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Virginia Dynasty: James Monroe

Our final president is James Monroe. He follows George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison and completes the Virginia Dynasty.   James Monroe was born in 1758 in the Northern Neck of Virginia, near the area where George Washington was born.  Today, nothing remains of the house, but the land is a park with several […]

Virginia Dynasty: Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson is featured in this third blog post about the Virginia Dynasty, following posts on two other renowned Virginians–James Madison and George Washington.   Thomas Jefferson was born at Shadwell,Virginia in 1743 to Peter Jefferson and Jane Randolph.  From his successful and wealthy parents, Thomas inherited considerable property and began building Monticello when he was 26 years […]

Virginia Dynasty: George Washington

This second installment of the Virginia Dynasty blog posts highlights our first president, George Washington, the “Father of his country.” George’s great grandfather, John Washington, immigrated to America in 1656 and settled in the Northern Neck of Virginia in 1657, on the Potomac River near the present-day town of Colonial Beach. George was born in […]

Virginia Dynasty: James Madison

Four of the first five United States presidents were Founding Fathers from Virginia. Of the first 36 years of the United States’ existence, Virginian men served as president for 32 of them. This period became known as the Virginia Dynasty. In the last few months, I have visited all of their homes and wanted to […]

Finding the Influence of Thomas Jefferson in an Antebellum Ruin in Barboursville, Virginia

You are looking at the ruins of James Barbour’s mansion, which was completed in 1822 and destroyed by fire on Christmas Day in 1884. James Barbour enjoyed an impressive career, serving as a member in the Virginia House of Delegates, the 18th Governor of Virginia, a U.S. Senator, the U.S. Secretary of War, and the […]

James Madison’s Montpelier: Pic of the Week

On this day in 1789, James Madison—the fourth President of the United States—introduced amendments to the Constitution in the House of Representatives, which are now known as the Bill of Rights. Even though he was initially skeptical of the usefulness of a bill of rights, he eventually embraced the idea as it seemed that the […]

Pic of the Week: Monday is not Presidents’ Day – Or is it?

This coming Monday, February 15, we will celebrate the federal holiday, Washington’s Birthday. You may be thinking, “my calendar says Monday is ‘Presidents’ Day,’ not ‘Washington’s birthday!’” Interestingly, the federal holiday is officially called Washington’s Birthday (5 US Code 6103) and is observed on the third Monday in February as established by Public Law 90-361 […]

“Would You Be Interested in Getting (Attorney General) William Wirt’s Head Back?” Rebecca Roberts Brings Us a Tale From the Congressional Cemetery

This is a guest post by Rebecca Boggs Roberts. Rebecca is a program coordinator at Smithsonian Associates, writer, and the former program director for the Historic Congressional Cemetery. In 2003, an unidentified man called the Historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. and asked the cemetery manager, “Would you be interested in getting William Wirt’s head back?” The answer, of course, […]

Time to Say Goodbye to THOMAS

A version of the following article originally appeared in the July 1, 2016, edition of Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette. THOMAS, which launched with great fanfare on January 5, 1995, twenty-one and a half years ago, is nearing its retirement on July 5, 2016.  Back when it launched, then-Librarian of Congress James H. […]