President Donald Trump offered celebratory remarks at the 400th anniversary of the first representative legislative assembly in Jamestown, Virginia, on July 30. This event marked exactly 400 years to the day when democracy was born in America.
“On this day in 1619, 22 newly elected members of the House of Burgesses assembled in a small wooden church. They were adventurers and explorers, farmers and planters, soldiers, scholars and clergymen,” said Trump in his remarks at Jamestown. “All had struggled, all had suffered, and all had sacrificed in pursuit of one wild and very improbable dream. They called that dream Virginia.”
Among those invited to the ceremony were three Heritage Foundation staff members: Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow in the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies; Mike Howell, senior advisor for executive branch relations; and Mark DiPlacido, senior legislative assistant at Heritage Action for America.
The ceremony was part of a series of 20 events hosted at the Jamestown Settlement to honor events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today.
Von Spakovsky called the speech “a tribute to democracy.”
“This was a stirring event, celebrating 400 years of democracy in America, and particularly in Virginia,” von Spakovsky said. “President Trump is the first president to ever address the Virginia legislature and gave a great speech praising the state and what it started so long ago.”
Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James said that Americans should be grateful for our past and hopeful for the future of our democracy.
On this 400th Anniversary of America’s first representative legislative assembly in Jamestown, VA, it is important we remember the incredible promise of our democracy. I'm grateful for the brave patriots who came before us & remain hopeful for the future of this wonderful nation!— Kay Coles James (@KayColesJames) July 30, 2019
Howell agreed. “Despite other speakers’ attempts to insert divisive political rhetoric, the organizers of this event did an excellent job focusing on the important history and patriotism of this day,” he said.