Story by A.J. Arias
The Florida Historical Society commemorated the life of one the United States’ most influential figures at the 28th Annual William H. Seward Birthday Celebration on Sat., May 19 at the S.S. Seward Institute Cafetorium due to rain. The event presented great insight into the man born right here in Florida, NY nearly 217 years ago.
Hosted by Florida Historical Society President Gary Randall, with the assistance of students from the Florida Union Free School District, the crowd was educated about the impressive resume of Seward.
Students of Mrs. Ronan’s seventh grade class presented attendees with a history lesson of Seward’s life, highlighting his greatest accomplishments such as serving as a United States Senator, Governor of New York State, and Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. As Secretary of State, Seward infamously pushed for the Emancipation Proclamation as well as negotiated the purchase of the 49th state of the Union, Alaska.
Village of Florida Mayor Daniel Harter, Jr led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance as well as Assemblyman Karl Brabenec. Brabenec presented the Historical Society with important documents. One of which is recognition of the day from Brabenec and the other is NYS Resolution 853, which was passed unanimously by the State to commemorate the birthday of Seward.
Other notable moments from the event included the placing of a wreath in front of a picture of Seward’s memorial by Mrs. Ronan’s seventh grade class. The crowd that gathered was given a walk-through of notable destinations in the Village of Florida relating to Seward through a slide show presentation. The pictures were taken from a recent tour given to fourth graders from the Florida Union Free School District.
Nearly two decades after the death of one of America’s most iconic figures his legacy lives on. William Henry Seward is just one of the many reminders of how great this part of the world is, and how it has and will continue to produce some the country’s and the world’s greatest heroes.