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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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Guess Who’s Coming with Dinner?

In 1646, two now-Virginia tribes signed a peace treaty with the British powers, ending the Third Anglo-Powhatan War. With this, the first reservations (the legal designation for an area of land managed by a Native American tribe rather than the…

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A Stately Richmond Residence

In 1916, the famous New York architect, John Russell Pope, designed one of the largest private residences ever built in Richmond. On Monument Avenue, the 27,000 square foot Tudor-Revival house was remarkable not only for its size, but for its purpose.…

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Grandeur in Ruins

In 1892, Major Lewis Günter decided to build the finest hotel in America, in Richmond.  Some would say he succeeded, considering its impressive guest list, which included Teddy Roosevelt, Bette Davis, Henry Ford, Gertrude Stein, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John D.…

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Where Charity Lives in Richmond

In 1874, an international order of Roman Catholic nuns came to Richmond. Founded in 1839 by a French woman who welcomed a blind, starving wanderer into her home, the Little Sisters of the Poor were dedicated to serving the indigent elderly throughout…

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Richmond’s Favorite Son

Born in Richmond in 1943, tennis legend Arthur Ashe first played at Brookfield Park, near his Northside home. Growing up in the era of segregation, he was barred from playing tennis in many segregated city parks and in whites-only tournaments. But…

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