The Commonwealth of Virginia is launching a three-year commemoration highlighting several events in 1619 that shaped America’s beginnings. The 2019 Commemoration, AMERICAN EVOLUTION™, will feature events and activities inspiring local, national, and international participants to engage in the themes of democracy, diversity, and opportunity.
2019 will mark the 400th anniversary of the meeting of the first representative legislative assembly in the New World, the arrival of the first recorded Africans to English North America, the observance of the first official English Thanksgiving in North America, and the expanding impact of women on the Virginia Colony. More than one hundred individuals engaged in eight committees have developed programs and events of national and international significance designed to build awareness of the events of 1619, promote Virginia’s role in the creation of the United States, and position the Commonwealth as a global leader in education, economic development, and tourism.
Co-Chaired by Virginia Senator Thomas K. Norment, Jr. and Virginia Delegate M. Kirkland Cox, the 2019 Steering Committee is supported by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, which was designated by the General Assembly during the 2013 session as the official Executive Branch agency to help the Commonwealth establish planning systems for commemorating in 2019 the 400th anniversary of these landmark events in Virginia’s history.