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5 Fun Facts About December 13 In Virginia History

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

1. In 1859, John Brown, an abolitionist who believed in armed insurrection as a means of ending slavery, was executed in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia) after his unsuccessful raid on the federal armory in nearby Harpers Ferry. Brown's raid and subsequent trial helped to further polarize the nation and fuel the growing tensions that would eventually lead to the American Civil War.

2. On December 13, 1940, the first African-American member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Daneil LeRoy Carter, was born in Norfolk. Carter served in the House from 1983 until his death in 2006, and was known for his advocacy on behalf of education, economic development, and civil rights.

3. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway that stretches for 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, was officially dedicated on December 13, 1966. The parkway, which was designed to provide access to the natural and cultural beauty of the Appalachians, is now one of the most popular national parks in the United States.

4. On December 13, 1985, professional football quarterback and Virginia native Michael Vick was born in Newport News. Vick rose to fame as a standout player for Virginia Tech before being drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. Despite his success on the field, Vick's career was marred by his involvement in a dogfighting ring, for which he served time in federal prison.

5. In 2003, on December 13, a magnitude-4.5 earthquake struck near Richmond, Virginia, causing widespread shaking and minor damage to buildings and roadways throughout the area. The quake was one of the largest to hit the state in decades, and served as a reminder of the potential for seismic activity in the region.
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