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5 Fun Facts About March 5 In Virginia History

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

1. In 1770, a crowd gathered in Williamsburg to celebrate the repeal of the unpopular tobacco inspection law. This law had required tobacco farmers to have their crops inspected before they could be exported, and many felt that it placed an unfair burden on small farmers. The repeal was a major victory for Virginia's farmers, and the celebration on March 5 was a lively affair, featuring music, dancing, and toasts to liberty and independence.

2. On March 5, 1864, during the Civil War, Union troops captured the strategic town of Staunton, Virginia. This was a significant blow to the Confederate army, as Staunton was an important rail junction and supply center. With its capture, Union forces gained a key foothold in the Shenandoah Valley.

3. In 1909, Virginia became the first state in the South to pass a law mandating school attendance for all children between the ages of 8 and 14. This was a major step forward for education in Virginia, which had long lagged behind other states in terms of literacy and school enrollment. The law was passed on March 5 and went into effect the following year.

4. March 5, 1925, was a significant day for the Virginia state flag. On this day, Governor Elbert Lee Trinkle signed a bill officially adopting a new flag for the state. The new flag featured the state seal on a blue field, with a white circular border containing the words "Virginia State Flag" and "Sic Semper Tyrannis". This design remains in use today.

5. Finally, on March 5, 1971, the Virginia Tech shooting occurred. A student at the university named Thomas Watt Hamilton entered a dormitory room armed with a shotgun and killed two students. He then went on to target female students at a nearby dormitory, ultimately killing 32 people and injuring 17 others before taking his own life. The incident remains one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.
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