By Lyn Ring, Correspondent
Last Saturday in at the birthplace of James Monroe in Colonial Beach, Deputy Secretary Charles James represented Governor McDonnell, and delivered a document from the governor declaring April 28 “James Monroe Day” in the Old Dominion.
As the crowd listened, Congressman Rob Wittman and Westmoreland District Supervisor Woody Hynson both talked about the historical significance of this area and about Monroe. They each highlighted Monroe’s many accomplishments including the Monroe Doctrine and Louisiana Purchase. Perhaps the most interesting bit of information about Monroe? His administration was the first one to be truly bi-partisan. For this reason, his presidency was called “the era of good feeling.” Something we could learn from today.
A fact I hadn’t heard before was that Monroe was an Anti-Federalist that led the effort to win concessions in the Constitution that allowed it to be amended to contain the Bill of Rights.
Also, after the White House was pretty much destroyed during the War of 1812, Monroe, who was actually a man of limited funds, brought furnishings from his own home to be used until some could be purchased from France. At some point those furnishings were sold and it wasn’t until Jackie Kennedy was First Lady that these furnishings were tracked down and restored to the White House.
Dr. Robert Selle served as Chaplain. Selle is the National President of the Order of Lafayette. One of the best places to get in depth information about Monroe other that the significant amount available at his birthplace is the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg that houses an incredible amount of information including original documents and a massive collection of books as well as a very active and informed curator.
This event is quite a sight to see and continues with a meeting and luncheon at the Colonial Beach Moose Lodge who have hosted this lunch since the event began.
Deputy Secretary Charles James represented Governor McDonnell and brought a document declaring April 28 “James Monroe Day.”
Congressman Wittman talked about the historical significance of Monroe and the area.
The wreaths represent organizations including chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of Colonial Wars, James Monroe Memorial Foundation and more.
A Colonial times actor recites a poem copyrighted by the Masons that describes the significance of each stripe and star on the flag and honors “Old Glory.”
The new sign above shows the Commonwealth’s designation of Monroe’s Birthplace as part of Heritage Trail, the Road to Revolution. It now joins other historically significant sites that display this sign. The gentlemen in the Revolutionary gear are Masons called “the sojourners.”