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West Virginia Independence Hall Museum to host Blue and Gray Dinner on April 19 2006

The West Virginia Independence Hall Museum in Wheeling will host its annual Blue and Gray Dinner on Wednesday, April 19. The event is being co-sponsored by the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation (WVIHF). Tickets are $20 per person. Seating is limited and reservations are required.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. A regional band, Colerain Connection, will play traditional Appalachian and Celtic music during the reception. The dinner buffet will start at 6 p.m. The program will include guest speakers from the West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive! program, who will portray Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln, and Civil War Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The event will conclude with a question and answer period.

Arla Ralston of Charleston will present the Mary Todd Lincoln character. Lincoln (1818-82) was one of the most controversial first ladies of the United States.

Al Stone of Hinton will portray Robert E. Lee (1807-70). As commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, Lee gained a reputation as one of the most audacious military leaders in United States history.

This West Virginia Humanities Council program is being sponsored by the West Virginia Independence Hall Museum and the WVIHF, and is supported with additional financial assistance from the Office of the Secretary, West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts. For more information about the History Alive! characters, contact the West Virginia Humanities Council at (304) 346-8500 or visit its website at www.wvhumanities.org.

For more information about the Blue and Gray Dinner or to make a reservation, contact Lois Nickerson at West Virginia Independence Hall at (304) 238-1300.

WVIH, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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