Bring Mary Home

Sep 28, 2015

When the western Virginia Frontier was being settled in the 1750s, a young pioneer woman was captured during an Indian raid. Mary Draper Ingles was taken from her home near what is today, the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech.

People have been fascinated by the story of her escape and her harrowing 400-mile trek back home. In those days, many people were captured during Indian raids and not very many ever escaped or returned to their homes. A museum in Radford is looking to create a monument to Mary and her story.

For poor kids in American cities, life can be hard.  Gangs, guns and drugs are part of the landscape, but one historian says things were even worse in Richmond after the Civil War. More than a thousand lived on the streets including at least 100 kids - selling newspapers for a penny apiece and doing battle with rocks.

Uprooting Appalachia

Sep 8, 2015

The image of “Appalachia” many people have today came from a 1964 Life Magazine story that featured the town.  Now researchers are looking to add another chapter to the story of the small southwestern Virginia town, written in the voices of people who live there today. 

“You know how it got its name, don’t you? This guy had a big old bucket. And he had a whole lot of apples in it and these kids kept messing with it and he said, if y’ all don’t stop that I’m going to throw an Apple a’cha.”

Creative Commons

A two-day teacher institute at the Library of Virginia has provided educators with the opportunity to advance their knowledge about the post-Civil War era-especially how the Commonwealth was transformed by the emancipation of slaves and Reconstruction. One major focus was on the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution-and their significant legacy. 

The “Reconstruction Amendments” sought to eliminate vestiges of the defeated system. The Library’s Public Services and Outreach Director, Greg Kimball, says that began with the 13th Amendment to outlaw slavery.

It’s been more than 20 years since construction workers at Virginia Commonwealth University unearthed the remains of about fifty people in an old well near the Medical College of Virginia.  Historians believe they were the bones of former slaves, whose bodies were stolen from local cemeteries for dissection by medical students.