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5 Fun Facts About August 20 In Virginia History

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

1. On August 20, 1619, the first Africans were brought to Virginia. About 20 Angolans were brought by the English ship White Lion and its Dutch counterpart Treasurer to Jamestown, Virginia. They were forced into slavery and have been recognized as the first Africans to set foot in the English colony.

2. August 20, 1861, marked the beginning of the American Civil War's Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries. The Union troops, led by General Benjamin F. Butler, attacked the Confederate fortifications at Hatteras Inlet at the Outer Banks of North Carolina, which resulted in a Union victory.

3. On August 20, 1866, Virginia Military Institute (VMI), the nation's oldest state-supported military college, reopened after its closure during the Civil War. VMI was founded in 1839 in Lexington, Virginia, and has produced numerous notable alumni, including General George S. Patton and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Shelby Foote.

4. August 20, 1960, marks the death of notable Virginia native and American author, Ellen Glasgow. She was a prolific novelist, and her works, including Virginia, Barren Ground, and The Deliverance, explored themes of Southern culture and women's roles in society. Glasgow was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1942.

5. In 2017, a total solar eclipse took place on August 20, visible from parts of the eastern United States, including Virginia. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth, blocking its light for a brief period. This event was a rare occurrence, as the next total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States did not occur until August 21, 2017.
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