’s commemoration at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, at 215 North Griswold Drive, Northville. Visit for more information.

For a complete list of War of 1812 bicentennial events and more information on the War of 1812, visit

The governor-appointed Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is charged with encouraging, planning and developing activities, events, programs, observances and services appropriate to commemorate Michigan’s role in the War of 1812. More information can be found at

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

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