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Modern Governors Reenacted the First Continental Congress, Video, 1974


Materials in the Library of Virginia’s collections contain historical terms, phrases, and images that are offensive to modern readers. These include demeaning and dehumanizing references to race, ethnicity, and nationality; enslaved or free status; physical and mental ability; and gender and sexual orientation. 


The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the autumn of 1774 in response to the Intolerable Acts, which had been put in place by an act of Parliament. Representatives of the twelve colonies came together to determine how to best advance the interests of the colonies. The representatives included a delegation of seven from Virginia: Peyton Randolph, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Richard Bland, Benjamin Harrison, Edmund Pendleton. Several decisions were made about how to respond to the increasingly strict acts of Parliament. The representatives drafted a boycott of British goods which took effect in December 1774 and they provided means for a second Continental Congress to meet in May 1775.

On September 5 and 5, 1974, the bicentennial of the First Continental Congress was celebrated with a reenactment of this historical event. Virginia governor Mills Edwin Godwin Jr. (1914-1999) and governors from the other 11 states which made up the First Continental Congress, gathered in Philadelphia to recreated and record the event as a public tribute.

Watch here:

Citation: Continental Congress Re-enactment: Election of President - Mills Godwin, 1974,, uploaded to the Library of Virginia YouTube Channel in 2009.


VS.I, VS.9, USII.1, USII.8, USII.9, VUS.1, VUS.15

Suggested Questions

Preview Activity

Take a look: What do you think is happening in this picture? List 3 or four guesses.

Post Activities

Form an Opinion: After watching the video, what are your thoughts? Was the effort to enact the event successful? Why or why not?

Analyze: Create a hypothesis about the intent of the reenactment event. What was the intent behind it? Would such an event be accepted and appreciated today? Explain your Reponses.