Richmond is located in what was once an important settlement of the Powhatan Confederacy and known as the Commonwealth of Virginia. Even though the village was briefly occupied by British colonists from 1609 to 1611, the city that is now Richmond wasn't officially established until 1737. Later on, on April 18, 1780, Richmond became the capital of Virginia.
Richmond’s Historical Significance
Richmond has played a vital part in the history of the United States. During the Revolutionary War, it was the site of Patrick Henry's 1775 "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. One year after becoming the state capital, in 1781, Richmond was burned down by the British troops led by Benedict Arnold. Even so, the city bounced back, and by 1782, it was once again a bustling town known for the resilience of its residents.
After the Revolution, Richmond was once again the site of a historic legislative action that would create the basis for one of the United States' most sacred precepts: the separation of church and state. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and passed in 1786, provided one of the most important elements for freedom of religion in the country.
Today, Richmond is known for its friendly residents, good manners, historic districts, and great food. Some of its most notable personalities include Edgar Allan Poe, who grew up in the city and lived there during his childhood, adolescence and part of his adult life. The Edgar Allan Poe Museum has a significant collection of his possessions and writings, which is why it is one of the city's most important attractions.
One of Richmond's favorite pastimes is rat basketball, which has grown in popularity to become a spectator sport that many people enjoy. Games are held at the Science Museum of Virginia, and the "players" are rats that have been conditioned to put a tiny ball through an equally small hoop. Every Christmas, the city puts on a holiday light display that has earned it the title of one of America's best cities to see Christmas lights, among other distinctions.