Craft: Painting Fireworks

In the United States, we celebrate July 4th as Independence Day. On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence. In it, the colonists explained why they wanted independence from England and formally stated their separation. Ever since then, Americans have celebrated the 4th of July with concerts, bonfires, parades and fireworks.

The Declaration of Independence begins, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” However, it would take almost another hundred years until the passage of the 13th Amendment ended legal slavery in the United States.  Since 1776, there have always been people working towards equality for all. We’re still working towards it today.

As you celebrate 4th of July with your family, bring fireworks indoors with this fun and easy craft.

What you’ll need:

• Recycled paper towel or toilet paper rolls
• Paper Plates
• Scissors
• Paint
• A pen

How to create a fireworks painting:

First, draw a line around your recycled paper tube about 2/3rds down. Using scissors, carefully cut one half of the tube into vertical strips. Press it against the table so that the strips fan out and the roll can stand up on its own.

Add paint to each paper plate. You can do one color per paint or mix it up. Each paper plate should get its own paper towel roll, but if they get mixed up, that is OK too!

Press the paper towel roll into the paint, and then stamp it onto your paper. You can repeat as many times as you would like.

When you’re done with your fireworks, hang them up on a wall for your own private show!

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Press Release: Tudor Place Identified as Site with Stories Recognizing  Free & Enslaved African Americans Who Built Georgetown

Press Release 

June 22, 2021

Washington, DC
– Tudor Place Historic House & Garden and the Georgetown African American Historic Landmark Project announced Friday, June 18, 2021, the placement of a marker identifying Tudor Place as a site with stories about the free and enslaved African Americans who worked in, lived in and assisted in building Georgetown.  The Georgetown African American Historic Landmark Project places markers on Georgetown African American historic landmarks commemorating the enslaved and free African Americans’ contributions to the Georgetown community.

Read the full press release here.


Honoring the enslaved people who resisted bondage in ways large and small: Juneteenth 2021

Photo: Tudor Place Archive, A1.305

A day known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when Union troops brought news of emancipation to Texas, ending slavery in the US. As a historic site that bears the scars of slavery, Tudor Place also remembers the enslaved people who resisted bondage in ways large and small.  John Luckett, the Tudor Place gardener for 44 years, shared his self-emancipation story with his employer, Armistead Peter Jr.:

“I was a slave…at Lewinsville, Va. That evening, a bunch of Yankees came along…The following morning, I was ordered to drive a pair of mules that were hitched to an army wagon. In the afternoon, we could hear the booming of the guns at Bull Run…Three of us deserted. We traveled at night and hid in the day-time, for we had no passes to be on the road. One night, when we were near Lewinsville, a bunch of Yankees picked us up and took us to headquarters…Fortunately, they let us go…I just kept on…” 

Click here to learn about John Luckett and others who worked at Tudor Place.

Click here to learn about slavery at Tudor Place.

Click here to learn more about emancipation in the District of Columbia.

For questions or more information, please contact us at

Vision 2020

Since adopting the Master Preservation Plan in 2012, Tudor Place has endeavored through the Third Century Capital Campaign to raise the funds needed to ensure the success of this plan. Significant progress in planning and implementation of the plan have occurred, with major projects awaiting implementation in the next 3-4 years. From its quiet beginnings as a historic house museum in 1988, Tudor Place has evolved and grown. It is today a significant part of the cultural fabric of Washington, DC—as both a landmark of national significance and a vital resource for the Georgetown community. Throughout this planning process, Tudor Place has strived to find the proper balance between these dual identities.

Read Tudor Place’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2023 in the Vision 2020 statement.


I want to make alive to you the fact that this house has seen this pageant of American history.
-Armistead Peter 3rd

Craft: Summer Solstice Monoprints

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and the official first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This year, summer solstice is June 20th. Washington DC will have almost 15 hours of daylight between sunrise and sunset. People all over the world celebrate the summer solstice and have for hundreds and hundreds of years.

In your summer solstice observations design a monoprint to celebrate the extra sunshine. Monoprints are a way of making prints that can only be used once – which means you have plenty of opportunities for creativity.

Watch the video below to see how to create your own sunshiny prints.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper (a heavier weight is better, but printer paper is fine)
  • Paint (we suggest yellow, red or orange)
  • Paint brushes
  • Q-tips


How to create a sunny monoprint:

First, load your brush with paint and paint a circle on your paper. Next, drag a Q-tip through the paint to create your designs. You can always add more paint or smooth it over with the paintbrush to restart.

When you are happy with your design, gently lay a second piece of paper on top of your paint. Very gently pat the top paper to transfer the paint. Lift the paper off and check out your print. It’s OK if your print isn’t perfect. In fact, it probably won’t be. Add rays or other decorations using paint or markers. You can repeat as many times as you would like by adding more paint to the first piece of paper.

When you are done with your monoprints, hang them individually or string them together to make a banner.

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Activity: Create a Journal


Armistead Peter Jr. Diary, 1921.Tudor Place Archive.
Historians use primary sources to learn about what happened in the past. Primary sources are written materials or objects that were created at the time being studied, by people who were there. For example, if we were trying to learn about the early days of Tudor Place, we might look at journals that Martha and Thomas Peter wrote.

Journals are really helpful primary sources. “Journal” and “diary” are synonyms, so they mean the same thing. Journals tell us all about what people did on a certain day and sometimes how they felt about it.  The Tudor Place Archive contains lots of  journals written by people who lived here. For example, if we were interested in learning what Armistead Peter Jr. was doing in the spring of 1921,  we can look at his journal entries.


March 29

Every thing froze last nightSallie and Kate Nelson dined with us and we went to see “Blossom Time.”

April 1

Clear. Mrs. Beall, the three children, and Lucy Mackall lunched here and we then went to see “Really Truly Loud.” Miss Hawk’s dancing class.

April 5

Bought set of cold tea spoons for Nan. [?] 25th.  Attended Director’s Meetings at 4PM and am very thankful to find things improving. No one seems to know what the outcome of the Traction Bill, recently passed at Albany, will be, but can only hope for the best. This evening, went to see “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

Armistead Peter Jr. Diary, 1921. MS-14, Box 73, Folder 6. Tudor Place Archive.

Now we know: that it was cold at the end of March in 1921, the names of Armistead Peter Jr’s friends and we know a couple of movies he saw.  It is no different today.  Sometimes we write journal entries for school or to talk about our days. We can also write journal entries about what we see outside in nature.

Pick one of the prompts below to get started with your own journal entry.

Daily Life Diary

Garden Journal

  1. What was your favorite thing you did today?

  2. What was one thing about today that surprised you?

  3. What is one mistake you made recently, and what did you learn from it?

  4. What is something that helps you when you are worried or scared?

  5. What is one thing you’ve accomplished recently that you’re proud of?

  1. What is your favorite part of being outside?

  2. What do you see, smell, and hear where you are sitting? What are your senses telling you?

  3. What can you learn from this garden?

  4. What do you think is special about this garden?

  5. What does a garden need to be healthy and strong? What do you need to be healthy and strong?

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