A Publication of Virginia Foundation for the Humanitites
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Loving v. Virginia
"Tell the court I love my wife."
In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that interracial marriages were constitutional, striking down a Virginia law. But that's only part of the story. Our entry also tells of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, their love and their perseverance in the face of a system determined to outlaw their marriage. Most of the relevant court documents are linked. (Image courtesy of Getty Images)
Indians in Virginia
A broad overview of the history and culture of Virginia's Indians
. Our entry includes information on the languages, religions, and politics of Indians at the time Jamestown was founded. It explains where such information comes from. And, finally, it follows the tribes into the twenty-first century, from assimilation and near cultural annihilation to, for a number of tribes, state recognition. (Image courtesy of The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia)
A broad overview of Virginia life from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
Our entry includes information on everything from Virginia Indians and the establishment of slavery to the importance of religion and the role of women. For those wondering, for instance, how tobacco brought self-government to Virginia, this is a good place to start. (Image courtesy of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)
Confederate Battle Flag
A potent and controversial symbol.
The Confederate battle flag began as a symbol of the Confederate army, but over time has also come to represent everything from states' rights to southern pride and white racial identity. Our entry considers this long and bumpy journey and what the flag means at the beginning of the twenty-first century. And check out the image of one of the very first battle flags, sewn by Constance Cary. (Image courtesy of the Museum of the Confederacy)
Virginia Ordinance of Secession
In their own words.
Passed on April 17, 1861, by a vote of 88 to 5, Virginia's Ordinance of Secession explains why the commonwealth had decided to secede. The federal government, its authors wrote, had "perverted" the U.S. Constitution, "not only the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slaveholding States." (Image courtesy of the Library of Virginia)
Danville Riot (1883)
They have been "taught a lesson."
Referring to African Americans, this is how a Richmond newspaper described the so-called Danville Riot, during which white men firing pistols killed at least five people, including four black men. Upset that blacks held political office in Danville, whites used the incident to sweep the biracial Readjuster Party out of power. (Image courtesy of University of Virginia Special Collections)
As if you're there
. Working with Google's Earth Outreach team,
has created virtual tours of more than a dozen historic sites across Virginia, from Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest to the Anne Spencer House and Garden to Bacon's Castle. Explore the spaces as if you were actually walking through them and then use our resource to read up on their historical context. (Image courtesy of Google)