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5 Fun Facts About April 23 In Virginia History

---Learn Every Day: VA Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history va To: 618-270-4005---

1. In 1619, the Virginia House of Burgesses met for the first time in Jamestown. This was the first representative assembly of elected officials in North America, and it laid the groundwork for democracy in the United States.

2. In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. This speech is credited with inspiring Virginia to join the American Revolution.

3. In 1862, Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson launched his Shenandoah Valley Campaign during the American Civil War. This campaign helped to divert Union troops away from their advance on Richmond, and it allowed the Confederacy to gain a strategic advantage.

4. In 1928, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Racial Integrity Act, which prohibited interracial marriage and classified anyone with even a trace of non-white ancestry as "colored." This law remained in effect until 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down as unconstitutional.

5. In 2019, Virginia made history by becoming the first state in the South to pass comprehensive LGBTQ+ rights protections. The Virginia Values Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
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