Bicentennial celebration of the life and legacy of Walt Whitman
By Liz Muentes, digital producer
2019 marks the 200th birthday of Walt Whitman, America’s premier poet. Born in Huntington, New York on May 31, 1819.
Whitman is famous for his collection of poems. He published various editions of a book titled ‘Leaves of Grass’ that contain many of his poems throughout the years.
Whitman was born the second child to his parents, Walt Whitman Sr. and his mother Louisa Van Velsor, and was raised in Huntington until the age of 4. His father sold the house in 1823 and moved the family to Brooklyn.
At age 19, Walt Whitman came back from Brooklyn to Long Island to become a schoolteacher and started a newspaper called ‘The Long Islander’, which is still in print today.
The Walt Whitman house was in private hands until 1947, and today has become part of the National Register of Historic Places for New York.
The Walt Whitman Birthplace manages student programs of which schools visit each year, holds annual student poetry writing contest, tours and various events throughout the year.
In celebration of Whitman’s 200th birthday, the Walt Whitman Birthplace held a three-day event where local schools and residents came to celebrate his life and legacy.