Dates in Virginia history
January 13, 1990
L. Douglas Wilder is inaugurated as the first elected African American governor in the United States.
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February 22, 1732
George Washington, first president of the United States
and commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, is
born in Wakefield, Westmoreland County.
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March 23, 1775
Patrick Henry delivers his famous speech "Give me
liberty or give me death" at Henrico Parish, now named St. John's Church, in Richmond.
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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.
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May 14, 1607
Jamestown is officially established. The settlement and
the adjacent river are named in honor of the English king, James I.
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June 6, 1944
Virginia soldiers are among the thousands of Allied troops who
land on the Normandy coast of France during the D-Day invasion. The county of Bedford, Virginia
suffered some of the highest losses, proportionally, of any American community during the invasion.
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July 28, 1903
Maggie L. Walker establishes the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, becoming the
first woman in the United States to found and become president of a chartered bank. She serves as the
bank's president until 1931.
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August 18, 1587
Virginia Dare is the first English child born in North
America, at the Roanoke colony.
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September 4, 1908
Orville Wright makes the first airplane flight in Virginia at Fort Myer in Arlington
County. Five days later Wright takes off from Fort Myer with a companion onboard in the world's first-ever passenger flight.
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October 29, 1781
Around noon, in Yorktown, British officers deliver a surrender signed by
General Cornwallis to American and French forces, effectively ending the Revolutionary War.
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November 25, 1949
Richmond's electric streetcar system makes its final run, giving way to the motorized bus.
The Richmond system, the nation's oldest, began operation in February 1888.
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December 28, 1856
Thomas Woodrow Wilson, the eighth Virginia-born president, is born in Staunton. He served as president of
Princeton University and governor of New Jersey before being elected as president.
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