Mount Vernon Hosts July 4 Celebration At St. Paul's

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The Freedom Bell, an 1,800-pound twin of the more famous Liberty Bell, was cast in 1752 by the same foundry that manufactured the Liberty Bell and hangs in the tower of St. Paul’s Church.
The Freedom Bell, an 1,800-pound twin of the more famous Liberty Bell, was cast in 1752 by the same foundry that manufactured the Liberty Bell and hangs in the tower of St. Paul’s Church. Photo Credit: Contributed

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- The city of Mount Vernon will host the annual Independence Day celebration at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, South Columbus and South Third avenues, on Friday, July 4.

Originally located on the Village Green of the town of Eastchester, St. Paul’s Church is famous for its connection with the patriotic printer John Peter Zenger and the establishment of an American free press.

A pre-program concert will begin at 10:30 a.m. A formal program will begin at 11 a.m. with greetings by Mayor Ernest D. Davis.

A keynote address will be delivered by Phillip Panaritis, ‎teacher, historian and project director at New York City Department of Education, is responsible for overseeing Telling America’s Story, an intensive, federally funded professional development project for American history teachers in elementary, middle and high schools in the Bronx Community School Districts 8, 11, and 12.

John P. Banning Jr. will read America’s founding charter for the 130th year by a member of the Banning family. The reading will be accompanied by a 13-ring salute on the historic church bell, which was cast in 1758. Banning’s grandfather Archibald T. Banning was elected coroner and health officer in 1893 and was the promoter and one of the founders of Mount Vernon Hospital. He also served as president of the Mount Vernon Medical Society.

The public is invited to tour St. Paul’s in commemoration of the 251st anniversary of the 1763 beginning of construction on the fieldstone church.

Music will be performed by the Peter Lawrence Jazz Band, and refreshments will be served. Children can enjoy historic games and toys on the Old Village Green.

For additional information, call 665-2312.

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