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Virginia Legends Walk Historical Markers

This series in Virginia Beach, Virginia, noting famous residents from the Commonwealth.
 
Alan B. Shepard Marker image, Touch for more information
By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 30, 2021
Alan B. Shepard Marker
1 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Alan B. Shepard — 1923 - 1998 — Virginia Beach —
The first American astronaut in space, Shepard flew aboard Mercury 3, reaching an altitude of 116 miles on a 15-minute flight on May 5, 1961. In 1971, he commanded Apollo 14 and walked on the surface of the moon for nine hours. On live worldwide TV, . . . Map (db m165919) HM
2 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Arthur Ashe — 1943 - 1993 — Richmond —
Ashe was the first African-American tennis player to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open. He played on the U.S. Davis Cup team (1963-70, '75, '76, '78) and as captain, the U.S. won ('81, '82). Ashe was the 1992 Sportsman of the Year.Map (db m165907) HM
3 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Bill "Bojangles" Robinson — 1878 - 1949 — Richmond —
"Bojangles" was the first African-American superstar entertainer, starting in Vaudeville as a dancer and becoming a movie actor. By 1908, he was earning $3,500 a week. His famous "stair dance" was invented spontaneously while we was receiving an . . . Map (db m165925) HM
4 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Booker T. Washington — 1856 - 1915 — Franklin County —
Born a slave and deprived of any early education, Booker T. Washington became America's foremost black educator of the 20th Century. He was the founder of the Tuskegee Institute where he championed vocational training as a means of self-reliance. A . . . Map (db m165889) HM
5 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Captain John Smith — 1580 - 1631 — Jamestown —
Our earliest national hero, Captain Smith established the first permanent English settlement in America in Jamestown in 1607. Saved by Pocahontas, he established peaceful relations with the Algonquin Indian tribes. His rigid discipline was "He who . . . Map (db m165938) HM
6 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Chief Powhatan — 1547 - 1618 — Tsenacommacah —
Chief Powhatan was the paramount ruler of more than 30 indigenous tribes in the Chesapeake Bay area, and the highest Native American authority the Virginia colonists encountered. He welcomed Capt. John Smith, and initiated peaceful relations with . . . Map (db m165910) HM
7 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Claude V. Ricketts — 1906 - 1964 — Norfolk —
Claude V. Ricketts, the Navy's first seamon to rise to four-star admiral, was made an honorary citizen of Norfolk during his station tour in 1961. He enlisted in the Navy and then graduated as an officer from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929. Ricketts . . . Map (db m165944) HM
8 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Cyrus Hall McCormick — 1809 - 1884 — Rockbridge County —
McCormick invented the mechanical reaper in 1834, combining all steps that earlier harvesting machines performed separately. His time-saving invention allowed farmers to double their crop size and spurred innovations in farm machinery. His factory . . . Map (db m165892) HM
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9 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Douglas MacArthur — 1880-1964 — Norfolk —
General MacArthur was one of only five American five-star generals. His leadership in the Pacific helped ensure Allied victory, and he accepted Japan's unconditional surrender ending World War II. He is remembered for saying "I shall return!" to the . . . Map (db m165887) HM
10 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Dr. Ralph Stanley — 1927 - 2016 — McClure —
Dr. Ralph Stanley formed the Clinch Mountain Boys and introduced his distinctive singing and a unique style of banjo playing now called "Stanley style." Leading the first generation of bluegrass musicians, he was inducted into the International . . . Map (db m165956) HM
11 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Edgar Allen Poe — 1809 - 1949 — Richmond —
"The Dark Genius," Poe is among America's best poets and the originator of the American short story, both of which he elevated to art forms. He penned such literary classics as "The Raven," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "The . . . Map (db m165926) HM
12 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Ella Fitzgerald — 1918 - 1996 — Newport News —
The First Lady of Jazz possessed superlative musicianship and skill in scat singing (improvisational vocals). After being discovered at age 16 in a Harlem talent show, Fitzgerald performed throughout America, Europe and Asia and on milestone . . . Map (db m165911) HM
13 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — George C. Marshall — 1880 - 1959 — Lexington —
Gen. Marshall graduated VMI, beginning a long career of public service including Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, Army Chief of Staff and helping to develop NATO. His "Marshall Plan" for European economic . . . Map (db m165931) HM
14 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — George Mason — 1725 - 1797 — Fairfax County —
Mason's wording in the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776 influenced the first ten amendments to the Constitution forming the U.S. Bill of Rights. His stand as an unwavering abolitionist led to halting the importation of slaves to America.Map (db m165916) HM
15 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — George S. Patton — 1885 - 1945 — Lexington / Ft. Myer —
General Patton, a second generation VMI cadet with three cavalry tours at Ft. Myer, is among the greatest military commanders in U.S. history. He led allied ground troops in Africa, achieved victory in Sicily in just 38 days, and . . . Map (db m165890) HM
16 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — George Washington — 1732-1799 — Westmoreland County —
The Father of Our Country, Washington was unanimously elected the First President of the United States. He commanded the American forces at Yorktown to victory over the British creating American Independence. He later individually stopped a soldiers . . . Map (db m165886) HM
17 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Grace Sherwood — (1660 - 1730) — Virginia Beach, 2007 —
Sherwood lived in Princess Anne County from the latter 1600’s until the 1730’s, an era when many American colonists believed in witchcraft as a way to explain unusual events. Sherwood submitted to a trial by water, a "witch ducking," in 1706, . . . Map (db m165883) HM
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18 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — James Madison — 1751 - 1836 — Orange County —
The 4th U.S. President, Madison was the author of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which earned him the reputation as "Father of the Constitution." Serving during the "Second Revolution," or the War of 1812, he empowered the Navy with three . . . Map (db m165891) HM
19 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — James Monroe — 1758 - 1831 — Westmoreland County —
The 5th U.S. President, his Monroe Doctrine was the foundation of foreign affairs: America would never again accept colonization by European powers. America would deem any attempt at such colonization dangerous to our peace and safety. Wars in . . . Map (db m165933) HM
20 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — James P. Lannon — 1878 - 1953 — Alexandria —
Rear Admiral James Patrick Lannon graduated the U.S. Naval Academy in 1902. He received the Medal of Honor in 1914 for actions in the U.S. occupation of Veracruz. The Medal is the U.S.A.'s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of . . . Map (db m165947) HM
21 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — John Marshall — 1755 - 1835 — Fauquier County —
Marshall is widely considered the founder of Constitutional Law and judicial precedent for his decisions during his 34-year tenure as the third Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served as the U.S. Secretary of State, as a U.S. . . . Map (db m165906) HM
22 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Katie Couric — 1957 — Arlington —
Couric was the first woman to solo anchor and be managing editor for a major television news prime-time broadcast, the CBS Evening News, in 2006. Prior to that, Couric was co-host of "NBC Today" for five years an . . . Map (db m165951) HM
23 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — L. Douglas Wilder — 1931 — Richmond —
First elected African-American governor in U.S. history, Wilder was a Virginian Senator and Lt. Governor before elected to the Commonwealth's top post. He balanced the state budget during recession without raising taxes and kept the state's highest . . . Map (db m165950) HM
24 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Matthew Fontaine Maury — 1806 - 1873 — Spotsylvania —
Maury's system of recording the the oceanographic data of naval vessel and merchant marine ships was adopted worldwide when he published The Physical Geography of the Sea, "the first textbook of modern oceanography." His lifetime goal was to ensure . . . Map (db m165952) HM
25 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Meriwether Lewis — 1774 - 1809 — Albemarle County —
Selected by President Jefferson, Lewis and William Clark led the western exploration of the land obtained by the Louisiana Purchase. The expedition was successful beyond all expectations in terms of geography, botany, biology, and first American . . . Map (db m165909) HM
26 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Patrick Henry — 1736 - 1799 — Hanover County —
Henry was a living symbol of America's struggle for liberty and self-government from British rule. His immortal appeal was, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." He was the first Virginia governor . . . Map (db m165912) HM
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27 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Patsy Cline — 1932 - 1963 — Winchester —
The Queen of Country Music, her multimillion-selling records are played worldwide. The first female solo artist in the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cline also is in the Recording Hall of Fame and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and was a recipient . . . Map (db m165904) HM
28 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Pearl Bailey — 1918 - 1990 — Newport News —
President Nixon dubbed her "Ambassador of Love" to the world. "Pearlie Mae" sang with Count Basie and Cab Calloway, starred in the movie version of "Porgy and Bess," won a Tony Award for an African-American version of "Hello Dolly," and received the . . . Map (db m165915) HM
29 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Pocahontas — 1596 (?) - 1617 — Henrico County —
Pocahontas, daughter of Algonquin Chief Powhatan, displayed her heroism in 1607 by saving Captain John Smith's life. She was the first Native American to convert to Christianity and receive an English name, "Rebecca." Her marriage to John Rolfe . . . Map (db m165922) HM
30 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Richard E. Byrd — 1888 - 1957 — Winchester —
Byrd, a Naval Academy graduate, pioneered early technology that became the foundation for modern polar exploration and investigation. He also pioneered the technique of nighttime landings of seaplanes on the ocean. On May 9th, 1926 Byrd reached the . . . Map (db m165917) HM
31 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Robert E. Lee — 1807 - 1870 — Stratford —
One of America's most brilliant military strategists, Lee graduated from the U.S. Military Academy 2nd in his class, as the only cadet who never earned a single demerit. He commanded the Confederate Army and surrendered at Appomattox to end the . . . Map (db m165923) HM
32 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Secretariat
Secretariat is the most famous thoroughbred in history. He won the Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby (track record, and the only horse ever to run each quarter faster than the previous), the Preakness (track record), and the Belmont (world record) . . . Map (db m165945) HM
33 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson — 1824 - 1863 — Lexington —
Thomas J. Jackson served on the VMI faculty as Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy & Instructor of Artillery. His bravery and battle skills led Confederate troops to victory in ten major battles. At Manassas, greatly . . . Map (db m165953) HM
34 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — The Carter Family — "A.P." Carter, 1891-1960; Sara Doughert09-y, 1898-1979; "Mother" Maybelle Carter, 1909-1978 — Clinch Mountain —
“The First Family of Country Music,” They switched emphasis from hillbilly instrumentals to harmony vocals, made scores of standard country music classics, and made their “CarterLick” guitar-playing the dominant technique for . . . Map (db m165920) HM
35 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Thomas Jefferson — 1743 - 1826 — Albemarle County —
Jefferson served two terms as third President of the U.S. He was the author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and the father of the University of Virginia. He was a planter, statesman, an . . . Map (db m165948) HM
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36 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Tom Wolfe — 1931 - — Richmond —
Wolfe is the father of New Journalism being the first use present tense in magazine profiles. He coined the terms "statusphere," "radical chic," "The Me Decade," and "good ol' boy," as well as "The Right Stuff," which became a movie that won four . . . Map (db m165935) HM
37 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Walter Reed — 1851 - 1902 — Gloucester County —
Reed received his medical degree from UVa at 18 and became a career Army Major. By 40 he was engaged in some of the most important work in the history of medicine. Reed's research into the cause and spread of typhoid and yellow fevers saved millions . . . Map (db m165913) HM
38 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — William Clark — 1770 - 1838 — Caroline County —
Clark shared command of the team from 1803-05 that was the first overland expedition undertaken by the U.S. to the Pacific Ocean. The "Voyage of Discovery" ordered by President Thomas Jefferson explored routes across America's new territories of the . . . Map (db m165928) HM
39 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — William Henry Harrison — (1773 - 1841) — Charles City County —
Harrison attained nearly 50 million acres of land from treaties with Native American tribes. This resulted in a rebellion by Indian leader Tecumseh, and led to the Battle of Tippecanoe, which made Harrison a hero of the War of 1812. He served in the . . . Map (db m165957) HM
40 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — William Styron — 1925 - 2006 — Newport News —
Styron won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature as well as the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1968 as a result of “The Confessions of Nat Turner.” He also wrote Sophie's Choice and won the . . . Map (db m165939) HM
41 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Woodrow Wilson — 1865 - 1924 — Staunton —
The 28th U.S. President, Wilson was Commander of the largest armed force in U.S. history during World War I. Always for peaceful resolve, his Fourteen points led to the Armistice, effectively ending the war with the Versailles Treaty. He also served . . . Map (db m165937) HM
42 Virginia, Virginia Beach, North Virginia Beach — Zachary Taylor — 1784 - 1850 — Barboursville —
The 12th U.S. President, Taylor earned his national reputation in the Mexican War. There he commanded the military in Texas after its annexation to the U.S. and successfully kept the territory in American possession. His nickname was "Old Rough and . . . Map (db m165940) HM
 
 
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Feb. 22, 2024