Independence Day Naturalization Ceremony

Jun 18, 2013

It’s an annual Independence Day tradition at Monticello—and this year marks the 51st Naturalization Ceremony in Charlottesville.

80 people from 38 countries will become U-S citizens at the event.

Musician Dave Matthews, who heads the Dave Matthews band, will be a featured speaker at the event.  Born in South Africa in 1967, he became a naturalized American citizen in 1980.

The Independence Day Ceremony at Monticello, presided over by the Western District Court of Virginia, is the oldest continuous naturalization ceremony outside of a courtroom in the country.

Painting themselves as the "mainstream ticket," the Democratic nominees for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General say Virginians have a clear contrast between them and the Republican nominees, which the Democrats have dubbed “the Tea Party ticket.” And as Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, as a show of solidarity, the defeated primary candidates announced that they’re now committing themselves to getting their former opponents elected. 


Tuesday is primary election day, with two statewide offices and also 18 House of Delegates and local races on the ballot.  The statewide election is a high-stakes one, where voters will choose the Democratic nominees for lieutenant governor and attorney general.  But if history is any indicator, the candidates can expect a low voter turnout.

Although the General Assembly this year shot down one opportunity for Governor McDonnell to fulfill a campaign promise to restore the voting and civil rights of nonviolent felons, the Governor has found a way to sidestep lawmakers and make progress toward that goal.  A day after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli unveiled his advisory report on the issue, McDonnell announced his own initiative. 

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has unveiled a list of options that would expedite the process of voting-rights restoration for non-violent felons. 

The proposals were made by a bipartisan advisory panel he created after a rights-restoration amendment to the state Constitution that he endorsed failed to pass the General Assembly this year. 

And as Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan reports, the Attorney General says Governors can and should do more to intervene.