AMERICAN EVOLUTION™ commemorates the 400th anniversary of key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today. Featured events, programs and legacy projects inspire local, national and international engagement through the themes of democracy, diversity and opportunity.
WHAT MAKES 1619 AN IMPORTANT YEAR IN AMERICAN HISTORY?
The year 1619 was a pivotal year in the establishment of the first permanent English Colony in North America. It was the year of the first representative legislative assembly in the New World, the arrival of the first recorded Africans to English North America, the recruitment of English Women in significant numbers, the first official English Thanksgiving in North America, and the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of the Virginia colony.
1619 HISTORICAL EVENTS
First Representative Legislative Assembly in the New World
The first “General Assembly” composed of men from each of Virginia’s eleven major settlements met for
the first time at Jamestown from July 30-August 4, 1619, planting the seed of democracy in America.
Arrival of the First Recorded Africans to English North America
The first recorded Africans arrived at Old Point Comfort, Virginia in late August 1619 marking the
moment when African history became a powerful and indelible influence on the development of our
Recruitment of English Women in Significant Numbers
In November 1619, 147 English women were recruited to join Jamestown’s male settlers, building
permanence in the Colony.
First Official English Thanksgiving in North America
Upon safe arrival at Berkeley Hundred on December 4, 1619, a group of English settlers held a ceremony
of Thanksgiving which was to be observed annually and perpetually.
Entrepreneurial and Innovative Spirit of the Virginia Colony
A series of new laws passed in 1619 allowed Virginia colonists to experiment with various industries,
helping to set the groundwork for America’s free enterprise system.
Programs to Commemorate
- Virginia History Trails: The Virginia History Trails is a curated list of stories developed to inform modern day explorers of the 400 year arc of history from 1619 until today. Additionally, each of the trails help to promote locations that are linked to these historical events and reflect the 2019 Commemoration themes of democracy, diversity, and opportunity. Selection of sites and stories were written in collaboration with the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Foundation for Humanities. The stories have been reviewed by the Commemoration’s historical council, key stakeholders, and trail sites for accuracy.
- Signature Events: A series of events will take place from 2018-2019 to commemorate the history of 1619. These programs include festivals, performances, competitions and more.
- 2019 Schools: The 2019 Commemoration Schools program is a yearlong challenge for school communities in Virginia to demonstrate their 2019 spirit through participation in contests, projects, and activities that are sponsored by the 2019 Commemoration and partners or are unique to communities, schools, and divisions.
- Various Grants, Contests, and Press opportunities for organizations across VA.
References[edit | edit source]
- "First legislative assembly in America - Jul 30, 1619 - HISTORY.com". HISTORY.com. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
- "1619: The first Africans arrive in the New World". myajc. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
- "The Indispensable Role of Women at Jamestown - Historic Jamestowne Part of Colonial National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
- "The First Thanksgiving Took Place in Virginia, not Massachusetts | Washingtonian". Washingtonian. 2015-11-18. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
- "1619: Laws enacted by the First General Assembly of Virginia - Online Library of Liberty". oll.libertyfund.org. Retrieved 2018-05-17. line feed character in
|title=at position 61 (help)
- "Virginia History Trails - American Evolution 2019". American Evolution 2019. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
- "2019 Commemoration Schools - American Evolution 2019". American Evolution 2019. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
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