Bicentennial year of Ulysses S. Grant celebrated with USGA meeting, special activities March 3-5

Contact: Allison Matthews

Ulysses S. Grant Bicentennial logoSTARKVILLE, Miss.—The Ulysses S. Grant Association and the U.S. Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University are kicking off a celebration of the 18th president’s bicentennial year with an annual meeting March 3-5 at the Starkville campus.

The event, customarily for association members, is commemorating Grant’s April 27, 1822 birthday this year through several events that are free and open to the public.

All taking place on Friday, March 4, public events include:

—Opening Ceremony, 9:30-10:45 a.m., Bettersworth Auditorium, Lee Hall. Officially launching the bicentennial year, this event features a keynote address by Stewart McLaurin, president of the White House Historical Association. Additional speakers include MSU President Mark E. Keenum; Retired Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and outgoing USGA President Frank J. Williams; and MSU William L. Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus John F. Marszalek, who recently announced his retirement as USGA executive director, remaining on the board of directors and contributing editor. Grant descendants will be in attendance, along with other special guests.

—Ulysses S. Grant Tree Dedication Ceremony, 11:15-11:45 a.m., Drill Field in front of Mitchell Memorial Library.

—Ulysses S. Grant Scholars Symposium, 2-3:45 p.m., Bettersworth Auditorium, Lee Hall. Moderated by Williams, a distinguished panel of Grant and Civil War scholars will discuss Grant, Grant scholarship and the significance of the bicentennial. Panelists include Marszalek, as well as Caroline Janney, University of Virginia; Edna Greene Medford, Howard University; Anne Marshall, Mississippi State and incoming USGA and Grant Library executive director; and Joan Waugh, University of California, Los Angeles.

Also part of the bicentennial commemoration, MSU Libraries has developed a traveling exhibit about Grant’s life. Comprised of eight retractable banners, the presentation outlines Grant’s humble Ohio beginnings to his ascent to the presidency. His biography is told through text and historic images, and the exhibit will be accompanied by replicas of objects from the Grant Library. After its unveiling during the annual meeting, the display will be in Mitchell Memorial Library through March before traveling to other historic sites across the country. Following the bicentennial year, it will be made available to educational and cultural heritage institutions. The project is financially assisted by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Registration is not required to attend the March 4 public events; however, those who desire to participate in the full USGA annual membership meeting should register at

A complete schedule may be viewed at Those registering to take part in the full agenda will enjoy special meal events, including a keynote address by MSU’s Andrew F. Lang, associate professor of history and Beverly B. and Gordon W. Gulmon Scholar in the Humanities.

A commemorative Ulysses S. Grant bicentennial ornament is available for purchase for $23.95 and is finished in 24-karat gold. It features a photo of young President Grant and the official motto of the bicentennial celebration—one of Grant’s famous quotes, “Let Us Have Peace.” The ornament also displays an engraved logo of the Grant Association and may be purchased at the Grant Library’s gift shop or online through the MSU Libraries store at

The Grant Association has been housed at MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library since 2009, and in 2017 MSU unveiled a $10 million addition to house the Grant Library and the prestigious Frank J. and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana. MSU is one of only six universities in the nation housing a presidential library.

Learn more about MSU’s Ulysses S. Grant Association and the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library at  

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at