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Preview: Colonial Williamsburg Podcasts

Colonial Williamsburg History Podcasts

American History Podcasts from Colonial Williamsburg


Town Gunsmith

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 8:00:00 EST

The gun is part of America's creation story. Gunsmith George Suiter describes the technology of this potent tool.

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I am murdered

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 8:00:00 EST

A tale of murder in the final chapter in a great man's noble life. Chris Hull tells George Wythe's story.

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The Polite Academy

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 8:00:00 EST

The manners of the parlor codify the feminine culture. Kristen Spivey keeps up appearances in The Polite Academy.

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Arming the Continent

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 8:00:00 EST

New information continues to emerge from the excavation of Anderson's Armoury. The tin shop is found, beginning a new exploration of the trade. Meredith Poole updates.

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Meet the Cooper

Mon, 02 Jan 2012 8:00:00 EST

The coopers's cask is one of mankind's strongest constructions, and the ubiquitous container for shipping items wet and dry. Meet cooper Ramona Vogel to learn more about the trade.

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Great Hair

Mon, 26 Dec 2011 8:00:00 EST

Hear tales of hair farms, shaved heads, yak fur, and wigs rigged with live ammunition, told by wigmaker Betty Myers.

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Crystal Carols

Mon, 19 Dec 2011 8:00:00 EST

Christmas tunes resonate from an instrument you've probably never heard before. Hear Dean Shostak play Ben Franklin's invention: the glass armonica.

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Mon, 12 Dec 2011 8:00:00 EST

America outgrows her 13 colonies and stretches her boundaries west. CNU Professor Phillip Hamilton explains the sprawl.

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A Good Read

Mon, 05 Dec 2011 8:00:00 EST

Author Susan Berg on what the 18th century read for work and for fun.

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Harsh World, This World

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 8:00:00 EST

The diverse relationships between slaves and masters were governed by kindness, betrayal, trust, and cruelty. A new Electronic Field Trip, "Harsh World, This World" examines the complex familiarity of slavery.

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Woodworking in Williamsburg

Mon, 21 Nov 2011 8:00:00 EST

Master cabinetmaker Mack Headley makes fine furniture in the plain and neat Virginia style.

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A Method for Madness

Mon, 14 Nov 2011 8:00:00 EST

Doctors treating madness in 1773 embraced methods like bleeding, vomiting, restraint and intimidation. Interpreter Donna Wolf researched the topic for her program, "A Method for Madness."

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Inventing the Submarine

Mon, 07 Nov 2011 8:00:00 EST

The first combat submarine was invented as a vehicle to transport underwater bombs. Jerry Roberts of the Connecticut River Museum tells the story of an intrepid American inventor.

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Ghosts Amongst Us

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 8:00:00 EST

A chilling specter of the 18th century reaches its icy grasp to the present day. Hear the story of Moses Riggs, a man possessed.

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An Enduring Spirit

Mon, 24 Oct 2011 8:00:00 EST

Edith Cumbo was a rare individual in colonial Virginia: a free African woman. Learn about her life and her stature in this interview with Emily James.

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Brick by Brick

Mon, 17 Oct 2011 8:00:00 EST

Williamsburg's most prestigious buildings start with humble clay. Brickmaker Jason Whitehead tells the story.

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Meet Benjamin Franklin

Mon, 10 Oct 2011 8:00:00 EST

Wry humor softens the sharp wit of this quintessentially American founding father. Interpreter John Hamant talks about portraying Benjamin Franklin.

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The Mystery of the Gravestones

Mon, 03 Oct 2011 8:00:00 EST

Two gravestones are unearthed during a construction project. Historians and curators work to solve the mysteries below. Emily Williams tells their story.

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First Do No Harm

Mon, 26 Sep 2011 8:00:00 EST

Restoration presents a paradox when repairing old instruments could mean erasing their stories. Conservator John Watson walks the fine line.

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Williamsburg's Blacksmith

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 8:00:00 EST

Williamsburg's blacksmith transforms crude metal into elegant, functional tools. Master Blacksmith Ken Schwarz details the trade.

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Spies at Jamestown

Mon, 12 Sep 2011 8:00:00 EST

The tale of a Spanish spy reveals England's fragile hold on the New World. Miguel Girona tells the story of Don Diego de Molina.

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Constitution Day: Trial by Jury

Mon, 05 Sep 2011 8:00:00 EST

The Constitution guarantees the right to jury trial. What does it mean for a vital democracy? Director of the Center for Jury Studies Paula Hannaford-Agor explains their importance.

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The Idea of America

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 8:00:00 EST

Democracy is an experiment sustained through debate; rights are a privilege earned through participation. Michael Hartoonian introduces The Idea of America.

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More Than Meets the Eye

Mon, 22 Aug 2011 8:00:00 EST

Early maps and prints leave geography for last, focusing first on politics and propaganda. Curator Margaret Pritchard talks about a new exhibit at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

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Excavating Ancient Armor

Mon, 15 Aug 2011 8:00:00 EST

A broken helmet is discarded and forgotten, only to be resurrected 400 years later by curious archaeologists on Jamestown Island. Curator Michael Lavin describes the effort.

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Meet the Basketmaker

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 8:00:00 EST

Basketmaking is a tradition born of utility and preserved for beauty. Colonial Williamsburg basketmaker Terry Thon practices a trade passed down through generations.

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Kids Tell the Story

Mon, 01 Aug 2011 8:00:00 EST

History is in the hands of Junior Interpreters all summer long, as the story of the Revolution expands to include a kid's perspective. Pam Blount tells us how sites involve children in the 18th century and today.

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George Washington's Farewell

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 8:00:00 EST

George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address teems with advice that rings true today. Listen to interpreter Ron Carnegie read excepts from the timeless epistle.

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Founding Mothers

Mon, 18 Jul 2011 8:00:00 EST

Sharp quills did the bidding of the even sharper intellects of the Revolution's founding mothers. Listen to the words of Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams, voiced by Abigail Schumann.

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Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

Mon, 11 Jul 2011 8:00:00 EST

Patrick Henry demands liberty or death in his rousing 1775 speech. Hear the immortal words voiced by interpreter Richard Schumann.

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Mon, 04 Jul 2011 8:00:00 EST

Thomas Jefferson reads the words that started it all: The Declaration of Independence.

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Arsenal of War

Mon, 27 Jun 2011 8:00:00 EST

A new armoury complex takes shape on the footings of Anderson's Forge. Archaeologist Meredith Poole talks about the site's rebuilt narrative.

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Meet the Weaver

Mon, 20 Jun 2011 8:00:00 EST

War makes the weaver busy. Cloth for everything from sails to bedsheets is created on his loom. Max Hamrick weaves the tale.

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A Tribal Relic Returns

Mon, 13 Jun 2011 8:00:00 EST

A lost relic returns to the Pamunkey tribe in a new form. American Indian Initiative Manager Buck Woodard guides us through treaties and time.

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Washington's Whiskey

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 8:00:00 EST

George Washington's retirement venture had a high alcohol content. Mount Vernon's Director of Preservation, Dennis Pogue, leads us on a tour through Washington's whiskey distillery.

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Age of Piracy

Mon, 30 May 2011 8:00:00 EST

Pirates seek treasure both sunken and sea-going, from the 17th century through today. William and Mary Professor Kris Lane draws the connections between the old traditions and the fresh emergences of piracy.

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Oral History

Mon, 23 May 2011 8:00:00 EST

African American history is both discovered in and continued by an ancient oral tradition. Richard Josey describes the process of restoring a community's voice.

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What Makes a Good President?

Mon, 16 May 2011 8:00:00 EST

Author and historian Alan Brinkley shares his thoughts on the alchemy of luck and chance in the Oval Office.

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Women of the Revolution

Mon, 09 May 2011 8:00:00 EST

Could the war have been won without women? Author and Professor Holly Mayer thinks not. Learn more about the inner workings of the Continental Army.

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Immortal Bricks and Mortar

Mon, 02 May 2011 8:00:00 EST

Buildings bear silent witness to the history that happens inside them. Conservator Matt Webster makes sure structures live to tell their tales.

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The Revolutionary Origins of the Civil War

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 8:00:00 EST

Abraham Lincoln makes good on the founders' promises of freedom and equality. Author Gordon Wood lays out the Revolutionary origins of the Civil War.

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Martha Leads the Charge

Mon, 18 Apr 2011 8:00:00 EST

While General George Washington commanded the troops in the field, Martha led the charge at home. Historic Interpreter Lee Ann Rose describes the impact women made during the Revolution.

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Model Prison Architecture

Mon, 11 Apr 2011 8:00:00 EST

Williamsburg's jail, or gaol, set the standard for colonial prison architecture. Visit the building this year as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of its reconstruction. Architectural historian Carl Lounsbury describes the structure.

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Beer and Whiskey

Mon, 04 Apr 2011 8:00:00 EST

In an age when water was suspect, sometimes beer was the safest thing to drink. Food historian Frank Clark discusses the brewing process common to most colonial homes and recreated in Historic Area kitchens.

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The Art of Beauty

Mon, 28 Mar 2011 8:00:00 EST

Attaining ideal beauty in the 18th century might require hog's lard, mousehide, toxic lead, and daily application of gin. Historical Interpreter Meg Brown shares her favorite discoveries.

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A Settler Revolt

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 8:00:00 EST

British colonists revolt against their mother country when traditional English rights are threatened. Author and historian Jack Greene explains.

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A Pig Worth Saving

Mon, 14 Mar 2011 8:00:00 EST

The Ossabaw Hog shares its unique genetic legacy with visitors to Colonial Williamsburg's Great Hopes Plantation. Historic Farmer Wayne Randolph talks about the rare breed.

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Jefferson's Boyhood Home

Mon, 07 Mar 2011 8:00:00 EST

A new examination of Thomas Jefferson's boyhood home reveals the forces that shaped the third president. Author Susan Kern talks about her new book, "The Jeffersons at Shadwell."

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A Dangerous Man

Mon, 28 Feb 2011 8:00:00 EST

The man with the tamest job in town is an outlaw in a time of slave law. Listen to the story of Gowan Pamphlet, the first ordained slave preacher in America.

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Merging Cultures

Mon, 21 Feb 2011 8:00:00 EST

Many West African cultures make landfall in colonial Virginia, where they adapt and adopt traits that will form the basis of a new African American culture. Historian Rose McAphee describes the blend.

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African American Folk Art

Mon, 14 Feb 2011 8:00:00 EST

Folk Art from the African American tradition holds a wealth of cultural memory. Trish Balderson describes selected pieces chosen for the African American Folk Art Tour.

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Freedom Bound

Mon, 07 Feb 2011 8:00:00 EST

Slavery gains a foothold in the American colonies as early as 1619. In the years that follow, laws and resistance grow around the institution with equal determination. Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander discusses slavery's early path.

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Storm on the Horizon

Mon, 31 Jan 2011 8:00:00 EST

The Civil War has its roots in the American Revolution. Explore the causes and conflicts in "Storm on the Horizon," a special two-day Colonial Williamsburg event February 18th and 19th, 2011.

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Where Pocahontas Pledged Her Love

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 8:00:00 EST

Ongoing excavations at James Fort reveal a surprising discovery: the site of the 1608 church where Pocahontas married John Rolfe. Chief Archaeologist Bill Kelso shares the excitement of rediscovery.

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New World English

Mon, 17 Jan 2011 8:00:00 EST

The first English words spoken in Virginia were pronounced with a 17th-century London accent. Linguistics professor Anne Charity-Hudley explains the evolution of the American sound.

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Skill and Science in Historic Trades

Mon, 10 Jan 2011 8:00:00 EST

Intelligence born of practice combines with the study of science to complete the historic tradesman's store of knowledge. Director of Historic Trades Jay Gaynor describes the balance.

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Fashion Accessories from Head to Toe

Mon, 03 Jan 2011 8:00:00 EST

The accessories that graced the ensembles of history are on display at the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums in "Fashion Accessories from Head to Toe." Curator Linda Baumgarten introduces the collection.

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History is Served

Mon, 27 Dec 2010 8:00:00 EST

A new blog from Historic Foodways presents 18th-century recipes in 21st-century terms. Get cooking with Frank Clark at

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Music for Christmas

Mon, 20 Dec 2010 8:00:00 EST

The Governor’s Musick is Colonial Williamsburg’s resident 18th-century musical ensemble. Jane Hanson, Herb Watson, Jenny Edenborn and Wayne Moss perform.

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A Perfect Copy

Mon, 13 Dec 2010 8:00:00 EST

By 1820, the original Declaration was showing signs of wear. John Quincy Adams commissioned a now-famous facsimile. Librarian Doug Mayo describes Colonial Williamsburg's copy.

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Williamsburg Christmastide

Mon, 06 Dec 2010 8:00:00 EST

The heart of Christmas remains unchanged, even as each generation lends new customs to the celebration. Historian Lou Powers talks Christmastide in three centuries.

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Colonial Kids

Mon, 29 Nov 2010 8:00:00 EST

Growing up colonial meant babies in crash helmets and boys in dresses. Program developer Kristin Spivey compares childhood now and then.

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Pumpkin's Progress

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 8:00:00 EST

Gain a new respect for the good old pumpkin. Author Mary Miley Theobald traces the history of the long-suffering gourd.

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The Bill of Rights

Mon, 15 Nov 2010 8:00:00 EST

Do you know your rights? Professor of Law Henry Chambers explains the lasting wisdom of the Constitution's first 10 amendments.

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Williamsburg's Indian School

Mon, 08 Nov 2010 8:00:00 EST

The Indian School at the College of William and Mary was conceived for the religious conversion of Indians. Professor Jim Axtell shares the storied building's history.

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Hidden Williamsburg

Mon, 01 Nov 2010 8:00:00 EST

The backyards of Williamsburg's finest homes tell the story of a separate society. Author Mike Olmert reads the architecture of outbuildings.

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Pirates Amongst Us

Mon, 25 Oct 2010 8:00:00 EST

A disgruntled pirate's haunted history lingers in the town where his shipmates met the hangman. Carson Hudson and Willie Balderson team up for "Pirates Amongst Us."

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Ghosts of Williamsburg

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 8:00:00 EST

Author L.B. Taylor preserves Tidewater's spectral folklore in his book, "The Ghosts of Williamsburg."

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The Will of the People

Mon, 11 Oct 2010 8:00:00 EST

What did the founders really intend for our democracy? Political Science Professor Quentin Kidd talks about how the government was built and how Americans have adapted it.

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Papa Said, Mama Said

Mon, 04 Oct 2010 8:00:00 EST

Papa Said, Mama Said preserves the African-American community's long tradition of storytelling. Art Johnson shares a fable.

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Jumpin' the Broom

Mon, 27 Sep 2010 8:00:00 EST

Jumping the broom was a marriage ceremony rich with meaning for communities denied traditional rights. Training Specialist Rose McAphee describes the wedding recreated weekly at Colonial Williamsburg's Great Hopes Plantation.

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Call Forth the Militia

Mon, 20 Sep 2010 8:00:00 EST

Local militiamen were ragtag but tenacious fighting forces. Supervisor of Military Programs John Hill describes Revolutionary War hometown defenses.

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Constitution Day

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 8:00:00 EST

Get to know the Constitution: a document whose genius lies in its malleability. Historian and author Pauline Maier talks ratification.

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The Story of Cotton

Mon, 06 Sep 2010 8:00:00 EST

Cotton springs from the ground with a story all its own at Great Hopes Plantation. Farmer Wayne Randolph tells cotton's story.

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Moving Robertson's Windmill

Mon, 30 Aug 2010 8:00:00 EST

History hits the road when an iconic windmill moves to a new home. Hear the story behind Robertson's Windmill from Jim Horn, CW's Vice President of Research and Historical Interpretation.

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Escape the Noose: Benefit of Clergy

Mon, 23 Aug 2010 8:00:00 EST

The hangman's noose was the last stop for many a felon. But the ultimate penalty could be avoided with the recitation of one special psalm. Historian Linda Rowe explains the Benefit of Clergy.

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Williamsburg's Midwife

Mon, 16 Aug 2010 8:00:00 EST

Thousands of Williamsburg mothers entrusted the delivery of their babies to midwives and man-midwives. Medical historian Robin Kipps outlines the ancient profession.

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Meet Martha Washington

Mon, 09 Aug 2010 8:00:00 EST

"As George was what the soldiers looked to, Martha then became what women looked to." Learn more about the remarkable life of the first First Lady with interpreter Lee Ann Rose.

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Meet the Powells

Mon, 02 Aug 2010 8:00:00 EST

The Powell House is a hub for educating people of all ages. Interpreter Pat Chilton introduces this middling family to visitors and the Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute.

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Arming for Revolution

Mon, 26 Jul 2010 8:00:00 EST

Archaeology at Anderson's Forge unearths the story of a city preparing for war. Staff Archaeologist Andy Edwards talks about the dig.

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History's Myths

Mon, 19 Jul 2010 8:00:00 EST

Myths abound in history's retelling. Historian and author Mary Miley Theobald shares some of her favorites.

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Hercules of the American Revolution

Mon, 12 Jul 2010 8:00:00 EST

A man of remarkable strength and size was George Washington's one-man army. Author and sixth-generation descendant Travis Bowman shares the tale of Peter Fransisco.

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Elizabeth Thompson: Lady Spy

Mon, 05 Jul 2010 8:00:00 EST

Women's unassuming roles made them excellent spies. Playwright Darci Tucker tells the story of Elizabeth Thompson: Lady Spy.

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Declaration of Independence

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 8:00:00 EST

Hear the Declaration of Independence read in its entirety by Thomas Jefferson interpreter Bill Barker.

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Cornwallis' Sunken Fleet

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 8:00:00 EST

A British flotilla from the Battle of Yorktown lies mired in a murky tomb beneath the tides of the York River. Underwater archaeologist John Broadwater dives down to Cornwallis' sunken fleet and shares his finds.

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Shipwreck Archaeology

Mon, 14 Jun 2010 8:00:00 EST

Underwater archaeologist John Broadwater and his team dove down to a sunken fleet of ships from the Battle of Yorktown.

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Ice Cream

Mon, 07 Jun 2010 8:00:00 EST

Historic Foodways Journeyman Rob Brantley makes ice cream the really old-fashioned way in the kitchen at the Governor's Palace.

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Women Soldiers

Mon, 31 May 2010 8:00:00 EST

Determined women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Revolutionary War. Historian Joyce Henry brings us the story of Anna Maria Lane.

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Civil War Williamsburg

Mon, 24 May 2010 8:00:00 EST

Williamsburg's streets are rich with the history of two wars.

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Fifes and Drums: The Music

Mon, 17 May 2010 8:00:00 EST

Members of the Senior Corps of the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums play the tunes that directed a soldier through his day, from morning’s first light to the night’s last ale.

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Fifes and Drums: The Instruments

Mon, 10 May 2010 8:00:00 EST

Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums introduces the instruments designed to be heard under cannon fire and over musket volleys. Learn the history of their distinctive sound with Amy Miller and members of the Senior Fife and Drum Corps.

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Harpsichord Maker

Mon, 03 May 2010 8:00:00 EST

Harpsichord maker Ed Wright prizes the instrument for its bright, crystalline sound and unique mechanics.

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Weapons of War

Mon, 26 Apr 2010 8:00:00 EST

Muskets, swords, buttons and drums convey powerful memories of the soldiers who claimed them. Curator Erik Goldstein highlights some of his favorite military treasures from the Colonial Williamsburg collections.

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So Far From Scioto

Mon, 19 Apr 2010 8:00:00 EST

Four Shawnee men visit Williamsburg as diplomatic hostages in 1774. See their story in "So Far From Scioto," part of Revolutionary City programming. Buck Woodard shares the details.

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Patrick Henry's Secret

Mon, 12 Apr 2010 8:00:00 EST

American Patriot Patrick Henry is burdened with his first wife's tragic decline into insanity. Interpreter Richard Schumann tells the tale.

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Conservation, Where Art and Science Meet

Mon, 05 Apr 2010 08:00:00 EST

Museum conservators wage daily battle against 10 agents of decay. Exhibit Curator Emily Williams outlines the plan of attack in "Conservation, Where Art and Science Meet."

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Thomas Jefferson, Engineer

Mon, 29 Mar 2010 08:00:00 EST

Thomas Jefferson approached mechanical problems with an engineer's mind. Historic Interpreter Bill Barker continues his reflection on this founding father's areas of expertise.

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Thomas Jefferson, Scientist

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 08:00:00 EST

Thomas Jefferson's passion for politics is rivaled only by his passion for science. Historic Interpreter Bill Barker shares his study of the third president.

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New in the Collection

Mon, 15 Mar 2010 08:00:00 EST

Objects rare and poignant joined the Colonial Williamsburg museum collections in 2009. Chief Curator and Vice President for Collections, Conservation and Museums Ron Hurst describes the finds.

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The Rights of Youth

Mon, 08 Mar 2010 08:00:00 EST

Children and the law: Historian Cathy Hellier and Law Professor Jim Dwyer contrast 18th-century and 21st-century juvenile justice.

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