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5 Fun Facts About February 16 In Virginia History

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

1. George Washington's birthday: February 16 marks the birthday of the first President of the United States, George Washington, who was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1732. His birth is celebrated as a federal holiday on the third Monday in February.

2. The Virginia Flaggers: On February 16, 2013, a group of Confederate heritage activists called the Virginia Flaggers began their weekly flag protests against the removal of Confederate statues and symbols across Virginia. They continue to hold these protests every Saturday.

3. The Battle of Fort Donelson: On February 16, 1862, the Union army under General Ulysses S. Grant captured Fort Donelson in Tennessee, a major victory in the Civil War that opened up the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers to Union forces and led to the surrender of Confederate troops.

4. Douglas Wilder becomes Virginia's first African American governor: On February 16, 1990, Douglas Wilder was inaugurated as the first African American governor in Virginia history. He served from 1990 to 1994 and was succeeded by George Allen.

5. Virginia cedes land to form Washington, D.C.: On February 16, 1791, Virginia ceded land to the federal government to form the new capital city of Washington, D.C. The land was originally part of Virginia's Alexandria County, but was removed from the state and merged with land from Maryland to form the new capital.
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