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June 7, 2011

CW Hosts Flag Day Naturalization Ceremony

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation welcomes approximately 100 new American citizens during the Naturalization Ceremony 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 14 in an outdoor ceremony on the grounds of the Capitol Building in the Historic Area. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department will co-sponsor the ceremony.

Richard Schumann, who portrays Patrick Henry in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, reflects on his role as depicting one of the nation’s Founding Fathers. Schumann has been with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation since 1993, portraying various characters of the 18th century. He has portrayed Patrick Henry since 1998.

The son of an Air Force fighter pilot, Schumann has traveled extensively, and developed an interest in theatre at an early age. After graduating from Rutgers University with a pre-law degree in 1980, Schumann went to New York City and studied acting at the Herbert Berghoff Studio with Aaron Frankel, Hal Holden and Uta Hagen. One of Schumann’s first seasons as a professional actor was in Yorktown for the National Park Service, where he portrayed Thomas Nelson Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Richard has been studying the 18th century ever since, and firmly believes that Patrick Henry was the greatest American who ever lived.

The Honorable Judge Raymond A. Jackson of the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia presides over the ceremony. U.S. attorney Mark A. Exley gives the introduction and Certification of the Candidates.

John Bacon, Colonial Williamsburg’s senior vice president of external affairs, welcomes the citizen candidates.

Jackie Spangler, a direct descendant of John Rolfe and Pocahontas and president of the National Society of the Colonial Dames XVII Century, the Rev. James Blair Chapter, delivers the Pledge of Allegiance and American’s Creed.

Also participating is a Color Guard from the U.S. Navy Cargo Handling Battalion I of Cheatham Annex.

During the ceremony, Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums perform. Colonial Williamsburg’s Jane Hanson leads attendees in the “Star Spangled Banner.” She also presents a brief history of “America the Beautiful” and performs the song. Colonial Williamsburg interpreters conclude the ceremony with an 18th-century cannon salute.

These new citizens, their families and guests are invited to blog online about their new citizenship at Created by Colonial Williamsburg, the site fosters online discussion about civic responsibility by engaging a diverse community which, guided by the values and principles of the inventors of democracy, participates in the exploration of citizenship issues. Such online debate encourages participants to consider their obligations to one another as members of a global body politic.

The League of Women Voters will be on hand to register the new citizens to vote.

In case of rain, the program will be held at the Kimball Theatre in Merchants Square.

The public is invited to attend; no ticket or reservations are required.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

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. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121