April 28 Event Features Actors Portraying President James Madison and First Lady Dolley Madison at Foundation’s Octagon Museum
Washington, D.C. – April 21, 2015 – A reenactment of the signing of one of the world’s longest standing unbroken international treaties takes place here on April 28 as the Architects Foundation holds a star-studded event to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812.
The invitation-only reception comes as the Foundation embarks on a multi-million-dollar revitalization of the Octagon, which served as the residence of President and Mrs. Madison beginning in September 1814, after the British Army burned the White House.
“At a time of increasing global un-rest, we look forward to commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Ghent to pay tribute to 200 years of peace and cooperation between the US and the UK that continues to this day,” said Sherry-Lea Bloodworth-Botop, Executive Director of the Architects Foundation. “The commemoration also underscores the commitment by the Foundation and the American Institute of Architects to historic preservation of the nation’s most cherished architectural structures and monuments.”
The reception will include a recreation of President Madison signing the Treaty, with actors organized by The History Warehouse portraying the President and First Lady Dolley Madison as well as Henry Carroll and James Monroe, who will “arrive” at the Octagon at 6:30 p.m., bearing the “Treaty” in the original Treaty Box from the Octagon’s collection. Guests will gather in the Treaty Room, where President Madison will sign the Treaty at the original desk, make a few remarks and offer a toast.
The Belgian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Johan Verbeke, will serve as a co-host for this event. The Treaty of Ghent was negotiated in Ghent, in what is now the country of Belgium, and signed by the British and American negotiators on December 24, 1814. Before it could take effect, the Treaty had to be ratified by the British and US governments. The Treaty was ratified by the US Senate, and came to President Madison for his signature in February 1815.
“We are extremely enthusiastic about this commemoration, and very committed to this event,’ said Ambassador Verbeke. “Beginning last summer with Treaty of Ghent Rose Ceremony commemorating the treaty’s initial signing by British and American negotiators http://www.c-span.org/video/?323292-1/discussion-signing-treaty-ghent, we have sought to raise the profile of this event as a way to show that treaties obtained through careful diplomatic negotiations become lasting documents of peace.”
Representatives from the United States government and Belgian, Canadian and British Embassies are also expected to attend. The reception is geared toward philanthropic, government, and history leaders in Washington, DC, as well as other friends of AIA, the Architects Foundation and the Octagon.
About the Architects Foundation:
The Architects Foundation preserves, honors and advances excellence in design for the benefit of the public. As a nonprofit philanthropic extension of the American Institute of Architects, the Architects Foundation is the preeminent voice and advocate for architecture and design in America. The Architects Foundation is dedicated to the belief that good design is good for all and plays an essential role in transforming lives and building a better world.