James Madison joined the world on March 16, 1751. Tuesday is the 259th anniversary of his birth.
James Madison University, appropriately, made hoopla during the whole week in 2009. What about this year?
James Madison’s Orange County home offers free admission all day Tuesday in honor of the fourth president’s 259th birthday.
Born 1751 at Port Conway in King George while on a visit to his grandmother, Madison was raised at Montpelier, the oldest of 12 children. He is buried on the grounds of his lifelong home in the family cemetery, site of a special ceremony in honor of his birthday March 16 at 1:30 p.m.
Former Deputy Secretary of Education Eugene Hickock will deliver remarks at the cemetery along with Quantico Marine Corps Base Chief of Staff Col. Thompson Gerke, who will lay a wreath on the fourth president’s grave on behalf of President Barack Obama. Numerous other groups will also honor Madison by placing wreaths on his grave Tuesday.
The U.S. Marine Corps has a long-standing tradition of attending the annual birthday ceremony because of Madison’s connection to the naval force’s founding. As Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson, Madison recommended sending a squadron of naval ships to fight pirates off the coast of Africa, ultimately leading to their demise by 1805.
As president, Madison again called on the Marines to lead the nation during the War of 1812.
Nice of the Marines to show. Nice of President Obama to send a wreath. Maybe we can understand why Republicans wish to avoid any celebration of Madison.
- Calendar of events from Montpelier
- Information about the celebration from the State of Virginia travel office; “Montpelier is the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, architect of the Bill of Rights, and president of the United States. Now that the home’s recent $25 million architectural restoration is complete, visitors can see the progress of “A Presidential Detective Story: Rediscovering the Furnishings and Décor of James and Dolley Madison” through daily guided tours. They can also participate in hands-on activities, and archaeology; stroll the grounds; and take in the many galleries and other attractions on the 2,650-acre estate. To learn more, visit http://www.montpelier.org. Date/Hours: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 (9:00 AM-4:00 PM”
- Steven Waldman’s lament in the Wall Street Journal last year about the lack of respect Madison gets; Waldman overstates Madison’s role in religious freedom barely. Waldman’s right. We should pay more attention to Madison.
- Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub post from last year, featuring the National Guard’s poster honoring National Guardsman Col. James Madison of the Virginia Militia
- My essay on the importance of Madison in America’s founding, “James Madison: Go-to Guy”
- More from the Bathtub: “Meet James Madison”
- MFB post with links to Founders Online
- The Newseum and the First Amendment Center celebrate the 12th annual Freedom of Information Day on March 15, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.; seminar from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; “What has become of Freedom of Information?”