William Lowndes Yancey “the firebrand,” as he was called, greeted Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, 150 years ago next week, on  February 16, 1861. This event will be commemorated at 5:30 on Wed. Feb 16, 2011 with a program sponsored by the First White House of the Confederacy and the Alabama Department of Archives and History, at the Archives, 624 Washington Avenue .

Dr. Ralph Draughon, Jr.a native and resident of Auburn, retired from a career in historic preservation in Georgia, Virginia and Louisiana. As a historical advisor to a major archaeological firm, he participated in historical evaluations from Gettysburg to the Gulf of Mexico. He is a member of the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation as well as the Alabama Historical Association and the Alabama Historical Commission.

Dr. Draughon will discuss the speech given by Yancey when he greeted Davis at the Exchange Hotel 150 years ago, prior to Davis’s inauguration as Provisional President of the Confederate States of America. A special treat will be Draughon’s concluding the program by actually delivering Yancey’s speech in 19th century oratorical style.

A reception will follow so that the guests will be able to greet Dr. Draughon and enjoy light refreshments, including “Jeff Davis punch”.

The commemoration event is one in a series of programs affiliated with Becoming Alabama, a statewide partnership of state agencies, historical groups and cultural organizations to commemorate the coinciding anniversaries of the Creek War and War of 1812, the Civil War, and the major events in the Civil Rights movement. For more information on Becoming Alabama, visit http://www.archives.alabama.gov/BA/.