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Civil War & Emancipation Day: The 150th Anniversaries in Richmond, VA


More than 15 Richmond Museums, Universities, and Corporate Partners Offer a FREE Preview of 2011-2015 Commemoration

Richmond, VA (April 12) – One Day.15 Sites. Priceless. From cannon fire to period shanty songs, Richmond Region museums, attractions and organizations have joined forces to offer “Civil War & Emancipation Day: the 150th Anniversaries” (CWED). On Saturday, April 17, 2010, FREE admission to more than 15 museums and coordinating institutions will offer activities, special programs, historic interpretations and guided tours throughout the River City.

In partnership with the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, the Future of Richmond’s Past and its coordinating organizations have expanded the Center’s annual Civil War Day into Civil War & Emancipation Day to include and further enhance the program offerings of neighboring institutions. Free shuttle service will be offered throughout downtown Richmond and the neighborhoods of Jackson Ward, Shockoe Bottom, and the Museum District including sites such as the Virginia Historical Society, Maggie Walker Historical Site and Valentine Richmond History Center to name a few. Additionally, Venture Richmond and Segway of Richmond will offer rest for weary feet with free River District Canal Cruises and Segway tours of Brown’s Island respectively.

The Future of Richmond's Past is an organization comprised of the Richmond Region's universities, community leaders, and historic attractions, museums, the Slave Trail Commission, and area historians. This organization is focused on commemorating the 150th anniversaries of the Civil War and Emancipation, the end of American slavery. Through community forums and task force teams, community discussions focus on how these anniversaries offer Richmond a unique opportunity as well as a special responsibility. As the former capital of the Confederacy and as a center of the nation’s slave trade, the Richmond Region can help Americans better understand our shared history. The Richmond Region will begin to commemorate the dual 150th anniversaries of the Civil War and the end of slavery in 2011.

“Virginia was host to more Civil War battles than any other state, and Richmond was ground zero,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO for the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (RMCVB). “More than 41 percent of Civil War travelers visit Richmond most among Virginia destinations.”

"Virginia will be telling diverse stories that help visitors connect on a personal level with this important period of American history," said Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, an event sponsor. "We know that families visit iconic sites and events like this in Virginia to explore how history impacts our lives still today.”

The local universities – the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Union University—which are hosting public forums on The Future of Richmond’s Past—are very much engaged in this effort as well. President Ed Ayers from the University of Richmond said, “It is more important now, than ever, that younger generations better understand their past. The Civil War & Emancipation Day events offer an overview of all that Richmond has to offer, and it’s authentic . . .it all happened right here in places that still stand today.”

For the day’s full lineup, please visit or become a fan on Facebook – keywords “Future of Richmond’s Past.” Activities During Civil War & Emancipation Day: the 150th Anniversaries

Free admission will be offered by the following attractions:

The American Civil War Center
Black History Museum & Cultural Center
Elegba Folklore Society
John Marshall House
Library of Virginia
Lumpkin’s Jail
Maggie Walker National Historic Site
Museum of the Confederacy
Negro Burial Grounds
Richmond National Battlefield Park
Richmond Reconciliation Statue
Richmond Slave Trail Commission
Segway of Richmond
Valentine Richmond History Center
Venture Richmond – River District Canal Cruises
Virginia Historical Society
Virginia State Capitol

Parking is available for a flat rate of $5 at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (500 Tredegar Street), at the Standard Parking lot at 15th and East Cary Streets for a $5 flat rate all day (Shockoe site), and throughout downtown near participating attractions.
* Tredegar lot will close at 5 p.m. *

FREE shuttle service will depart from The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar every 30 minutes from 10am-3pm. Patrons may pick up the shuttle anywhere along the route that day from any partner location as long as you are wearing your Civil War & Emancipation Day sticker, available at any participating location!
Shuttle #1: Shockoe Bottom and The Court End (Eastbound loop) – Departs every 30-minutes (10am-3pm; last run at 3:00pm is pickup only). Sites along this route include a stop at 15th & Main Streets to visit the Reconciliation Statue, Lumpkin’s Jail, and Negro Burial Grounds in Shockoe Bottom. Next stop, 11th & Clay Streets, includes the Virginia State Capitol, Museum of the Confederacy, John Marshall House, and Valentine Richmond History Center.

Shuttle #2: Jackson Ward and Monument Avenue (Westbound Loop) - Departs every hour on the hour (10am-3pm; last run at 3pm is for pickup only.) Sites along this route include a stop at 2nd & Leigh Streets for the Maggie Walker National Historic site and Black History Museum and Cultural Center and a separate stop at the Virginia Historical Society on the Boulevard.

Free activities include but are not limited to:

American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar, 500 Tredegar Street
FREE admission is provided to events throughout the day, from a talk on how balloons were used during the Civil War to a blacksmithing demonstration and slave storytelling traditions. Enjoy a variety of events for all ages. For more information, call 804-780-1865 or visit

Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, 00 Clay Street
Enjoy free admission and exhibits at this Jackson Ward institution. Featured exhibits include the new “Take Our Stand: The African American Military Experience in the Age of Jim Crow,” “My Richmond,” and “Banks, Boutiques and the Deuce.” Also, learn more about the Museum’s plans to form a chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. Museum hours: 10am-5pm. For more information, call 804-780-9093 or visit

Library of Virginia, 800East Broad Street
The Library of Virginia is free and open to the public, featuring its new exhibition "The Land We Live In, the Land We Left: Virginia's People.” The Library's Virginia Shop will offer participants with a Civil War & Emancipation Day a 10 percent discount and a free gift with every purchase made on April 17. For more information, call 804-692-3500 or visit
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, 600 North 2nd Street(at Leigh Street)
The second annual Maggie Walker Heritage Day will take place from 11am-3pm at the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site including music, dramatic presentations, lectures and exhibits recognizing the accomplishments of the nation’s first female bank president. Free ice cream will be served! For more information, call 804-771-2017 or visit

Museum of the Confederacy,1201 East Clay Street
Stop in to visit the “Between the Battles” exhibition exploring the daily life of the Confederate soldier and “Virginia and The Confederacy” that showcases Virginia as the scene of more battles and deaths than any other state in the Confederacy. For details call 804-649-1861 or visit

Richmond Battlefield National Park, Tredegar Street
Hear historians talk about Richmond in 1860 and learn about photography during the Civil War. These and many other events have been planned for the day. Youngsters will have an opportunity to learn about the Junior Ranger Program. For more information, call 804-226-1981 or visit

River District Canal Cruises, Dock & 14th Streets at the Canal Turning Basin
Free admission during event hours only (12-4pm) on April 17. Enjoy 40-minute historically narrated tours of the James River & Kanawha Canal along the historic Canal Walk in one of our covered boats, which accommodates up to 35 passengers and departs on the hour from the Turning Basin in downtown Richmond’s River District.  Richmond’s canals were first begun in 1789 after George Washington lobbied the General Assembly to proceed with his vision of a canal and turnpike system that would connect the harbors of the east to the trade and market opportunities in the west.  Cruises are open 12:00-7:00pm. For more information, call 804-649-2800 or visit  

Segway of Richmond, 1301 East Cary Street
Thinking of touring Richmond on a Segway? Enjoy a FREE ride on a Segway and learn about tours of Richmond offered on this personal transportation device. Tours are offered 11 a.m., 12 noon, and 1 p.m. at The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar (500 Tredegar Street.) For more information, call 804-343-1850 or visit

Shockoe Bottom, 15th & East Main Streets
Enjoy discussions and walking tours provided by the Richmond Slave Trail Commission, Elegba Folklore Society, the Sacred Ground Reclamation Project, and University of Richmond, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Union University. Highlights include the Lumpkin’s Jail site and discoveries from the archeological dig at the site and the history Virginia Union University shares with this site, the Negro Burial Grounds, and Reconciliation Statue. Hear about Gabriel’s Rebellion and the Sacred Ground Reclamation Project. Dipita Dance Group of Richmond will offer music and dance from Africa, and the First African Baptist Singers will give a presentation on the songs of slavery and Negro spirituals. Hear students recite the words of Harriet Tubman, Phillis Wheatley, Mary Lumpkin, Coretta Scott King and others in “Monologue
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