YORKTOWN, Va., June 16, 2014 — Salute the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence during “Liberty Celebration,” July 4-6, at the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution.
From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on all three days, visitors can observe tactical and artillery drills, take part in a variety of military exercises, and learn about the challenges that faced our nation’s founders, including those who signed the Declaration of Independence.
A rare early broadside printing of the Declaration dating to July 1776 is featured in the museum’s Declaration of Independence Gallery. The historic document was printed in Boston soon after being adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, and before an engrossed, or handwritten, copy of the document on parchment was signed by members of Congress on August 2, 1776.
During “The Price of Liberty,” a daily program held at 12:05 and 4:05 p.m. at the museum’s re-created 1780s farm, visitors will learn about the sacrifices of Americans who declared independence from Great Britain – from the individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence to farmers, Loyalists, women and slaves.
In the re-created Continental Army encampment, visitors can learn about secret codes used during the Revolutionary War during a daily program on espionage at 10:05 a.m. Artillery demonstrations will take place at 11:05 a.m. and 3:05 p.m. and, at 5:05 p.m., the firing of a mortar. At 1:05 p.m. each day, visitors can watch costumed historical interpreters take up arms for a tactical drill and then participate in a wooden musket drill.
At the re-created 1780s farm, visitors can see spinning and textile demonstrations at 10:35 a.m. each day and, at 3:35 p.m., learn about the transition from farmer to soldier as they train as a member of the citizen militia.
Indoors, visitors to the Witnesses to Revolution Gallery can hear firsthand accounts of the war’s impact on everyday people of the 18th century, including Africans, American Indians and women – for whom the concepts of liberty and equality did not yet apply. A rare 1730s portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, a freeborn, educated African kidnapped in Africa and sold as a slave in Maryland during the colonial era, is on display through August 3. Exhibits also explore the movements of British, American and French troops that converged on Yorktown in 1781 and examine the development of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and how people from many different cultures shaped a new society. The film, “A Time of Revolution,” is shown every 30 minutes in the museum theater.
The Yorktown Victory Center’s “Liberty Celebration” daytime events complement the Yorktown Fourth of July Celebration taking place in historic Yorktown on the evening of July 4.
Hours, Directions & Parking
The Yorktown Victory Center, open daily as the site is transformed into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, is located on Route 1020 near the Colonial Parkway in Yorktown. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through August 15, parking at the Yorktown Victory Center is free for museum visitors. A free shuttle service is available to historic Yorktown until 5 p.m. on the Yorktown Trolley.
Tickets & Packages
Yorktown Victory Center admission is $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for youth ages 6 through 12. Children under age 6 receive complimentary admission. A 20-percent savings is available with a value-priced combination ticket with Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia. An annual pass to both museums is $35.00 for adults and $17.50 for ages 6-12; special online offer available for Virginia residents. Additional ticket and package options are available with other Williamsburg area attractions, including Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.
For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free, (757) 253-4838 or visit http://historyisfun.org/events/liberty-celebration/.