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Five Ways to Experience George Washington

George Washington statue It’s Presidents Day weekend, and what better time to honor the 286th birthday of America’s first president – George Washington. At the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, you can experience the stories of citizens and soldiers caught up in the American Revolution – among them is dear ol’ George himself.

As an icon of American history, Washington symbolizes many things to many people, and for well over 200 years, has been represented in paintings, prints, sculpture, decorative objects and other artistic media.

From a general on the battlefield to a statesman forming a new nation, here are five ways you can get up close to Washington this weekend at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

George Washington statue outside Take a seat on a bench beside George Washington, a bronze sculpture near the museum’s entrance, as he looks up from reading the preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
• Catch “Liberty Fever,” the museum’s award-winning introductory film, to see General Washington leading the troops in battle.
• “The Siege of Yorktown” experiential theater features scenes with Washington as he plans strategies with French allies and rallies the troops in the trenches.
• In The New Nation section of the exhibition galleries, take in the inspiring life-size cast plaster statue of George Washington. The statue, once in the Hall of Representatives in the U.S. Capitol, is an exact replica of the marble statue by Jean-Antoine Houdon which resides in the Virginia State Capitol in

Silver-embroidered epaulette star, 1798-99, made for George Washington’s last uniform after he left the presidency and was re-appointed as commanding general of the new United States Army.  Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection.

Richmond. Crafted by the artist William James Hubard in Richmond, Virginia, it has had a long and tumultuous life. Read the backstory here.

In addition, see a collection of late 18th-century artifacts associated with the first president – including a presidential inaugural button, shoe buckles, an epaulette star made for his military uniform, a masonic jug, and 1796 portrait of Washington after Gilbert Stuart’s Landsdowne portrait.

• Outdoors, learn about life in Washington’s troops in the re-created Continental Army encampment. There, enlist as a soldier, see how the army was fed, outfitted and readied for the Revolution.

You also won’t want to miss the gift shop, where you can take home souvenirs related to Washington, including a miniature bust.

Pair of Washington Commemorative Shoe Buckles

Just as items were produced to commemorate both of Washington’s presidential inaugurations these buckles, each showing images of Washington, may have been produced and worn to memorialize the former president’s death in 1799. Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation collection.

If you can’t visit the American Revolution Museum in person, take in these fun and informative online quizzes, essays and apps that feature one of America’s most famous founding father.

• Take a virtual gallery tour of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown by downloading the app, which features perspectives of Washington as a general in “A Military Life.”
• Yorktown Chronicles reveals details about Washington’s life and history.
• How Revolutionary are You? Discover if you were like Washington or another Revolutionary figure in this online quiz.


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