Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has invited President Obama to Virginia to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War at an event at Manassas National Battlefield this summer.
The First Battle of Bull Run or the First Battle of Manassas, the first major land battle of the Civil War, was fought July 21, 1861.
“I do think we are trying take a very honest look, 150 years later at what led to the civil war, what was Virginia’s role,’’ McDonnell said Tuesday morning on his monthly call-in show on WNIS in Norfolk. “We also hope that Virginia having more battlefields by far than any other state that we will have people from around the nation, around the world, come here see our battlefields, learn from our history and participate in various tourism and economic development activities here in Virginia. We have actually asked the president to come and be part of that as well.”
The formal invitation sent to Obama in describing the event, states:
“The focus of the program will not be solely on the battle at Manassas. Rather, dignitaries and historians will address the broader meaning of the sesquicentennial and how far we have come as a nation.”
The White House has not yet responded.
McDonnell has declared April 2011 Civil War History in Virginia Month in the state, including both references to confederate generals and condemnation of slavery.