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Mount Vernon: A glimpse inside the life of George Washington Special

By Leigh Goessl     Jan 31, 2012 in Travel
Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon is the stately home of Gen. George Washington located in Northern Virginia, just 16 miles south of Washington D.C.
The estate has welcomed 80 million visitors to date and approximately 1 million people flock to visit this grand property throughout the year.
As President's Day nears, many people in the U.S. reflect back on the history of the nation, including remembering the many men who have served in the highest office of the country.
Legally the federal holiday is Washington's Birthday, Feb. 22, which was established by Congress in 1800. Over time, however, Washington's Birthday has evolved to fall on the third Monday in Feb. and it celebrates Abraham Lincoln's birthday along with the accomplishments of all presidents who have served in office.
A visit to Mount Vernon truly gives a glimpse into the life of George and Martha Washington. Since the Mount Vernon Ladies Association purchased the property in 1858, the Association has meticulously restored the home to the way it would have existed in 1799, the year General Washington died.
The mansion is built on a hill with a grand view overlooking the Potomac River.
The careful attention paid to detail in restoring the property, and historical accounts of the private lives of the Washington's is obvious.
For well over a century, the Mount Vernon Ladies Association has been restoring and expanding this majestic Virginia home. Part of the appeal of Mount Vernon is the fact careful detail has not only been paid to the public side of George Washington, but also the private side, focusing on the life of the family and how they lived.
Touring each room, the furniture is all of period era, many of the pieces original ownership traced back to George Washington.
Some of the notable pieces include his office chair and his personal trunk, which both currently sit in his office space. In the main hallway one of the keys to the Bastille, given to Washington by Marquis de LaFayette is displayed where it was during Washington's time.
To preserve the integrity of inside the main house and its furnishings, photos are not allowed to be taken, but the outer houses and other areas of the property are permitted to be photographed.
Despite spending a large amount of his life serving his country in military and presidential roles, Washington considered himself a farmer. He paid attention to progress and technology and had developed many agricultural innovations right on his own property.
In October 2006 the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center and the Ford Orientation Center was completed, further enhancing the historical value and experience of visiting Mount Vernon. In the museum many original and period items are displayed.
At any given time of the year there are always events happening at Mount Vernon and as President Washington's birthday approaches, events are in the making.
In honor of George Washington's birthday, Mount Vernon will be offering free admission and extended hours to visitors on Mon., Feb. 20.
Special events include patriotic music and military performances on the Bowling Green, a special celebratory living history event called "George Washington’s Surprise Birthday Party" where the first U.S. president will open his gifts in front of visitors. The estate will open at 8 a.m. on this day.
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