Posts tagged ‘Bob McDonnell’

Spielberg to film ‘Lincoln’ scenes in Richmond

By BOB LEWIS, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. – The Capitol of Virginia, onetime seat of the Confederacy, is being converted for a few weeks more in keeping with how it looked at the close of the Civil War — for filming scenes from Steve Spielberg’s major production, Lincoln.

Bronze statue of Grace Bedell and Abraham Lincoln, Westfield NY.

Spielberg and members of his production company were guests Monday night of Gov. Bob McDonnell at Virginia’s Executive Mansion, just a few hundred feet from the state Capitol.

On the grounds of the 200-year-old seat of Virginia government, the grass is going without mowing in spots for some weeks to give it a more natural appearance at the request of the filmmakers. Lincoln visited Richmond after the fall of the Confederacy in 1865, shortly before his assassination.
Rita McClenny, head of the Virginia Film Office, said Spielberg’s moviemakers will be filming on Capitol Square in Richmond and other locations including Petersburg this fall through December. The film stars Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.

Richmond’s urban area and the Capitol complex in particular have served as the set for movies many times before. The Capitol’s South Lawn and the South Portico, which were initially designed by Thomas Jefferson, doubled as the White House exterior in Dave. The interior doubled as the interior of the U.S. Capitol for the film “The Contender.”

It also was a stand-in for official Washington in the films “G.I. Jane,” “First Kid” and The Jackal. Its building interiors also served as the gloomy environs for Hannibal. And the region assumed an 18th century look for HBO’s miniseries John Adams.

Spielberg’s credits, among many others, include “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Schindler’s List,” and “Saving Private Ryan.”


Battle Over Civil War Graves

From the AP/NBC Washington

A military graveyard is causing controversy in Virginia, and its not located in Arlington.

A group is demanding better grave markers for more than 17,000 soldiers buried in Richmond that fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The group, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, wants federal funding to place individual, upright markers in the graveyard for dead soldiers, the Times-Dispatch reported.  The graveyard is named Oakwood Cemetery, and is one of the largest for Confederate war dead.

“You would not believe the people all across the country with ancestors out there who want this done,” said F. Lee Hart III, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veteran’s and the head of the group’s committee to restore the cemetery.

One of the group’s supporters is U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.  He wrote a letter petitioning the Veterans Affairs to release money for the refurbishment.

Currently, six by six inch marble blocks serve as the marker for 3 soldiers each.  According to the Sons of the Confederacy, these blocks are in disrepair.  “The stones are all damaged, a lot of them are illegible,” Hart told the Times-Dispatch.  “It’s disgraceful.”

The VA estimated that the total cost of new, upright markers would be $3.2 million.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans asked for ten new upright, granite markers last year from the VA, but were turned down.  An agency official wrote such markers “would have an adverse effect on the historic setting and potentially archaelogical resources.”

But Hart has pointed out that the cemetery had originally been marked by Confederate women’s group with upright grave markers made of wood, which eventually rotted.

The month of April was marked as Civil War History Month by Gov. Bob McDonnell.

%d bloggers like this: