War of 1812 Commemoration Commission Legislation Passes Assembly

June 28, 2010

Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell (D-Theresa) announced the Assembly passed legislation she sponsored that creates a temporary commission to promote the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 (A.10027-B).

The North Country played a key role in the conflict. Following the outbreak of war between the United States and Great Britain in June 1812, Sackets Harbor became the center of American naval and military activity for the upper St. Lawrence Valley and Lake Ontario.

“This commission is necessary to promote and coordinate the bi-national effort to observe and celebrate 200 years of peace between the United States and Canada,” Russell said. “As the anniversary approaches, we have a great economic opportunity to draw thousands of interested tourists to our region. While they are here, they will dine in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and motels, shop at our stores, and find reasons to return in the future.”

Russell noted that the Sackets Harbor Battlefield, was slated for closure earlier this year, as well as 13 other historic sites across the state, but due to the recognition that these sites were not only dear to locals, historians and veterans, they were revenue generators, returning $5 to the state economy for every dollar spent to keep the parks running.

“Canadian provinces, as well as other states have already created official commissions for these activities and for New York to lag behind will hinder our opportunity to benefit from the economic activity created by this event,” Russell said. “I implore the governor to sign the legislation, so we can better plan and organize to maximize the economic benefit as well as provide the event with the recognition it deserves.”