Norwich To Celebrate Birthdate of Benedict Arnold

January 13, 2020 - 5:02 pm

NORWICH, Ct. (AP) — A Connecticut city will mark the birthdate of the nations most famous traitor, Benedict Arnold, by turning off the Christmas lights at City Hall on Tuesday.

Regan Miner, the executive director of the Norwich Historical Society, said the event will serve as a “tongue-in-cheek way" to mark the 279th anniversary of Arnold's birth. There will be a lecture by Danye Rugh after the lights are turned out, accompanied by period-themed cocktails and food.

The son of Norwich was born in 1741 and fought for the Continental Army before wounding his leg in the Battle of Saratoga.

“We had been looking for an event that coincided with Arnold’s birthday and in the past, we’d had lectures and pub crawl,” Miner said.

The region handles Arnold's legacy in different ways, The Norwich Bulletin reported. In New London, Arnold's body is burned in effigy, and a replica of his leg is placed in a coffin and sent to Norwich.

“That complex profile evokes strong feelings either way about him,” Miner said. “We at the historical society use that as a tourist draw, a way to attract people to the city where they can discover other local historical figures. Arnold is our hook.”