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5 Fun Facts About February 26 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 held its first meeting in Jamestown, marking the beginning of representative government in America.

2. In 1847, the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) was founded in Lexington. It remains the oldest state-supported military college in the United States.

3. In 1863, during the Civil War, the Battle of Wytheville took place in Wytheville. Confederate forces were able to hold off Union soldiers and retain control of the area.

4. In 1925, Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Virginia. He is known as the "Father of Black History" and is credited with popularizing the celebration of Black History Month.

5. In 1965, civil rights activists staged a 3-day march for voting rights from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. At the end of the march, their numbers had swelled to 25,000 protesters. Virginia Congressman Howard W. Smith was against the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which aimed to end discriminatory voting practices, but due to the overwhelming national outcry and pressure from civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., he eventually voted in favor of it.
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