Yorktown Victory Center announces Revolutionary War lecture series

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Surveying soldiers' rations in Yorktown Victory Center's re-created Continental Army encampment. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo.
Surveying soldiers’ rations in Yorktown Victory Center’s re-created Continental Army encampment. (Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation photo)

On four consecutive Tuesdays in September, the Yorktown Victory Center will present its free annual Revolutionary War lecture series. 

According to a press release from the Victory Center, this year’s topics will preview the new permanent exhibition galleries debuting mid-October in conjunction with the museum’s change in name to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. The schedule for the series is as follows:

Sept. 6: “Defending the Commonwealth: Lafayette and the Summer of 1781.”  Historian Ed Ayres will discuss how in 1781 General Lafayette’s troops continued to counter a large British force that had invaded Virginia. His bold actions kept the state’s defense from collapsing before the arrival of an allied army that later trapped Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Sept. 13: “Journey Through the American Revolution in 10 Objects.”  Senior Director of Museum Operations and Education Peter Armstrong will describe the stories behind 10 of the most surprising objects visitors will see in the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown galleries, and how they helped define a new nation.

Sept. 20: “James Lafayette: Invisible Spy.”  Curator Kate Gruber will share newly uncovered research on the life and times of James Lafayette, including his own fight for personal liberty after helping secure the Patriot victory at the Siege of Yorktown through his work as a spy, infiltrating British camps and gathering information for the American side.

Sept. 27: “Digging Yorktown’s Past: An Archaeological View of 18th-Century Yorktown.”  Ed Ayres will provide an overview of several key archaeological excavations in Yorktown in the 1970s.  Special attention will be given to work at the 1781 Grand French Battery on the first allied siege line.

Each lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Yorktown Victory Center theater. Admission to all evening lectures is free. Admission to the Yorktown Victory Center during regular operating hours is $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for children ages 6 through 12. Residents of York and James City counties and the City of Williamsburg, including College of William and Mary students, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency. For more information, visit www.historyisfun.org or call (757) 253-4838.