Grammy® winners Amy Grant and Vince Gill will sing, and Pulitzer Prize-winner David McCullough will give keynote remarks Sept. 27 at George Washington's Mount Vernon to open the first Presidential library of our first President.
The Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps and the United States Army Band will also entertain invited guests at the private ceremony.
The new Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington is adjacent to the estate on 15 wooded acres of Washington's original farm in Mount Vernon, Va.
Thousands of rare books, manuscripts, and archival materials will be available to scholars and other researchers in a sort of George Washington "think tank", Mount Vernon estate officials announced at the National Press Club last July.
The new library also will have 105 volumes from Washington's original 1,200-item collection.
Its centerpiece will be the "Acts of Congress", a book containing his personal copy of laws passed during the legislature's first session in 1789, and also Washington's personal signed copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- with his notes.
Mount Vernon's Fred W. Smith National Library is not part of the National Archives' Presidential libraries, which span from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush.
Unlike those Presidential libraries, the one at Mount Vernon is privately funded, and for researchers only -- for now at least, estate officials said.
Washington wrote in 1797, "I have not houses to build, except one, which I must erect for the accommodation and security of my military, civil and private papers, which are voluminous and may be interesting."