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The Washington Crossing Foundation was chartered in 1964, as a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of promoting a greater appreciation of the significance, courage and patriotism of George Washington and his leadership throughout the American Revolution. The dedication and courage which inspired his historic crossing of the Delaware and subsequent victories at Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey, and eventually at Yorktown, Virginia, are as important today as they were in 1776.
During the years since the work of the Foundation began, we have remained steadfast in our purpose and have seen a resurgence of interest in acquiring accurate and inspiring information about historical figures. The principal beneficiaries of the Foundation�s programs are the nation�s schoolchildren. In our important scholarship program, the Foundation has awarded grants of from $500 to $5,000 to several hundred high school seniors from across the United States who are planning a career in government service and show particular interest in moral courage, character and duty to state and country. The Foundation has awarded more than one million dollars to help these students pursue their goals.
The Washington Crossing Foundation believes that its work is more important today than any time since its founding. Once again we are experiencing �times that try Men�s souls�, as Thomas Paine so eloquently said during our initial struggle for liberty. We must never lose sight of the sacrifice, the hardship, the suffering and the dedication which made this nation survive. We should be proud of our heritage and forever grateful to the courageous men and women who gave us the greatest gift possible – Freedom. The Foundation does not exist to change history, but instead to honor it. One of the founders of the Foundation, author/historian Ann Hawkes Hutton, has said that �history is yesterday�s fact, which understood today, will shape tomorrow�.
If you ask the question, �What does America mean to me?�, the members of the Foundation would reply: We teach how our nation began; we encourage and assist young people to take their places in our nation�s public service, and we look to the future. We introduce the knowledge of our American heritage to the students of our nation so that they will value its meaning and draw upon its strength.
In the famous painting of �Washington Crossing the Delaware� by Emanuel Leutze, owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the fears and answering courage of Washington and his men are etched in the faces of those in the boats who are about to undertake the bold crossing of the Delaware on Christmas night 1776. The authorized copy of this painting, a magnificent 12� by 21� oil painting by renowned artist Robert Bruce Williams of Washington, D.C. is owned by the Washington Crossing Foundation. The Foundation put this inspiring painting on a national tour, first to the Indiana War Memorials Museum in Indianapolis, Indiana, where it was welcomed by county commissioners, military generals, visitors and students from Indiana schools. It was also seen by many thousands in California, where it was displayed with important historical artifacts at the California Naval Facility in Monterey. The painting was in place for a special patriotic Fourth of July concert for four thousand people to view. During its five year stay at the New Jersey State Capitol Complex, the painting was viewed by 900,000 visitors. It continues to tour the country to remind all who see it of the kind of patriotism that Washington exhibited in his �Farewell Address�. �The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism�. Such loyalty and love of country are needed now as much – perhaps more – than in the days of Washington.
That is just what we seek, and find, in the students who benefit from our scholarship program. Winners have come from all 50 states and from all walks of life. Foundation scholars have gone on to win prestigious Rhodes, Marshall and Truman scholarships. Many Washington Crossing Scholars have already established themselves in government service. One has been clerk to the Chief Justice of the United States, one a staff member of the International Court of Justice, the Hague, and another a member of the personal staff of the Speaker of the House of Representatives. From a National Park Service silviculturalist to Military officers, from a New England town manager to a foreign service officer, from a professor of international relations to a United Nations official, from a Texas high school teacher to a Florida public prosecutor and a former member of the White House support staff, across the nation, Washington Crossing Scholars are perpetuating the ideals of 1776 to secure the future.
The Washington Crossing Foundation is a volunteer non-profit (501(c) (3) organization.