America's 400th Anniversary Signature Events


When:   May 11 - 13, 2007

Where: Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement,
               & Anniversary Park

Virginia is having the biggest party of the new century and you're invited! America's Anniversary Weekend will mark the 400 th anniversary of our nation's birthplace.

Come be a part of history, in 2007, during the May 13 th weekend. Commemorative festivities, cultural events, pageantry,  musical performances, a children's stage, VIPs, celebrity appearances and much much more are being planned especially for the anniversary!  

Don't miss out on this very special moment in time . . . America's 400 th Anniversary!


When:   End of June - July 8, 2007
Where:  National Mall, Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in partnership with Jamestown 2007 is featuring the Commonwealth of Virginia and England in 2007 as a part of its annual Folklife Festival held on the National Mall in Washington, DC during the last two weeks of June through the Fourth of July.
Come celebrate regional folk culture in America. A showcase of Virginia's diversity, ethnicity and unique history, the festival will include performances, demonstrations, food, music and other special presentations of Virginia history, culture, industry and agriculture, as well as the legacies of Jamestown. Over one million visitors attend the Smithsonian Folklife Festival annually.

When:  September 16 - 19, 2007

Where: Conferences at universities across Virginia.  Global Conference - Williamsburg, Virginia

Representative government, free enterprise, the rule of law and other democratic institutions trace their modern roots to Jamestown and colonial Virginia.  Now, with democracy ascendant worldwide, the federal Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission is bringing together scholars and practitioners from around the world to discuss this timely topic. 

Under the Commission's auspices, colleges and universities located in Virginia, joined by an array of high-profile national and international figures, will host a year-long series of conferences that will illuminate the elements of successful democratic systems in America and abroad, and consider the future of mature and emerging democracies around the world. 

Plans for the Conference Series are in active development at this time, and currently include the following topics and gatherings:

International Youth Summit on Democracy , August  2006 . Sponsored by the University of Virginia and its Center for Politics, an assemblage of youth leaders from around the world will convene in Charlottesville, Virginia, to hold discussions on the future of democracy and consider how best to engage a new generation of young people in the vital business of democracy. 

Sustaining Democracy in the Global Age , January 2007 .   Hosted by Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College, this conference will examine democratic development from a contemporary global perspective, addressing issues related to advanced technology and telecommunications, economic globalization, terrorism and other threats to security, and a wide range of multinational and international concerns.

Free Markets and Democracy , February 2007 .  Sponsored by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, this conference will assemble scholars and practitioners to consider the interrelation between political and economic freedoms and the importance of competitive markets and private property in successful democratic systems.  The conference will be held in conjunction with the Mercatus Center's highly popular and well-attended annual retreat for Congressional chiefs of staff.

Minority Perspectives on Democracy , February 2007 .   Norfolk State University, one of Virginia's historically black institutions, will assemble noted scholars, community leaders and political practitioners to consider the contrasting democratic images and oligarchic realities of early Jamestown and the larger subject of evolving concepts of democracy, political participation, and civil rights. The conference will address the recurring challenges within democratic systems posed by racial and ethnic differences and the imperative of protecting minority rights within a republican framework.

Philosophical Foundations of Democracy , March 2007 .  Hosted by the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), this conference will illuminate the classical origins and forms of democracy in ancient Greece and the Roman Republic, explore Enlightenment-era thought about the relationship between man and the state, consider the philosophical underpinnings of American republicanism, and explore the relevance of these foundations to the emergence and maturation of democratic systems in the 21 st century.

Democracy and the Rule of Law , April 2007 . The University of Richmond, American Inns of Court, and John Marshall Foundation, together with counterparts in the English legal community, are sponsoring this conference to explore the antecedents of the American legal system, the indispensable role of the rule of law in successful democracies, and current international judicial and legal issues.

World Forum on the Future of Democracy , September 2007 .  The year-long series will culminate in September 16-19, 2007, in Williamsburg, Virginia, and nearby Jamestown with a gathering of leaders from mature and emerging democracies. The three-day conference will feature papers and reports from the preceding conferences and will provide a forum for lively exchanges among scholars, civic leaders, and experienced governmental and political practitioners regarding the future of democratic institutions around the world.

A Democracy Program Planning Council, chaired by President Emeritus Timothy J. Sullivan of the College of William & Mary, is overseeing the Conference Series project.  Foundations and university-based centers on democracy around the country and abroad are being recruited as partners for these conferences, and will be supplying expertise as well as conference participants. The Federal Commission has commenced discussion and collaboration with the National Endowment for Democracy and the Westminster Foundation (UK) to elicit input on potential conference partners and participants.  Honorary co-chairs and an honorary committee for the Conference Series will be announced shortly.

The papers, presentations and proceedings from the Conference Series will be published subsequently in a series entitiled, "The Jamestown Papers on the Foundations and Future of Democracy." The Conference Series is part of a larger program of educational initiatives being carried out by the Federal Commission and Jamestown 2007 in connection with the America's 400th Anniversary commemoration.