With their texts of black lettering against a silver background and their distinctive shape, Virginia’s state historical highway markers are hard to miss along the commonwealth’s roadways. There are now more than 2,500 of them erected in Virginia to commemorate people, places, or events of regional, statewide, or national significance. Virginia’s historical marker program is the oldest such program in the nation, beginning in 1927 when a handful of markers were erected along U.S. 1 between Richmond and Mount Vernon.
Visit the Virginia Department of Historic Resources’ Online Marker Database to browse an interactive map of the Commonwealth’s thousands of historical highway markers, which can be searched by keyword, area, or marker number.
Explore our country’s beginnings at Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. Discover tools for enriching your Jamestown visit with hands-on educational programs and teacher learning materials available at our museums or in your classroom. Learning about history is always fun at Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center.
ConText is a groundbreaking online tool developed by the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier in partnership with the Brookings Institution. Working with an interdisciplinary group of historians, political theorists, lawyers, technological innovators, educators, and you, we are all together crowdsourcing the most important documents in history.
With ConText, you can:
- explore documents by browsing the text
- read annotations by our scholars
- add your own observations and commentary
In the process, you will delve into each document’s historical context and discover its relevance to the contemporary world.
Montpelier’s Center for the Constitution continues to innovate and explore new ways of illuminating James Madison’s contributions to America’s experiment in constitutional self-government, and in Madison’s words, the “cause of Liberty throughout the world.” Sign up now to become part of the conversation.
The Stock Market Game™ is an online education program used to help teach math, social studies, business, economics, and language skills while focusing on the importance of long-term saving and investment. Students in grades 4-12 participate in teams and manage a simulated investment portfolio. During each session, student teams compare the performance of their portfolios with other teams in Virginia and their region. They can continue to manage their portfolios beyond the competition periods.
The Library of Virginia’s collections are rich with records documenting the lives of African Americans in Virginia. However, access to those materials dating from before the American Civil War is limited at best. These limitations are the result of period perspectives on the identities of enslaved and disenfranchised populations, as well as sheer volume. Due to this, the individual stories form a narrative of a people that has not been fully told.
The Library’s African American Narrative project aims to provide greater accessibility to pre-1865 African American history and genealogy found in the rich primary sources in its holdings. Traditional description, indexing, transcription, and digitization are major parts of this effort. However, and perhaps more importantly, this project seeks to encourage conversation and engagement around the records, providing opportunities for a more grassroots and diverse narrative of the history of Virginia’s African American people.
“We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” Educational Program hosted by James Madison’s Montpelier
“We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution” is an educational program developed by the Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in California. The program instructs students on the history and principles of American constitutional democracy.
The primary goal of the program is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s elementary, middle, and secondary school students. The We the People program allows students to study the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in depth. What makes the program successful is the design of the instructional program, and its innovative culminating activity – the simulated Congressional hearing.
The program exists in all 50 states, and the U.S. territories. These state programs impact thousands of teachers and students each year. Since 2003, The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier has been proud to host the We the People program in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
For the first time in documentary film, witness the story of the first official Thanksgiving in English North America. Learn how 38 English settlers, over a year before the arrival of the first Pilgrims at Plymouth, marked the date of their safe arrival in Virginia on December 4, 1619 as an annual day of Thanksgiving. Discover the conditions of their journey across the Atlantic, the nature of their Thanksgiving celebration at Berkeley Hundred, and the rediscovery of their story by Dr. Lyon Tyler in 1931. Support materials include student activities, essay prompts, discussion questions, and more.
“The First Official Thanksgiving” is a legacy project the 2019 Commemoration.
Discover important moments in African American history in Virginia, spanning from the arrival of the first Africans in English North America in 1619 to the present, and learn how those events influenced the evolution of diversity, race relations, and civil rights in the Commonwealth and the United States.