Virginia Johnson

Great Lives Series: Margaret Thatcher

For more than a decade, she was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and "Iron Maggie" Thatcher promoted a conservative agenda that focused on deregulation and anti-union policies.

Great Lives Series: Marian Anderson

In 1939, talented singer Marian Anderson was denied the spotlight at the D.A.R.'s Constitution Hall on account of her race. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt quickly saw to it that she had another venue--the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. On Easter Sunday, a crowd of 75,000 listened to her in person, and her music was carried on the radio and heard by many more. After the concert, Marian Anderson went on to break more racial barriers in the entertainment industry and became a voice of the Civil Rights Movement.

Great Lives Series: Booker T. Washington

Born a slave in Franklin County, Virginia, Booker T. (Taliaferro) Washington went on to become a nationally-known leader and educator. He shared his educational philosophy with U.S. presidents and served as the first president of Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University.

The Timeless Stories of Jane Yolen

She's been compared to Hans Christian Andersen and that clever fable maker Aesop. For children (and adults!) in today's world, her carefully crafted stories sing with a timeless rhythm and an honest truth. Her family's Russian-Jewish roots have given her the jumping-off place for many a tale (And Twelve Chinese Acrobats, Firebird, and Baba Yaga), but some stories seem to drawn from the heart of the world itself.

Jane Yolen, born in New York City on February 11, 1939, showed a talent for writing early on when she wrote and composed the words and music to her grade school pageant, starring as the lead carrot. She seems to have never slowed down during her years in high school: news editor of the school paper, Spanish club vice president, singing with the a capella choir, and captain of the varsity basketball team. Summers spent at a Vermont camp run by Quakers influenced her deeply. Several of her later books (The Gift of Sarah Barker and Friend: The Story of George Fox and the Quakers) relate to this period of spiritual growth.

Great Lives Series: Norman Rockwell

Twentieth-century illustrator Norman Rockwell reflected in his work much of what was good in America. He is known for his sweet depictions of small-town life—soda fountains, family scenes, Boy Scouts, town meetings, doctors’ offices, and boys with dogs—but one of his most touching images was a painful one from the Civil Rights Era: “The Problem We All Live With.”

Great Lives Series: Jesus of Nazareth

On Thursday, January 14, 2010, James E. Goehring of the University of Mary Washington’s Department of Classics, Philosophy and Religion gave a talk on Jesus of Nazareth. The lecture was part of the University's Great Lives series.

A Guidebook to Virginia's Historical Markers

Whether you're planning on an Old Dominion road trip or just enjoy breezing through the centuries with a guidebook in hand, check this one out to discover the sometimes surprising histories of our state's counties and cities. From the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Tiger Treats for the Chinese New Year

In 2010, the Chinese New Year celebration begins on February 14, marking the beginning of the Year of the Tiger. Why not have valentines and paper lanterns at your party? Get ready for a tigerrific time. Here are some places to go for craft and food ideas:

DLTK's Jungle Tiger Section
Print out pages to color, make a paper bag puppet or a book end, and try other tiger crafts.

In the Spotlight: Haiti

The death toll is rising from a massive earthquake that has left tens if not hundreds of thousands people dead and many more in emergency living conditions.
Want to help? CNN gives a listing of aid organizations that will be specifically helping Haiti.

The Shipwreck That Saved Jamestown: The Sea Venture Castaways and the Fate of America

Anyone interested in Virginia's earliest colonial history ought to get to know the passengers and crew of the Sea Venture. This ship was sent to relieve Jamestown's starving colonists but never made it. The survivors landed on Bermuda, known as the Devil's Isle, where their saga continued.  Their story was the inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest.