WILLIAMSBURG, Va., September 24, 2015 – Planning by the 2019 Commemoration Steering Committee for the 400th anniversary of four landmark events in Virginia history is gaining momentum with the establishment of an organizational structure. The Steering Committee, co-chaired by Virginia Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr., and Delegate M. Kirkland Cox, and comprised of state government representatives and individuals affiliated with historical and educational organizations, held its third meeting at the Virginia State Capitol in August.
Jeanne F. Zeidler will serve as chair and Frank B. Atkinson as vice chair of the new Programs and Events Committee. George Keith Martin was named chair and Paul D. Koonce vice chair of the Resources and Logistics Committee.
Joining the leadership Executive Committee is H. Benson Dendy III, chairman of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, designated in 2013 by the General Assembly as the official state agency to assist the Commonwealth in establishing planning systems for commemorating the 400th anniversary of landmark 1619 events: the first representative legislative assembly in British America, at Jamestown; the arrival of the first recorded Africans in Virginia; recruitment of women to expand the Virginia colony; and establishment of a precedent for Thanksgiving in America at Berkeley Hundred.
Several Programs and Events subcommittees were established. “First Representative Legislative Assembly” is co-chaired by Clerk of the Senate Susan Clarke Schaar and House of Delegates Clerk G. Paul Nardo. “First Africans in British North America” is co-chaired by Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander and Jacquelyn E. Stone. “Recruitment of Women” is co-chaired by United States Representative Barbara J. Comstock of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District and Anne Geddy Cross. “First Thanksgiving” is chaired by H. Graham Woodlief. The “Entrepreneurialism” subcommittee is co-chaired by Chief Stephen R. Adkins, Sr., and Bobbie G. Kilberg.
“The 2019 Commemoration will leverage partnerships and launch a series of programs and events of national and international significance to build awareness of Virginia’s role in the creation of the United States and position Virginia as a global leader in education, economic development and tourism,” 2019 Commemoration Director Kathy Spangler said.
For more information, call the 2019 Commemoration office at (757) 253-4219.