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Upcoming Events

Spotlight on a New Prize and an Award-Winning Film

Saturday, September 15, 10:30 a.m.

Morristown National Historical Park

30 Washington Place, Morristown, NJ

 

Morristown - Morristown High School seniors and film students, Katie Rosa and Kylee Strasser have produced an outstanding new film, Historic Morristown: A Beacon of Light in the American Revolution.

 

The Washington Association of New Jersey and the Morristown National Historical Park are pleased to present the inaugural of the film on Saturday, September 15. The Washington Association will make the Premiere Presentation of the Association’s new prize, The G. Washington Prize for Creative Excellence to the film producers at the event.

 

Last fall on spectacular sunny and crisp days, the students, then juniors, worked on the production of the film, researching, filming and editing their award-winning video. They carefully arranged each shot professionally, filling the frame with dramatic story, light and detail. The setup of scene, script and performer and follow-up editing was extraordinary.

 

The film team worked seamlessly with the script written by Eileen Cameron, WANJ Trustee and narrator Karen Sloat-Olsen of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park.

 

As the film rolls, Pat Sanftner of the Daughters of the American Revolution, as Mrs. Ford, welcomes the viewing visitor to her home, the Ford Mansion, now known as Washington’s Headquarters, and explains how life changed with General Washington and his staff filling her home with intense activity and military planning which would change the world. Ms. Sanftner is a consummate actress and the audience feels as if they too are as welcome as the General.

 

Retired Judge Ken MacKenzie, WANJ Trustee and veteran historical tour presenter, leads the viewer through the Headquarters Museum, describing each of the major galleries.

 

The camera shifts to the hills above Morristown, where Phil Gaffney, WANJ Trustee and Fort Nonsense expert, stands at the top of the fort’s heights and directs the viewer to observe the vantage point of the patriots, where they could see 360 degrees around and far in the distance, watching for signs of the British approaching. Phil particularly focuses the visitor to look eastward where on a clear day the observer can see New York City, stronghold of the British.

 

The film moves to Jockey Hollow where Eric Olsen, experienced Park Ranger, brings the viewer back in time to the hard life off a working farm at the time of the Revolution, and the patriotic Wick family at their home. Eric also takes the visitors to the Soldiers Huts where he brings to life the suffering and endurance of the Continental soldiers during the harsh winter of 1779-80.

 

The film runs for 11 minutes and is designed also to be shown in separate segments for each site. Each section of approximately 2 minutes each, can be shown on social media separately.

 

The film producers, Ms. Rosa and Ms. Strasser, have produced a superb addition to American history and joined WANJ and MNHP in a successful, cooperative effort between Morristown High School and the greater Morristown area.

 

Washington Association is also unveiling its new award, the G. Washington Prize for Creative Excellence, which they will present to the Ms. Rosa and Ms. Strasser, the Morristown High School film producers.

 

The G. Washington Prize for Creative Excellence is to be presented to an individual, or individuals, who have created an outstanding product of distinguished artistic or literary merit and which presents an accurate view of American history and focuses on the integrity and leadership of General George Washington and or the courage and endurance of the Continental soldiers, the story of Morristown and New Jersey in the American Revolutionary War, the securing of independence and individual liberties and the founding of our new nation.

 

WANJ and MNHP invite the public to attend the presentations and to join the applause for this new film, and film producers, Ms. Rosa and Ms. Strasser, and for the presentation of the first G. Washington Prize for creative Excellence on Saturday, September 15 at 10:30-Noon at the Great Hall, Washington’s Headquarters Museum, MNHP. Space is limited so please RSVP to WANJ at 973-292-1874 or wanj@verizon.net.

 

Naturalization Ceremony
Wednesday, September 19, 11 a.m.

Join us here at the Great Hall at Morristown National Historical Park, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, for a very moving ceremony, as we welcome new American citizens to our country with a fine program, with music, speakers and refreshments.

 

Mark Your Calendars!

WANJ’s 144th Annual Meeting and Luncheon

President’s Day, February 19, 2017

 

Featuring a Keynote Address by renowned historian Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea, now a major motion picture, Bunker Hill and Valient Ambtion: George Washington, Benedict Arnold and the fate of the American Revolution, which has been named the winner of the 2017 George Washington Book Prize, awarded at Mount Vernon in May 2017. 


For more information visit his Web site:

 

www.nathanielphilbrick.com

 

 

 

Recent Happenings

WANJ’s 143rd Annual Meeting and Luncheon

February 20, 2017

 

Featuring a Keynote Address by Edward Larson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, whose latest book is titled The Return of George Washington.

 

The Annual meeting is open to the public with a reduced cost for WANJ members.

 

 

 

WANJ is honored with the Director’s Parternership Award!

The Washington Association of New Jersey, partner to Morristown National Historical Park, Washington’s Headquarters, was presented the National Park Service Director’s Partnership Award for Outstanding Service. The presentation was made on Friday, October 14 at the site of the Stark’s Brigade Monument at Jockey Hollow. The restored Stark’s Brigade Monument, which commemorates the New England Brigade that camped on the Harding Township, Morris County, hillside at the Jockey Hollow encampment during the harsh winter of 1779-80 during the American Revolutionary War, was unveiled at the event. The Outstanding Partnership Award was presented by National Park Service N.E. Region Director Mike Caldwell of Philadelphia. From left: WANJ trustees, Andy Spellman of New Providence, Marshall Bartlett of Harding, WANJ President Eileen Cameron of Harding, Director Mike Caldwell, Kevin Tremble of Teaneck, and Morristown National Historical Park Superintendent Tom Ross.

 

The 142nd Annual Meeting & Celebration of
George Washington’s Birthday

 

Dr. Andrew J. O’Shaughnessy
“The Men Who Lost America”

Andrew O’Shaughnessy is the Vice President and Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello and a professor of history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (2013) and An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (2000).

He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; a member of the board of the University of Virginia Press; an editor of the Journal of the Early Republic; an editor of the Jeffersonian American Series of the University of Virginia Press; a member of the advisory board of the Founding Fathers’ Libraries Project; a member of the advisory board of The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution at the Center for the Study of the American Constitution; on the advisory board of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series; and a member of the advisory council of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies.

 

 

Special Exhibits

 

Money of Early America

 

While you are visiting Washington’s Headquarters Museum at Morristown National Historical Park don’t miss the two special exhibits currently on display.

“Early American Money” features coins and currency used prior, during and after the American Revolution. Money and currency affected the lives of those individuals living in the 13 colonies, including New Jersey.

 

Paper money was used as a means to pay soldiers and officers during the American Revolution but merchants and farmers did not always trust such money to hold value during the war. Silver, gold, and copper coins were always accepted for payment but there were few to be found. By the time of the winter encampment of 1779-1780 in Morristown, NJ it took 60 to 70 pieces of paper currency to equal one silver coin.

 

After the war, in 1786 and 1787, Walter Mould minted horse head copper coins in Morristown that were authorized by the New Jersey General Assembly.  After the war the United States owed debts both foreign and domestic to people and countries that helped the cause of independence. Under George Washington’s presidency, these debts would be addressed.

 

Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, and James Madison worked together to pass Hamilton’s “Assumption of Debts” proposal in Congress. They agreed the federal government would assume the debts of the states, created during the War, in exchange for the capitol of the United States moving to Virginia.

 

In 1792 Congress passed a bill to set up the first United States Mint, which would be in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. This would provide the nation’s first coins.

To honor the National Park Service depictions of National Parks and other National sites are currently appearing on US quarters. In 2016, which will be the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, the US Mint will honor the National Park Service with commemorative coins featuring a half dollar, silver dollar, and five dollar gold pieces.

 

 

Bringing the War of Independence to Life

Recent special exhibits include "Bringing the War of Independence to Life: 19th Century Illustrations of the American Revolution." The exhibit celebrated 350th Anniversary at the park’s Washington’s Headquarters Museum, 30 Washington Place, Morristown, New Jersey.

 

 

Bringing the War of Independence to Life is the result of a partnership with the Schuylkill River Heritage Area and the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, as well as Valley Forge National Historical Park. The show features 42 illustrations of the Revolutionary War by 16 different artists whose work originally appeared in 19th-century publications. All of the works are culled from the personal collection of Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Kurt Zwikl.

 

 

“We are pleased to be able to tell the story of the war through these fascinating illustrations, and through a partnership that allows us to emphasize the Revolutionary War connections between two national parks in Valley Forge and Morristown, and between two National Heritage Areas: the Schuylkill River Heritage Area and Crossroads of the American Revolution,” said Zwikl.

An opening reception for the exhibit was held in the Washington’s Headquarters Museum on Thursday, July 3, 2014. The exhibition booklet was offered for sale at the reception and Kurt Zwikl signed copies for guests.

"Bringing the War of Independence to Life" was at Valley Forge from February to April 2014. Partnering between two national parks and two National Heritage Areas enabled the exhibit to reach a wider audience. It also provided a means to tell the broader story of the American Revolution throughout the region and the State of New Jersey.

The exhibition and New Jersey’s 350th anniversary are being celebrated in conjunction with Morris County, New Jersey’s July 4th festivities, Revolutionary Times.