Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert C. Kenzer


This study chronicles the planning, execution, and aftermath of the Yorktown Centennial of October 1881 in Yorktown, Richmond, and Norfolk. Beyond its original expectation of memorializing the one hundredth anniversary of the last major battle for independence, as the first nationally prominent celebration to occur on Southern soil after the Civil War, it made reconciliation among the states a significant aspect of the occasion. Also, it marked the first national gathering after the assassination of President James A. Garfield as well as the occasion for the first public speech given by the new President, Chester A. Arthur. The presence of numerous foreign dignitaries added an element of international relations and helped to strengthen European ties.

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