2017 James Madison Appreciation Day

3/16/2017

WHEREAS, James Madison, Jr., was born on March 16, 1751, at Port Conway in King George County, Virginia, to James Madison, Sr., and Eleanor Conway at the Conway home; and

WHEREAS, he was brought up in and remained a lifetime resident of Orange County at his home, "Montpelier"; and

WHEREAS, he attended the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University, studying with The Reverend John Witherspoon, signer of the Declaration of Independence, honing a lifelong commitment to freedom of faith and conscience for all people; and

WHEREAS, he was a devoted student of history and government, and well-read in the law, participating in the framing of Virginia's original Statute of Religious Freedom, the Virginia Constitution in 1776, and was a leader in the Virginia General Assembly; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States, adopted in 1787, was largely designed under the guidance of the 36-year-old Madison through his work on the Virginia Plan; and

WHEREAS, he later made major contributions to the ratification process of the United States Constitution by co-authoring the Federalist Papers with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay; and

WHEREAS, in the United States Congress, he helped to frame the "Bill of Rights" in 1789, protecting and guaranteeing the rights and freedoms of individual citizens; and

WHEREAS, he served as Secretary of State in President Thomas Jefferson's Cabinet, was twice elected to serve as President of the United States, and led the War of 1812; and

WHEREAS, his contributions, acknowledged by his contemporary compatriots, and a grateful nation since, have named him "The Father of the Constitution," which remains the supreme law of our land;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize March 16, 2017, as JAMES MADISON APPRECIATION DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

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