May | Virginia Museum of History & Culture
"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
Featured Promotion

Immerse yourself in Virginia's history by visiting one of our exhibitions.


The Story of Virginia
#OnThisDay, 4/8 in 2019: The University of Virginia men’s basketball team won the NCAA Tournament Championship — th…


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.

May 23, 1609
King James I issues the second charter to the Virginia Company of London. The charter grants Virginia a 400-mile-wide swath of land between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, across territory of which the English had little practical knowledge.

May 24, 1624
King James I dissolves the charter for the Virginia Company of London. This places Virginia under direct control of the crown as the first royal colony in English history.

May 25, 1878
Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, tap dance pioneer and actor, is born in Richmond.

May 28, 1754
The French and Indian War begins in North America when George Washington and his men attack a small French detachment near the current site of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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