FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2009
Contact: Jennifer M. Guild, Senior Officer for Public Relations and Marketing
Tel: (804) 342-9665 | Email:
Calling Anyone Named Zachary or Taylor
Virginia Historical Society Offers Free Admission in Honor of
the 225th Anniversary of the President's Birth
Richmond, VA—President Zachary Taylor's 225th birthday is November 24, 2009. To mark the anniversary, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) will display never-before-seen art and printed materials from the collection pertaining to Taylor. The items—seven in total—can be seen in the society's The Story of Virginia exhibition from November 24 through January 3, 2010.
In addition, the VHS is offering free admission to anyone named Zachary or Taylor for that same time
"Zachary Taylor is one of those presidents that people often forget is from Virginia," said VHS Executive
Vice President and Curator of Rare Books Robert F. Strohm. "We thought that offering free admission to anyone
named Zachary or Taylor while these interesting items are on display would be a fun way to help Virginians make a
stronger connection to this important historical figure."
Born on November 24, 1784, at Montebello in Orange County, Virginia, Zachary Taylor moved in 1785
with his family to Louisville, Kentucky. At age twenty-three, Taylor eagerly accepted an appointment as an army
lieutenant from President Jefferson. He rose through the ranks, distinguishing himself during frontier duty in the
Indiana and Wisconsin territories and in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Seminole Wars in Florida, and
the Mexican War.
In 1848, Taylor was elected the twelfth president of the United States as the Whig candidate, appealing to
northern voters as a war hero and to southerners as one of their own. Though a slave owner himself, he supported
banning slavery in the territories won from Mexico.
On the night of July 4, 1850, after having attended the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington
Monument, Taylor became ill. He died five days later on July 9 and is buried in Lexington, Kentucky. He was
succeeded by Vice President Millard Fillmore.
The mini-exhibition includes an 1851 lithograph plate featuring Taylor during the Mexican War, a campaign
biography, an invitation to Dolley Madison to attend Taylor's inauguration, a letter written by Taylor four days
before his death to one of New Orleans's most influential citizens, and two mourning ribbons. In addition, the
portrait currently hanging in The Story of Virginia exhibition will be replaced with one recently conserved for Taylor's
225th birthday anniversary. The painting and all of the printed materials have never before been on public display
at the VHS.
"Who knows," Strohm added, "with an incentive like free admission, moms might be inclined to name their newborns Zachary and Taylor!"
For more than 178 years, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has been the steward of our state—and often national—history. Headquartered in Richmond, the VHS features award-winning exhibitions that are entertaining and educational for visitors of all ages. Although designated the Official State Historical Society, the VHS is a privately funded non-profit organization that relies on contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations to sustain its operations. Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm and Sunday 1 pm–5 pm (shop and museum galleries only). Admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors 55+, $3/students, free/under 18 and free/members. Admission to the galleries is free on Sundays. For group tour information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, please call (804) 358-4901 or visit www.vahistorical.org.