Head to St. Clement’s Island Museum for a weekend of activities commemorating a forgotten tragedy of the American Civil War, the Black Diamond Disaster, which occurred during the hunt for John Wilkes Booth.
Saturday & Sunday (10AM—5PM)
-FREE water taxi rides to St. Clement's Island (The final water taxi will leave at 3PM)
-FREE Civil War-focused tours of Blackistone Lighthouse (Goldsmith Raid, etc.)
-FREE admission to the St. Clement's Island museum featuring: Foxhall Parker on site (Commander of the Potomac Flotilla); Institute of Marine History on site with boat (Roper) and information about searching for the Black Diamond; Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum display; Federal Troops reenactment group.
There will also be a new temporary display in the museum. "The Mask of Lincoln" poster exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibit program will be up. Drawn from the National Portrait Gallery's unrivaled collection of Lincoln portraits, "The Mask of Lincoln" charts the president's passage from a fresh-faced Illinois congressman to a troubled visage as he led the fight for the Union, culminating in his weary isolation as president. These portraits invite the viewer to examine closely the complex and mysterious man who came from nothing and was nationally unknown almost to the moment of his nomination for president. Shaping himself to the uncertainties of the present, mindful of his role as the heir to the Founders, it was Lincoln's ability that led the nation where it never intended to go: from political crisis over states' rights to the revolutionary act of abolishing slavery. The final portrait reminds the viewer of his assassination by John Wilkes Booth, and the lives of the 87 men lost during the hunt for him, from which came the Black Diamond Disaster.
Saturday Evening (7:30PM)
-Showing of "The Lighthouse by the Sea", 1924 silent movie starring Rin Tin Tin, Wm Collier, Jr. and Louise Fazenda
-2:00 pm: Wreath Laying Ceremony featuring Keynote Speaker Jake Wynn, Director of Interpretation, Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum; Additional Remarks from Captain Christopher Cox, CO, NAS PAX River; Featured Soloist: Nicole Bouffard, Army Voices
-3:00 pm: Reception on the Lawn
-3:30 pm: Dinner Cruise participants board the Water Taxi
-6:00 pm: Dinner Cruise participants arrive back at the Museum
Background: In April 1865, following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the Quartermaster Corps sent the barge Black Diamond to the lower Potomac to stand on picket duty off St. Clement’s Island. Her main job was to keep John Wilkes Booth from crossing the Potomac River. During the same time, the steamer Massachusetts headed for Fortress Monroe out of Alexandria, Virginia. In a tragic turn of events, the Massachusetts struck the Black Diamond on the port side near the boiler, sinking her in under three minutes. 87 lives were lost off the shores of St. Clement’s Island that night.
Call 301-769-2222 for more information.
More info: www.facebook.com/events/615540748906513/