Montpelier Hosts Events for Presidents Day & Black History Month
ORANGE COUNTY, Va (WVIR) -
This Presidents Day, James Madison's Montpelier is celebrating the grand opening of what some consider one of the most important rooms in American history. The restored library in the Orange County home is where the fourth president imagined the United States Constitution.
The new exhibit is the focus of special guided tours at the estate this holiday. Hundreds of people got to take a trip back in time at Madison's house to a pivotal moment in our nation's past.
K. David Weidner is touring several historical sites in central Virginia to study the founding fathers this holiday weekend.
“A group of four of us came down for Presidents Day weekend from Washington, D.C., and New York. We just kind of converged because we really wanted to kind of study furthermore about the presidents,” he said.
The refurbished library at James Madison's Montpelier is the last stop on the trip through the mansion. Interpreters talked to hundreds of history buffs about the time Madison spent in the room leading up to the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
“He works in this room in 1786 for several months. It's said that he read about 400 books in seven different languages,” said interpreter Mike Marvaso.
Guides and guests alike say it's important to take advantage of this experience to be responsible citizens of this country.
“I think Madison is, if anything, he's an example of an engaged and an enlightened and an informed citizen working in the United States of America to make it a better place, and the challenge continues. It's never over,” Marvaso said.
Weidner said, “We would encourage people to do this. This is all very close. It's easy access, and people need to know more about what our presidency is about, and that's why we celebrate Presidents Day.”
Montpelier was able to recreate Madison's library thanks to a $450,000 grant. Until now, it was just a bare room where visitors had to imagine what it would have looked like.
Also, in honor of Black History Month, Montpelier has added former Madison slave Paul Jennings' memoir to their digital library. Montpelier says it's the first "insider's memoir" of life in the White House.
There are also specialty tours highlighting black history going on throughout the month of February. For a full list of Black History Month events at Montpelier, click here.
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