January dates in Virginia history
January 1, 1776
Four British warships fire on Norfolk, and British
soldiers row ashore and begin burning warehouses and waterfront
buildings. Patriots, seeing Norfolk as a "nest of Tories,"
engage in similar behavior, setting fire to most of the city and
participating in widespread looting.
January 5, 1781
General Benedict Arnold, having traveled up the James
River from Hampton Roads, leads 1,200 British troops on a raid of
Richmond. Many public and private buildings and tobacco warehouses are
burned during the two-day campaign.
January 6, 1759
George Washington marries Martha Dandridge Custis at
White House, her New Kent home.
January 10, 1769
Mail boats begin leaving the Suffolk area on regular
monthly trips north and south along the Atlantic Coast. The location is
midway between colonial postal centers in New York City and Charleston,
January 13, 1990
L. Douglas Wilder is inaugurated as the first elected African American governor in the United States.
January 15, 1943
The construction of the Pentagon in Arlington County is completed.
January 16, 1786
The General Assembly adopts the "Ordinance of
Religious Freedom," introduced by James Madison, and proposed seven
years earlier by Thomas Jefferson.
January 19, 1959
Massive Resistance was dealt a double
death-blow when a three judge federal panel ruled that closing the
schools violated the 14th amendment guarunteeing equal protection. That
same day the Virginia Supreme Court found that cutting off state funds
to prevent integration violated the state constitution.
January 20, 1732
Richard Henry Lee, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence and one of Virginia's first two U.S. senators, is born at
Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County.
January 20, 1931
A strike by members of the United Textile Workers at
the Schoolfield mills near Danville comes to an end. After nearly four
months the textile workers are unsuccessful in their opposition to the
10 percent wage cut and longer hours demanded by their employers.
January 26, 1870
President Ulysses S. Grant signs the act that
re-admits Virginia's representatives to the U.S. Senate and House, thus
ending Reconstruction in the commonwealth. From this point it is no
longer designated "Military District Number One" by the federal government.
January 27, 1801
John Marshall receives U.S. Senate confirmation to be
chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. President John Adams
nominated Marshall for the position, and the Senate confirms the
appointment during the last session in which Federalists hold a majority
in the upper chamber of Congress.
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