Phinehas V. Stephens, grandson of the former Vice-President of the Confederate State of America Alexander Stephens, and engineer of the American Industries Engineering Company worked with Samuel G. Hibben, an employee of the Westinghouse Electric Company, to create a, “Drama of Creation” light show at Natural Bridge. On May 22nd, 1927, President Calving Coolidge turned on the light for the first, “Drama of Creation” light show.
In 1949, three large metal stars built into one structure, which were originally intended to be only a temporary Christmas season decoration, were installed on the top of Mill Mountian by Roy C. Kinsey and this three sons Roy Kinsey, Junior, Bob Kinsey and Warren Kinsey. On November 23, 1949, the three stars were illuminated for the first time. It was later decided that the large decoration would be a permanent instillation that would be lighted on a nightly basis. The locals eventually deemed the Kinsey family’s work of art as, “The Roanoke Star”.
On November 3rd, 1816, Jubal Anderson Early was born in Franklin County, Virginia and was the third of ten children. Jubal Early was a cadet at the Military Academy at West Point, a Mexican-American War Veteran, and a General in the United States Civil War.
Earlier today, I had the oppurtunity to visit the Booker Taliaferro Washington Birthplace and National Monument in Franklin County, Virginia.
One of my relatives from my mother’s side of my family, which is directly related to Founding Father George Mason IV, married into the Roosevelt family before Theodore Roosevelt was born.
My relative Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker Taliaferro Washington for dinner, and was the first ever United States President to entertain a Black person in the White House.
It was indeed an honor to visit the birthplace of an American author, educator, orator, and advisor to multiple United States Presidents!
South of Lynchburg, Virginia, settlers arrived to an area that became known as the “Big Lick” for the salt deposits that animals came to get nutrients from in the mountains. In 1884, the town of “Big Lick” was incorporated as a city and had its name changed to Roanoke.
The Leland-Madison Memorial Park is the location with founding father James Madison met with Pastor John Leland for an interview regarding religious freedom.
The first draft of the First Amendment read as follows, “The Civil Rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, nor on any pretext infringed.”
The Spilman-Mosby House was once owned by John Mosby, whom served as a Confederate General in the United States Civil War. Years after the Civil War, the home became the Mosby Musuem. However, the Mosby Musuem was closed for years and the town of Warrenton decided to sell the property to a private owner. In September 2020, a new owner moved into the home.
During Easter 2021, the owner of the Spilman-Mosby House gave author Philip Andrew Hamilton a tour of the home.
On June 9, 1863, the Battle of Saint James Church occurred near the site of the Battle of Brandy Station., the largest calvary battle of the United States Civil War.
The Leigh Street Armory, in Richmond, Virginia, is the first armory ever built by Black Americans within the United States. Currently the former armory is the site of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.
Faithe Norrell, the History Services Associate of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, is related to civil rights activists Maggie Walker.
The Dogwood Vietnam Memorial was the first ever memorial dedicated to veterans of the Vietnam War in the United States of America. A total of 26 Vietnamese Veterans, who were from Albemarle County, are honored at that memorial.
In 1843, pioneer and mountain man Jim Bridger established a fur trading post, and a fort to protect him from Native American attacks, within present day southern Wyoming. Fort Bridger eventually became one of the stops for emigrants embarking on the Oregon Trail.
On July 7, 1847, the Mormon Pioneer Company, one of many private pioneer companies at that time, stopped by Fort Bridger. However, the employees of the company considered the prices at the trading post to be too high, and moved on to another part of the Oregon Trail.
In modern times, Jim Bridger’s former trading post is owned by the statue of Wyoming and has been established as the Fort Bridger State Historic Site.
Along a gravel road in the northern section of Nelson County, Virginia, near the Albemarle County border, was where Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby had spent his boyhood.
The Exchange Hotel was utilized during the United States Civil War to treat over 70,000 soldiers during the course of the conflict. Most of the soldiers were treated for their wounds on the grounds outside of the hotel, while about 200 soldiers were allowed to stay inside of the hotel per night. Soldiers were placed on straw mats, which could be easily replaced, due to the bodily fluids which leaked onto the floor. Doctors and nurses treated both Confederate and Union soldiers at this hotel.
After the end of the U.S. Civil War, the Exchange Hotel was utilized as a Freemans’ Bureau where freed black Americans were taught how to read and to write. In the 1920s, the floor boards on the first floor of the Exchange Hotel were replaced. The second and the third levels of the hotel still have the original floorboards, which are stained by the blood of soldiers who were treated by doctors and nurses during the U.S. Civil War.
In 1950, the Exchange Hotel was sold for five dollars and was converted into a Civil War Medical Museum. Currently the museum is under private ownership with exhibits regarding Union and Confederate spies, medical treatments and other topics.
George Rogers Clark, the son of John Clark and Ann Rogers Clark, was born near Charlottesville within Albemarle County. George Clark was the older brother of William Clark, whom was part of the Lewis and Clark expedition sanctioned by former President Thomas Jefferson.
In 1735, Boswell’s Tavern, was constructed in Gordonsville, Virginia, within Louisa County. During the American Revolution General Marquis de Lafayette, and his fellow soldiers, camped during his pursuit of General Charles Cornwallis and his forces. Other famous Virginians such as Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe had been patrons of Boswell’s Tavern.
Elk Hill was a residence which Thomas Jefferson’s wife Martha Jefferson lived in, with her first husband whom widowed her, before they were married. During the American Revolutionary War, British General Sir Charles Cornwallis utilized Elk Hill as his headquarters. General Cornwallis had various barns within Thomas Jefferson’s estate burnt down as he vacated the property.
General John Hartwell Cocke, who served for the Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War, was a friend of Thomas Jefferson who designed the Palmyra Courthouse in Fluvanna County, Virginia.
The Old Stone Jail of Palmyra is located down the street form the courthouse that John Hartwell Cocke designed.
John Baker “Texas Jack” Omohundro, was born on Pleasure Hill Farm in Russell County, Virginia. John Omohundro served under J.E.B. Stuart during the United States Civil War and eventually moved out west were he did shows with “Buffalo Bill”.
Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson was shot by friendly fire and had his amputated arm buried behind a home in Locust Grove, Virginia. Soon after, Stonewall Jackson’s died at a home in Woodford, Virginia within Caroline County. A packet boat, which was a common type of boat during the United States Civil War, transported Stonewall Jackson’s body to a gravesite near his home and the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia.
Scottsville, Virginia, near the city of Charlottesville, has an outdoor display with the packet boat that transported Stonewall Jackson to Lexington, Virginia.
The carving of President Jefferson Finis Davis, General Robert Edward Lee and General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on the face of Stone Mountain is the largest confederate monument in the United States.
Martin Luther King, Junior and his wife Coretta Scott King are buried together in an above ground grave across the street from the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
The James Earl Carter, Junior Presidential Library and Museum, which is dedicated to the oldest ever United States President, is located in Atlanta, Georgia.
On January 27, 2021, author Philip Andrew Hamilton visited Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, a fort which the Spanish empire had built in the colony of Flordia.