Gadsby's Tavern was at the center of daily life in late-18th and early-19th-century Alexandria. Operated by John Gadsby from 1796 to 1808, the tavern served both local citizens and travelers on their way to the nation's new capital. Gadsby's was a venue for dancing assemblies, performances, and celebratory dinners. Among its most famous patrons were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. By the early 20th century, the tavern buildings were in danger of being demolished. Saved from the wrecking ball in 1929 by American Legion Post 24, Gadsby's became the cornerstone of Alexandria's historic preservation movement. In 1972, the American Legion donated the site to the City of Alexandria. Following a full restoration, Gadsby's reopened as part of America's bicentennial celebration. Today, Gadsby's Tavern Museum is a dynamic historic house museum, interpreting history to more than 25,000 visitors a year.