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The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Earned Media Coverage May 22, 2014

Family Travel Deals Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free in Colonial Williamsburg Provided by: Williamsburg Lodge Expiration: 2014-08-28 Summers in Colonial Williamsburg are full of family fun! Book a stay at the Williamsburg Lodge this summer and save, too! Book three or more nights and kids 12 and under will stay, play and eat for free when with a paying adult! Kids receive free accommodations, free golf at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, free tennis at the Williamsburg Inn Tennis Club, free tickets to the Revolutionary City, art museums and RevQuest: The Old Enemy, free breakfast each morning and free dinner from the children's menu at Traditions, Huzzah! or the Colonial Williamsburg historic tavern. Rates start from $239 per night. Book now for stays June 13 through Aug. 28, 2014.

Explore the history of America at these 10 sites By Melanie Renzulli 5/19/14

What are the most historic sites in the United States? Are they the oldest attractions in the land? Or are America's most historic places a combination of old and new, weighted by significance as well as age?

These were the questions we posed ourselves when coming up with a list of 10 historic sites to visit around America. Below is a list that takes into account America's rich history, from pre-colonial times to the recent past, in chronological order. Colonial Williamsburg and the History Triangle: Three towns form Virginia's "History Triangle," which attracts approximately 4 million visitors per year. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Yorktown saw one of the most pivotal battles of the American Revolution. History comes alive in Colonial Williamsburg, where costumed characters act-out the details of early American life.

Editorial: History lessons that span culture, time Some figures transcend culture, language, and even time. Colonial Williamsburgemploys one of those gifted people in Bill Barker, who interprets Thomas Jefferson. Two weeks ago I had the task of introducing visiting journalists from Ukraine to the Historic Area. Colonial Williamsburg graciously hosted our visitors, providing access to buildings, two guides, and a surprise visit with then Gov. Jefferson, who just happened to be lounging in a breezeway adjacent to the Robert Carter House on Palace Green. This was far more than a meet and greet. Jefferson displayed a depth and breadth of knowledge about eighteenth century Ukraine that took his guests – all of them – by surprise. Jefferson delved into the country's rich history, which takes shape between 400 and 800 A.D. as the Goths settled what was then known as "Kievan Rus." By the ninth century it had grown into a major political and cultural center in eastern Europe, and a century later converted to Byzantine Christianity. He progressed through the centuries, touching on the Mongol invasion of 1240 and the three centuries that followed under Poland's influence. In 1654 Ukraine sought protection from Moscovy against Poland, which the Russians took as an invitation to assume control of Ukraine. Sound familiar? That same year control became an issue in the Virginia colony, according to a history posted on the Wesleyan University website. Anthony Johnson of Northampton County won a court case that granted him the lifetime services of John Casor. Both men were black. It marked the first legal approval of permanent servitude, aside from punishment for a crime. Slavery in America was born. As Jefferson, Barker never brought up slavery. The real Mr. Jefferson is famously known for his liaison with Sally Heming, a slave he owned. Barker seamlessly brought up key figures of the period in Ukraine: explorers, rulers, trade, and the country's Cossack intellectuals who ended the church's interpretation of history. Ukraine was roughly 1,000 years old by the time Jefferson was born in 1743. But he spoke as if he'd personally navigated the Dnieper River, Europe's fourth longest, which flows south from Russia through Ukraine and into the Black Sea. His audience at the Robert Carter House smiled and nodded, recognizing the names and events significant to Ukrainian history that he brought to life. In many instances they didn't need the two interpreters accompanying them to comprehend what he said.,0,1815149.story

Comprehension was more difficult for the Ukrainians' host and guides. We looked at each other in amazement: How does he know all of this? The events had relevance for both Jefferson and the Ukrainians. As the Koliivshchyna Rebellion broke out in Ukraine in 1768, a then 25-year-old Jefferson was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. He aligns himself with a young faction of men perceived as radicals, among them Patrick Henry and George Washington. Unlike Koliivshchyna, the young radicals of Virginia would not be put down. Ukraine's leader, Catherine II, rose to empress of Russia in 1762, the same year Jefferson graduated from the College of William and Mary. At her death in 1796, Catherine II had added Crimea and the Right Bank of Ukraine into her empire. She had also instituted a system of serfdom, a very un-Jeffersonian concept. Meanwhile, Jefferson was taking part in the first contested presidential election in the fledgling history of the United States. He loses by three electoral votes to John Adams. As the chance meeting concluded, Jefferson posed for photos with his 21st century admirers, never questioning that a camera and a cell phone would've been a very foreign object to him. He gestured toward the nearby Governor's Palace, noting that the name "palace" was no longer applicable since Virginia now elected its governors, rather than abide by one appointed by the King of England. "Now," he said simply, "It's the governor's house.",0,1815149.story

New ads use humor Colonial Williamsburg likes new ads By Steve Vaughan 5/16/14

The Martin Agency is settling into its role as Colonial Williamsburg's ad agency. In its second year of working with the foundation, the Richmond-based ad agency, responsible for the gecko and caveman ads for Geico Insurance as well as other award-winning campaigns, has created a set of commercials displaying its trademark humor and hitting the mark with Colonial Williamsburg fans, if social media responses are any indication. The ads, one called "Family Vacation" and one called "Romantic Vacation" can be viewed on Colonial Williamsburg YouTube channel. They feature visitors describing their trip to friends in words that cause there mouths to hang open. "We had the best romantic vacation," a man says. "There was gunfire and explosions. One night when we wanted to spice it up, we sent and innocent women to prison as a witch. We're have stayed later, but we had an early tee time." A woman describes her family vacation to a friend over lunch. "There were fight breaking out in the street, angry mobs..the whole place was like a war zone," she tells her friend. "What about the kids?" her shocked lunch companion asks.,0,3159445.story

"Oh we shackled them to a post in the middle of town," she said. "I'm not sure what they liked best, the shackling or the pool." As in last years, "A Vacation That Stays With You" campaign, each commercial ends with the aural signature the agency developed for Colonial Williamsburg — a golf ball being struck, wine glasses clinking together and the boom of a cannon. Colonial Williamsburg is pleased with the work. "The purpose of the commercials was to show the breadth and depth of the Colonial Williamsburg experience – the opportunities for immersive activities, culinary and fun," said spokeswoman Barbara Brown. " We think the commercials accomplish that goal and are consistent with the goals of the destination, but of course it will be the consumers who decide if we have conveyed that message, and their opinion is the only one that matters. If social media is any indication, the reaction to them is very positive." Karen Riordan, president of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance, said — during a break with Alliances meeting with its own ad agency — that she understood social media reaction to the spots was positive as well. The ads to show that there's more to Colonial Williamsburg that history — such as luxury hotels and premier golf courses. That's in line with what Riordan has said will be the new direction of the destination's marketing — "History Plus." "I think they are doing 'History Plus' in their way, for Colonial Williamsburg," she said. "We'll be doing it for the boarder destination, of course, spotlighting more attractions." The kudos Brown and Riordan were siting were on AdRant — a blog that covers the advertising industry. "If you were walking past your neighbor's house and you asked them how their vacation was and they answered, 'there were gunshots, explosions, angry mobs - it was fantastic, you might scratch your head a bit. But that's exactly what these ads are going for. Because Colonial Williamsburg is not your typical vacation destination," wrote the reviewer. " Which is why these spots, interspersed with imagery of what you'd actually experience if you visited, work so well.",0,3159445.story

Big crowd got the beat during Drummers Call at Colonial Williamsburg By Steve Vaughan 5/17/14

Americans will always follow the drums. Some of them will even get in step. Colonial Williamsburg's Fifes and Drums and 14 visiting military musical units found themselves pied pipers Saturday afternoon as they lead a large crowd up from Duke of Gloucester Street from the Capitol to Market Square. And some of those following found themselves marching. From the Capitol, the parade moved to Market Square A Colonial Williamsburg announcer said that this is the 11th Drummers Call and that it's celebrated in honor of Armed Forces Day. In Market Square There, after a performance of the U.S. and Canadian national anthems by Colonial Williamsburg's Fifes and Drums and a cannonade, each group was introduced and played one song. Market square was lined with spectators standing three to four rows deep. Although may were parents and friends of the players in the various units, some knew nothing about the event. They just happened to be spending a pleasant spring day in the Historic Area. "We are just here on our vacation, ' said the Taylor family of South Carolina. "We didn't know anything about this. This is great." Drummer's Call Weekend events were also scheduled for Saturday evening and Sunday.,0,7058167.story

Great Hopes for old Colonial Williamsburg windmill It will be next to Great Hopes Plantation By Steve Vaughan 5/20/14

The Colonial WilliamsburgFoundation announced Tuesday that an old landmark in the Historic Area will return, but in a new location. What was once referred to as Robertson's Windmill, which once sat on the Peyton Randolph site in the Historic Area, will be reassembled at Great Hopes Plantation. Colonial Williamsburg president Colin Campbell announced the project during his annual community leaders breakfast. The windmill was an iconic landmark at Colonial Williamsburg for 53 years. It was built in 1957, part of the commemoration of the 350th anniversary ofJamestown. It was based on a 1636 windmill in Cambridgeshire, England. While it was a familiar sight to visitors, the windmill had a lot of problems. The design was flawed and that, plus wear, eroded its stability. The growth of surrounding trees cut it off from wind power. The windmill ceased operation in the mid 1990s and was closed to visitors in 2003. There were also problems with the windmill's authenticity to the 1770s era in which Colonial Williamsburg has chosen to interpret the Historic Area. There are no records of a windmill on the site of the Randolph's "urban plantation." Nor would such a windmill have been found on a plantation such as Great Hopes, according to Ronald Hurst, vice president for collections, conservations and museums.,0,607952.story

"The windmill is not intended to be seen as part of Great Hopes Plantation, which represents a middling farmer's property," he said."Rather, it is on an adjacent parcel before one arrives at Great Hopes. Windmills were often positioned in rural areas near roads where they could be accessed by customers who needed to have their grain ground." Records indicate 18th-century lawyer William Robertson owned a windmill in the city, but during the early 1720s and well south of the Randolph site. After one of the sails collapsed, Colonial Williamsburg removed the rest, then later disassembled the windmill in 2010 and planned to move it to Great Hopes. Campbell said the structure had been "an instant favorite not just with visitors, but area residents." In fact removal of the windmill led to some local criticism of the foundation. It was so associated with Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area that it had been featured on a 1980 stamp. "Once completed, the windmill will stand taller, more visibly – and I dare say, more proudly – above the Colonial Parkway, at the Visitor Center entrance to Great Hopes," Campbell said. "We look forward to welcoming back the local community to rediscover this gem of the Historic Area." The 8-month restoration, starting this fall and scheduled to be completed in June 2015, is being funded by long-time Colonial Williamsburg supporter David McShane of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. "I care deeply about history and architectural preservation, which are of course at the heart of Colonial Williamsburg's mission," said McShane, a member of the foundation's Raleigh Tavern and W.A.R. Goodwin donor societies. "This project provided a great opportunity to make a contribution that will both enrich visitors' visual experience and help them better appreciate colonial life." The windmill is of unusual design because the whole structure, not just the sails, rotate. A miller could rotate it to the wind with a tail pole protruding from the rear of the two-story mill house. Research by Matt Webster, director of the Grainger Department of Architectural Preservation for Colonial Williamsburg and Steve Chabra, Historic Trades journeyman carpenter, revealed that structural flaws in the Bourn windmill itself have required retrofitting to stabilize its mill apparatus. "We'll be able to make the structure more reliable and easier to maintain, while including elements elsewhere that will add to its historical authenticity," Webster said. The restoration requires proper drying and treatment of the machine's wooden components, crafted to strict tolerances to prevent future instability. Campbell said the visitors will "once again be able to explore the inner workings of the mill, which will operate on a limited basis." Resumed operation will include grain milling as part of Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Foodways Program, which interprets colonial cuisine at the Peyton Randolph House, Great Hopes Plantation, the Governor's Palace and the Public Armoury.,0,607952.story

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Earned Media Coverage - May 22, 2014  

The following selected media highlights are examples of the range of subjects and media coverage about Colonial Williamsburg’s people, progr...