This year the event commemorates Durham's role in the Civil War, the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the end of which is in April. "Probably the most notable thing for people will be Durham's role in the end of the war," said Sam Poley, the Director of Public Relations for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB), the organization that produces the event. "Because the history books essentially stop telling the story of the war with the treaty at Appomattox, most people don't realize that the war didn't really end until Sherman and Johnston agreed to the largest troop surrender, that of five Confederate state armies totaling more than 89,000 soldiers, when they met in Durham. Durham is where the war effectively ended," added Poley.
Durham's role in this nation-shaping event is really best illustrated by looking at all three of Durham's state historic sites, Bennett Place, Duke Homestead, and Historic Stagville. All of them will be honored for their inextricable link to what makes Durham the place it is today. The program for the luncheon will be unlike any other in the event's history.
"The Annual Tribute Luncheon is a celebration of Durham, and we're excited to shine a light on this aspect of Durham's history," Poley said. Those interested can learn more about Durham's Civil War history online.