March 7, 2014
“Planting the Seeds of Citizenship” is the theme for the Spring 2013 Homeschooler Weekend Saturday and Sunday, March 15-16. The weekend will be filled with programming tailored for homeschooled students and their parents, beginning with introductory sessions at 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. in the Visitor’s Center. Participants can attend any one of the sessions, where they’ll learn how to become an inhabitant of the town — interacting with people, navigating the Revolutionary City, what to see and do, even what to wear.
After an introductory kick-off, families have the whole weekend to visit the trade shops, houses, stores and public buildings. A special “Planting the Seeds of Citizenship” map shows children how to earn the privilege of citizenship and a keepsake pin by visiting specified sites. Each family attending the kickoff will receive a special reward.
For ticket information, contact the school and youth group sales office at (800) 280-8039(800) 280-8039. Prices are discounted for this weekend. You may download an advance ticket form here. Tickets may be purchased in advance or on the day of event.
Learn more about the spring homeschooler event.
Explore our educational resources.
March 7, 2014
By Claire Weaver
Everyone knows Martha Washington. But what about Ann Wager? Or Emily Geiger? Celebrate Women’s History Month by learning about extraordinary women of the 18th century. Whether they were comforting troops like Martha Washington or fighting in the Revolutionary War like Anne Maria Lane, these women refused to sit on the sidelines when they could be making their colony a better place. (more…)
March 6, 2014
Reconstruction of the Governor’s Palace began in 1930, according to “Williamsburg Before and After,” a book published by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1988. The Matthew Whaley School, at the head of the Palace green, had to be demolished so that the palace could be reconstructed on its original foundation.
During excavations, the walls of the original basement of the palace — constructed in the early 1700s — were found intact. Also remarkably preserved were the kitchen, stables, garden walks and a Revolutionary War cemetery.
The palace had been extensively remodeled and enlarged in the 1750s, with the addition of a ballroom and supper room.
“Research was aided in particular by the measured floor plan drawn by [Thomas] Jefferson,” according to the book, “along with information in colonial records and such graphic sources as the Frenchman’s Map and the Bodleian Plate.”
March 5, 2014
Just how strong are the ties that bind the European Union? What lessons does the American experiment in federalism offer Europe? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy headlines a group of renowned speakers on those issues during this month’s forum, “A Crisis and a Crossroads: A Dis-United or United States of Europe?”
The forum, to be held March 17-19, is the second collaboration between the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.
Two sessions on March 18 are open to the general public. At 11 a.m. Justice Kennedy will discuss the role of the judiciary in a federal-style government and potential obstacles for European integration. John B. Bellinger III, former legal adviser for the State Department and the National Security Council, will conduct the 90-minute long interview.
From 2-4 p.m., New York Times columnist Roger Cohen will moderate “The Great European Debate: A United States of Europe?” Jörg Asmussen, a Social Democrat currently serving as Germany’s deputy labour minister, will argue in support of a more centralized union. Liam Fox, a Conservative member of the British House of Commons, will defend the opposite side.
Both public forums will take place in the Colony Room of the Williamsburg Lodge. Seating is limited; admission is free but a reservation is required by calling 1-800-447-86791-800-447-8679.
You can also view two sessions via live webcast. On Monday, March 17, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. a panel will discuss Europe’s economic challenges, weighing the relative merits of independent national policies versus a more united policy in the mold of the U.S.’s first Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton. Tuesday afternoon’s debate moderated by Roger Cohen will also be webcast live.
Follow @was3 on Twitter for coverage of all the forum’s sessions.
The European Union grew out of a determination to put an end to the nationalism-fueled conflicts that scarred the continent in two world wars. Beginning with a 1951 agreement to work together in the coal and steel industries, the movement gradually expanded to greater levels of economic, political and judicial cooperation. Direct election of representatives to the European Parliament in Brussels began in 1979. In 1999, 11 countries adopted the euro as their national currency. Today, 28 nations are members of the European Union.
– Bill Sullivan
March 5, 2014
The Cornelian Cherry (Cornus, mas) has come to bloom in the last week which is extraordinarily late, for its normal bloom time commences in late January. It is an English cousin to the American Dogwood (Cornus florida) and it is from this plant that our native dogwood gets its name. The common name of dogwood does not seem to refer to the canine at all but is more likely rooted in the Celtic word dag or dagge which became dagger in common usage. It alludes to the very hard, fine grained wood that was used for fashioning stakes used by the butcher for hanging meat. William Turner first uses the term dog in reference to this tree in The Name of Herbs (1548): “the butchers make prickles of it, some cal it Gadrise or dog tree.”
It is likely that the dog in dogwood is simply a corruption of dag. The first English explorers recognized the American plant as a close cousin to the Cornelian Cherry and simply borrowed the name. Our dogwood, like its European counterpart, has a very hard, close grained wood that has been long employed in many types of tools and measuring devices.
The Green Hellebore (Helleborus viridis) has produced another assemblage of flowers after the first was blasted by the unusual cold. This European native of cool shady places has long been used as a medicinal plant for both humans and livestock. Its ancient name was “Setterwort” for its use with cattle as a general preventative. A piece of the root was placed in an incision made in the dew-lap, or loose skin at the cattle’s throat. It would act, according to John Gerard in 1597, to “draweth unto it all the venomous matter, and voided it forth at the wound.” For human ailments one must be cautious as it is a strongly poisonous plant.
The Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus) blooms were also blasted by the extraordinary cold but they have all turned brown and withered so that it appears we will see no bloom on them this year.
The cabbages and cauliflower seedlings in the hotbed have all been lifted and reset at four inches everyway so that they might grow on until transplanted to the garden in early April. The manure is now being brought in to start the second hotbed for the warm season crops such as pepper, tomato, sweet potato, melon and cucumber. The snow again yesterday will hopefully bring up the peas once it melts.
March 4, 2014
After closing on Monday due to hazardous weather conditions, sites around Colonial Williamsburg’s historic area have reopened Tuesday. From museums to stores, there are many entertaining ways for visitors to stay warm. Check our list of seven weatherproof activitites for more ideas.
Carriage rides will not be offered today, and the St. George Tucker House is closed. For updates and more information, check back with History.org’s “What’s New” blog or call 855-756-9516.