Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Photos: Wreath Laying Ceremony For Samuel Huntington

Photos by Charlene Harris

The United States - then a confederation of thirteen states - was first governed by a document called the Articles of Confederation. It was under the Articles of Confederation that this nation was called the United States of America. This document was drafted in 1776 and ratified by the states in 1781. Although this document was replaced by the Constitution in 1778, the Articles of Confederation might be considered the nation's first Constitution.

Under the Articles of Confederation, there were ten presidents of Congress. The first president of Congress was Norwich citizen Samuel Huntington. It is for this reason that many consider Huntington the first president of the United States.

Today, Congress authorizes wreath laying ceremonies on the birthdays of every dead president of the United States but does not lay wreaths for those presidents of Congress that were recognized under the Articles of Confederation.

Norwich resident and historian Bill Stanley has spearheaded efforts to have Huntington recognized as the nation's first president and initiated wreathlaying ceremonies to commemorate Huntington's birthday. The Unity Drum (pictured above) has attended these events. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal (also pictured above) gave an emotional speech on democracy at last Sunday's event as well as speaker Denny Gibbs.