The commemoration of the founding of Jamestown will highlight the accomplishments of all Virginians and all Americans during the past 400 years.
By creating programs and events that feature our past and call attention to our potential in the future, we create a legacy for this generation and generations to come.
Planning for 2007 began with citizens statewide. In 1998 and 1999, Jamestown 2007 held 20 round table sessions asking citizens for suggestions on how Virginia's anniversary should be commemorated and what activities and events to include. The majority of participants suggested a commemoration that:
- Is international in scope.
- Involves every community in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Tells our history accurately and honestly.
- Consists of a whole range of activities across the state, nationally and internationally throughout the year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where can I learn about making hotel reservations in the Historic Triangle?
A: Colonial Williamsburg is theofficial hotels and reservation agent of America's 400th Anniversary.
Q: Why is Jamestown important?
A: Jamestown, settled in 1607, was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It is our nation's birthplace. Traditions established at Jamestown - including representative government, the rule of law, free enterprise and cultural diversity - form the basis of American culture today. Plymouth, settled by the pilgrims 13 years later, was established primarily for religious reasons.
Q: Can I visit Jamestown?
A: You can visit both Jamestown Settlement, a living history museum operated by the state of Virginia, and Historic Jamestowne, site of the original fort, operated by Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) and the National Park Service. Exciting new visitor facilities are being built at both sites in anticipation of America's 400th Anniversary. For information on Jamestown Settlement, visit www.historyisfun.org For Historic Jamestowne, visit www.historicjamestowne.org.
Q: Have there been Jamestown commemorations before?
A: Virginia has held major Jamestown commemorations every 50 years since 1807 to emphasize the pivotal role Jamestown played in American history. In the summer of 1907, a world's fair was held in Norfolk, Va. that drew more than 1.5 million visitors from around the nation and around the world. The 1957 commemoration was marked by education and preservation efforts, including the opening of Jamestown Festival Park (now Jamestown Settlement), the opening of Colonial Williamsburg's Visitors Center and the completion of the Colonial Parkway, one of Virginia's most scenic drives and named an All-American road in 2005. Many people also remember that Queen Elizabeth II visited Jamestown in 1957, her first visit to the United States as England's monarch.
Q: How can I be a part of America's 400th Anniversary?
A: There are many, many opportunities for citizens around the nation to be part of the commemoration, from planting an "Anniversary Garden" to visiting Virginia during this milestone 18-month-long commemoration. There are 18 Signature Events and additional Parnter Events. This commemoration is truly democratic - citizens throughout the nation are determining what Jamestown means to them and finding the most appropriate way to commemorate the anniversary.
Q: Does a community need to have a connection to Jamestown to be part of the Virginia 2007 Community Program?
A: No. The Virginia 2007 Community Program is an opportunity to show off the heritage and special qualities of every community. Participants do not have to have a direct connection to the original Jamestown settlement.
Q: How do you define community?
A: Community is self-defining and may include civic groups, schools, churches, neighborhoods, cities, towns or counties – or combinations of those groups.
Q: What kinds of legacy projects are being planned around the Commonwealth?
A: Official communities are planning a wide range of projects, including new museums, hiking trails, beautification programs, a sculpture garden, exhibits, student exchange programs, heritage trails, and theatrical productions. Communities are encouraged to develop their own legacy projects and events.
Q: What community organizations should be included in the local planning for the Virginia 2007 Community Program?
A: 2007 planning committees should be composed of a diverse group of community leaders representing a wide range of organizations, ages, and backgrounds. Suggested organizations to be represented include: local government, businesses, ethnic and civic groups, educational institutions, museums, tourism, chambers of commerce, churches, historical societies, festivals and fairs, and others that serve the community. In addition, any interested party should be encouraged to become involved.
Q: What are the Signature Events and Programs?
A: At the heart of the 18-month anniversary is a series of Signature Events -- 10 large-scale professionally-produced special events and longer-term programs that are entertaining, educational, cultural and memorable. Examples include the three-month-long sailing of the replica Godspeed into several Eastern seaboard ports that finished in July 2006, "Jamestown Live!" a national teach-in broadcast to every school in America; events featuring accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans and Native Americans, a worldwide forum on "The Future of Democracy"; a yearlong "World of 1607" museum exhibit at Jamestown Settlement, plus many more.
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