To commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in English North America, the 2019 Commemoration, in partnership with Fort Monroe Authority (FMA) and the National Park Service (NPS), will host three days of remembrance and commemoration, including the grand opening of new galleries that commemorate 400 years of African American history.

This project involves the renovation of the former Coast Artillery School Library at Fort Monroe and the addition of two wings. The galleries will tell the profound stories of Captain John Smith, the arrival of the first enslaved Africans and the culmination of 242 years of slavery as the first contrabands came to Fort Monroe to receive their emancipation.

Dominion Energy is the presenting partner of the Fort Monroe Visitor and Education Center.


  • 11:00 AM- 1:00 PM: Reflection and Commemoration at the Tucker Family Cemetery, resting place for one of the first African American families in English North America
  • 12:00 PM- 3:00 PM: Political Firsts Luncheon at Hampton Convention Convention Center (paid ticketed event)
  • 9:30 AM- 11:00 AM: Commemoration and Visitor Center Dedication Ceremony at Fort Monroe
  • 11:00 AM- 5:00 PM: City of Hampton 2019 Commemorative Program
    • A family-friendly event featuring food trucks, vendors, exhibitors, and cultural displays, living history, and multiple performances
  • 12:00 PM- 3:00 PM: African Landing Day Program presented by Project 1619
  • 12:00 PM- 4:00 PM: Black Heritage Tours sponsored by the NPS at Fort Monroe
  • 6:00 PM-10:00PM: African Landing Day Concert at Paradise Ocean Club

3:00 PM- 7:00 PM: Day of Healing and Gospel Music Festival at Continental Park