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5 Fun Facts About August 31 In Virginia History

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

1. On August 31, 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early made a surprise attack on Union forces at the Second Battle of Ream's Station near Petersburg. Although Early initially broke through the Union lines, he was eventually forced to retreat, resulting in a Union victory.

2. On August 31, 1903, the Virginia Military Institute admitted its first class of female cadets. The women had to abide by the same regulations and standards as their male counterparts and were integrated into the Corps of Cadets.

3. On August 31, 1927, the Virginia State Fair opened in Richmond for the first time. The fair grew in popularity over the years and is now one of the largest and most well-known events in the state.

4. On August 31, 1957, Virginia Governor J. Lindsay Almond Jr. ordered the "Massive Resistance" policy, which aimed to prevent desegregation of public schools in the state following the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. The policy was eventually struck down by federal courts.

5. On August 31, 1994, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring Virginia native and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Eudora Welty. Welty, who was born in Mississippi but spent much of her life in Virginia, is widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most important American writers.
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