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January 13th, 2011:

The Lost Colony, Fort Raleigh, and Roosevelt

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President Roosevelt visits Fort Raleigh“The Lost Colony” is  an outdoor drama that was first staged on July 4, 1937.   It was commissioned to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the birth of Virginia Dare, the first English child born after colonists began arriving from England in the early 16th century.  The play runs to this day on Roanoke Island.  One of our newest digitized state documents, North Carolina Today, was a promotional magazine published by the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development (now NC DENR).  It’s first issue debuted in 1937 and featured some of the actors from the play’s inaugural season on the cover.  It also mentions a visit from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who traveled to Roanoke Island to view the play on August 18, 1937.  While there, he toured Fort Raleigh, gave a speech, and signed a birth certificate for Virginia Dare.

You can see more recently digitized promotional materials in our digital collections. Other related items in our collections include the Roanoke Colonies Research Newsletter and a brochure entitled North Carolina’s First People.

Reference for this post:

Trebellas, Christine and William Chapman. 1999. Fort Raleigh National Historic Site historic resource study. Atlanta: Southeast Regional Office, National Park Service.

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