Fredericksburg Features

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History calendar


 “Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?”  7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 26.  John Fea, associate professor of history at Messiah College, presents 2012 Jefferson Lecture on the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, sponsored by the University of Mary Washington’s  department of classics, philosophy and religion. George Washington Hall, Dodd Auditorium. Free;; 540/654-1342.

“Funny Girl” (Columbia, 1968). 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, Mount Pony Theater, Culpeper County. The life of comedienne Fannie Brice, from  early days in the Lower East Side of New York to   height of her career with  Ziegfeld Follies, including romance with gambler Nick Arnstein.  Reservations strongly encouraged; call 540/827-1079, ext. 79994, (202/707-9994) no earlier than one week prior to the screening; reservation line open 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday–Friday.  In case of inclement weather, check  the line no sooner than three hours before showtime to see if the   movie has been canceled. National Audio–Visual Conservation Center, Library of Congress, Packard Campus, 19053 Mount Pony Road, Culpeper.


“Follow the Boys,” (Universal, 1944). 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, Mount Pony Theater, Culpeper. Former vaudeville performer turned movie actor organizes USO shows, enlisting  the aid of Universal Studios players in a series of songs and skits.

“King: A Record  Montgomery to Memphis.” (Marion Films, 1970). 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28,   Mount Pony Theater, Culpeper. Film biography of Martin Luther King  Jr., in the form of newsreel footage and segments of recordings, framed by celebrity narrators. Directed by Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Selected for the National Film Registry in 1999.

Fauquier Heritage Institute Lecture Series in American History. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28. John Barton Payne Building, 2 Courthouse Square, Old Town Warrenton. Free daylong seminar with lectures, special exhibits,  lunch break. 9 a.m.,  Donald Tharpe, “The War Between the States in Fauquier County.” 10:30 a.m., Virginia Morton, “Frank Stringfellow’s Role in Stuart’s Raid on Catlett Station.” 1 p.m., Joe Stahl, “Original Union Soldier’s Identification Discs: The Archival Records of the Men Who Wore Them, Their Regiments, Battles and Lives.” Stahl will be assisted by  Lon Lacey, who will exhibit original firearms carried in the regiments. 2:30 to 4 p.m.,  “Military Field Music of the Civil War,”   a musical performance by members of the 2nd  Maryland Fife and Drum Corps. Saturday’s program is the first of three. Email program chairwoman  Paula Johnson at or call 540/341-7019.

Lafayette: The Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31. Journalist and historian  

Marc Leepson, author of “Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership From the Idealist General,” will speak in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium at the University of Mary Washington. Free;;  540/654-1065.

 “The Impact of Augustine Washington’s Death on the Washington Family and Their Slaves.”  10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 2. David Muraca, director of archaeology with  the George Washington Foundation, will address the regular monthly meeting of the Mary Washington Branch of Preservation Virginia.  Headquarters theater, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, 1201 Caroline St. Free.; 540/373-1569.

Noah Webster: The Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series, 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2. Joshua Kendall, author of “The Forgotten Founding Father: Noah Webster’s Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture,” will speak in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. Kendall is an associate fellow at Yale’s Trumbull College. Free;;   540/654-1065.

“Identity: Fluid or Fixed? A Comparison of Identity—1862, 1962, 2012:  Exhibit opening, 10 a.m.–noon Saturday, Feb. 4. Music, refreshments, student arts contest and award presentations. Uniform-clad public historians of the 23rd Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, will provide  event’s color guard, pose for photographs, discuss the exhibit and sign   books on Spotsylvania and USCT history by  John Cummings and James Price, members of the 23rd. John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center Museum, 7565 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania. Free; jjwmus; 540/582-7583, ext 5545.

Iwo Jima Artifact Exposition.  1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4. National Museum of the Marine Corps. See and learn about artifacts and items from the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima during World War II. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle. usmc; 877/635-1775.

Curator’s Chat: “Sands of Iwo Jima.” 1–2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4.  Hear Joan Thomas, art curator at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Aaron Burr: The Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series,  7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7. David O. Stewart, author of “American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America,” will speak in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. Free;;  540/654-1065.

Columbus: The Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series,  7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9. Laurence Bergreen, author of “Columbus: The Four Voyages,” will speak in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. Free;;  540/654-1065.

Model train exhibit. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday–Sunday, Feb. 11–12. National Museum of the Marine Corps hosts model trains  displayed by the Rappahannock Railroad Club. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle.; 877/635-1775.

Battlefield Preservation Weekend. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11–12. Have fun and help the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, a Fredericksburg-based nonprofit.  On Saturday, Feb. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the trust will host a release party for the 2012 edition  of the Journal of Fredericksburg History and Biography, with author signings by historians   Eric Mink, Erik Nelson, Russ Smith and Don Pfanz. Starting at 12 p.m. Saturday, see film classics in style at Muvico Village 12 at Spotsylvania Towne Centre. Noon–4 p.m., “Gone With the Wind”; 4:30–6:30 p.m., “Glory”; 7–11 p.m., “Gone With the Wind.” $5  cash donation. On Sunday, Feb. 12, from  2 to 4 p.m., it’s “Bowling for Battlefields” at Splitsville. Ticketed event includes open bowling, heavy appetizers, soft drinks. $20 per person; under 12, free. All proceeds benefit   CVBT. “Bowling for Battlefields” sponsorships (including lane banners and weekend tickets) are available for  $500.  Tickets and details, call 540/374-0900, visit or email

Family Day: Learn About World War II.  12–3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11. Multi-generational activities. National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle. Free.; 703/784-6116.

Second Saturdays at the Museum.         1–3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11. Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center kicks off the program’s second   season with its  annual tea party.  Boys and girls urged to invite an adult to join them.   Space  limited. Reservations required: or 540/371-3037 ext. 140.  $15, nonmembers; $12, members.  Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. Regular admission. Second Saturday themes change monthly. Visit or call 540/371-3037.

“Who Am I?”  Cultural Club of the John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center. Noon  Saturday, Feb. 11.  Share a poem, read a story or talk about a movie that addresses the meeting’s theme.  Refreshments.  All are welcome.     7565 Courthouse Road; jjw; 540/582-7583, ext. 5545.


“Orphans of the East: George ‘Maryland’ Steuart and Maryland Confederates.”  Monday,   Feb. 13. National Park Service historian  Phillip Greenwalt   speaks to   Rappahannock Valley Civil War Round Table at Brock’s Riverside Grill, 503 Sophia St. Social time 6:30 p.m.,   dinner at 6:45, meeting at 7:30. Or come after dinner and attend free. Dinner reservations: Email Bob Jones at or call 540/399-1702;


Richard and Mildred Loving: The Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series,  7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14. Panel discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court case of Loving vs. Virginia, and a showing of the HBO-produced documentary on the Caroline County couple, in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium. The panelists will be Bernard Cohen, one of two lawyers who argued the case before the high court, and Peggy Fortune, the Lovings’  daughter. Free;;  540/654-1065.

Jackie Robinson:  Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series. 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 16.  Jonathan Eig, author of “Opening Day” and sports columnist for Chicago magazine, will speak at University of Mary Washington’s George Washington Hall, Dodd Auditorium. Free;; 540/654-1065.

“Memories of My Father.”  7  p.m., Thursday, Feb. 16. Join local resident and historian Frank White as he discusses the life of his father on the occasion of Black History Month, during the Stafford County Historical Society meeting in  the Board of Supervisors Chambers, George L. Gordon Jr. Government   Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford. Free.

George Washington’s 280th Birthday Celebration. Saturday, Feb. 18, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Celebrate the birthday of America’s first president with games, crafts, first-person interpreters, a theater performance, cake, more  at Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm. Adults $5, children (under age 17) free. Except for Washington’s birthday and Presidents Day, Ferry Farm is closed for the season until March 1. It’s about 1 mile east of Fredericksburg on State Route 3 in southern Stafford County, at 268 Kings Highway.


“Young George Washington and the Buried Past.” Monday, Feb.  20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Presidents Day, learn how archaeologists are revealing secrets of the Washington family at Ferry Farm. There will be crafts, games, the Object Whisperer, simulated archaeological digs, and  the Magnificent Materialist,  Teller of Artifact Fortunes, during this open house at George Washington’s Boyhood Home. Free. 268 Kings Highway, Stafford (Interstate 95 Exit 133A).

“The Civil War in Missouri.”  Wednesday, Feb. 22. Stafford County resident Dino A. Brugioni,   author and former U.S. intelligence analyst, addresses the Civil War Round Table of Fredericksburg. At University of Mary Washington’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center, 1119 Hanover St. Bar opens  5:45 p.m., social 6 p.m., dinner 6:45 p.m., program 7:30 p.m. Advance reservations   required; 540/361-2105.  Men should wear coats and ties;  equivalent attire for ladies. civilwar



Clarence Darrow: Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series. 7:30 p.m., Thursday Feb. 23. John Farrell, author of “Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned” and senior reporter at The Center for Public Integrity, will speak at George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium at UMW.  Free;;  540/654-1065.


“Bridging the Chasm:  A Public Conversation About Freedom, the Civil War, and Its Complicated Legacy” Noon  Saturday, Feb. 25.   John Hennessy, chief historian and chief of interpretation at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, will close  the Black History Month celebration at John J. Wright Educational Center in  Spotsylvania County with a  keynote speech on  the  impact President Lincoln’s signing of the District of Columbia Emancipation Act  in April, 1862 had on area residents. Followed by a question-and-answer session. Special prizes,  refreshments.  7565 Courthouse Road. Free; jjw; 540/582-7583, ext. 5545.

Artifact Roadshow. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday,  Feb. 25. Bring your military antiques to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, learn how to maintain and care for them. Free; all ages. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle.; 703/784-6116.


“From the Sahara to the Shenandoah.”  Opens March 1. Mansard Gallery, Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. Third exhibit in museum’s Community Artist series features landscape paintings from the Shenandoah Valley and the Sahara by local artist Kathleen Walsh.  On public view through May 31. 1001 Princess Anne St.;; 540/371-3037. 

Rappahannock Colonial Heritage ensemble performance.  12–2 p.m., Saturday, March 10, St. Margaret’s Dining Hall in Tappahannock.  Cutoff for reservations: March 1. Rappahannock Colonial Heritage ensemble from Fredericksburg will perform at  Essex County Museum and Historical Society’s annual high tea luncheon, with vignettes depicting noted people from the 1770s associated with Tappahannock and Fredericksburg. $38. Seating  is limited, make paid reservations as soon as possible. Directions or details, 804/443-4690. Email reservations   to Write checks  to ECMHS; mail to  Box 404, Tappahannock, Va. 22560. Attn: High Tea.

“Dinosaurs in Stafford!” 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15. Paleontologist Jon Bachman will share recent discoveries about dinosaur fossils found locally, during meeting of Stafford County Historical Society, in  Board of Supervisors Chambers, George L. Gordon Jr. Government   Center, 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford. Free.



Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade.  Noon, Thursday, Jan. 26.   Banner Lecture Series, Virginia Historical Society. Maurie D. McInnis, author of the new book, “Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade,” uses paintings of British artist Eyre Crowe to explore the trade in Richmond, Charleston, New Orleans. In 1853,  Crowe visited an auction in Richmond and captured the scene in sketches he developed into a series of illustrations and paintings, including the culminating work, “Slaves Waiting for Sale, Richmond, Virginia.”  McInnis, an art professor  at the University of Virginia, will  describe  the evolving iconography of abolitionist art and the role of visual culture in the trans-Atlantic world of abolitionism.; 804/342-9676; 428 N. Boulevard, Richmond.

Special tour, “Virginia: Mother of Presidents.”  10:30 a.m.–noon Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the Virginia Historical Society. Did you know that Virginia is the birthplace of eight American presidents? In honor of Presidents Day, examine objects, books, letters, portraits, and broadsides in the VHS collection associated with the Virginians elected to our nation’s highest political office. Tour will be led by William Rasmussen, the society’s   Lora M. Robins Curator. Buy tickets online, $10/VHS members; $17, nonmembers.; 804/342-9676 or email 428 N. Boulevard, Richmond.

Special tour, “Virginia Through Women’s Eyes.” 10:30 a.m.–noon Tuesday, March 13. The first gift of manuscripts to the Virginia Historical Society included a transcript of proceedings against Grace Sherwood, accused of witchcraft in 1706. In honor of Women’s History Month, the society will explore objects, books, letters, portraits  and broadsides associated with 400 years of Virginia women. Behind-the-scenes tour will be led by L. Paige Newman, assistant archivist. Buy tickets online, $10/VHS members; $17, nonmembers.; 804/342-9676 or email events@va 428 N. Boulevard, Richmond.

Please enter information at; select “History” category. You may also email (subject: History Calendar), or fax to 540/373-8455. Deadline: Noon Thursday preceding   the section’s Tuesday publication. Questions: 540/368-5029.