MASON’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT GUNSTON HALL DEC. 14 TO INCLUDE MANSION TOUR, WREATH-LAYING AND PROGRAM ON “THREATS TO PRESS FREEDOM”
The Society of Professional Journalists’ Virginia chapter will hold an afternoon of activities commemorating patriot George Mason’s birthday Dec. 14 at Mason’s historic colonial home, Gunston Hall, in Lorton.
A wreath-laying ceremony at Mason’s grave on the Gunston Hall grounds at 1:30 p.m. will be followed by a guided tour of the mansion and a talk on “Threats to Press Freedom Today” by Paul Fletcher, SPJ’s national secretary-treasurer and publisher-editor of Virginia Lawyers Weekly. Holiday-themed refreshments will close out the celebration.
This is one of our annual events, which we are proud to host every year. We celebrate Mason, who wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights later used as the model for the Bill of Rights. Because his actual birthdate is Dec. 11, this year’s commemoration is being held on a Saturday to enable the largest number of people to attend.
In the Virginia Declaration, Mason wrote “That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.” SPJ’s Virginia chapter presents an annual award in Mason’s name for outstanding contributions to journalism in the commonwealth.
Admission to Gunston Hall to attend the events is free for members of the Friends of Gunston Hall and SPJ. A suggested donation of $10 to Gunston Hall is requested.