This year, besides being the 375th anniversary of the founding of the Town of Southampton, is also the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War. James Buchanan, whose birthday is today, April 23, was born in 1791, in Wheatland, Pennsylvania. He was the 15th president of the United States, serving one term, from 1857 to 1861. He is often blamed for, if not causing then at least allowing, the American Civil War to occur. His efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides.His inability to deal with the forces leading up to the Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the worst presidents in American history. On Buchanan’s final day as president, March 4, 1861, he remarked to the incoming Lincoln, “If you are as happy in entering the White House as I shall feel on returning to Wheatland, you are a happy man.” To date, Buchanan was also the only former Secretary of State to later serve as president.
Early this summer the Bridgehampton Museum will be opening a Civil War exhibit exploring that terrible event and how it affected the lives of several Bridgehampton families. The museum is also planning a one-day Civil War Reenactment that will be open to the public. More information, including times and dates, will be forthcoming.
Meanwhile, this Sunday, April 26, the Southampton Town Trails Preservation Society will sponsor a “Long Pond Greenbelt Loop” from 10 a.m. until noon. Meet at the South Fork Natural History Society (SoFo) Museum parking lot, 377 Bridgehampton Turnpike, 200 yards north of the railroad tracks. This will be a moderately-paced 4-mile hike through grasslands and oak forest with views of Crooked Pond and the Truman Capote stone. For more information, contact hike leader Dai Dayton at (631) 745-0689.
Time is running out if you’re interested in the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons tour to the New York Botanical Garden and Arthur Avenue. The tour is scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, and the cost is $75 per person. Payment must be made by May 1. The bus will leave at 8 a.m. and return at approximately 6:30 p.m. In between, you’ll get to tour the garden with time left over to visit Arthur Avenue where you’ll have an opportunity to purchase Italian delicacies. Contact Bettina at (917) 834-0228 or email at email@example.com for more information.
On Saturday, May 2, from 10 a.m. until noon, the Peconic Land Trust will be holding its 6th annual Peconic Fun Day at the Children’s Museum of the East End, located at 376 Bridgehampton Turnpike, Bridgehampton. There will be a morning of free family fun with plenty of hands-on activities including games, arts and crafts stations, vegetable seed planting, guided walks and more. The event is co-sponsored by the Peconic Land Trust, the Children’s Museum of the East End, Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt, South Fork Natural History Museum (SoFo), Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, Ross School, Group for the East End, and Peconic Estuary Program. The event will occur rain or shine. For more information, call the Peconic Land Trust at (631) 283-3195, ext. 19 or email to Events@PeconicLandTrust.org
The Bridgehampton Museum will be offering its final Parlor Concert of this season on May 9 at the Archives building, located at 2539-A Montauk Highway, when Houston Person performs. All tickets cost $25 and his season-ending performances have completely sold out the last two years. To purchase tickets and for additional information, call (631) 537-1088 or go to the museum’s website at bhmuseum.org.
The Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) has joined “Museums for All” to encourage families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits. The program will enable low-income families to visit CMEE for free with the presentation of an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. For more information, visit www.cmee.org.
St. Ann’s Church here in Bridgehampton has sent word that love will be in the air on May 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. when Hamptons celebrity Pia Lindström and Terrance Fiore present award-winning playwright A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters.” This funny and emotional portrait about the powerful connection of love will be directed by three-time Tony Award-winner, Tony Walton. Starring Pia Lindström, former CBS correspondent, NBC news anchor and Emmy recipient and local favorite Terrance Fiore, “Love Letters” shares the story of two friends, rebellious Melissa Gardner and straight-arrow Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, who have exchanged notes, cards and letters with each other for more than 50 years. From second grade through summer vacations, to college, and well into adulthood, they have spent a lifetime discussing their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats.
Sponsored by The Corcoran Group, tickets are $25 and include a wine and cheese post party with the stars. Funds raised from the event will benefit East End Hospice, Dominican Sisters and Maureen’s Haven. Tickets can be purchased each night by cash or credit card at the door of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Main Street, Bridgehampton. The St. Ann’s Outreach Program has distributed more than $1 million to local charities since its inception 50 years ago.
Finally, the South Fork Natural History Museum will host its inaugural Climate Change Forum & Benefit, “Climate Change: What It Means for the East End,” on Saturday, June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. The purpose of the event is to share research and discuss creative solutions related to global climate change impacts on the East End, focusing on marine environments, mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions) and adaptation. The benefit, which will raise funds for new Climate Change programming to be launched this fall at SoFo, will include a cocktail reception and a panel discussion featuring renowned environmental leaders and a special guest speaker. Tickets may be purchased by contacting SoFo’s Director of Development Diana Aceti at (631) 537-9735, (631) 903-7217, or firstname.lastname@example.org. $500 VIP ticket prices include a post event dinner with the featured speakers and special guests, hosted by SoFo Founder and President Andy Sabin. Individual tickets are $150 and $75 for students. SoFo is located at 377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (631) 537.9735.