James Madison's Montpelier Hosts Presidential Birthday Celebration


On March 16, The Montpelier Foundation will commemorate the 263rd anniversary of James Madison’s birth with a ceremony in the Madison Family Cemetery at Montpelier. Col. David Maxwell of the Quantico Marines Corps Base will place a wreath at the tomb of James Madison at the request of President Barack Obama. Twelve additional wreaths will be given on behalf of other groups representing cultural and educational institutions around the state and country, including the University of Virginia and James Madison University.

The United States Marine Corps Band and Honor Guard will perform “Taps” and present a 21-gun salute. Michael Signer, Ph.D., lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia and Visiting Full Professor at the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, will be the event’s key note speaker and will discuss his upcoming book, Becoming Madison: The Making of an American Statesman (Public Affairs 2015).

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Madison Family Cemetery at James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange, Virginia. This event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, “Mr. Madison” will accept birthday wishes at the mansion. Tours of the mansion will be offered at $10/adults and $5/children from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. “The Constitution Tour,” which focuses on Madison’s leadership as Father of the Constitution, will be offered at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. 


Caroline Godfrey