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This Week in Historic Alexandria 2.9.16 | Newsletter | City of Alexandria

This Week in Historic Alexandria

City Museums and
Historic Sites
Other Historic Sites and Resources
This Week in Historic Alexandria
George Washington, 1722

Alexandria celebrates African American heritage every month of the year, but before there was a designated Black History Month, Black History Week was started in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson to commemorate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln on February 12th, and Frederick Douglass on February 14th. In many black communities, these birthdays were already commemorated in the years between 1865 and 1926. Black History Week evolved into Black History Month in 1976.
On Sale Now
Civil War Ball

Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of Gadsby’s Tavern Museum at the next Winter Warmer Tea on March 6! Choose from a variety of 18th-century desserts while you sip John Gadsby’s special blend of tea or take a cup of American Heritage Chocolate. Historic guest Rebecca Ramsey Reese (early 20th century preservationist) will catch you up on the latest Alexandria news during the tea. Seatings at 3:00 and 3:15 p.m. Arrive early for the 2:15 or 2:45 p.m. FREE tour before your tea.Tickets are priced at $35 per person.  For more information please call 703.746.4242.
Commemorative Corner
Mercy Street

Explore the Sites and Stories that Inspired PBS’ new dramaMercy Street, inspired by real events in Civil War Alexandria, Virginia! Explore the real historic sites and stories in Alexandria, with more than two dozen new tours, exhibits and events featured at ACVA website. And visit the Museum Shops at Office of Historic Alexandria Museums and the Old Town Hilton for books and DVD’s from the series and other merchandise relating to Alexandria’s historic past!
Alexandria celebrates George Washington’s birthday better than any city! George Washington's Birthday ParadeThis is the week we’ve all been waiting for! Welcome to the George Washington Birthday Celebration! Join the thousands of citizens and visitors participating in our annual remembrance and 284th birthday celebration of the father of our country throughout February:

– Cherry Challenge local restaurant competition (Jan 28 to Feb 11)
– Birthnight Banquet and Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (Sat, Feb 13 @ 5:30 p.m.)
– George Washington Classic 10K Race and 2K Fun Run (Sun, Feb 14 @ 8 a.m.)
– Revolutionary War Reenactment at Fort Ward Park (Sun, Feb 14 @ 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
– Walking with Washington historic tours in Old Town (Sundays-Feb 7, 14, 21, 28)
– 18th Century Dance Classes at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (Feb 11)

And on Monday, February 15:

– Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association Meeting+Breakfast, Hotel Monaco, 9 to 10:30 a.m.
– Wreath Laying Ceremony at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the Revolution, 11 to 12 p.m.
– Armed Forces Community Covenant in Market Square, Old Town @ 11 to 12:30 p.m.
– George Washington Birthday Parade in Old Town @1 to 3 p.m.
– Free admission to multiple historic sites on parade day!

Volunteer to help maintain our celebration as the premier Washington birthday celebration event in the nation. Over 200 volunteers make these events happen each year.

Subscribe to the monthly newsletter for the latest developments, information and volunteer opportunities. 

Contact (gwparade@gmail.com) the George Washington Birthday Committee with any questions or comments at www.gwparade@gmail.com

Women of Alexandria LectureMonday, February 8 – Lecture: Women of Alexandria, from Antebellum to the 20th Century
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Alexandria spent four years as an occupied city during the Civil War. During that time, daily life became quite different for residents who remained in the city, and in many cases, the war changed the course of women’s lives.Women of Alexandria, from Antebellum to the 20th Century will illuminate an important side of the city’s history that has been under-investigated: the effect of the Civil War on the lives of Alexandria’s women. Free, but donations gladly accepted. 7 p.m. This program generously supported by a grant from Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. For more information, please visitwww.nvfaa.org.org or call 703.548.0035.Monday, February 8 – Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee
Alexandria City Hall, Sister Cities Conference Room 1102, 301 King Street 
Regular monthly meeting.  Free! 7 p.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4554.Wednesday, February 10 – Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission
Lloyd House, 220 North Washington Street
Regular monthly meeting.  Free! 8 a.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4554.Thursday, February 11 – Birthnight Ball Dance Class
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
In preparation for the Birthnight Ball on February 13, learn 18th-century English country dancing from expert dance instructors  Tickets are priced per person at $12 per class or $30 for the series (January 28, February 4, 11). Reservations are recommended.7:30 to 9:30. Please call 703.746.4242 for more information.

Saturday, February 13 – Family Legends Make-A-Valentine Workshop
Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street
Tell a legend of love in your family. Make a valentine for your loved one. Children and their adult family members are invited to reserve a place for this popular program led by artist, writer and educator “Sush” Mazumdar. Family Legends is an initiative of Living Legends of Alexandria, a photodocumentary project celebrating Alexandria’s recent history makers. $5 per person materials fee. 11 a.m. For more information, please call 703.746.4356.

Saturday, February 13 – Downton Abbey Tour
Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street 
To celebrate the final season of Downton Abbey the Lee-Fendall House will offer a specialDownton Abbey themed tour of the museum. Discover real life connections between people and places within the world of the television series and those of the Lee-Fendall House.  The tour will feature the service wing, which is not normally open to public view.  Tickets are available in advance for $10 through the museum’s Online Store, or for $12 at the door.  FREE for members! 11 a.m. For more information, please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Saturday, February 13 – Civil War Walking Tour: “Beyond the Battlefield” 
Tour begins at The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street
Enjoy a guided walking tour sponsored by the Lee-Fendall House museum of Civil War sites in Historic Old Town. Participants will see locations and stories associated with soldiers, citizens, and the enslaved, including the occupation of Alexandria and emancipation. Stops on the tour will include locations featured in the new PBS drama, Mercy Street. The tour will last approximately 2.5 hours and the tour route is approximately 1.75 miles.  Tickets are priced at $15 per person in advance through the museum’s Online Store, or $20 each on the day of the program. FREE for LFH Members! 10 a.m. Please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789 for more information.

Saturday, February 13 – Birthnight Ball 
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Sorry, this event is sold out!

Sunday, February 14 – Revolutionary War Day at Fort Ward Park
Fort Ward Park, 4301 West Braddock Road
Camp life activities and demonstrations including a tactical skirmish between British and Colonial troops at 2 p.m. Sponsored by the George Washington Birthday Committee. Free! 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please visit www.fortward.org  or call 703.746.4848.

Sunday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Tea
Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street
The Lee-Fendall House will be offering a special “Sweetheart Tea” on Valentine’s Day!  Enjoy Valentine’s Day themed treats and parlor games with your special sweetheart! Space is strictly limited to 24 attendees; advance reservations are required.  Tickets are available for sale through the museum’s Online Store.  Tickets are $40 per person, $30 for LFH members. 1 p.m. For more information, please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Navy Concert BandSunday, February 14 – Music in the Gallery: The Navy Concert Band
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
The Navy Band Chamber Music Series features musicians from the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, DC, the Navy’s premier musical organization and one of the top professional wind ensembles in the world. This chamber music recital will feature traditional and modern music for woodwinds and brass. Free! 2 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org.org or call 703.548.0035.

Sunday, February 14 – Adulteration of Chocolate Tasting
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Did you know that rum, brandy, whiskey, and madeira all mix quite deliciously with chocolate? Join us for a special tasting experience and learn more about 18th century tavern beverages and American Heritage Chocolate! Multiple courses of beverage, chocolate, and food pairings. A great Valentine’s Day gift. Tickets are priced at $45 per person. 3 to 4:30 p.m. Please call 703.746.4242 for more information.

Monday, February 15 – Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association Breakfast 
Hotel Monaco, 480 King Street
Enjoy a hearty breakfast and hear our distinguished Congressman, Don Beyer; see the presentation of the Ben Lynt Distinguished Service Award; and enjoy good fellowship on the morning of the George Washington Birthday Parade! Tickets to this Alexandria tradition are priced at $30 per person. 9 to 10:30 a.m. Tickets are available for $30 per person. Send payment to Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association, P. O. Box 22505, Alexandria, VA 22304 or call 703.751. 6416. For additional information, please visit www.frienshipfirehouse,net.

Monday, February 15 – Presidents’ Day Open House
Friendship Firehouse Museum, 107 South Alfred Street
Visit the Friendship Firehouse Museum when you are in Old Town for the George Washington Birthday Celebration parade. Admission today is FREE! 11 am to 4 p.m.  Please call 703.746.4994 or 3891for more information.

Monday, February 15 – Presidents’ Day Open House
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal Street
Visit the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum when you are in Old Town for the George Washington Birthday Celebration parade. Admission today is FREE! 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Please call 703.746.4242 for more information.

Monday, February 15 – Presidents’ Day Open House
Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 107 South Fairfax Street
Visit the Apothecary Museum when you are in Old Town for the George Washington Birthday Celebration parade. Admission today is FREE! 11 am to 4 p.m.  Please call 703.746.3852 for more information.

Now on Exhibit – Who These Wounded Are: The Extraordinary Stories of the Mansion House Hospital
Carlyle House Historic Park, 121 North Fairfax Street
Come see the site that inspired Mercy Street, the new PBS’ series inspired by real events that took place at Carlyle House. The six-episode program revolves around the doctors, nurses, and patients of Mansion House Hospital, a former luxury hotel owned by James Green, a prominent Alexandria businessman who resided in Carlyle House.

James Green purchased Carlyle House and the adjacent Bank of Alexandria in 1848. While living in Carlyle House with his family, he converted the Bank Building into the successful Mansion House Hotel. The hotel thrived, and Green expanded it in the 1850s. In November of 1861, the Union Army took over both the hotel and the mansion, turning the hotel into a hospital and the house into doctor and officer housing. The new exhibit recreates the days of Union occupation and tells the true stories of those who lived and worked here during the war. This is where Mercy Street really happened.  Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. –to 4 p.m. For further information please visit www.carlylehouse.org or call 703.549.2997.

Now on Exhibit – The Lyceum:  175 Years of Local History
The Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 South Washington Street
This new exhibition highlights the history of The Lyceum, as well as its role today as a place for exploring Alexandria’s past.  On view in the museum’s Coldsmith Gallery, the historical objects and images featured represent The Lyceum, the community at work, and commemorations and celebrations.  Throughout the exhibition, visitors are invited to “be the curator” and think about why the various artifacts are in museum’s collection, and about how these tangible representatives of the past help tell the story of Alexandria’s history.

Museum visitors can also explore artifacts relating to commemorating or celebrating something important in someone’s life, or that serve as a memento representing an organization, business, or event.  For example, five World War II service medals from a local soldier are on view, as well as a china pitcher promoting William Henry Harrison’s campaign for the presidency, and a colorful hand-worked quilt commemorating the Bicentennial of the American Revolution in 1976.  The Lyceum:  175 Years of Local History includes a variety of items providing a glimpse into different types of work in Alexandria since the community was founded in the 18th century.  Objects range from circa 1796 wares marked by Alexandria silversmith Adam Lynn, a circa 1880 dresser manufactured by James F. Muir and Brothers, to a collage of original photographs – circa 1970 — documenting the Alexandria, Barcroft & Washington Rapid Transit Company.

Open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.   For more information call 703.746.4994, or see www.alexandriahistory.org.

Now on Exhibit – Wings from Chains
The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street
Wings from Chains is an open call competition inviting artists to consider women’s roles and responsibilities in society – yesterday, today, and tomorrow – and to explore the transformation from oppression to liberation, shame to pride, and drudgery into art. Free! Open Thursday through Sunday, 12 Noon to 4 p.m. For more information, please visit www.nvfaa.org or call 703.548.0035.

Now on Exhibit – Journey to Be Free: Alexandria Freedmen’s Cemetery 
Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe Street 
A new exhibit tracing the 150-year history of the long-forgotten Freedmen’s Cemetery, its rediscovery and how the new Contrabands and Freedmen’s Cemetery Memorial was created at the site.  Free, but donations are appreciated. Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 4 p.m., Sunday and Monday: Closed.  For more information, please call 703.746.4356.

Now on Exhibit – Their Fates Intertwined: The Lees of Alexandria in the War of 1812 
Lee-Fendall House and Gardens, 614 Oronoco Street
A new exhibit on the experiences of the Lee family in Alexandria during the War of 1812 examines the contributions of Alexandria’s citizens during the conflict that led to the writing of our national anthem through the lives of this iconic Virginia family. For more information, please visit www.leefendallhouse.org or call 703.548.1789.

Now on Exhibit – Fifty Years of Collecting: An Anniversary Exhibit of Objects from the Fort Ward Collection 
Fort Ward Museum, 4301 West Braddock Road
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Fort Ward Museum & Historic Park, this new exhibition offers a glimpse into the growth and holdings of the Museum’s fine Civil War collection.The exhibit features some rare items related to the Defenses of Washington, such as an 1862 panoramic drawing of Fort Albany by the soldier-artist William Lydston, a folding camp chair that belonged to an officer in the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, and a Lambley’s portable copying machine used by an officer from the 57th Massachusetts Infantry.   Objects that interpret the Union occupation of Alexandria, such as a proclamation declaring martial law in the city, are also featured.  Examples of newly acquired objects are a field desk with personal belongings owned by a captain in the 107th New York Infantry, and a John Rogers statuary group, “Uncle Ned’s School,” which aimed to portray the efforts of newly freed African Americans to better their lives through education in the postwar years.

Fort Ward is the best preserved of the extensive network of Union forts and batteries known as the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Free! Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.   For more information, please call 703.746.4848 or visitwww.fortward.org.

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