Monday, April 13, 2009

Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center & Smith Education Center Official Opening

If you're in the area and have the day off, head on over... otherwise, enjoy the resources.

On April 15, two days after the 266th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth and after nearly a decade of planning, the $43 million Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center & Smith Education Center will officially open with an opening ceremony.

The new Center will give visitors of all ages distinctive opportunities to become engaged in Jefferson’s life and legacies at their own pace and on their own terms. Emphasizing the power of place and the strength of ideas, these all-new features will highlight Jefferson’s accomplishments, his beliefs about liberty and their global relevance today, the wider community of people – both enslaved and free – who lived on the plantation, and the remarkable house and landscapes of Monticello.


Opening Ceremony for Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center

West Lawn at Monticello event celebrating Jefferson’s lasting legacies with:

· 2008 National Book Award winner Annette Gordon-Reed

· Presidential historian Michael Beschloss

· Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher

The new Center will serve as a 21st-century gateway to Jefferson’s timeless Monticello in Charlottesville, Va. The center’s multiple components will transform the visitor experience by preparing guests for their trips to the historic mountaintop through dynamic content presenting fresh perspectives on Monticello and the enduring significance of Jefferson’s life and ideas.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 11:00 AM EST **

Music by Williamsburg Field Musick fife and drum corps, Union Run Baptist Church Choir, and the Charlottesville Municipal Band

**Members of the media should plan to arrive no later than 10:30 and will be escorted to press parking and seating.


Monticello, Charlottesville, Va. -- please visit for directions.

A media kit, which contains key background information on the Center, is accessible at The "Overview of the Visitor Center" document is a comprehensive resource.

Reporters and bloggers are encouraged to RSVP to make their arrival seamless.

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