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September 8, 2011

Historian and Author Tony Williams Shares 50 Key Events Americans Should Know About History During Program at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

This fall, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg host historian and author Tony Williams, whose ideas on 18th-century America may change how 21st-century people view history. Both programs take place at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Williams presents “America’s Beginnings: The Dramatic Events that Shaped a Nation’s Character” at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17 and 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22. At a time when surveys reveal that Americans know less and less about our past, Tony Williams provides entertaining and informative descriptions of 50 key events – some known and some forgotten – that shaped colonial and revolutionary America, from the Mayflower Compact to the Annapolis Convention.

“Pox and the Covenant: The Epidemic that Altered America’s Destiny” takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26. In 1721, a dramatic smallpox epidemic raged through Boston, killing many and tearing apart the covenanted social fabric at its seams. Williams relates the gripping details from his book about the epidemic and the innovative discovery of inoculation that saved lives but set up a furious debate in the town over science and religion.

Book signings follow both presentations.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to both programs.

Programs and exhibitions at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121