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YORKTOWN, Va., June 15, 2012 — The Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, will join in saluting the 236th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence during “Liberty Celebration,” Tuesday and Wednesday, July 3-4. 

 Artillery demonstration at the Yorktown Victory Center

From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days, visitors can interact with Revolutionary War re-enactors, observe tactical and artillery drills, take part in a variety of military exercises, discover the origins of “American” dishes such as apple pie, and learn about the challenges that faced our nation’s founders, including those who signed the Declaration of Independence.

A rare early broadside printing of the Declaration is featured in the museum’s Declaration of Independence Gallery. The historic document was printed in Boston soon after being adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, and before an engrossed, or handwritten, copy of the document on parchment was signed by members of Congress on August 2, 1776.

During “The Price of Liberty,” a daily program held at 3:35 p.m. at the museum’s re-created 1780s farm, visitors will learn about the sacrifices of Americans who declared independence from Great Britain – from the individuals who signed the Declaration of Independence to farmers, merchants, women and slaves.

In the re-created Continental Army encampment, artillery demonstrations will take place at 11:05 a.m., 1:05 and 3:05 p.m. The 1:05 p.m. demonstration will examine the role of the mortar, a type of artillery that can fire explosive charges over obstacles, at the Siege of Yorktown. At 4:05 p.m. each day, visitors can watch costumed historical interpreters take up arms for a tactical drill and then participate in a wooden musket drill.

At the re-created 1780s farm, visitors can learn about the transition from farmer to soldier as they train as a member of the citizen militia during a special program at 11:35 a.m. each day. Visitors to the farm kitchen at 12:35 p.m. will learn about the contributions of European, American Indian and African cultures to American cooking, and about the origins of apple pie and other “American” dishes. At 5:05 p.m., farm visitors can try 18th-century games, such as quoits, mancala, and hoop and stick.

Indoors, visitors to the Witnesses to Revolution Gallery can hear firsthand accounts of the war’s impact on everyday people of the 18th century, including Africans, American Indians and women – for whom the concepts of liberty and equality did not yet apply. Visitors also can learn about the movements of British, American and French troops that converged on Yorktown in 1781 and take in “A Time of Revolution,” a film shown every 30 minutes in the museum theater. Exhibits also examine the development of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and how people from many different cultures shaped a new society.

Admission is $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for youth ages 6 through 12. Children under age 6 receive complimentary admission.  A 20-percent savings is available with a value-priced combination ticket with Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia. Residents of York County, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, including the College of William and Mary, receive complimentary admission with proof of residency.  Additional ticket and package options and online specials are available with other Williamsburg area attractions, including Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums and Busch Gardens.

The Yorktown Victory Center’s “Liberty Celebration” daytime events complement the Yorktown Fourth of July Celebration taking place in historic Yorktown on the evening of July 4.

The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 near the Colonial Parkway in Yorktown. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through August 15, parking at the Yorktown Victory Center is free for museum visitors. A free shuttle service is available to historic Yorktown until 5 p.m. on the Yorktown Trolley, and to Williamsburg area attractions until 5:30 p.m. on the Historic Triangle Shuttle.

For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll free or (757) 253-4838.