News Release - New Year’s Eve Statement from Mayor Lovely A. Warren Reflecting on Frederick Douglass Bicentennial

City of Rochester

News Release

(Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017) – Tonight we continue the time-honored tradition of lighting up the sky with fireworks over the Genesee River as we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of the next. 2018 marks the 200th birthday of one of the greatest historical figures in our country’s history, Rochester son Frederick Douglass, and we dedicate this evening’s fireworks display to his legacy.

The City of Rochester, as well as a host of local organizations are planning special events throughout the year to honor his life and the accomplishments of Douglass. You will hear much more about these efforts in the coming days, so stay tuned. We have also created a commemorative logo which incorporates the City flower and Douglass’ image to pay tribute to his legacy.

Douglass called Rochester home from 1847 to 1872, and lived here longer than anywhere else in his life. Here, he published his newspapers, the North Star and Frederick Douglass’ Paper. Throughout his life, he was a leader of the abolitionist movement, a human rights advocate, a brilliant writer, gifted orator, father and husband, advisor to President Abraham Lincoln, statesman and more. His contributions as a social reformer and human rights crusader are renowned throughout the world.

This bicentennial celebration is a unique opportunity to foster pride as a city of freedom fighters, both past and present. Douglass would be proud to see his adopted hometown today as we have made great strides in creating jobs, bringing vibrancy to our neighborhoods and creating better educational opportunities for all of our residents.

While we know that our work is not done, we look forward to Rochester’s future with optimism, inspired by the legacy of Frederick Douglass at the forefront of our hearts and minds.

Please have a safe and happy New Year.

I invite you to join me, County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, local dignitaries and community members at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4 at the historic Hochstein School of Music and Dance, 50 N. Plymouth Ave., as we proclaim 2018 “The Year of Frederick Douglass” in the City of Rochester and Monroe County.


News Media: For more information, contact Press Officer Jessica Alaimo at 428-7135.