Published May/June 2006

Jamestown 2007 kicks off this May to celebrate the 400th anniversary of our nation’s first permanent English settlement.
By AAA National

The year 2007 marks the quadricentennial, or 400th anniversary, of the first permanent English settlement in America. Three ships, carrying 100 men, set sail from England in December 1606. The Godspeed, Susan Constant and Discovery reached the Virginia coast in April 1607. On May 14, 1607, a site was selected and the building of Jamestown began.

To celebrate this important occasion, hundreds of community projects and commemorative events will take place throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Projects range from heritage trails and beautification programs to heritage programs, historical reenactments, and theatrical productions. Events in the planning include Religious Freedom and Heritage Month, the Virginia Music Festival, and the International Naval Review. At the forefront, 10 designated Signature Events, including the following, will run from mid-2006 through early 2008.

Godspeed Sail

Beginning in May 2006, a replica of the Godspeed will make its way along the east coast, stopping at key cities including Boston; Newport, R.I.; Providence, R.I.; New York; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Washington; Alexandria, Va.; and Jamestown, Va. Visitors may climb aboard the floating museum and learn about the lives of the colonists and the beginnings of democracy in America.

225th Anniversary: Victory at Yorktown

From Oct. 19-22, 2006, revolutionary period re-enactors will demonstrate 18th-century military tactics, and active military units will join in a salute to the men and women in uniform. Activities center on the anniversary of the Continental Army’s victory over the British army at the siege of Yorktown in 1781, a momentous battle of the American Revolution. Events will take place at the Yorktown Victory Center and Yorktown Battlefield, 20 miles from Jamestown.

The World of 1607

Beginning in spring 2007 through its closing in winter 2008, The World of 1607 exhibit will bring rare period pieces to Jamestown Settlement. Unique treasures on loan from major international museums will be shown on a rotating basis, illustrating the intellectual, social, and economic aspects of 17th-century Virginian society in the new world.

Journey Up the James

A re-creation of the 1607 arrival of Godspeed in Virginia will take place for several weeks in April and May 2007. Traveling from Chesapeake Bay and up the James River, the ship will stop at several ports of call along the way. Visitors will have an opportunity to experience the cramped quarters the original settlers endured for four-and-a-half months. Each port of call will feature welcoming festivities including exhibitions, reenactments, demonstrations of colonial life, and Virginia Indian programs.

America’s Anniversary Weekend

The excitement escalates on America’s Anniversary Weekend, May 11-13, 2007. The event-filled weekend will include guest appearances, formal ceremonies, musical concerts, theatrical performances, and a wide variety of commemorative activities. The president of the United States is expected to attend, along with members of the British royal family, government officials, and foreign dignitaries.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

During the last two weeks of June through July 4, 2007, the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival will pay homage to the history and culture of Virginia, the Jamestown settlement, and Old World England. Performances, exhibits, and demonstrations given by participants from Virginia and England will highlight food, music, industry, agriculture, and education.

Above: The Tidewater Farm at Yorktown Victory Center. Anniversary events are planned at Yorktown in October. Jeff Greenberg photo/Virginia Tourism Corporation

Below: A replica of the Susan Constant can be seen at Jamestown. Beginning in May, its sister ship, a replica of the Godspeed, will sail along the east coast. Len Kauffman photo/Virginia Tourism Corporation

Before You Go
For more details on America’s 400th anniversary, visit the Jamestown 2007 Web site at www.jamestown2007.org or call (757) 253-4659.

Stop by your nearest AAA service office for maps, reservations, TripTiks and TourBook guides. View a list of offices.

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