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America’s 400th Anniversary - The Founding of Jamestown


Throughout 2007, America celebrated the 400th anniversary of the settling of Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America. The premier Signature Event was a three-day celebration at the Jamestown sites on May 11 – 13, 2007. The event featured spectacular musical performances, cultural presentations and celebrity appearances.

Jamestown Settlement prepared for its 400th anniversary by building a new state-of-the-art visitor center and museum with exhibits that chronicle the first century of the Virginia colony. Historical interpreters depict early 17th-century life in outdoor re-creations of the three ships that arrived in 1607, a colonial fort and a Powhatan Indian village. Read more about visiting Jamestown.

Other Anniversary Events

Journey up the James
The initial Virginia landing of the settlers at Cape Henry was commemorated during a voyage of the Godspeed in the Chesapeake and up the James River. Communities including Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News and Claremont staged festivals and special events as the replica ship retraced the 1607 route that led to Jamestown.

America’s Cup of Polo – International Polo Match in Leesburg, Virginia
Polo teams from England and the United States competed in a match to raise funds for the Journey for the Cure Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Multiple Sclerosis. The day included live performances the rock group JOURNEY and an English band, The Webb Sisters, and a fireworks display.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival
June 27 – July 8, 2007. Virginia culture was featured on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as part of the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Attracting more than a million people annually, visitors had a taste of Virginia through exhibits and performances, while learning about the state’s traditions, folkways, industry and agriculture. Read more about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

John Smith Shallop on Exhibit
On May 12, 2007, a crew of 12 modern explorers boarded a replica of Smith’s 28-foot open boat, or “shallop,” and embark on a 121-day voyage to retrace the 1608 expedition. Propelling themselves by oar and sail alone, the 2007 voyage followed Smith’s route to every corner of the Chesapeake. See Photos of John Smith's Shallop.

The traveling exhibit gave an in-depth look at the world of the early 17th-century Chesapeake Native American and English cultures. Visitors viewed a timeline of Smith's historic travels, read the original crew's descriptions of Native Americans, and watch a film about Smith's groundbreaking voyage. Here's the schedule of locations that were closest to Washington, DC.

National Colonial Farm - Accokeek, Maryland
June 21, 2007, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The John Smith shallop was on display at the farm’s waterfront.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate - Mount Vernon, Virginia
June 23 & 24, 2007, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Visitors saw the shallop, met the crew, and toured the interactive exhibit tent.

National Mall - Washington, DC
June 27 - July 1, 2007, 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The John Smith shallop was taken out of the water and put on display as a part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Alexandria Waterfront - Alexandria, Virginia
July 2, 2007, 4-8 p.m. John Smith's shallop arrived at the Alexandria Seaport Foundation for an evening event commemorating John Smith's exploration of the Potomac River.

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