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History Calendar


 “Brainiacs and Brawlers: Fredericksburg’s 19th-century Newspapers and their Colorful, Petulant Editors,” 

  7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15, Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. John Hennessy, chief historian and chief of interpretation at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania 

National Military Park, will deliver

 a lecture as part of the museum’s “Evenings with an Expert” series, “Extra! Extra! Read All About It: 

  The Wild World of Virginia’s Historic Newspapers.” Hennessy will examine Fredericksburg’s newspaper’s heyday during the mid-1800s, when the town boasted as many as five papers  in fierce competition. The lectures complement the museum’s current Documents Gallery exhibition, “Above the Fold,” about newspapers in Virginia and the Fredericksburg area.

 Afternoon at the Museum: National Geography Week, 3–7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15.    Join the  National Museum of the Marine Corps in celebrating National Geography Week. Meet in the museum’s Leatherneck Gallery. Free. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, 22172. 703/784-6116;

 “Riots, Railroads and the Coming of Mr. Lincoln.” 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16. Michael Gibbons and Shawn Herne of the  Babe Ruth Birthplace  Foundation will speak to the Civil  War Round Table of Fredericksburg.  They’ll chronicle the changing moods  of Maryland, the Old Line state, from the eve of war to the final year of the  Civil War. Eighty thousand Marylanders joined the Union army; 27,000 fought for the Confederacy.  Round Table meets at the University  of Mary Washington Jepson Alumni  Executive Center, 1119 Hanover St.  Men should wear a coat and  tie, with equivalent attire for ladies.  $30, members; $35,  non-members, payable by  cash or check at the door. Reservations are required:  

Call 540/361-2105 or   email; say how many  seats you need.  civilwar

 “Trees of Hope”  Exhibit and Gala. Exhibit, through Friday, Nov. 18. Gala on Saturday, Nov. 19. The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center  is  again hosting Hope House’s signature fundraiser, Trees of Hope.  One hundred holiday trees decorated by Fredericksburg-area artists, designers, businesses and civic groups are on display at the museum. The event benefits Hope House,  dedicated to the transformation of homeless mothers with children, and the museum. Tickets—which include museum admission— are $7 per person.   So that it can  donate as much as possible to Hope House, the museum will not honor discounts during the event. Details:   hopehouse (The Trees of Hope Gala will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the University of  Mary Washington’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center, 1119 Hanover St. Each $200 gala ticket admits two people and assures a tree worth at least that much.)

Jingle-bell carriage rides,  4–9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays,   through Dec. 30. Fun for  the whole family, with holiday music, cookies, hot chocolate and warm blankets. Travel  Caroline Street to see decorated store windows and lower Princess Anne Street  to admire its  grand homes. Reservations required. $75 per carriage for a half-hour. A carriage holds four to six people. City Visitor Center carriage stand, 706 Caroline St., Fredericksburg. 540/371-0094.

“From Patriots to Carpetbaggers: Kenmore before, during, and after the Civil War,”  Kenmore Plantation & Gardens, at 1 p.m. Fridays  through November. Visit Kenmore on Friday afternoons for a special Civil War tour. Learn how it    changed from a majestic, 18th-century plantation to the home of a carpetbagger after the war. Topics  include Civil War artillery damage, hospitals, nurses, female spies  and food.     For all ages.  Regular admission. 1201 Washington Ave.; 540/373-3381.

Civil War Living History Presentation, 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. Learn about the daily lives of Spotsylvania County residents during the Civil War. Be a part of a living history presentation given by a knowledgeable and experienced Civil War re-enactor. Bradd and Lori Buckingham have a deep love of history and have been   re-enacting for over 15 years with Company I, 47th Virginia, based in  Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg. Free.    6155 Hickory Ridge Road, Spotsylvania, Va. 22551.    Website:

LivingHistory.pdf; 540/582-9600.


 “William H. Johnson:  An American Modern,”  through Dec. 4. Exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution chronicles the amazing life and  art-world experiences of this major American artist, a virtuoso in many media and styles. Open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily except Wednesdays. $10, adult admission;  UMW staff  and students, free.  Gari Melchers Home and Studio, 224 Washington St., Falmouth. 540/654-1015;

 “Fit to Print:  Newspapers in the 21st Century,”    7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13. Josiah Rowe, publisher emeritus of The Free Lance–Star, will conclude the Fredericksburg Area Museum’s three-lecture “Evening With an Expert” series with a   look at how the newspaper industry has changed over the decades.  The Free Lance was first published in 1885 when local merchants and businessmen created the paper to serve news and advertising needs of the community. In 1900, the The Free Lance was  merged with  The Daily Star; the the two papers were published independently until 1926 when, under the leadership of Josiah P. Rowe Jr., they were combined into a single, six-day-a-week newspaper, The Free Lance–Star. Rowe eventually became its owner and publisher. The  lecture, in the Catherine W. Jones McKann Center at 1001 Princess Anne St.,   is free and open to the public.

A members-only FAMCC reception will follow; nonmembers may join that evening for admittance to the reception.  Call 540/371-3037, 

ext. 140, or email

“Above the Fold,”        Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.   See more than 150 years of  news coverage in this new exhibit  on   journalism in the Fredericksburg area, with artifacts and rare examples of bygone  newspapers.   Documents Gallery of the   Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. Regular admission. Visit or call 540/371-3037.

 “Are Your Hands Idle?” Special exhibit at the   John J. Wright Museum near Spotsylvania Courthouse   explores   work and leisure, past and present, especially in the context of difficult economic times.   Open 10 a.m.–3 p.m Thursday, Friday and Saturday.   7565 Courthouse Road;; 540/582-7583, ext. 5545. Free. On display through January 2012.

Caroline Museum and Cultural Center,   brand-new facility. Exhibits on county history  include stories of Civil War soldiers and civilians, and quilts with secret messages for escaping slaves.   Free.  Courthouse complex, 121 North Main St., downtown Bowling Green. 804/633-3490; tourcaro

 “The Continental Soldier: Young and Far Away from Home”  at James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library shows  what life was like for Monroe and  other young men who joined the revolutionary forces. Student interns  Rachel Lee and Rebecca Frederick  researched, designed and installed the interactive exhibit,  an addition to  “The Making of a Revolutionary.”  908 Charles St.  Fredericksburg;  540/654-1043,




 “An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia,” at the Virginia Historical Society,  428 N. Boulevard, Richmond.  Signature program of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission—with 18 audiovisual programs and more than 200 artifacts—tells personal experiences of wartime Virginia’s free and enslaved men, women, children. Free;  804/358-4901,

Please email listings to (subject: History Calendar), fax to 540/373-8455 or visit Deadline: Noon Thursday preceding   section’s Tuesday publication.