March 3, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: House Joint Resolution 797, Designating March 14, in 2015 and in Each Succeeding Year, as a Day of Honor for the Marquis de Lafayette in Virginia
I am pleased to bring to your attention House Joint Resolution 797, passed during the 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly to designate March 14, of each year, as a Day of Honor for the Marquis de Lafayette in Virginia.
On March 14, 1781, 23-year-old Major General Marquis de Lafayette landed at Yorktown, Virginia, to begin a campaign against the British General Cornwallis that would culminate in the British defeat six months later. In the summer of 2015, Lafayette’s transatlantic journey was re-enacted by an exact historic reproduction of the French frigate L’Hermione. Lafayette’s work and the involvement of France changed the course of the war. The 2015 History and Social Science Standards of Learning provide content concerning Marquis de Lafayette in the Virginia Studies and United States History to 1865 courses. Teachers are encouraged to share the story of Lafayette with their students. Additional information on Lafayette and the Virginia Campaign is available through the National Park Service.
A wreath is laid each year at the bust of Lafayette in the Rotunda of the Capitol. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on March 14, 2017. The public is invited.
For more information about House Joint Resolution 797, please contact Christonya Brown, Coordinator for History and Social Science, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, by email at Christonya.Brown@doe.virginia.gov or by telephone at (804) 225-2893.