İstanbul escort bayan sivas escort samsun escort bayan sakarya escort Muğla escort Mersin escort Escort malatya Escort konya Kocaeli Escort Kayseri Escort izmir escort bayan hatay bayan escort antep Escort bayan eskişehir escort bayan erzurum escort bayan elazığ escort diyarbakır escort escort bayan Çanakkale Bursa Escort bayan Balıkesir escort aydın Escort Antalya Escort ankara bayan escort Adana Escort bayan

Monday, May 27, 2024

The final event of the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration is about ‘happiness and gratitude and unity…’

Colonists at Jamestown enjoyed celebrating Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 as part of the Christmastide traditions, which included food, games and singing. (Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)
Colonists at Jamestown enjoyed celebrating Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 as part of the Christmastide traditions, which included food, games and singing. (Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

The time has finally come to have one last celebration of the year-long American Evolution Commemoration.

Over the past year, the American Evolution has been hosting events throughout the state to commemorate the significance of particular events from 400 years ago. This has included commemorating the first legislative assembly, the arrival of the first Africans to English North America and the recruitment of English women to Virginia.

Now, it will commemorate the first Thanksgiving.

From 2 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 4, the American Evolution will host its final commemorative event with the “400th Commemorative Ceremony of the First Official English Thanksgiving,” at Jamestown Settlement, according to a news release from the settlement.

“It’s always a nice way to finish something by giving thanks and expressing gratitude,” said Kathy Spangler, executive director. “But [Wednesday] is the…historic date and it’s nice to stay true to the historical components.” 

RELATED STORY: Celebrating 400 years of Virginia history right in your backyard

The event is scheduled to correlate with the anniversary of the arrival of English settlers in Virginia on Dec. 4, 1619 who held a Thanksgiving ceremony. Spangler said it is important to note this actually happened before the famous Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts which took place in 1620.

But after the Civil War, Spangler said much of Virginia’s history took a backseat and that’s how the Plymouth Thanksgiving became known as the first.

Spangler said the theme for the final event of year-long commemorations is important because it encompasses religious components of the early settlers and allows for perspective from Virginia Native Americans.

To highlight those aspects, the event will feature speakers from Virginia’s three original cultures:

  • Stephen R. Adkins Sr., chief of the Chickahominy Indian Tribe.
  • Graham Woodlief, descendant of Capt. John Woodlief.
  • Rex Elllis, emeritus associate director for Director for Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution.

“Throughout the entire year we have grounded ourselves in authentic storytelling of the three cultures,” Spangler said. “It’s important to acknowledge the implications for native people and Africans who had just arrived and we wanted that reflection and sense of hopefulness for the futures that the three cultures’ voices would represent.”

The keynote speaker will be Michelle Gielan, best-selling author and producer of the show “The Happiness Advantage” on PBS.

Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam will also provide special remarks at the event.

The event will help provide perspective on the year-long activities that have taken place as well as take a moment to reflect on how Virginia fits in a historical landscape of the nation, Spangler said.

“It’s been very intentional all year long to commemorate the challenge in history,” she said. “It’s to make note of who we are today as a people and where we want to go in the future.”

There is also a contest where photographers can submit a picture that shows what the 2019 Commemoration means to them. Winning prizes total to $9,000. Submissions are accepted through Jan. 5 and can be submitted on the American Evolution 2019 website.

Spangler said it is important to remember the significance of the history celebrated this year as we move into the future.

“This event is a nice capstone because it’s about us talking about happiness and gratitude and unity and moving forward,” she said.

To learn more, visit the American Evolution online.

Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron
Alexa Doiron is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She graduated from Roanoke College and is currently working on a master’s degree in English at Virginia Commonwealth University. Alexa was born and raised in Williamsburg and enjoys writing stories about local flair. She began her career in journalism at the Warhill High School newspaper and, eight years later, still loves it. After working as a news editor in Blacksburg, Va., Alexa missed Williamsburg and decided to come back home. In her free time, she enjoys reading Jane Austen and playing with her puppy, Poe. Alexa can be reached at

Related Articles