special feature American Village Aerial Shot Wide

The American Village Celebrates 20 Years

Special Feature


 The American Village in Montevallo is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. When it opened on November 30, 1999, only four buildings existed – including the original Barn that remained from the time when the campus was a working cattle farm. Today there are more than 20 buildings, inspired by some of our Nation’s most cherished historic sites. But the American Village is not about its buildings, but rather about building in the hearts and minds of young people and adults alike a sense of stewardship of what George Washington called the sacred fire of liberty.”

The American Village Washingon Hall
Washington Hall, a replica of George Washington’s Mount Vernon home, was the first building constructed on the American Village campus.

Here, nationally-acclaimed programs engage 35,000 K-12 students annually in discovering America’s stories of independence, liberty and self-government. Since 1999 the Village has served well over 750,000 students from five Southeastern states. In addition to school programs, public programs on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day draw large numbers of visitors. And the Festival of Tulips draws thousands from around the Southeast to enjoy the flowers each spring. The goals of the American Village today are the same as they were twenty years ago:

  • Teach Youth the Vital Lessons of Liberty
  • Remember the Price of Liberty and Honor Those Who Have Paid It
  • Promote Public Regard for the Constitution and America’s Charters of Freedom
  • Engage Citizens and Leaders in the Stewardship of Liberty
  • Foster renewal of the American spirit of E Pluribus Unum (from many, one)

From Concord Bridge in 1775, to Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, and beyond, the American story has been the journey and struggle for liberty, independence, constitutional self-government, and the fulfillment of the promise of the ideals proclaimed in America’s Declaration of Independence.

There was a time when American students could recite the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence, and they could say the preamble to the Constitution. But today our country suffers from historical and civic illiteracy. On July 4, 2026, America will celebrate its 250th birthday. As we look forward to that milestone, the American Village is endeavoring to help prepare a new generation of citizens and leaders to lead and serve our country. American Village founder and president Tom Walker said, “I give thanks to almighty God for His providential care for our Nation and for this undertaking, and to the many men and women whose dedication and generous gifts of time, talent, and treasure have raised the American Village and sustained it in its vital work.” For more information about the American Village, visit  www.americanvillage.org.†


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