A free, public symposium on the bicentennial of the McDonoghville area of Gretna and Algiers will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 25, at John McDonogh VFW Post 3121, 475 Monroe St., Gretna.

Named for philanthropist John McDonogh, the area was originally the site of Monplaisir, a 1750s plantation.

The Jefferson Parish Historical Commission, the Jefferson Historical Society and Gretna are presenting the symposium, which will cover topics such as the history of the community, notable families from the area, John McDonogh, the Jefferson Parish McDonogh schools and the architectural history of Orleans Parish McDonogh schools plus the old public schools of Algiers. Historical artifacts will be on display.

A program honoring McDonogh will be presented at 9:45 a.m. May 1, at the John McDonogh Cenotaph, McDonoghville Cemetery, 520 Hancock St., Gretna. McDonogh left the bulk of his fortune to the cities of New Orleans and Baltimore for the purpose of building public schools. In return for his legacy, he asked that schoolchildren place flowers around his grave annually, a tradition that McDonogh No. 26 will honor May 1.

In case of inclement weather, the free, public John McDonogh Day event will be held at John McDonogh VFW Post 3121, 475 Monroe St., Gretna.