This year marks the 250th anniversary of President James Monroe’s birth in Westmoreland County, Virginia on 28 April 1758. President James Monroe attended William and Mary College, but when war broke out, he left college to join the rebels. He and George Washington were the only Presidents to have served as officers during the American Revolutionary War. James Monroe participated in six major battles, wintering at Valley Forge, crossing the Delaware with General George Washington, and being seriously wounded at Trenton, New Jersey. He was cited for conspicuous bravery. After the war, he worked as a lawyer in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He died July 4th, 1831, the third president to die on Independence Day.
One of the events scheduled in honor of his 250th birthday is the placing of a memorial tablet at the Monroe family farm by the Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution. The farm is located between Colonial Beach and Route 205. This special ceremony will occur on Saturday, April 26th, 2008, at 11 a.m.
On Monday, April 28th, 2008 at 11 a.m. there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of America’s fifth President, James Monroe, at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. Wreaths will be presented on behalf of President George W. Bush, the James Monroe Memorial Foundation, and various lineage societies.
That same day, April 28th, at 4 p.m., the Garrison Commander of Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia will hold a special Retreat Ceremony at the Flagstaff Bastion. Military personnel are requested to wear duty uniforms, and civilians are asked to wear business attire. To attend this special event, an RSVP must be made by April 22nd, 2008.
For more information on any of these events, see www.MonroeFoundation.org.
This portrait of James Monroe is from Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
Learn More: The American Revolution