Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in Richmond, Virginia, in 1775. The speech, given without notes, was a rousing call for freedom from Great Britain. Children can read the speech at: Patrick Henry.
Civil War ended in 1865 when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia. Over 600,000 soldiers died in the Civil War, more than all the wars in total the United States has ever fought. Because most of the war had been waged in the South, many of the southern states suffered severe damages. The war, however, ended slavery and reunited all the states. Idea: The Civil War changed ideas regarding battle. Children could research the new machinery and novel battle strategies were used. They could learn more at: Civil War Surrender.
Jamestown, Virginia, became the first permanent English colony in America in 1607. Three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery brought Captain John Smith and others to American shores. The ill-prepared colonists had left England on December 20, 1606. Children could learn more at: http://www.nps.gov/jame/index.htm.
Jack Jouett became a hero on the night of June 3 into June 4, 1781. Jouett overheard British plans to capture Thomas Jefferson and others. Jouett understood how important the group was yet how vulnerable they were. He rode 45 miles through rough and tough Virginia countryside to warn Thomas Jefferson and members of the legislature that the British were coming. When the British arrived in Charlottesville, the Americans had escaped. Jouett has been called the “Paul Revere of the South.” Children could read Jack Jouett of Albemarle: The Paul Revere of the South by Jennie Thornley Grayson.
Virginia became the tenth state of the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. It was named after Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. Its nicknames include Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents, and Mother of States. The capital is Richmond. Virginia ranks 36th in area and twelfth in population. Jamestown was settled in 1607, and important landmarks include Arlington National Cemetery and Appomattox Courthouse National Park. Children could visit an Internet site at: Virginia. Idea: Students could find a list of birthplaces of Presidents. Is Virginia truly the Mother of Presidents?
Nat Turner in 1831 led a short-lived slave rebellion in Virginia. A slave, Turner believed he had visions from God to lead the insurrection. Around 56 free people were killed, but up to 200 slaves died. Within two days the battle was over, but Nat Turner himself was not caught until October 30, 1831. He was tried, found guilty, and hanged on November 5, 1831. Older children could read a concise account of the rebellion at: Nat Turner. Nat Turner’s Slave Rebellion was not the only uprising. Children can read more about other slave uprisings at: Slave Rebellions.
First North American drama was performed in 1655 in Acoma, Virginia. Ye Bare and Ye Cubb was written by Phillip A. Bruce. Virginia was one of the few colonies that did not prohibit production of plays.
John Blair died in 1800 in Williamsburg, Virginia. His exact date of birth (probably in 1732) is unknown. He represented Virginia at the Constitutional Convention and then served on the first United States Supreme Court from 1789 to 1796. Children can learn more at: John Blair.
John Smith became the leader of Jamestown Colony Council in Virginia in 1608. Jamestown, which had been founded on May 14, 1607, was struggling because the colonists were more interested in finding nonexistent gold than by providing for basic needs. When Smith took over, he stated, “He who shall not work shall not eat.” The group continued to struggle, but eventually his philosophy took root. Children could learn more at: John Smith.
Annapolis Convention was held from September 11 through September 14, 1786, in Annapolis, Maryland. The formal name of the meeting was The Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government. Delegates from New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia met to discuss economic interests. They concluded the meeting by calling for another meeting of all the states. This new group ended up being the Constitutional Convention. Older children can read some of the convention documentation at: Annapolis Convention.