Technical Leaflet 241: Planning Commemorations
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Planning Commemorationsis an AASLH Technical Leaflet. AASLH Technical Leaflets are brief, practical guides on how to do history. Technical Leaflet #241 by Andrew Duppstadt, Rob Boyette, and Sgt. Damian J.M. Smith provides a history of commemoration in the United States beginning with the Civil War centennial and American Revolution bicentennial events. Commemorations pose challenges at the state and local level when determining what history and themes will be presented. Proper planning is essential to creating a meaningful experience. They note the challenges of the mid-twentieth century commemorations as examples for the coming slew of anniversaries including the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Civil War sesquicentennial, and the centennial of World War I. This leaflet serves as a guide for planning a commemoration with helpful case studies from other historical institutions. The authors emphasize the importance of defining the commemoration and using this as the basis for what events to hold, marketing, and evaluation of the commemoration.