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Archive for November, 2008

November 25, 2008

Workin’ on the Farm…

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Mount Vernon annually accepts a select number of applicants for summer internships at our Pioneer Farm site and our Distillery & Gristmill site. These internships are excellent opportunities for undergraduate students interested in American and agricultural history as well as the museum education field. Interns will become immersed in 18th century history, agriculture, and industry as they actively interpret George Washington’s farming and business operations at Mount Vernon. After the completion of a short training program, interns will develop their interpretive, teaching, and public speaking skills by working on site in period dress under the direction of the Trades staff. Best of all, interns live on the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate during the internship. In addition, interns participate in special field trips to other historic sites and museums in the region. Six internships will be awarded, four at the Pioneer Farm site and two at the Distillery & Gristmill. Further information about the internships and applications can be found on our website.

Category: George Washington

November 25, 2008

Bring Mount Vernon to YOUR Classroom!

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Would your students like to sing a slave song with Caroline, Martha Washington’s maidservant, or hear Billy Lee’s stories of riding alongside George Washington in the Revolutionary War? This is a privilege usually reserved for students who visit Mount Vernon on a field trip, but we are now bringing our popular Washington’s World first person interpreter program to your classroom! Washington’s World: Slave Life is the first in a series of programs where students can meet the people that lived with George Washington. If your classroom is video-conference enabled, please visit us on the CILC website to request a program. This program will be free to the first school to request it, but then resumes the regular price of $125 for a 45 minute program.

Category: Uncategorized

November 25, 2008

George Washington Proclaims Thanksgiving!

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The very first presidential proclamation issued in the United States was actually a Proclamation of Thanksgiving by George Washington in 1789. The original manuscript was lost for 130 years, reappearing in 1921 at a New York art auction. Dr. J.C. Fitzgerald recognized the document and purchased it for $300 to be placed in the Library of Congress, where it still resides. The proclamation reads:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Continue reading George Washington Proclaims Thanksgiving! »

Category: George Washington

November 17, 2008

Mark your Calendars for ‘Primarily George’!

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The Mount Vernon Education Dept. knows how important teaching with primary documents is to teachers- after all, what better source is there than the original. For this reason, we provide a link on our website to the digital edition of the Papers of George Washington, as well as a number of lesson plans that use primary documents. We have also decided to focus our next distance learning program on these important teaching tools, which will air across the nation on Jan. 8, 2009 from 4:00-4:45 pm. The program, Primarily George, will feature educators from Mount Vernon, the National Archives, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the Papers of George Washington. These educators will highlight online primary source documents, in their respective collections, that can be used to teach students about various aspects of George Washington and the founding and also give brief overviews of the online collections that can be used to access the sources. As always, if you miss the program when it airs, educators can request a free DVD of the program from the Fairfax Network.

Category: Classroom Connections

November 17, 2008

Extreme Makeover: George Washington Edition

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Created by a forensic anthropologist and a team of interdisciplinary experts, the forensic figures of George Washington in Mount Vernon’s new Donald W. Reynolds Education Center, strive to show the real George Washington. There are three figures of George Washington, ages 19, 45, and 57: Washington as a young surveyor, as a General in the midst of the Revolution, and, Washington as he is taking the oath of office to become the first President of the United States. And just like the real George Washington, they, too, require a little grooming (bet you weren’t expecting that!).
Last month, Steven Horak, a theatrical wig maker with the Metropolitan Opera, and Susan Day, a studio artist formerly from Madame Tussauds, came to the Education Center for the yearly maintenance of the three Georges. The heads and hands of the figures are made of beeswax and are removed from the figures, washed, and meticulously repainted. Real human hair is used for the wigs and the thousands of individual hairs which are inserted into the beeswax for hair around the face, eyebrows, eyelashes, stubble and hands. This is also a good opportunity for Diana Cordray, EC Manager, to adjust and clean the costumes. Once the figures are reassembled, visitors are none the wiser that the Georges have just had a makeover!

Photos by Cal McWhirter

Category: George Washington

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Portraits in Schools

Kids holding George Washington Portrait

Mount Vernon recently invited K-12 schools nationwide to request framed portraits of George Washington to display in a respectful, prominent place.

The response was overwhelming: thousands of schools submitted letters! Along with the portrait, schools received curriculum materials to help explore our first president’s contributions.

Where has George Washington gone back to school? Click here to see!

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