- The Washington Times - Friday, April 21, 2006

WILLIAMSBURG — A new replica of one of the three ships that carried Jamestown’s founders will set sail May 22 for a tour of six East Coast ports to begin an 18th-month celebration commemorating the 400th anniversary of America’s first permanent English settlement.

The Godspeed is to depart from its home berth at the Jamestown Settlement outdoor living-history museum and head to Alexandria, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Newport, R.I. Each port will have a free Landing Party Festival featuring live music, family entertainment and historical and cultural displays about Jamestown.

“The Godspeed Sail presents Americans with the unique opportunity to re-connect with the foundations of our nation and our shared heritage,” retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, honorary chairman of America’s 400th Anniversary, said in a statement announcing schedule details.

“As the launch event for America’s 400th Anniversary, the Godspeed Sail offers insight into the legacies of representative government, free enterprise and cultural diversity that first took root on our shores at Jamestown and continue to shape our lives today.”

During each port stop, costumed interpreters will give visitors a taste of shipboard life. Visitors also can take a virtual voyage using an onshore simulator and use their handprints to design panels for a huge American flag that will serve as a backdrop during the anniversary weekend.

The Godspeed Sail is one of 10 “signature” Jamestown anniversary events leading up to a national observance of Jamestown’s founding in 1607. The premier event, America’s Anniversary Weekend, will take place a year after the sailings, on May 11 through 13, 2007.

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The replica of the Godspeed will depart from the Jamestown Settlement on May 22 for a tour of Northeastern ports, visiting Alexandria’s Old Town waterfront from May 27 through June 3; Baltimore’s Inner Harbor from June 9 through 12; the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia from June 16 through 19; South Street Seaport Museum in New York City from June 27 through July 6; the John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse and Fan Pier in Boston from July 14 through 19; and the Newport Yachting Center from July 25 through 30. Admission is free to events, including Landing Party Festivals.

The Jamestown Settlement is on Virginia Route 31, just southwest of Williamsburg; visit www.historyisfun.org or call 888/593-4682. For information on the 400th anniversary celebration, go to www.Americas 400thAnniversary.com.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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