Saturday, July 2, 2005

People who have lived in Cape Girardeau awhile may think the recent talk about a bicentennial sounds like deja vu all over again.

That's because a bicentennial celebration was held in 1992 to commemorate the establishment of the community in 1792 by Louis Lorimier, the commandant appointed by Spain to govern the District of Cape Girardeau.

The bicentennial being planned in 2006 will celebrate Cape Girardeau's officially becoming a city. On Feb. 3, 1806, Lorimier filed the original plat with the common pleas court.

This is the date traditionally celebrated. A sesquicentennial in 1956 was a weeklong celebration of the city's history and development.

No final plans have been completed so far for 2006, but a bicentennial theme can be expected in many of the usual events held throughout the year in the city.

Cape Girardeau has plenty of good company when it comes to anniversary events.

Chaffee is celebrating its centennial this year. Scott City celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of one of its predecessors, Illmo, last year. Many of the area's churches and towns are celebrating similar milestones.

Western civilization in Southeast Missouri is coming of age. More and more of our communities are recognizing the value of historic preservation, not only for its own sake but as an economic drawing card. Cape Girardeau's bicentennial will be something worth celebrating.

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