Friday, July 10, 2009


Wreath to be laid on Founder’s tomb in Norwich
Group wants to remember leader’s birthday

Norwich Bulletin
Posted Jul 09, 2009 @ 11:34 PM

Norwich, Conn. — Samuel Huntington is not as well-known as George Washington, John Hancock or some of his other contemporaries who led the nation to independence.

But on Sunday, the Forgotten Founders, an offshoot of the Norwich Historical Society, plan to honor Huntington as the nation’s first president under the Articles of Confederation by laying a wreath at his tomb in the Norwichtown Cemetery, similar to the way the presidents are honored.

“Every president from George Washington to Gerald Ford, on the occasion of his birthday, is presented with a wreath at his grave, carried with pomp and ceremony,” Bill Stanley of Norwich said. “The United States Marine Corps brings a band and a marching unit.

“We want to honor the 10 presidents under the Articles of Confederation,” he said.

Huntington, who lived from 1731 to 1796, served as president of Congress during the American Revolution when the articles were adopted in 1781, and his office was largely ceremonial, which the founding fathers deemed inadequate.

“So they gathered in Philadelphia (at the Constitutional Convention) in 1787 to fix it, and they threw the whole thing out,” Stanley said.

The new constitution delineated the first real executive powers that would be exercised from Washington through President Barack Obama.

Norwich’s Forgotten Founders are attempting to establish a library in the city dedicated to Huntington, Thomas McKean (Del.), John Hanson (Md.), Elias Boudinot (N.J.), Thomas Mifflin (Pa.), Richard Henry Lee (Va.), Hancock (Mass.), Nathaniel Gorham (Mass.), Arthur St. Clair (Pa.) and Cyrus Griffin (Va.).

Those scheduled to attend Sunday’s ceremonies include the Second Company Governors Foot Guard, founded by Norwich native Benedict Arnold; State Troubadour Tom Callinan and the Unity Drums of Nations. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is scheduled to speak.

If you go
What: Wreath laying at tomb of Samuel Huntington
When: 3 p.m., Sunday
Where: Norwichtown Colonial Cemetery off East Town Street near the Norwichtown Green

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: Maybe after the Quarterly Meeting on Sunday, the Mohegan Tribe could show up and be at this historic event? What do you think?

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