The years 2012-2015 mark the bicentennial of the War of 1812. The war, and the five-day occupation of Alexandria by British forces in 1814, had a profound effect on the town and its economy.
While war was declared in 1812, it was not until 1814 that it reached Alexandria's shores. On August 29 Alexandrians awoke to find 138 guns of the British squadron "but a few hundred yards from the wharves, and the houses so situated at they might have been laid in ashes in a few minutes," as described by the residents. The British promised not to destroy the town if the citizens surrendered all naval stores, shipping, and merchandise being exported. Alexandria agreed, under much scrutiny by the nation. However, it was thanks to the actions on both sides that the "Old Town" of today is still preserved.
The City of Alexandria and community partners commemorated Alexandria's role in the war through lectures, concerts, and specialty tours, culminating in the Signature Weekend Event.
The 2014 Festival marked the conclusion of the War of 1812 Commemoration, with cricket, a wreath-laying ceremony, tug of war, boat tours, and more! During the weekend, three special events will take place as part of the British Challenge -- members of the British Embassy taking on Alexandria in some friendly modern-day competition.
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Office of Historic Alexandria
Lloyd House220 North Washington StreetAlexandria, VA 22314703.746.4554Fax: 703.838.6451Email
Office HoursMonday - Friday8 a.m. to 5 p.m.