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April 24, 2015

Matters for Interpretation

By Bill Sullivan

Many Americans believe strongly in the idea that this is a Christian nation. Surely the vast majority of citizens in the founding generations identified with one denomination or another. Citing those origins is one way to emphasize the idea of a particular kind of unity, a unity, perhaps, that we might like to … Continue Reading »

April 24, 2015

Church and State


How should government protect liberty of conscience?

Should the state promote fundamental values, even if those values might seem to promote religion?

In this imagined conversation at Christiana Campbell’s Tavern, Baptist preacher Gowan Pamphlet and five-term Virginia governor Patrick Henry wrestle with these questions.

It’s well known that the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s … Continue Reading »

April 24, 2015

Through the Eyes of Albert Durant

By Karen Gonzalez

Albert Durant was born in 1920 into a society where everything was separate and nothing was equal.

But an interest in photography blossomed into a business that transcended the times – and race. It was Durant’s varied interests, in fact, that opened the door for a black man with an artistic eye to … Continue Reading »

April 23, 2015

Mad Men and Williamsburg 1970

The characters inhabiting the world of Mad Men are not the best role models, as anyone who has watched the show for 20 minutes can attest. But occasionally there are pearls of wisdom.

On the episode that aired April 19, Betty Francis offers daughter Sally some great advice, suggesting that she visit the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area … Continue Reading »

April 21, 2015

The First Listening Tour

By Bill Sullivan

Americans take it for granted today that politicians are going to go to great lengths to “connect” with the public: with grip and grin photo ops, visits to local diners, talk show appearances, or just by dropping pop culture references.

Historian T.H. Breen

They are just like us, they insist, even in the … Continue Reading »

April 20, 2015

Exhibit Examines Explorers’ Studies of Their New Natural World

By Karen Gonzalez

Henrietta Somerset (1748-1770)

Many explorers and settlers of the New World became fascinated by the plants and animals that were native to their new home.

That fascination resulted in drawings, paintings and other objects that are the inspiration for “Birds, Bugs and Blooms – Observing the Natural World in the 18th Century,” an … Continue Reading »