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Virginia Politics
Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 06/29/2012

McDonnells welcome former first families to mansion

Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, hosted a reunion for Virginia’s first families last night.

Governors Jim Gilmore, Linwood Holton, Bob McDonnell, Gerald Baliles, Doug Wilder and George Allen. (Office of the Governor)
Five former governors traveled back to their former home — Linwood Holton, Gerald Baliles, Douglas Wilder, George Allen and Jim Gilmore. Missing were Chuck Robb, Mark Warner and Allen’s rival for the U.S. Senate, Tim Kaine.

(How much do you know about Virginia’s nine living governors? Take our quiz, first published in April).

Fourteen descendants of Virginia’s first governor, Patrick Henry, and six descendants of the Executive Mansion’s first occupant, James Barbour, also attended the event.

McDonnell and Gertrude Howland, 101, niece of former governor John Pollard. (Office of the Governor)
More than 270 attendees representing 39 governors donated items symbolizing their family’s administration, including portraits, stamps, letters, wedding rings, a paint box, a framed governor’s flag and detailed family trees.

The current first family is getting ready for the 200th anniversary of the mansion next year. The historic artifacts will be displayed as a part of the holiday decor in December and be showcased throughout the bicentennial year.

The butter-yellow, Federal-style mansion is touted as the longest continually occupied governor’s residence in the nation.

By  |  11:45 AM ET, 06/29/2012

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