A ceremony was held at Forest Lawn Cemetery Monday to commemorate the 219th anniversary of the birth of Millard Fillmore, the University at Buffalo's first chancellor and the 13th president of the United States.
The program began with a prayer by Rev. Joan Montagnes of the United Universalist Church and the presentation of wreaths by representatives of the White House, Millard Fillmore legacy organizations, and the Forest Lawn Group.
A reception was held at the cemetery's Margaret L. Wendt Archive & Resource Center, hosted by Forest Lawn and the Buffalo Club. Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo member, Bill Parke, spoke about "Millard Fillmore and His Debtor Legislation."
The Millard Fillmore legacy organizations include Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Club, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Buffalo General Medical Center, Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Public Schools, Buffalo Science Museum, Hodgson Russ LLP, SPCA serving Erie County, Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, and the University at Buffalo.
This is the 54th consecutive year the university has organized this commemoration in the hopes of recognizing the complex role Fillmore played in the history of slavery, as well as the legacy of his presidency.