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History of a Native People

With the establishment of Jamestown, a long and complicated relationship between Native Americans – the first Virginians – and English colonists began. As John Smith explored the surrounding territory in 1607, he traded with one tribe that lived in villages…

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Complicated Education History

In  1970, in order to satisfy a federal mandate to desegregate Richmond Public Schools, Judge Robert Merhige, Jr. ordered the implementation of a busing program that would attempt to achieve racial balance in the school system. At the time of…

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Virginia in the Veepstakes

As the first, largest, and wealthiest English colony in the New World, Virginia has a rich political history reaching back to our nation’s founding. Four of the first five presidents – Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe – were Virginia-born. In…

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Row, Row, Row the Boat

The oldest private club in Richmond was founded in 1876 by seven men with one six-person boat. With the addition of a coxswain in the stern, the Virginia Boat Club fit in that boat for rowing exercises on the James River. Over…

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It Was a History-Making Hurricane

On August 17, 1969, a rare category 5 hurricane hit Mississippi and tracked north as it weakened into a tropical depression. Hurricane Camille, however, took a sharp, unexpected eastward turn and moved over the mountains into Virginia. Taking the state by…

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Women’s Work in Richmond

In the days when it wasn’t considered proper to work or earn money, widowhood or other circumstances in which men weren’t in the picture might have forced women to choose between survival and respectability. In the years after the Civil…

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Unearthing Historic Treasure

For nearly three centuries, the James River has been vital to Richmond’s economic growth. From hydropower to shipping to beer production to recreation and tourism, the river’s waters are the foundation of our modern city. This foundation was revealed quite literally…

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Richmond’s Original Theme Park

In an attempt to lure riders to their streetcar line, the Virginia Manchester Railway opened a combination terminal and amusement park just south of the James in 1890. Accessible with a 5-cent trolley ticket, Forest Hill Park was built on an…

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Sit-In for Civil Rights in Richmond

By New Year’s Day of 1960, Richmond remained a segregated city. Most aspects of daily life for African Americans, from education to entertainment to shopping, were governed by restrictive rules. These rules also dictated where Richmonders of color could eat. Restaurants maintained…

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