April dates in Virginia history
April 2, 1865
Robert E. Lee evacuates the city of Richmond, and Union
forces occupy the Confederate capital on April 3.
April 3, 1950
Carter G. Woodson, native of Buckingham County and
"Father of Black History," dies at the age of 74. Woodson's
achievements include publishing the Journal for Negro History and the
creation of Negro History Week, now known as Black History Month.
April 4, 1865
President Abraham Lincoln arrives in Richmond with his
son Tad just after the Union occupation to tour the former Confederate
April 4, 1927
A grand opening ceremony is held for the Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach. The hotel becomes a landmark, drawing vacationers
from around the country.
April 6, 1917
Under President Woodrow Wilson, a Virginia native, the
United States declares war on Germany and enters World War I.
April 9, 1865
Robert E. Lee surrenders to Union general Ulysses S.
Grant at the McLean farm house at Appomattox Court House, essentially ending the Civil War.
April 13, 1743
Third president of the United States,
Thomas Jefferson, is born at Shadwell in Albemarle County.
April 15, 1964
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel opens, linking the
Eastern Shore with mainland Virginia. The tunnel takes three and a half
years to complete.
April 18, 1644
More than 500 settlers are killed in the second major
Powhatan uprising. This event touched off a two-year war between Native
Americans and the colonists, ending in the capture and execution of
Powhatan chief Opechancanough.
April 17, 1861
Prompted by the April 12 attack on Fort Sumter and
President Lincoln's call for troops, Virginia's convention votes to secede.
April 18, 1780
As more of Virginia's population moves west, Richmond
replaces Williamsburg as the state capital. The central location of
Richmond provides better routes for commerce and isolates it better from
attacks by the English.
April 22, 1875
Ellen Glasgow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is born in Richmond.
April 23, 1951
Students at all-black Robert Russa Moton High School in
Prince Edward County stage a walk out and two-week strike to protest the
conditions at their school. The resulting NAACP lawsuit, Davis v. Prince
Edward County, is included as a part of the Brown v. Board Supreme Court
case that was decided in 1954.
April 25, 1775
The House of Burgesses protests Governor Dunmore's
removal of fifteen barrels of gunpowder from Williamsburg's
April 25, 1917
Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz icon, is born in Newport News.
April 26, 1607
Three shiploads of English settlers arrive on the shore
of present-day Virginia. The settlement of Jamestown is founded less
than three weeks later. Sent by the Virginia Company of London, the
colonists arrive hoping to find gold and other valuable resources.
April, 29 1963
In its Johnson v. Virginia decision, the U.S. Supreme
Court rules that racial segregation in courtrooms is unconstitutional.
April 30, 1774
White settlers kill nine unarmed family members of the
Mingo chief, Logan, on the western side of the Ohio River. Logan vows
revenge, killing between 13 and 30 settlers the following summer. This
violence helped precipitate the conflict known as Lord Dunmore's War.
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