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JAMESTOWN 2007 STEERING COMMITTEE PUBLISHES OFFICIAL REPORT OF ‘AMERICA’S 400TH ANNIVERSARY’

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., June 19, 2009 – The Jamestown 2007 Steering Committee, which coordinated the Commonwealth of Virginia’s observance of the 400th anniversary of the founding of America’s first permanent English colony in Virginia in 1607, has published its official report of the commemoration. 

The 144-page illustrated “America’s 400th Anniversary: Jamestown 2007 Steering Committee Report” is available online and in print through the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and Virginia Division of Legislative Automated Systems.

The Steering Committee was formed following Virginia General Assembly designation in 1996 of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the state agency that operates Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center history museums, as the Commonwealth’s official entity charged with planning and implementation of the commemoration.  Initially consisting of 13 members appointed by the chairman of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the group expanded to more than 40 members to include diverse representation from across the state.

The report is prefaced with messages from Vincent F. Callahan, Jr., and Thomas K. Norment, Jr., co-chairmen of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation during the commemoration period; former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, honorary chair of the commemoration; and Jamestown 2007 Steering Committee Chairman Stuart W. Connock.

“Our Commonwealth holds the honor of serving as the place where the foundations of our nation were established,” Callahan and Norment say, “although this distinction has not always been clear to many Americans.  We set out to correct the record and bring benefits to communities throughout the Commonwealth in the process.”
 
“America’s 400th Anniversary afforded us the perfect opportunity to reflect on the significance of the early days of our nation and the diverse contributions that were so essential to its development,” Justice O’Connor writes.  “It was a moment to inspire Americans and to reconnect with the people, the events, and the ideas that gave us our start.”

“The commemoration was the product of dozens of leaders, tens of thousands of individuals, and hundreds of community groups and partner organizations,” Connock notes, acknowledging APVA Preservation Virginia, the National Park Service, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and the federal Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission, among others, as major partners.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the commemoration, an 18-month-long series of events and programs, and cites its success in achieving educational, economic development and tourism goals.

Following a retrospective on two centuries of Jamestown anniversary observances, the report details the 10-year planning process for the 400th anniversary commemoration, including the development of messaging, funding sources and sponsorships, partnerships, the Virginia 2007 Community Program that ensured statewide participation, and signature events.  A 50-page section of the report describes major events of the commemoration, from spring 2006 to fall 2007, highlighted by America’s Anniversary Weekend, May 11-13, 2007.

Final sections of the report discuss efforts to build national awareness of Jamestown’s significance in American history and promote commemoration events through public relations and advertising; marketing efforts of the Virginia Tourism Corporation; and results of the commemoration, including its educational and economic impact.

The “America’s 400th Anniversary” report is available in PDF format at hif.ciniva.net/planning-a-commemoration.htm and at http://leg2.state.va.us/dls/h&sdocs.nsf/Published%20by%20Year?OpenForm, House Document 13.  Print copies are available at the Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center gift shops in hard cover ($14.95 each) and soft cover ($9.95 each).  The books can be ordered by phone at 757-253-7308 or online at www.shophistoryisfun.com.  Large quantities, in multiples of 100 copies, can be ordered from the Division of Legislative Automated Systems at 804-371-8007.