The state that will play host to the 87th annual ASP meeting is a history buff’s mecca. Virginia is the birthplace of many of our country’s founding fathers, including 8 U.S. presidents, notably George Washington, our first president, and Thomas Jefferson, our third president and the principal writer of the Declaration of Independence. Richmond, the state capital and our host city, also has a history as storied as the state. Situated on the James River, Richmond served as a port for many of the agricultural products that were produced in our young country and is still today a booming port for many products coming from the Tidewater areas of eastern Virginia. And as we all know, Richmond was the seat of the confederacy during the Civil War. It is also the site of the St. John’s Church where Patrick Henry made his famous speech that included the phrase, “Give me liberty or give me death”. There are several other sites worth seeing in the city including Belle Isle and Brown’s Island, two islands located in the James River, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, the Hollywood Cemetery where 2 U.S. presidents are buried, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts where you can see the largest collection of Fabergé Eggs outside of Russia and the Reconciliation statue, built in 2007, which recognizes the city’s period of slavery.
You can stroll through downtown Richmond to many of the shops, museums and eateries, visit Jackson Ward, which was called the “Wall Street of Black America” because of the financial acumen of people such as Maggie L. Walker, who started the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank for African Americans, tour the Arthur Ashe Athletic center that honors our nation’s first nationally recognized African American tennis star, visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in nearby Henrico county, shop in Carytown or stroll through Shochoe Bottom, formerly a Powhatan Native American fishing village. Whatever your choice, Richmond provides a wide array of experiences and opportunities for a fun meeting. The meetings will be held at the Omni Hotel and the Chairperson of the local arrangements committee is Dr. Ghislaine Mayer, from Virginia Commonwealth University ( email@example.com ). See you in Richmond on July 13-16, 2012.