Which post in Virginia hosted the inaugural banquet of Thomas Jefferson in 1801?
Post 24 in its 'Gadsby's Tavern' home. According to the Alexandria post's page on the Centennial Celebration website: "Gadsby's Tavern is a famous landmark in Alexandria, Virginia, consisting of a Tavern (1785), a City Tavern and Hotel (1792) and a hotel wing (1878). The Tavern was a center for social business and economic life in early Alexandria. It is known by many for its association with our nation's early leaders. Historically speaking, Gadsby's is the oldest post home in The American Legion.
“Highlights of the many historic events at Gadsby's over the past 200 years include: the Birth Night Ball celebration in honor of George Washington in the ballroom. A review of the troops by General Washington from the steps of Gadsby’s Tavern in 1798. This was one one of his final military appearances. He started and ended his military career in Alexandria. A parade by the citizens of Alexandria to honor President John Adams on June 11, 1800. The inaugural banquet of Thomas Jefferson in March 1801. A dinner for President James Madison on May 9, 1808, shortly after his inauguration ceremony in Washington. President James Monroe dined here in 1817. The Marquis de Lafayette was honored at what was heralded as, 'one of the most brilliant of banquets' on Oct. 16, 1824. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams (one year before he became president) also attended. The Union governor of Virginia, Francis H. Pierpont, was entertained and quartered at the City Hotel in August 1863. George Washington’s birthday was celebrated at the Tavern in 1932. This event was recreated by our post. Alexandrians have continued this tradition with an annual parade and banquet.”
In 1928, the post negotiated a deal to purchase Gadsby’s for $18,000 to save it from demolition. Local civic and patriotic organizations assisted the post in raising funds for critical structural repairs. But by the 1960s, estimated costs for more improvements were in the millions. Post 24 proposed that the city restore the complex for the 1976 bicentennial, update and repair, and allow the post to have use of it as its home in perpetuity, only paying for telephone and television. The City Council agreed, and the title was signed over to the city on Aug. 11, 1972.