August 1, 1770
William Clark, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition, is born in Caroline County.

August 1, 1920
Henrietta Lacks (born Loretta Pleasants) was born in Roanoke, Virginia. Henrietta's cervical cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, the first immortalized cell line and a source of invaluable medical data.

August 2, 1790
The first U.S. Census begins, fulfilling a mandate set by the U.S. Constitution. Virginia’s 1790 census data were later lost, likely destroyed during the British attack on Washington, D.C., during the War of 1812.

August 5, 1960
Bestselling novelist David Baldacci is born in Richmond, Virginia. 


August 6, 1993
A powerful tornado sweeps through Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Prince George County. At the time, it was the strongest tornado to hit Virginia since 1950.

August 8, 1863
General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, writes a letter of resignment to Confederate President Jefferson Davis after losing the Battle of Gettysburg. Davis rejected Lee’s resignation, and Lee remained in command of the army until its surrender in April 1865.


August 10, 1610
George Percy and seventy English settlers raid the Powhatan town of Paspahegh, where they kill approximately two dozen people, including the chief's wife and her children. This incident marks a dramatic escalation in the first Anglo-Powhatan War.


August 12, 2017
“Unite the Right” rally is held in Charlottesville, Virginia by far-right and white nationalists; counter-protester Heather Heyer is killed. 


August 13, 1878
An exploration party led by Andrew Campbell discovers Luray Caverns. Largely because railways make them accessible, the caverns become a booming tourist attraction within a few years.


August 15, 1895
The U.S. Navy commissions the nation's first battleship, the USS Texas, which is constructed at the Norfolk Navy Yard. It is the first of many steel ships to be manufactured in Virginia.


August 16, 2005
Thousands stampede to obtain one of the thousand $50 used iBooks being sold by Henrico County Public Schools at the Richmond International Raceway. 


August 18, 1587
Virginia Dare is born at the Roanoke colony, becoming the first English child born in North America.


August 18, 1774
Meriwether Lewis, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition, is born in Albemarle County.


August 19, 1969
After slamming into the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Camille arrives in Virginia and causes heavy rains, massive flooding, and landslides. This was one of the worst natural disasters in Virginia history resulting in 124 deaths.


August 21, 1831

Nat Turner, an enslaved preacher and self-proclaimed prophet, led the bloodiest slave revolt in U.S. history in Southampton County. Over the course of two days, he and his conspirators killed 58 white men, women, and children before government troops suppressed the insurrection. The state tried and executed Turner and 19 conspirators. White vigilantes retaliated with violence, resulting in about 40 additional deaths.


August 23, 2011
At 1:51 p.m., a 5.8 earthquake occured in Louisa County. The earthquake was one of the largest in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains and was felt across more than a dozen states.


August 24, 1865
Former Confederate general Robert E. Lee accepts an offer to become the president of Washington College in Lexington. After Lee's death, the college is renamed Washington and Lee.


August 27, 1956
A special session of the General Assembly convenes to consider the "Stanley Plan." Named for Governor Thomas B. Stanley, the bill includes provisions that allow the governor to close any school under court order to integrate and to cut off state funds for schools that might try to reopen.


August 27, 2011
Nearly 1.2 million homes and businesses lose power after Hurricane Irene makes landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in the early morning hours.


August 28-30, 1862
Confederate generals Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson and James Longstreet lead forces against Union general John Pope near Manassas, Virginia. This battle, which becomes known as Second Manassas or Second Bull Run results in a decisive Confederate victory.


August 30, 1781
A twenty-four-ship, 3,500-man French naval force, led by Admiral François Joseph Paul Comte de Grasse, arrives near the Chesapeake Bay. The French ships later defeat a British fleet at the battle of Virginia Capes and then blockade Lord Cornwallis's forces at Yorktown.


August 30, 1800

Led by Gabriel, an enslaved blacksmith in Henrico county, an unknown number of enslaved people prepared to attack Richmond in an effort to end slavery in Virginia. Delayed by poor weather and betrayed by two enslaved men, the planned attack never occurs. Twenty-six men, including Gabriel, are executed for their involvement. The event is among the most important insurrection plots in the history of North American slavery.


August 31, 1939
Before a crowd of 30,000 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Company, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt christens the America the nations' largest passenger ship.


In late August 1619, English privateers arrived at Point Comfort (today Hampton), Virginia, with “20 and odd” enslaved Africans taken from their homes in the Ndongo and Kongo kingdoms in West Central Africa (present day Angola). Sold to colonial officials, these men and women are the first recorded Africans in British North America.