January 25, 2013
Colonial Williamsburg Presents Special Presidents Day Weekend Programs
Colonial Williamsburg presents an abundance of special programs during Presidents Day weekend Feb. 16 – 17. All of the presentations explore the lives of the three Presidents — Washington, Jefferson and Madison — who first plied their political skills in 18th-century Williamsburg. The programs begin Saturday morning and conclude Sunday evening.
The weekend begins with ‘Breakfast with the Presidents’ — a delicious buffet served 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. with opportunities to discuss with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison their terms as president. Guests earn what life and public office were like for our nation's first leaders. After breakfast, guests with Colonial Williamsburg admission tickets will be invited to march to the Capitol with the Fifes and Drums. Reservations required, adults $32.95 and children $16.95 including tax and gratuity.
‘The Great Men of Williamsburg’ comes alive as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison discuss how their lives were shaped by their experiences in Williamsburg and the roles that each played in momentous events that occurred at the Capitol. Washington talks about his service as a Burgess from 1759 to 1774 and discusses his close friendship with the last royal governor, Lord Dunmore, in the years just before the Revolution. Jefferson speaks about his early experiences as a lawyer in the General Court before the Revolution and about his efforts to rewrite the laws of Virginia once he became governor. Madison talks about his role in the drafting of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and his successful efforts to push for adoption of Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom. Presented at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Capitol. A Revolutionary City admission ticket is required.
‘From A Virginia Governor’ offers the perspective of Patrick Henry, nearing the end of his third term as independent Virginia’s first governor, as he discusses the friendships and political relations he has had over the years with Gen. Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, and with Thomas Jefferson, just elected to succeed Henry as the next governor of Virginia. Presented at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. A Revolutionary City admission ticket is required.
‘Eleazer Williams, American Indians and Federal Indian Policy of the Early American Republic’ offers a perspective on early national politics and Indian removal while examining obstacles Native people faced when they tried to cooperate with the United States Government. Dr. Michael Oberg, history professor at SUNY Geneseo, discusses new research on American Indians and the development of America's early federal Indian policy. Through the lens of Mohawk clergyman and political advocate Eleazer Williams, Oberg explores the relationship of Native peoples with American presidents, secretaries of war and other federal officials from 1815 to 1838. Dr. Oberg’s presentation is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Seating is limited to 250 and a free separate ticket is required.
‘Wolf by the Ear, A Play about Thomas Jefferson and Slavery.’ Thomas Jefferson, at home in Monticello, awaits the results of a pivotal debate in Congress in 1820. The former president, haunted by the continuation of slavery in the years since the Revolution, is visited by spirits from the past recalling crucial moments and events when choices regarding slavery had been debated, leading to the debate over Missouri’s admission as a free state, signaling a move toward the eventual abolition of slavery in the U.S. ‘Wolf by the Ear’ is presented at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Admission is $5 with a Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket; a separate $15 ticket is also available.
‘The Duties of the President's Wife: A Conversation with Martha Washington’ explores the role of the first First Lady as she decides what part she should play as her husband is called to serve his country once again in 1789 as President. She understood well her role as wife, mother, grandmother and plantation mistress. Although few gave thought to what Martha would do as helpmate to the president, she knew herself to be a symbol of womanhood in the new republic. Now it is time to define a role that will serve as a model for centuries. Presented at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Seating is limited to 250 and a free separate ticket is required.
‘A Public Audience with the Third President, Thomas Jefferson’ offers President Jefferson’s thoughts as he looks back over his long career in public service. He reflects on the American Revolution, drafting the Declaration of Independence, his tenure as governor of Virginia during the war, serving as ambassador to France and as the first Secretary of State, all leading to his election as the third President of the United States. Presented at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Seating is limited to 250 and a free separate ticket is required.
‘A Public Audience with the First President, George Washington’ recounts his long career in public service. President Washington reminisces about his years in the House of Burgesses and how it prepared him for later roles. Washington remembers what it was like serving as commander in chief of the American forces during the War for Independence and reflects on his part in drafting the Federal Constitution, which led to his election as the first President of the United States. Presented at 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb.17 at the Courthouse of 1770. Seating is limited to 100 and a free separate ticket is required.
‘Salute to the Presidents.’ The Founding Fathers, the Fifes and Drums, and the military programs staff celebrate the institution of the Presidency and the citizens who have served in that office over the centuries. Proud to recognize the states most closely associated with each of our Presidents, either by birth or residence, Colonial Williamsburg celebrate the presidency — the highest office in the land. ‘Salute to the Presidents’ is presented at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 on Market Square. No ticket required.
Presidents Day weekend concludes with ‘An Evening with the Presidents.’ Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison present a lively and thoughtful discussion about how they as Presidents interacted and negotiated with the Congresses of their times. ‘An Evening with the Presidents’ is presented at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 in the Kimball Theater at Merchants Square. A separate $12 ticket is required.
To make reservations for Presidents Day Weekend events, telephone toll-free 1-800-447-8679.