May 4, 1961 Two busloads of Freedom Riders leave Washington, D.C., and head through Virginia, where they encounter some resistance and arrests while trying to use segregated bus station facilities.
May 9, 1926 Richard Evelyn Byrd, a Virginia native, becomes the first person to fly to the North Pole. Some scholars will later question the validity of Byrd's claim.
May 10, 1863 Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson dies, eight days after being accidentally shot by his own troops at the battle of Chancellorsville. The former Virginia Military Institute professor is buried in Lexington.
May 14, 1607 Jamestown is officially established. The settlement and the adjacent river are named in honor of the English king, James I.
May 18, 1623 Captain William Tucker concludes peace negotiations with a Powhatan village by proposing a toast using drinks laced with poison prepared by Dr. John Potts. Two hundred Powhatans die instantly and another fifty are massacred by the English.
May 18, 1968 About 450 marchers cross the Robert E. Lee bridge in Richmond to join caravans en route to Washington, D.C., for the Poor People's March. The march was organized by The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., before his assassination and was carried out by Ralph Abernathy.
May 19, 1879 Nancy Langhorne is born in Danville. She later marries Waldorf Astor, a member of the British Parliament. Nancy Astor becomes the first female member of the British House of Commons when she takes her husband's seat upon his elevation to the House of Lords.
May 22, 1865 Jefferson Davis is jailed at Fort Monroe following the conclusion of the Civil War in April. He is imprisoned for a total of 720 days before his release.