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Virginia Students Win 1st Place at the National History Day Contest

Forty-nine Virginia students, ranging from grades 6-12 and representing every region of the Commonwealth, competed against over 3,000 students from across the country.



The Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) is excited to announce results from National History Day’s (NHD) National Contest. Between May 25th and June 16th, 49 Virginia students, ranging from grades 6-12 and representing every region of the Commonwealth, competed against over 3,000 students from across the country. A virtual award ceremony was streamed on Saturday, June 19th to announce winners of 18 contest categories and dozens of special awards.

Virginia History Day is the state affiliate of the National History Day program. Similar to a science fair, but for history, the National History Day Contest was founded in 1974 to inspire students to conduct original historical research. Since its creation, the contest has grown into an international competition with more than half-a-million participants and thousands of dollars in scholarship awards and prizes annually. “Creating a project for the National History Day Contest is challenging. It requires hard work and dedication. But, it also provides great reward,” said Dr. Cathy Gorn, National History Day® Executive Director. “The skills of conducting research and recognizing credible sources are crucial to increasing civic engagement in young people.”

Virginia’s student delegation did exceptionally well at this year’s National Contest. Caroline Bruton and Kayla Shaller, 8th graders from William Monroe Middle in Greene County, placed 1st in the Junior Group Documentary category with their film, “Communicating Through Cell Walls: The Secret Correspondence of American POWs in Vietnam.” Caroline and Kayla investigated the importance of secret communication methods of American POWs during the Vietnam War and how they created a support network that kept their morale up and helped them survive their ordeal. These successful tactics are still taught to American servicemen today.

Also from William Monroe Middle, 6th grader Mukund Marri placed 8th with his documentary, “Navajo Code: The Unbreakable Code,” which told the story of Navajo code talkers during World War II.

From Prince William County’s Mary J. Porter Traditional School, 7th grader Julienne Lim placed 9th in the Junior Individual Website category with her project, “Devil Dog Canines: A Line of Communication in World War II.” Julienne focused on the important role messenger dogs played in sending battlefield communications in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. Additionally, Julienne received the United State Marine Corps History Award. Sponsored by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, this prize is awarded to an outstanding entry that demonstrates an appreciation of Marine Corps history.

Two Virginia projects placed 4th in their categories. Carly Phung, an 11th grader from John Randolph Tucker High in Henrico, received 4th place for her exhibit, “Say Cheese!: How Lewis Hine Used Cameras to Shine a Light Upon Life’s Dark Corners.” Carly explored the impact of groundbreaking reformer and photographer Lewis Hine in the early 1900s. Placing 4th in the Senior Group Website category were Sahil and Sagar Gupta, 11th graders from Thomas Jefferson High for Science and Technology in Fairfax, with their project, “The Story of Walter Gadsden: How One Miscommunication Changed the Course of the Civil Rights Movement.” Sahil and Sagar described the impact a 1963 photo of police brutality had on public perception of the Civil Rights Movement.

Two projects received Virginia’s Outstanding Affiliate Entry Award. In the Senior Division, Georgia and Caroline Berg, 11th graders from Grafton High in York County, received the distinction for their documentary, “The Secret Language of Flowers.” Their project revealed how Victorian era people overcame the social rules that controlled their lives and expressed their true emotions using language surrounding flowers. In the Junior Division, Samhita Som, a 6th grader from Haycock Elementary in Fairfax, received recognition for her paper, “Watergate: The Impact of Communication in Investigative Journalism and Reporting.” Samhita’s paper demonstrated the importance of the Watergate scandal to the world of journalism and the development of new journalistic techniques that are still relied upon by journalists today.

In addition to the success of Virginia’s students, several Virginia teachers received recognition for their hard work. William Monroe Middle teacher Mrs. Stephanie Hammer received the Naval Historical Society’s Teacher of Distinction Award. This award is given to teachers of those students who place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd nationally in their respective categories for projects with a naval or maritime theme. Mrs. Hammer has participated in NHD for more than 10 years and her students always do exceptionally well at all levels of NHD competitions. Mrs. Julie Noble of Richmond’s New Community School and Mrs. Jennifer Goss of Staunton High School were Virginia’s nominees for the Patricia H. Behring Teacher of the Year Award. Both received $500 honorariums for their outstanding contributions to history education and success using NHD in the classroom.



Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Richmond Home Show is Back Starting Today

Richmond Home Show give their top 5 reasons you should swing on by.



The Richmond Home Show, presented by Herman W. Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, returns to the Richmond Raceway Complex October 22-24, 2021 (! As we approach a new year, and with many spending more time in their home, now is the perfect time to give your home a refresh or tackle your next home improvement project. And the Richmond Home Show presents the ideal venue to connect with knowledgeable local home remodeling, design, and construction professionals who can help you get started.

Here are the top five reasons to attend the 2021 Richmond Home Show:

1. RVA’s hot housing market! High demand. Bidding wars. Soaring prices. The U.S. housing market is on fire, and metro Richmond is no exception, with Forbes naming it one of its “Top Housing Markets to Watch In 2021.” Now that you’ve bought a new-to-you home, it’s time to give it the upgrade it needs, customized and reimagined, with the help of local home improvement experts who can assist you now.

2. Home improvement is surging. The pandemic has accelerated this trend as more people spend time at home and have extra time – and the need – to start a home-related project. According to, 76% of U.S. homeowners have engaged in at least one home improvement project since the start of pandemic. Talk one-on-one with Richmond Home Show pros who can help you get the process rolling!

3. Explore new home trends. Looking to create a multi-functional living area? Create a work-from-home sanctuary? A virtual learning space in your unfinished attic? Need a new deck for your outdoor oasis? Want to increase your home’s energy efficiency? From heating + cooling, garden + landscape, and kitchen + bath to flooring, cabinetry, and everything in between, home improvement specialists will be on hand with ideas, inspiration, and solutions for your current and future home wants and needs.

4. Ask local pros! Your projects – our experts. Having access to real-time, in-person advice from Richmond-area home experts is as important as ever as more people switch homes, work from home, or find home/building materials in short supply. Get help navigating the challenges the current home improvement market presents – bring your questions and floor plans and get answers on the spot.

5. Visit a one-stop showroom. Discuss your project needs with an array of trusted builders and designers, one-on-one, in one place. Among the local exhibitors who’ll be there to help you realize your home’s full potential: CJ’s Garage Doors (Amelia, Va.), Kitchen Doctors (Midlothian), Milligan Custom Cabinetry (Charlotte County), Herman W. Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling (Ashland), Atlantic House Plans (Chesterfield), Colonial Floors of VA, Deck Creations (Midlothian), EMPWR Solar (RVA), Virginia Railing & Gates, Thompson Creek Window Company (Ashland), Mr. Fix It (Ashland), and MANY, MANY more!

2020 was the year when we all became homebodies, living under stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic. Our home was not only where we lived and slept, it’s where we worked and played – our homes became our gym, school, office, bar, theater, playground, and more. Even as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, home is still our source of comfort and respite. Join us at the Richmond Home Show, a one-stop marketplace where homeowners can get answers to their home improvement questions – it’s all happening October 22-24 at the Raceway Complex.

NOTE ON COVID SAFETY: The Richmond Home Show abides by all local, state, and CDC guidelines for mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Guest wellness protocols will be in place at the venue, with handwashing and/or hand sanitizer stations at restrooms and entrances of the exhibition halls. Masks are required of all staff and patrons when inside buildings unless eating or drinking. Social distancing is also encouraged, with onsite signage to remind guests. Visit the show website for the most up-to-date guidelines.


The Richmond Home Show is presented by Herman W. Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling and will take place at the Richmond Raceway Complex October 22-24, 2021, featuring an array of local home improvement, landscaping, and gardening experts all under one roof. Discover the latest in home design, remodeling, renovation, and improvement, meet local specialists and designers, and shop, compare, and save with our trusted exhibitors! On the web at and Facebook at

Friday, October 22, 2021, 11AM – 8PM
Saturday, October 23, 2021, 10AM – 7PM
Sunday, October 24, 2021, 10AM – 5PM

Adults (at the door): $8.00
Adults (online): $6.00
Children Ages 12 & Under: FREE

• Seniors (60+) get FREE admission Friday, October 22 only with I.D. (available at box office only).
• HERO DAY is Sunday, October 24, when all active and retired military, fire and police personnel get into the show FREE! To receive a complimentary admission, simply show your valid I.D. at the Box Office.

Richmond Raceway Complex, 600 E Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23222 (FREE PARKING!)



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Street Closures Saturday Near VCU for President Barack Obama and Terry McAuliffe Rally

Closures will start Saturday morning at 6 AM and last until 6 PM.



Several street closures and no parking areas will be in place for the campaign event involving former President Barack Obama and Terry McAuliffe at VCU’s campus.

The rally is at the Compass area of the campus and starts at noon on Oct. 23. However, the street closures and parking restrictions will be in place before the event.

The following streets will have no parking areas from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday:

  • 1000 block of Grove Avenue between North Harrison and North Linden streets;
  • 900 block of Park Avenue between North Harrison and North Linden streets;
  • 00 block of North Harrison Street between Park Avenue and West Main Street;
  • 00 block of South Harrison Street between West Main and West Cary streets;
  • 800 and 900 blocks of West Franklin Street between North Harrison and North Laurel streets
  • Cathedral, North Cathedral and South Cathedral Place.

The following roads will be closed from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday:

  • 900 block of Park Avenue
  • 1000 block of Grove Avenue
  • Cathedral, North Cathedral and South Cathedral Place
  • 100 block of North Linden Street

Additionally, VCU announced these building closures and warned students and staff to remove any bikes located on the Compass.

  • James Branch Cabell Library (901 Park Ave.) will be closed prior to and during the event on Saturday. The building will be open afterwards from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., alternative study spaces have been reserved on the first floor of the Academic Learning Commons (MCALC). Students should enter the building through the entrance on 1000 Floyd Ave. Cabell Starbucks will be closed on Oct. 23.
  • Hibbs Hall will be closed and events have been relocated to alternate locations.
  • Shafer Court Dining Center and Market 810 (810 Cathedral Pl.) will be closed on Oct. 23. As an alternative, VCU Dine will extend the hours for AVO Kitchen (355 W. Cary Street) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Subscribers to VCU’s West Main Street Parking Deck (801 W. Main St.) and West Cary Street Parking Deck (1201 W. Cary St.) will be able to access the decks. On Oct. 23, these decks will have online and on-site payment options in connection with the campaign event.



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Patriot Front Deface Arthur Ashe Mural

The mural was part of the U.N.I.T.Y. program to design street art in Richmond and completed in 2017.



Beyond the photos above that were submitted anonymously, there is more graffiti throughout the tunnel.

The mural was part of the U.N.I.T.Y. program to design street art in Richmond.

From a article shortly after the mural was completed in the summer of 2017.

“We wanted to come to Battery Park because the tunnel was such an eyesore and it was honestly the perfect formula for what U.N.I.T.Y. Street stands for,” said Hamilton Glass, one of the five U.N.I.T.Y. artists. “Doing projects in communities where we can highlight the history of the community.”

Thornhill, who’s from Jackson Ward, added: “The city’s changing, the world is changing, and unfortunately we are forgetting some of the heroes and she-roes that came through the area.”

A few photos of the undamaged mural.

Photo Credit: Friends of Battery Park

Photo Credit: Friend of Battery Park

Photo Credit: Richmond Free Press


For those not familiar with the Patriot Front, read this summary from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Patriot Front is an image-obsessed organization that rehabilitated the explicitly fascist agenda of Vanguard America with garish patriotism. Patriot Front focuses on theatrical rhetoric and activism that can be easily distributed as propaganda for its chapters across the country.

In its own words

“The time of the Republic has passed in America as the system grows too weak to perform its duty. … The damage done to this nation and its people will not be fixed if every issue requires the approval and blessing from the dysfunctional American democratic system. Democracy has failed in this once great nation.”

— Patriot Front manifesto.

Patriot Front (PF) is a white nationalist hate group that formed in the aftermath of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, of August 12, 2017. The organization broke off from Vanguard America (VA), a neo-Nazi group that participated in the chaotic demonstration. PF’s founder, Thomas Rousseau, led VA members during “Unite the Right,” including James Alex Fields, Jr., the young man accused of murdering anti-racist protester Heather Heyer after fatally driving his vehicle into a crowd of protesters.

Rousseau and his loyalists broke away from VA after a months-long feud with VA’s leader Dillon Irizarry.

Update 10/21:



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