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February 3, 2006

CW's Presidents Day Weekend Feb. 18-19 explores the Williamsburg connection of Virginia-born presidents

Presidents Day Weekend comes alive Feb. 18-19 as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson discuss events that led to the birth of a new nation. This holiday weekend is an optimal time to meet the first two Virginia-born presidents and delve into their lives and influence.

Weekend programs include:

Saturday, Feb. 18

  • “The Great Men in Williamsburg,” 10 and 11:40 a.m., Capitol. This program discusses the role George Washington and Thomas Jefferson played in the events that occurred at the Capitol. In 1780, Governor Jefferson relates his early experiences as a lawyer in the General Court before the American Revolution. In 1781, Gen. Washington discusses his tenure as a Burgess from 1759-74, as well as his friendship with the last royal governor, Lord Dunmore.
  • “Comrades All…,” 11 a.m. and 12:20 p.m., Raleigh Tavern. In the Apollo Room in 1779 retiring Governor Patrick Henry discusses the friendships and political relations he had over the years with Gen. Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army; James Madison, member of the Governor’s Council; and with Thomas Jefferson, who was just elected to succeed Henry as the next governor of Virginia.
  • “A Public Audience with the First President, George Washington,” 1 p.m., Kimball Theatre. Washington looks back over his long career in public service reflecting on his years in the House of Burgesses, the American Revolution, serving as Commander in Chief of American forces in the War for Independence, and his leadership in drafting the Federal Constitution leading to his presidential election. Reservations required.
  • “I Remember the Time: The Marquis D’ Lafayette Remembers George Washington,” 2 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Serving as an American-French liaison officer while leading an elite unit, Lafayette speaks about George Washington and his participation in the War for Independence.
  • “Colonel Washington and the War Against the French and Indians,” 3-4 p.m., Governor’s Palace. In 1758, a young George Washington reports to the governor.
  • “To Washington’s Health,” 7:30 and 9 p.m., Capitol. The Virginia Company will perform a variety of songs and instrumentals familiar to the first president, reflecting the breadth and character of music during George Washington’s time. Special ticket required.

    Sunday, Feb. 19

  • “The Constitution and Its Ratification,” Noon-2:30 p.m., approximately every 20 minutes, Governor’s Palace. Meet Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and discuss with them the letters they have sent and received from their friends and political allies.
  • “Washington as a Symbol, A Historian’s Perspective on the American Icon,” 1 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Colonial Williamsburg historian Kevin Kelly explores the Washington myth so integrated into the American historical memory.
  • “Young Martha: A Conversation with Martha Washington,” 2:30 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Martha Washington was a woman of property and rank in colonial Virginia society. She was the mother of two, a beloved wife and woman of deep religious conviction. Come hear this newlywed reflect on the world that she inhabits, her thoughts about motherhood and matters of the spirit and her opinions of her adored and adoring husband. Reservations required.
  • “Salute to the Presidents,” 4 p.m., Market Square. Colonial Williamsburg’s Founding Fathers, Colonial Williamsburg’s Military Programs staff, and Fifes and Drums celebrate the institution of the presidency and the citizens who have served in that office over
    the centuries.
  • “An Evening with the Presidents: The Role of the Executive and the Bill of Rights,”
    7:30 p.m., Kimball Theatre. Join Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in a discussion about the executive’s challenges in protecting the nation while upholding the rights given individuals under the Constitution’s first 10 amendments. Special ticket required.
  • “From Coronation to Inauguration,” 7:30 and 9 p.m., Governor’s Palace. An elegant evening of music in the home of the first two governors of the new Commonwealth of Virginia—Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. Special ticket required.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket and/or special ticket are required as indicated by program. Reservations are needed where indicated.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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