April 9 is the 150th Anniversary of Lee and Grant's meeting to end the Civil War

The Yates County History Center is inviting local churches to become involved in a nationwide observance of the 150th anniversary of the surrender of General Robert E. Lee-the symbolic end of the Civil War. For the past four years, the Yates County History Center, the National Park Service, state governments and private organizations have been commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Locally, lectures, reenactments, news columns and museum exhibits have aided in interpreting the impact of that conflict on each of us.

On April 9, 1865 Union General Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate General Robert E. Lee to set the terms of surrender of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

While Lee’s surrender did not end the Civil War, the act is seen by most Americans as the symbolic end of four years of bitter fighting.

Major events involving bells will mark the anniversary at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia and Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia.

Locally, churches are invited to ring their bells at 3:15 p.m. April 9 as a gesture to mark the end of the bloody conflict in which more than 750,000 Americans perished.

On April 25 at 1 p.m., the Yates County History Center will present “The Civil War in American Memory.”

Laura Free, Associate Professor of History and Chair of Women’s Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges will lead a discussion of the diverse meanings Americans have given to the brutal struggle that divided families, neighbors and regions.

Students from Free’s seminar on this subject will present their own findings. The 2011 Keuka Rifles Send Off event will be revisited. This event is open to the public and will be held at the Underwood Museum at 107n Chapel St., Penn Yan. There is a $5 fee

For more information about either of these anniversary events, please call the Yates County History Center at 315-536-7318.