Tour General Custer’s hometown with the Little Big Horn Associates on June 4, 2010

For Immediate Release

Public invited to revisit the life and times of General George Armstrong Custer in Monroe, Michigan with Little Big Horn Associates as they tour historic city on June 4.

LBHA 37th Annual Conference in Monroe coincides with 100th anniversary of the city’s equestrian monument that commemorates the young General’s valor during the Battle of Gettysburg

(Monroe, MI – May 25, 2010) – The public is invited to join members of the Little Big Horn Associates (LBHA) for a special bus tour of Monroe, Michigan on Friday, June 4, 2010 as they revisit General George Armstrong Custer’s life and times in this historic city.

June 4, 2010 100th anniversary of Custer Equestrian Monument in Monroe, MI Photo courtesy of David Ingall

The international organization, which promotes an exchange of knowledge on the life and times of Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn, will hold its annual conference in Monroe on June 3-5, 2010. The conference coincides with the city’s 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Custer equestrian monument that stands at the corner of Elm and Monroe Streets.

The 14-foot statue entitled “Sighting the Enemy” was designed by Connecticut sculptor Edward C. Potter.  It represents the heroism displayed by the young Civil War general during the Battle of Gettysburg where he led the acclaimed Michigan Cavalry Brigade in a charge against Confederate troops under the command of the once invincible General J.E.B. Stuart in what’s frequently called “the cavalry battle that saved the Union.”

A crowd of 25,000 swelled the streets of downtown Monroe on June 4, 1910 when the statue was first unveiled.  Special guests included President William Howard Taft, several Washington dignitaries, Michigan Governor Fred M. Warner and Custer’s widow, Elizabeth Bacon Custer, a Monroe native.

The bus tour is one of several special LBHA events scheduled for this weekend and includes stops at Loranger Square and Soldiers and Sailors Park, two sites where the statue was located prior to its eventual move to its current location; Woodland Cemetery, where both Bacon and Custer family members are interred, and other sites significant to Custer’s life in Monroe.

Special presentations will take place at different stops on the tour. At one stop, relatives of Charles E. Greening will speak. Greening was the impetus behind the Custer Memorial Association, a group that spearheaded the campaign to build the monument dedicated to Custer in Monroe.

A seven passenger, 1909 Oldsmobile Model Z touring car, the same model that transported President Taft and his entourage to the 1910 statue unveiling ceremony will also be on display.  A brass band will perform period music and patriotic songs.  The band will feature a special performance of Civil War era sax horns from the private collection of Alex Pollock, an architect with the City of Detroit.

The bus tour includes rare access to the Custer farm, a private residence once owned by the General and his brother Nevin, located on North Custer Road, as well as a trip to the Custer airport to see a vintage World War II torpedo bomber owned by Dr. David Tinker. The tour concludes with a stop at the Custer Equestrian Monument for the statue rededication ceremony hosted by the City of Monroe.

The bus departs at 8:30 a.m. from the Monroe Council 1266 Knights of Columbus Hall located at 202 West Front Street and will return to the hall at the end of the tour. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and must be purchased in advance on a space available basis. For further information, or to purchase tickets, call (734)242-0909 or email Richard Micka at rgm@core.com.

The Custer Exhibition Center at the K of C Hall will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday and will feature entertainment, books, food, exhibits and souvenirs. An art show hosted by the Monroe City-County Fine Arts Council and the Monroe Art League will take place during this same time at the Masonic Temple, across the street from the Custer Monument. The Custers were once members of the Masonic Temple.

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