History Center to feature re-enactors

PITTSBURGH – The John Heinz History Center will feature re-enactors and Black History Month program Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, a re-enactor will portray President Abraham Lincoln, and on Sunday, a re-enactor will portray President George Washington.

Saturday’s events include a lecture of the legacy of slavery in Western Pennsylvania and a cooking demonstration in the museum’s Weisbrod Kitchen Classroom.

As part of the living history demonstrations, the presidents will answer questions, pose for photos and engage with visitors while roaming the History Center’s exhibitions.

Visitors might catch Lincoln strolling through the museum’s Falk Collections Center to see the Monongahela House bed he slept in during his lone trip to Pittsburgh Feb. 14, 1863, while Washington could relive his early military years spent fighting for the British during the French and Indian War in the History Center’s Clash of Empires exhibition.

In addition to the presidential living history demonstrations, the History Center will also host two public programs this weekend in conjunction with Black History Month:

11 a.m. Saturday, Saturday Speaker Series: “The Paradox of American History – From Slavery to Freedom.” Director of African American Programs Samuel W. Black will address the attitudes of Americans toward the legacy of slavery as part of a special lecture, looking specifically at the history of the abolition movement and slavery in Western Pennsylvania and how it affects today’s opinions.

Black also will discuss related themes covered in the History Center’s award-winning From Slavery to Freedom exhibition.

The Saturday Speaker Series is free with admission and free to History Center members. For reservations, contact Sandra Baker at (412) 454-6412 or slbaker@heinzhistorycenter.org.

1 p.m. Saturday, Healthy Heritage Cooking Series, presented by UPMC Health Plan. The History Center will host Elise “The Diva Chef” Wims, who will share traditional African American recipes in the museum’s Weisbrod Kitchen Classroom.

Seating is limited so reservations are required. Admission is $20 for general admission and $10 for History Center members. For reservations, contact Sarah Rooney at (412) 454-6373 or serooney@heinzhistorycenter.org.

The presidential living history demonstrations and Saturday Speaker Series event are free with regular History Center admission: $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (age 62+), $6 for students and children (age 6-17), and free for children (age 5 and under). The Healthy Heritage Cooking Series program is $20 for general admission, $10 for History Center members, and requires advance registration.