JAMESTOWN, Va., July 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- President Donald J. Trump offered congratulatory remarks to members of the Virginia General Assembly, members of the United States Congress, and representatives of state legislatures nationwide, at Virginia's 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution's 400th Anniversary Joint Commemorative Session of the Virginia General Assembly. This historic gathering at Jamestown Settlement on July 30, 2019 marked the 400th anniversary of the birth of American democracy.
"On this day in 1619, twenty-two newly elected members of the House of Burgesses assembled in a small wooden church. They were adventurers and explorers, farmers and planters, soldiers, scholars and clergymen," said President Trump, in his remarks during the 400th Anniversary Joint Commemorative Session of the Virginia General Assembly. "All had struggled, all had suffered, and all had sacrificed in pursuit of one wild and very improbable dream. They called that dream Virginia."
The meeting of the first General Assembly took place 400 years ago, from July 30 through August 4, 1619, and was comprised of two male settlers representing each of the 11 major settlement areas in Virginia. Governor Sir George Yeardley presided over the first convening of this new form of government in the church in Jamestown, forming the basis of today's representative system of government in the United States of America.
The day of commemorative events in Jamestown began with keynote remarks delivered by Governor Ralph S. Northam at the memorial church at Historic Jamestowne. "The ideals of freedom and representative government have flourished here. They spread out from this very ground in Jamestown," Northam said. "But that's not the only thing that spread from this place. While we mark this history, we must also remember that it is more complex. The story of Virginia is rooted in the simultaneous pursuit of both liberty and enslavement."
Presidential historian, Jon Meacham, delivered keynote remarks at the re-created Jamestown church where the meeting of the first legislative assembly took place. "History has a capacity to bring us together, for our story is ultimately one of obstacles overcome, crises resolved, and freedom expanded."
Meacham added, "This is a good moment, and a good place to reflect on who we've been, who we are, and where we might go in the next 400 years. For, to know what's come before, is to be armed against despair, if the men and women of the past, with all their flaws and limitations and ambitions and appetites could press on through ignorance and superstition, through racism and sexism, through selfishness and greed, then perhaps, we, too, can take another step towards a more perfect union."
American Evolution is convening more than 20 events, programs, educational initiatives performances and exhibitions that showcase key events from 400 years ago in 1619 Virginia, which set our nation on a course towards the ideals of democracy, diversity and opportunity. In addition to the first representative legislative assembly, these pivotal 1619 Virginia events include the arrival of the first Africans to English North America, the recruitment of English women in significant numbers, the first official English Thanksgiving in North America and the development of the Virginia colony's entrepreneurial and innovative spirit.
For more information on the 400th Anniversary of the First Representative Legislative Assembly events in America's Historic Triangle visit: americanevolution2019.com/events/400thceremony/.
A full schedule of American Evolution programming can be found here.
About the 2019 Commemoration
The 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution highlights events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today. Featured programs, events and legacy projects will position Virginia as a leader in education, tourism and economic development. American Evolution commemorates the ongoing journey toward the key ideals of democracy, diversity and opportunity. Dominion Energy is an American Evolution Founding Partner and Altria Group and TowneBank are Virginia Colony Partners.
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SOURCE American Evolution