Celebrate Constitution Day at Montpelier on Sept. 22
This came across the transom today from James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange County, Va.:
Montpelier to Host 225th Constitution Birthday Celebration
Home of the Father of the Constitution to Feature Fireworks, Music, and Balloon Rides
Additional commemorative activities surrounding the 225th anniversary of the Constitution’s signing include:
September 14, 5:00 p.m.: Summer Sunset Tour
Visit Montpelier for a very special, intimate after-hours tour and lecture. Enjoy wine and light refreshments on the mansion’s front portico, followed by a tour of the mansion. Then join Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier Scholar in Residence Dr. Lynn Uzzell for a conversation about the Constitution.
September 18, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.: New Dining Room Installations
Visit the newly restored home of the Father of the Constitution to see the newest dining room installations. Guests will see 34 prints—the culmination of three years of extensive research on the Madisons’ art collection. The Madisons used the prints in the dining room for study, to spark memories, and encourage conversation over meals. Documentary evidence confirms that the Madisons’ prints addressed contemporary political, and social issues as well as historical events, travel scenes, allegories, abstract ideas, religion, and philosophy, and showcased significant friends and mentors including Benjamin Franklin, John Vaughan, David Rittenhouse, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren.
September 19, 7:00 p.m.: The Annual Claude Moore Lecture
Visit the National Archives for the annual Claude Moore Lecture hosted by Montpelier’s Center for the Constitution in partnership with the Archives. This year, award-winning journalist Roger Mudd will lead a panel discussion entitled “What So Proudly We Hailed: Messages and Lessons from the War of 1812.” Panelists include Peter Kastor, professor of history and American culture studies, Washington University in St. Louis; Pietro Nivola, senior fellow, the Brookings Institution; and Benjamin Wittes, senior fellow, the Brookings Institution. The panel title comes from a forthcoming book to be published by the Brookings Institution in collaboration withMontpelier to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, What So Proudly We Hailed: Essays on the Contemporary Meaning of the War of 1812. Each of the three Claude Moore Lecture panelists contributed chapters.
September 20, 9:00 a.m.: Plugging National Security Leaks While Preserving Free Speech Panel Discussion
Come to the Georgetown University School of Law for a panel discussion on whistleblowers. Recent disclosures of information the government maintains is classified have generated harsh criticism—of both the “leakers” and of the media outlets that made the information public—from some policymakers and commentators. Congressional and Department of Justice inquiries are underway, and it is possible that criminal charges could follow. With the number of “leak”-related cases on the rise, such investigations and prosecutions highlight important questions about the relationship between investigative journalism, national security disclosures, and the First Amendment. The discussion is presented by the Center for the Constitution at James Madison’sMontpelier, The Georgetown University School of Law, and The Constitution Project.
A Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier staff member will lead a presentation and tour that explores the United States Constitution, from its founding ideals, which James Madison imagined at Montpelier, to its ratification.
Stuart L. Butler, author of A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 will present a lecture on the relationship between Virginia and the federal government during the War of 1812. Butler is archivist-historian and former assistant branch chief of the Military Archives Branch at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., and serves on the Advisory Council of the Virginia War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. He will examine the Commonwealth’s goals and those of the federal government in the larger view of state-federal relations during the early national period. Butler will hold a book signing after the lecture. The event will be held in the Grand Salon at the Visitor Center for James Madison’s Montpelier and William duPont Gallery. No event registration is required.
The Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier will launch a new free online course at Center.Montpelier.org called Constitutional Amendment: The Bill of Rights. The course, which builds on the principles in the online Constitutional Foundations course, explores the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. The Center for the Constitution’s free online courses offer people around the world the opportunity to learn about America’s founding principles from a curriculum designed at the very place James Madison envisioned the U.S. Constitution.
CONSTITUTION DAY SCHEDULE
SEPTEMBER 22, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.: Mansion tours
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Hands-on Tent and Outdoor Cooking Demonstration open
10:00 a.m.: Liberty Ride departs Oakland Heights Farm (register at http://orangecountyva.gov/parks_and_rec/index.asp)
Noon: James and Dolley arrive at the mansion accompanied by the Liberty Ride
Noon: Food vendors open
Noon – 4:00 p.m. Voter registration
Noon – 5:00 p.m.: Colonial games, face painting, hayrides
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.: McLean High School Project Enlightenment historical interpreters mingle with guests
4:30 p.m.: Tethered Balloon Rides
4:00 p.m.: Live music – Anne and Her Checkered Past
5:00 p.m.: Live music – Overdog
6:30 p.m.: Live music – U.S. Navy Band Commodores, the Navy’s premier jazz ensemble
8:00 p.m.: Fireworks
James Madison’s Montpelier
Montpelier is the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, architect of the Bill of Rights, and fourth president of the United States.
Now that the home’s architectural restoration is complete, visitors can see the progress of rediscovering James and Dolley Madison through the “Presidential Detective Story” with daily, guided tours. They can also stroll the garden and forest; and take in the galleries, hands-on activities, and many other attractions on the estate’s 2,650 acres.
Nestled in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Montpelier is located in the heart of Virginia’s wine country on Route 20, four miles south of Orange, Va., and 25 miles north of Charlottesville, Va.
Montpelier is a National Trust for Historic Preservation site administered by The MontpelierFoundation. Montpelier’s mission is to inspire continuing public engagement with American constitutional self-government by bringing to life the home and contributions of James and Dolley Madison. To learn more, visit www.montpelier.org.
The Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier
The Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier is a nonpartisan, non-profit
organization dedicated to the study and teaching of founding principles and constitutional ideals
to promote an understanding of the rights and responsibilities our democracy protects and
To date, the Center has served teachers from all 50 states, as well as, judges, state legislators, police officers, members of the media, and dignitaries from more than 40 countries. The Center for the Constitution is located on the grounds of Montpelier, James and Dolley Madison’s restored home in Orange, Va.