To Kill a Mockingbird fans, pack your bags. If ever there was perfect time to visit Monroeville, Alabama—Harper Lee’s hometown and the model for the fictional Maycomb—it’s next month. July 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the book’s publication, and “Alabama’s literary capital” is pulling out all the stops during a celebratory weekend July 8–11.
Many of the events are taking place at the Old Courthouse (below right), the site of the famed courtroom scene in To Kill a Mockingbird and now a museum with an exhibit devoted to Lee and another to her childhood friend, Truman Capote (on whom Mockingbird’s Dill is based).
The courtroom (below left) has been restored to its 1930s-era appearance, and it’s where a marathon reading of the novel will take place as part of the weekend’s festivities on July 9 & 10. (Take a seat in the balcony like Scout and Jem do in the novel.) Also on the agenda are a walking tour of sites associated with Lee and Capote (July 9) and a birthday party on the Old Courthouse lawn (July 12). Click here for the full schedule.
If you can’t make it to Monroeville, there are other places to mark the literary milestone. HarperCollins Publishers has lined up an impressive 50 events at bookstores, libraries, and other venues across the country, beginning June 11 and continuing through the end of September. Stop by Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, New York, for mocktails and music by the Boo Radleys on July 12. Attend a reenactment of the novel’s famed courtroom scene at Bookshop Santa Cruz in Santa Cruz, California, on July 20. Check out the details for these and other events—movie screenings, speaking series, and a whole lot more—at tokillamockingbird50year.com.
[Photos © Monroe County Heritage Museums]