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Swimming Made Waves

By the end of the Civil War, the James River and its tributaries were too polluted with industrial waste for swimming. Desperate for relief during the summer, Richmonders headed for park fountains to cool off. The fountain in Monroe Park had become…

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It Was One Historic Celebration!

For nearly twenty years, a giant party overtook Richmond each June. Founded in 1976 to celebrate the arts, the June Jubilee was coordinated by the Arts Council of Richmond and the City of Richmond, with main funding from the National Endowment…

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The Park with a Rich Past

In 1908, the publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch died. The next year, Joseph Bryan’s widow bought a 262-acre estate called Rosewood and gave it to the City of Richmond to establish a free public park called Bryan Park in her…

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Creek Beneath the Streets

The original 1737 layout of Richmond placed the heart of the city in a verdant valley.  This valley was named after the creek that formed it. The Powhatans called the creek Shacahocan – meaning stone – for the rocky outcropping…

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Women’s Rights in Virginia

Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. In 1923, Alice Paul (1885 -1977), suffragist, feminist, and one of the primary strategists for the…

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Center of Retail Attention

For much of Richmond’s history, all travel between Williamsburg and Charlottesville was dependent on one downtown street. Broad Street, named H Street until 1844, was a commercial hub for Richmonders and travelers alike all year long. Through the centuries, nearly everything…

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Richmond’s Education History

Before the city appropriated funds for the secondary education of African American children, that instruction was given at the Colored Normal School. Historically, “normal schools” trained teachers of all races. Founded in 1865 with the help of Freedmen’s Bureau funds,…

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Richmond’s History Maker

In 1899, the Independent Order of St. Luke was teetering toward bankruptcy. A benevolent society that provided burial insurance for members of Richmond’s African American community, the organization had just a thousand members and a little over thirty dollars in its…

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