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History Calendar

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History Calendar for the week of Jan. 31, 2012


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 Washing ton. Free;; 540/ 654-1065.

Lecture and book signing at James Madison’s Montpelier. 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1. Best-selling author Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, of Orange County, will discuss her new book “A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons.” Taylor will sign copies after the lecture. Grand Salon, Visitor Center for James Madison’s Montpelier and the William duPont Gallery. Free; 540/672-2728; On State Route 20, four miles south of the town of Orange.

“Greetings From the Past.” Opening Wednesday, Feb. 1. This temporary exhibition at the Catherine W. Jones McKann Center of the Fredericksburg Area Museum features greeting cards—for Valentine’s Day, Christmas and other holidays in the 1930s to 1950s—chosen from the collection of the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center. Runs through July 31. 1001 Princess Anne St.;; 540/371-3037.

“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;; 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.; 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.

Author’s talk on black troops and the Civil War; panel discussion with members of a United States Colored Troops re-enactment unit. 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb 11. James S. Price of Spotsylvania will discuss his new book, “The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword” in the student lounge at Germanna Community College’s Locust Grove Campus. Next, National Park Service historian Steward Henderson will discuss a locally based re-enactment unit, the 23th Regiment, USCT. Price, Henderson and other other 23rd members will talk with audience members. Free; open to the public. Part of Germanna’s Black History Month series. The campus is on State Route 3, east of the Rapidan River;; 540/423-9030.

Guided tours of museum galleries. The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center will offer guided walking tours of its galleries on Saturdays, Feb. 11, through March 31. Free with paid admission. Volunteers will conduct 20- to 30-minute tours at 1:15 and 3:15 p.m., focusing on the history of the region and its residents. Catherine W. Jones McKann Center; 1001 Princess Anne St.. Details: 540/371-3037, ext. 131;

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, 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 at Muvico Village 12 at Spotsylvania Towne Centre. $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. 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 program’s second season with its annual tea. Girls and their mothers are invited to tea in the museum’s Council Chamber in historic Town Hall. Martha Crimmins, a Fredericksburg tea and etiquette consultant, will discuss the history of tea and its importance in the Colonies. Sample different types of teas and refreshments, make crafts, dress in period clothing. Space limited. Reservations required: email or call 540/371-3037, ext. 142. $12, nonmembers; $10, members. Catherine W. Jones McKann Center, 1001 Princess Anne St. Regular admission. Second Saturday themes change monthly. Visit famcc .org or call 540/371-3037.

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

Book signing, “The Battle of New Market Heights.” Meet author–historian James S. Price. Noon Sunday, Feb 12. Student lounge, Germanna Community College’s Locust Grove Campus. State Route 3;

“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. At 2 p.m., try your hand in a stone toss across the Rappahannock River, as George did. 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 one 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 Washington family secrets at Ferry Farm. There will be crafts, games, the Object Whisperer, simulated archaeological digs, and the Magnificent Materialist, Teller of Artifact Fortunes, during 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.

Volunteer Interest Night and Open House. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center will feature a tour of the Catherine W. Jones Center conducted by Volunteer Coordinator and Education Assistant Janelle Kennedy. Later, volunteers will share insights and experiences. Free; no pre-registration required. Contact Kennedy at 540/371-3037, ext 142, or The museum relies on volunteers 14 and up as Museum Store staff, frontline assistants, gallery assistants, tour leaders, graphic designers, researchers and more. The museum documents hours for service project requirements, and provides training.

“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 key-note 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. Prizes, refreshments. 7565 Courthouse Road. Free;; 540/582-7583, ext. 5545.

Artifact Roadshow. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Bring military antiques to National Museum of the Marine Corps and learn how to maintain 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.

Family Day, National Capital Modelers. Noon–3 p.m. Friday, March 10, National Museum of the Marine Corps. Bring your kids to the museum so they can make their own models with these experts. Free. 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle;; 703/784-6116.

Curator’s Chat: Irish Marines. 1–2 p.m. Friday, March 17. National Museum of the Marine Corps Chief of Curatorial Services Bob Sullivan and Visitor Services Chief Pat Mooney present a discussion on Irish Marines. 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 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.