History of Virginia

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1520s-1646

American Indians

The American Indians first encountered European settlers. Warfare between American Indians and European settlers almost led to the extinction of the Powhatan tribe.

1619

Slavery

The first African slaves arrived in Jamestown.

1660s-1670s

Slave Codes Enacted

Interracial marriages were banned. A mother’s enslaved status was inherited by her children and enslaved people are not allowed to own property, bear arms, or travel without permission.

1669

Slavery

Virginia voted to banish any white person who marries a Black, mulatto, or Native American. Virginia became the first colony to declare that it is not a crime to kill an unruly enslaved person.

1758

Black Churches

The African Baptist (or Bluestone Church) was founded on the William Byrd plantation, becoming the first known Black church in North America.

1782

Emancipation Act

Virginia’s Emancipation Act increased the number of emancipated African Americans by the thousands.

1820-1860

Underground Railroad

Many enslaved persons escaped through the Underground Railroad.

1831

Free Blacks

Nat Turner, an enslaved preacher, led a revolt against slaveholders.

1850

Fugitive Slave Act

The Act rewarded individuals who captured slaves escaping to freedom.

1863

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation stated that those held as slaves in rebellious states were to be declared free.

1865

Bureau of Refugees Freemen and Abandoned Lands

The Bureau was established and provided assistance to former slaves and poor whites in the southern states and the District of Columbia.

1866

Vagrancy Act

The Act Providing for the Punishment of Vagrants forced individuals who appeared to be unemployed or homeless into employment for up to three months. If the individuals left their employment, they were forced to work without payment while wearing chains. The law targeted recently freed African Americans who were searching for work and their families. The Act remained law until 1904.

1874-1975

Separate but Equal

Virginia passed laws that mandated “separate but equal” status for people of color which remained until 1975.

1950

Residential Segregation

Residential segregation was removed from the Code of Virginia.

1951

Education

Black students demanded that they receive education that was equal to white students. The NAACP filed a case in the Supreme Court which became known as Brown v. Board of Education.

1952

Black Teachers

Black teachers were paid one-half, then two thirds, and finally the same salaries as whites.

1958

Schools

Under court order, several schools that were about to integrate were closed. The Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the school closing law. A federal court issued a verdict against the school closing law based on the “equal protection” clause in the 14th amendment.

1959

Education

Tuition grants from the state and tax credits from the county allowed for the funding of private schools to educate white children as a way to resist school integration. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed Virginia’s tuition grants for private education.

1966

Education

The U.S. Supreme Court banned literacy tests which were used to determine voter qualification in elections. Virginia removed the literacy tests.

1972

Housing

Virginia’s Fair Housing Law was passed.

1974

Housing

Congress amended the Developmental Act of 1937 to include the creation of tenant-based housing programs, known as Section 8. In 1976, the Virginia Housing Developmental Authority started financing and administering the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.

1980

Housing

The Virginia Housing Developmental Authority became the first Housing Agency in the U.S. to encourage landlords to upgrade apartments and rent them to low-income families.

1987

Health

The Community Health Improvement Plan of Virginia was established.

1987

Housing

The Virginia Housing Developmental Authority began implementing the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

1990s

Native Americans

Six Native American tribes (Chickahominy Tribe, Chickahominy- Eastern Division Tribe, Monacan Nation, Nansemond Tribe, and the Upper Mattaponi Tribe) pursued federal recognition through the Bureau of Indian Affairs. To date, the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Reservations are the only reservations left in Virginia. They are two of the oldest reservations in the nation.

2001

Education

Inclusive Schools Week began as an annual event to celebrate the progress that schools have made in providing support and quality education to an increasingly diverse population.

2016

Native Americans

The Pamunkey Tribe became the first Virginian tribe to achieve federal recognition.

2016-2017

Immigrant Communities

Anti-immigrant bills, including anti-sanctuary and anti-refugee legislation were defeated. A motion was filed for a temporary restraining order on the enforcement of the President’s travel ban as it applied to visa and green card holders arriving at Dulles International Airport.

2017

The Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was created that will identify policy changes to combat intolerance, expand opportunity for all, and make Virginia a more open and inclusive to people from every walk of life.

Sources

  • “African American History Timeline: 1801-1900.” The BlackPast.org Remembered and Reclaimed. BlackPast.org, n.d. Web.
  • “History – Archived.” CHIP of Virginia. n.d. Web.
  • “Senate Joint Resoultion NO.427.” LIS Virginia. N.p., 20 Feb. 2017. Web. < https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?171+ful+SJ427+pdf>.
  • “Virginia Fair Housing Law.” law.lis.virginia.gov. Commonwealth of Virginia, n.d. Web.
  • “Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.” Commonwealth of Virginia – Governor Terry McAuliffe. N.d. Web.
  • McAuliffe, Terence R., Governor. “Executive Order Number Sixty Nine (2017).” (n.d.): n. pag. Establishing the Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, 2017. Web.
  • “Section 8 Tenant-Based Housing Assistance: A Look Back After 30 Years. www.huduser.gov. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mar.2000
  • Tarter, Brent. “Vagrancy Act of 1866.” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 25 Aug. 2015. Web.
  • “History – Setting National Precedents in Enforcement.” Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Virginia, Inc. N.p., n.d. Web.
  • “African American Records: Freedmen’s Bureau.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web.
  • “Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, 1862.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web.
  • “Records of the Field Offices for the State of Virginia, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1865–1872.” (n.d.): n. pag. National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration. Web.
  • “The Emancipation Proclamation.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web.
  • “Underground Railroad in Washington D.C.” (n.d.): n. pag. National Park Service. National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Web. <https://www.nps.gov/linc/planyourvisit/upload/underground-railroad-in-washington-dc.pdf>.
  • “Slavery and the Underground Railroad at the Eppes Plantations, Petersburg National Battlefield.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web.
  • “Timeline: Before 1700.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web.
  • “Nat Turner’s Rebellion.” PBS. Public Broadcasting Service, n.d. Web.
  • Thomas, William G. “Virginia’s “Massive Resistance to School Desegregation.” Virginia Center for Digital History. University of Virginia, n.d. Web.
  • “Slavery Takes Root in Colonial Virginia.” Digital History. University of Houston, n.d. Web.
  • “Jim Crow Laws and Racial Segregation.” Social Welfare History Project. Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries. Web.
  • “VHDA History and Timeline.” Virginia Housing Development Authority. N.p., n.d. Web.
  • “Report from the Task Force on Diversifying Virginia’s Educator Pipeline.” education.virginia.gov/initiatives. Secretary of Education, Aug. 2017. Web.
  • Virginia Department of Education. “Virginia’s First People Past & Present: History.” Virginia Department of Education. Commonwealth of Virginia, n.d. Web.
  • “First People: The Early Indians of Virginia.” Virginia Department of Historic Resources. N.p., n.d. Web.
  • “Civil Rights Movements in Virginia: Massive Resistance.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society., n.d. Web.
  • “The Story of Virginia 1861 to 1876: Reconstruction.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society, n.d. Web.
  • “Civil Rights Movements in Virginia: The Green Decision of 1968.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society., n.d. Web.
  • “Civil Rights Movements in Virginia: Voting Rights.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society., n.d. Web.
  • “Civil Rights Movements in Virginia: W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP.” Virginia Museum of History & Culture. Virginia Historical Society., n.d. Web.
  • Wynes, C. (1967). The Evolution of Jim Crow Laws in Twentieth Century Virginia. Phylon (1960-), 28(4), 416-425. doi:10.2307/274293