Mary Ball Washington's Battle with Breast Cancer

Monday, October 01, 2018

by Mary V. Thompson In the spring of 1787, as George Washington was preparing to leave Mount Vernon to attend the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, an express rider arrived, carrying an emergency summons to Fredericksburg, Virginia. In telling a friend about his change of plans, Washington noted that “not a moment is to be lost,” because his…


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Did the Washingtons Brunch?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Brunch—the linguistic and culinary combination of breakfast and lunch—was popularized in the United States during the 1930s. While the Washingtons didn't enjoy the brunch we know and love today, they frequently enjoyed brunch staples for breakfast and served them to Mount Vernon's ample visitors.  


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Have you heard about our podcast?

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Scholars, authors, speakers, professors, and other top academics conduct research at the Washington Library on a daily basis. Two years ago, then-director of the Library Doug Bradburn started Conversations at the Washington Library to engage these visiting researchers and fellows, sharing their work with a wider audience. In recent episodes, the podcast…


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18th-Century White Oak Tree Felled by Rains

Thursday, August 09, 2018

On Tuesday, July 24, Mount Vernon lost a piece of living history—a white oak tree dating to Washington’s time. Located away from public access, the historic tree that lived through the Civil War fell due to the overly saturated ground. The oak’s trunk had a circumference of almost 12 feet (46 inches in diameter). Between 2004 and 2005, dendrochronologist…


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Commemorating Purple Heart Day at Mount Vernon

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Did you know George Washington created the first United States military award? In his General Orders on August 7, 1782, Washington created three military badges to honor the service of ordinary, common soldiers. One of these awards was the Badge of Military Merit, the precursor to the Purple Heart. Dr. Gordon Sumner, Ph.D., is the Commander of the…


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Operation: George Washington

Friday, August 03, 2018

This summer, celebrate America's first spymaster, George Washington, with a special discount to the International Spy Museum and George Washington's Mount Vernon. From August 1 through September 3, 2018, guests receive 50% off general admission to the International Spy Museum when they visit George Washington's Mount Vernon! Washington Letter at the…


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Running and Fifing

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

On the grounds of Mount Vernon, the whistle of a fife signals Don Francisco is near. As Mount Vernon's Resident Fifer and a history interpreter, Don educates visitors about the role of fife and drum music in the American Revolution, as well as entertaining guests with musical renditions of pop tunes and fight songs. Once a year, he changes his pace…


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George Washington: Bee Keeper

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

George Washington ate hoecakes with honey almost every day for breakfast, but where did he get the honey? The only mention of Washington's bees comes from an entry on July 28, 1787, which states three hundred nails were given out at the Circle Storehouse to an indentured English joiner named Matthew Baldridge, “to make a bee house.” Washington is also…


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Ice Cream and Mosquitoes: Summertime in Virginia

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

On the first day of summer, the collections staff prepared the Mansion for a new season—swapping the springtime food for summer delicacies and dishes. The scenarios in the Butler’s Pantry, Dining Room, Kitchen, Greenhouse Slave Quarters, and Washington Bedchamber reveal this seasonal change. Butler’s Pantry Dishes and tablewares used in earlier courses…


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