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September 29, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg Invites Citizens to “Connect” on New Website

Colonial Williamsburg continues its citizenship mission with the launch of Connect, a website that invites citizens to join the great debate about our nation’s core values and the basic idea of America. Now through Oct. 18, the topic is the U.S. Constitution.

“The spirit of democracy is alive in our national debate,” said Bill White, the Royce R. and Kathryn M. Baker vice president of productions, publications and learning ventures for Colonial Williamsburg. “Americans constantly weigh and balance their core values as they strive for a more perfect union. We teach our children that the most important thing they will do as citizens is to vote, but in truth, our most important job as citizens is to continue the debate.”

Weekly questions probe the issues facing modern citizens, while traditional and multimedia resources on the site provide the background for an informed dialog. Questions such as “When are Constitutional Amendments necessary?” and “Should affirmative action programs be discontinued?” prompt visitors to join the debate by posting comments on the topics.

The rich resources available on Connect include videos, podcasts, articles, historical documents, interviews with contemporary historians and interpreters portraying people of the past in character. Users may choose topics and review resources of interest at any time online.

Additional live interactive webcasts on the Constitution hosted by well-known Hampton Roads public affairs broadcaster Cathy Lewis at 2 p.m. Eastern time include:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 5 – Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry debate freedom of religion.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18 – Alexander Purdie (18th-century publisher of the Gazette) and Henry Chambers (professor of law at the University of Richmond) discuss the role of protest in our culture.

    A toll-free 800 number will be posted to allow viewers of the webcast to participate live in the debate, or viewers can email their questions at any time before or during the webcast at [email protected] and all are invited to blog about the questions on

    The debate continues over the next several months with additional themes and subjects.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural institution dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. 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:
    Barbara Brown
    (757) 220-7280

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