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2021 Annapolis History Festival

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Commemorating the 240th Anniversary of


The Battle of Yorktown

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Marquis de Lafayette camped near St. John's College in Annapolis from March 12 - April 6, 1781. Over a thousand French soldiers died in the Revolutionary War..

Just before the decisive Battle of Yorktown on October 19, 1781, dozens of French soldiers were laid to rest far from home on the grounds of their portable hospital set up at St. John's College.
A beautiful monument at St. John's College, located near College Creek, was dedicated to these brave soldiers in 1911.

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There are two separate events taking place on October 30: 


9:00am - 3:00pm: A fee-based Johns Hopkins University "Odyssey" V.I.P. conference

Go here to register, scroll to the bottom, and click on "Continue as Guest". Cost: $185.

This conference is not affiliated with the free festival below; it precedes it as a separate event.


3:00pm - 8:00pm: Free public festival by the Annapolis Continental Congress Society. 

Details below. NOTE: Dinner from 5:15pm - 6:45pm is "pay as you go" (location TBA). 

Although there's no admission fee, please sign up for each event separately (details below).

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3:00pm - 5:00pm, inside the Maryland State House


"We expect, please God, to winter in Annapolis, those that live of us." 


"The Maryland Line and Annapolis during the 


Revolutionary War"

This talk will explore how Maryland soldiers affected the city of Annapolis during the Revolutionary War--and how the city affected them--from the arrival of the first troops in early 1776 to the surrender at Yorktown in 1781. The Maryland Line played only a small role at Yorktown, but had proved its mettle many times over the preceding five years. Throughout that time, Annapolis served as a military post, hosting many thousands of soldiers over the course of the war, both American and French, and was the headquarters for most of the state's war effort. The city was also the site of important political developments during the Revolution, including a demonstration by soldiers demanding the right to vote. Owen Lourie, M.A., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is a historian at the Maryland State Archives, first joining the staff as an intern in 2003. He has conducted and supervised research on a wide array of topics relating to Maryland history, including Brookeville, Maryland during the Early Federal Era. He also co-curated an exhibit at the Maryland State House, “‘The Enemy Nearly All ‘Round Us’: Annapolis & The War of 1812.” Since 2013. he has been the director of Finding the Maryland 400, a research project studying the soldiers of the First Maryland Regiment who fought at the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776. You can learn more about the project, and read biographies of all known soldiers from the unit here: https://msamaryland400.wordpress.com/ Owen, currently working on a book based on the project's research, earned a B.A. in American Studies from Kenyon College in 2005, and an M.A. in history, with a concentration in public history, from UMBC in 2012. NOTE: After Owen's talk, we will tour the Old Senate Chamber to see the room where these events took place.  (JHU Odyssey participants: You can take the bus either back to the Waterfront Hotel or to the Visitors Center at 5:00pm after this talk). NOTE: Space is limited; please sign up by emailing Mark Croatti: markcroatti@hotmail.com

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5:15pm - 6:45pm (finalized location TBA): 


W3R Dinner*



Cafe Normandie, a French restaurant.


To see their menu, click here.



Galway Bay, an Irish restaurant.


To see their menu, click here


*NOTE: We are still finalizing the location and a speaker for a pay-as-you go dinner with W3R members. Space is limited; State House talk participants may sign up for this dinner by emailing Mark Croatti: markcroatti@hotmail.com

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7:00pm - 7:45pm, at St. John's College's French Soldiers Memorial


"Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail"

How France--and Annapolis--helped win the Revolutionary War

The National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association Inc. (W3R-US) supports, interprets and preserves the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail (WARO), commemorating the allied French, and Continental armies during the American War of Independence, and the hundreds of miles to and from the victorious Siege of Yorktown in 1781 and 1782. We will talk on the significance of the route, especially the Maryland sites near Annapolis such as the French soldiers' encampment at St. John's College and surrounding jurisdictions. NOTE: Space is limited; sign up by emailing Mark Croatti: markcroatti@hotmail.com

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7:45pm - 8:00pm: 


"240 Years of Liberty: A Grateful Nation Salutes You"

A Closing Ceremony at the French Soldiers Memorial


The 2021 Annapolis History Festival will conclude with a dedication at the memorial dedicated in 1911 to the dozens of French soldiers buried at their former campsite to thank them for their sacrifice and all French soldiers who helped win the Battle of Yorktown. (JHU Odyssey participants: You can take the bus back to the Visitors Center at 8:00pm from the parking lot closest to the memorial site, the same spot where we were dropped off and picked up earlier in the day, before lunch). NOTE: Space is limited; sign up for this event by emailing Mark Croatti: markcroatti@hotmail.com

On this map of the parking garages note one at the Visitors Center (#6 on the map) and the second at St. John's College (#10 on the map) as well as many others throughout the city of Annapolis. (JHU participants: You can leave your car at the Visitors Center garage or move it to the St. John's College garage during the dinner break; either way, there will be bus service back to the Waterfront Hotel and the Visitors Center at 5pm from the State House.