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“George Washington Birthday Celebration” at Dover, Del.’s Old State House on Feb. 22, 2016 at 1 p.m.


-Live, streaming video of Sen. Chris Coons reading Washington’s Farewell Address from the floor of the U.S. Senate to be screened at 3 p.m.-

On Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 at 1p.m., The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del., will present a “George Washington Birthday Celebration” featuring writings by, and about, the first president, read by historical interpreters and distinguished guests, plus a display of Washington books and memorabilia. Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5054.

Portrait of George Washington by Denis A. Volozan on display in the Senate chambers of The Old State House.
Portrait of George Washington by Denis A. Volozan on display in the Senate chambers of The Old State House.

Selections that will be read during the program are drawn from a wide array of letters and scholarly writings about Washington covering the entirety of his life from his youth when he was raised by a single mother to his final days at Mount Vernon. Participating readers will include Dr. Samuel Hoff, George Washington Distinguished Professor of History and Political Science at Delaware State University; Dr. Stephanie Holyfield, assistant professor of History at Wesley College; Beth Klemstine Jelich, current teacher of “Washington’s Crossing” at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware, Dover; Thomas Summers, outreach coordinator for the Delaware Public Archives; Deborah Wool, professor of Curatorial studies at Wesley College; and historical interpreters from The Old State House.

In addition to the readings, the museum will feature a display of memorabilia about Washington from the personal collection of Dr. Hoff and books from the Wesley College Washington Collection. The display will be presented in the Senate chambers of The Old State House which features an imposing portrait of George Washington by Denis A. Volozan.

As an added bonus, at 3 p.m., The Old State House will project live, streaming video of U.S. Sen. Chris Coons reading Washington’s Farewell Address from the floor of the United States Senate in Washington, D.C. Every year since 1896, the Senate has observed Washington’s birthday by selecting one of its members, alternating parties, to read the 7,641-word statement in legislative session. Coons will be the first Delaware senator to conduct the reading.

Sen. Chris Coons
Sen. Chris Coons

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the earliest state-house buildings in the United States, serving as the home of Delaware’s legislature until 1933 when the General Assembly moved to larger quarters in Legislative Hall. The venerable structure now appears as it would have in the late 1700s during the United States’ critical early years as a nation. It features a courtroom, governor’s and county offices and chambers for the state’s Senate and House of Representatives. The building is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a public area designated by William Penn in 1683.

The Old State House
The Old State House

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