"In the Beginning, all America was Virginia."
William Byrd II
Next event
Featured Promotion

Learn more about items related to commencement exercises in the VHS collections.

Van de Vyver Institute Diploma

November

November 3, 1970
The sixth—and current—constitution of Virginia is ratified by the voting public. The constitution includes new provisions for environmental protection and state compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. Its bill of rights is amended to prohibit governmental discrimination on the basis of religious conviction, race, color, sex, or national origin.

November 5, 1912
Woodrow Wilson, a Staunton native, captures 6.2 million votes—41 percent of the popular vote—to win the U.S. presidential election.

November 7, 1775
Deposed royal governor, Lord Dunmore, declares Virginia to be in a state of insurrection and offers freedom to male slaves and indentured servants of rebelling colonists if they serve in the British Army.

November 7, 1805
The members of the Lewis and Clark expedition, after an arduous eighteen-month, 4,000-mile trek, reach their ultimate objective. "Great joy in camp, we are in view of the ocean," wrote Meriwether Lewis, "this great Pacific Ocean which we have been so long anxious to see." Lewis and his co-commander, William Clark, are both Virginians.

November 7, 1989
Lawrence Douglas Wilder is elected governor in a narrow victory over the Republican candidate, Marshal Coleman. Wilder, a Richmond native, becomes the first African American in U.S. history to be elected a state governor.

November 9, 1788
The General Assembly selects two Antifederalists, Richard Henry Lee of Westmoreland County and William Grayson of Prince William, as the state's first two U.S. senators.

November 9, 1833
Sally Louisa Tompkins, a hospital administrator during the Civil War, is born in Mathews County. Tompkins was the only woman commissioned a Confederate military officer.

November 11, 1839
Virginia Military Institute (VMI) becomes the nation's first state-supported military school, mustering twenty-three young Virginians into the first Corps of Cadets in Lexington.

November 14, 1915
Booker T. Washington, born a slave in Virginia before gaining fame for championing humanitarian efforts for African Americans, dies in Tuskegee, Alabama. A student and instructor at Hampton Institute, Washington established Tuskegee Institute, a school for African Americans, in 1881.

November 18, 1618
King James I issues the Great Charter of 1618, which includes authorization for the establishment of a general assembly in the colony, the first representative legislative body in the Americas.

November 21, 1945
After suffering her fourth heart attack, Ellen Glasgow dies in her sleep in the Richmond house where she was born. Glasgow won the Pulitzer Prize for literature in 1942 for In This Our Life.

November 25, 1781
In London, British prime minister Lord North receives word of the American victory the previous month at Yorktown, Virginia. Upon receiving the momentous news, he is said to have remarked, "Oh God! It is all over."

November 25, 1949
Richmond's electric streetcar system makes its final run, giving way to the motorized bus. The Richmond system, the nation's oldest, began operation in February 1888.

November 30, 1784
The Continental Congress, meeting in Trenton, New Jersey, elects Richard Henry Lee of Westmoreland County as president.