Virginia State Capital, Richmond Trivia

Virginia State Capital in Richmond; credit Richmond CVB

Richmond Trivia

Richmond Trivia

Richmond is the state capital of Virginia; the capital building was designed by Thomas Jefferson.

From the 1600s-1800s, Richmond held the same stature as Norfolk, Charleston, Raleigh and Savannah. Few would mention Atlanta in the same sentence as Richmond until the early 1900s.

Most of the city was destroyed in the Civil War and rebuilt shortly afterwards. As a result, the city looks younger than its age.

In 1888, America’s first electric streetcar system began operation in Richmond.

Richmond is a 1.34 million-person metro area with over 300,000 African Americans.

Richmond has over 6,000 black-owned businesses.

Richmond boasts the first state-supported art museum in the United States and the Southeast’s largest, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Richmond is the only city in the world with a triple main-line railroad crossing still in operation. It’s an engineering marvel.

Restaurants in Richmond charge a meal tax.

Famous Residents

A number of international and domestic people were born or made their mark here, including:

L. Douglas Wilder – First Black Governor after the Reconstruction Era, second in our nation’s history
Maggie Lena Walker – First black woman to own a bank (1903)
William Washington Browne – Pastor, banker, publisher, and storeowner beginning 1881
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson – Tap dancer helped desegregate concert audiences
Henry “Box” Brown – Packaged and shipped himself in an unbelievably small box from here to escape slavery
Giles B. Jackson – Former slave, became the first Black lawyer to practice before the Virginia Supreme Court
Rev. W.L. Taylor – A Rev. T.D. Jakes-like pastor around 1900
Moses Malone – All-star NBA basketball center
John T. Taylor – Headed Second Street Savings Bank (1920)
Temple C. Ervin – Commercial Bank & Trust Company CEO (1920)
Captain Benjamin Graves – Highest ranking black soldier around 1900
Arthur Ashe – Scholar, human rights activist, and 1st African-American male to win the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament
Charles T. Russell – Famous architect and teacher at Virginia Union University
John Charles Thomas – 1st Black Virginia Supreme Court Justice
14 Black Medal of Honor recipients from the Civil War Battle of New Market Heights:

William H. Barnes
Powhatan Beaty
James H. Bronson
Christian A. Fleetwood
James Gardiner
James H. Harris
Thomas R. Hawkins
Alfred B. Hilton
Milton M. Holland
Miles James
Alexander Kelly
Robert Pinn
Edward Ratcliff
Charles Veal

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