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Hail to the Chief

‘The liberality of sentiment towards each other, which marks every political and religious denomination of men in this country, stands unparalleled in the history of nations,” wrote President George Washington in a 1790 letter sent to Philadelphia’s Congregation Mikvah Israel and other congregations in New York; Richmond, Va., and Charleston, S.C. George Washington re-enactor Jim Gibson will read the letter at a Presidents Day celebration at the National Museum of American Jewish History.

The event, which also marks Washington’s Birthday, includes guest speaker Jane L. Dalton, chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, who will discuss the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom; music by Fifes & Drums of the Delaware Militia, which plays traditional tunes from the Revolutionary War and Civil War eras, and re-enactors from the 11th Pennsylvania Regiment. In keeping with the day’s all-American theme, cherry pie will be served.

National Museum of American Jewish History, Independence Mall, 55 N. 5th St., Philadelphia; Feb. 19, 12 p.m.; free. (215-923-3811 or

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