Main Content

Media Contact

For all media inquiries and image requests:

Mar 02, 2020 Philadelphia, PA

The White House Historical Association will host a live reading and wreath-laying honoring naval war hero Commodore Stephen Decatur on March 22nd, the 200th anniversary of Decatur’s death. Decatur is buried at St. Peter’s Church.

The live reading will feature the written correspondence between Decatur and Commodore James Barron that resulted in the fatal duel which took Decatur’s life. Correspondence will be read by Navy Lieutenants Hans Lauzen and Andrew Keene, with narration from Fox News correspondent David Spunt. The program will open with remarks by Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association, and Reverend Claire Nevin-Field of St. Peter’s Church.

After the program, a wreath-laying ceremony will take place at Commodore Decatur’s gravesite located at St. Peter’s Church.

Decatur earned fame through an illustrious naval career which included the capture of the British warship HMS Macedonian during the War of 1812. Decatur later moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a career in public service, building the first private home in the President’s Neighborhood in 1818-1819.

Today, the offices of the White House Historical Association’s David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History are housed in the Decatur House, which is a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. More than twenty years after his death, a committee lobbied for Decatur’s remains to be relocated to his home city of Philadelphia, near the tomb of his parents.

WHEN: Sunday, March 22, 2020; 4 – 5:30pm

WHERE: St. Peters Church, Third and Pine Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19106

WHAT: Live reading and wreath-laying ceremony to honor Commodore Decatur, naval hero from War of 1812

If you are interested in covering this event as a member of the press, contact Jessica Fredericks, Director of Communications, at or

P.D.F. Resources

Download the PDF

About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit

Find us on...