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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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In the Beginning…

In 1844, evangelicals in England founded an organization meant to attract young, often wayward men into Christianity through social events and Bible study groups. A decade later, in 1854, a branch of the Young Men’s Christian Association, or YMCA, was established…

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Dancing in the Streets

In 1929, a fantastic Richmond holiday tradition was born: the Christmas Toy Parade. Every year, just after Thanksgiving, crowds gathered on Broad Street to watch floats, bands, clowns, and drill teams herald the arrival of the holiday season. The highlight of the…

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Community in Transition

In 1871, lines were drawn around a new voting ward. Before the Emancipation, the area had been home to German, Italian, and Jewish immigrants, in addition to a large population of free blacks. After Emancipation, freed enslaved persons, unwelcome elsewhere…

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