Press Release: When Opposites Attract—The Grateful American™ Foundation Profiles James and Dolley Madison


Contact: Hope Katz Gibbs
Inkandescent Public Relations, / 703.346.6975

Washington, DC, October 8, 2014Do opposites really attract? The life-long love story of our nation’s fourth president, James Madison, and his wife, Dolley, just may prove that theory.

The new issue of the newsletter from the Grateful American™ Foundation profiles the private and public partnership of this intriguing couple and takes viewers inside Montpelier, Madison’s Virginia plantation home, where the couple spent many happy years after retiring from public life in 1817.

Kat Imhoff, Montpelier Foundation president and CEO, shares her insights into the Madisons’ relationship in this issue of the newsletter. (You can also watch the interview with Imhoff on the Grateful American™ TV Show.)

“People tend to think that Dolley was the ultimate party girl and fashion plate, but there was method to her merriment,” explains Imhoff. “Using her adept social savvy, Dolley was able to forge connections and loyalties with important and influential people. In many ways, she complemented Madison’s reserved nature.”

A visit to Montpelier is a vibrant learning experience where the Madisons become real people, not just words on the page of a history book.

“To engage our young audience, we offer several hands-on, interactive activities at Montpelier that allow kids to have fun while gaining a better understanding of James and Dolley Madison, the Constitution and citizenship, slavery, and what life was like during our country’s early years,” Imhoff says. “Kids can role-play the debates at the Constitutional Convention, for example, and look at primary source materials and artifacts from our curatorial collections and archaeological research. To make archaeology exciting to kids, the lab features an excavation unit where children can ‘dig’ for artifacts.”

Also in this issue:

  • Fascinating Facts: Did you know that when Dolley married James Madison, she was disowned by the Society of Friends because Madison was not a Quaker? This little-known fact about one of America’s most popular first ladies is just one of the Fascinating Facts found in every issue of the Grateful American™ Newsletter.
  • Tips from Teachers: Tim Bailey, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History 2009 National History Teacher of the Year, explains why it is so important that kids and adults understand history.

“If we do not understand where we came from and how we got here, we cannot understand where we are going and what it will take to get there. This cannot be a one-time conclusion that people reach, but a generational legacy.” Bailey believes that teachers can make their students fall in love with history if they “use primary sources, realistic simulations, visual and tactile artifacts, field trips. Get students closer to the action rather than looking at it from a great distance.”

  • How Are You a Grateful American?: Each issue of the Grateful American™ Newsletter concludes by asking readers to respond to a national survey that asks “Why are you a Grateful American?” James Madison himself would appreciate the answer we received from Sean O’Brien, PhD, executive VP and COO of Montpelier. “The freedom to choose one’s own path is a huge responsibility, but that is what makes this the land of opportunity and keeps us ever optimistic about the future. We often refer to our government as an experiment, which means we are still trying to make things better. I am grateful because we are working toward that ‘more perfect’ balance of rights and responsibilities.”

Sign up for a free subscription to the newsletter.

About the Grateful American™ Series

The Grateful American™ Series is an interactive, multimedia educational project created by the Grateful American™ Foundation. The brainchild of DC-based author and publisher David Bruce Smith, it is designed to restore enthusiasm in American history for kids and adults.

Its website, which launched on July 4, 2014, is updated each month with articles, radio podcasts, and TV episodes featuring interviews with the directors of popular presidential and historic homes, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon, James Madison’s Montpelier, and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

The Grateful American™ TV Show is hosted by Smith and series executive producer Hope Katz Gibbs, president of the Inkandescent Publishing Company and Inkandescent Public Relations.

“As we move forward as a nation, it’s important to look back and learn from the legacy of those great Americans who came before us,” says Smith.

Click here for more information:

About Inkandescent Public Relations

Inkandescent Public Relations is the executive producer of the Grateful American™ Series.

The full-service PR, marketing, publishing, and website design firm that helps entrepreneurs get more visibility was founded in 2001 by journalist Hope Katz Gibbs. In the years since, her firm has promoted hundreds of entrepreneurs, start-ups, educators, authors, artists, and restaurateurs—and helped them come up with successful strategies to grow their businesses.

Gibbs’ new book, “PR Rules: The Playbook—The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business,” is available on amazon at