Author: Washington Post

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

The Washington Post, Guardian of the Tomb, August 14, 1898.

The Washington Post published this interview with Edmund Parker, conducted on his deathbed by an unknown reporter, on August 14, 1898. Parker was an enslaved worker on Mount Vernon, George Washington’s plantation, from 1841 until he fled north during the American Civil War (1861–1865). His enslaver was John Augustine Washington III, George Washington’s great-grandnephew. In 1882, Parker returned to Mount Vernon as a free man to work for the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which had acquired the estate in to 1860 to restore it, preserve it, and open it to the public. Parker’s job was to guard Washington’s tomb and entertain visitors with his stories.

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“Virginia adds insult to the injury of eugenics” (November 28, 2015)

In this editorial, published November 28, 2015, the Washington Post editorial board criticized the General Assembly’s fund for recompensing the victims of legalized involuntary sterilization at state psychiatric institutions. Virginia was a leader in the promotion and practice of eugenic sterilization in the first half of the twentieth century. As of 2019, twenty-eight individuals had successfully claimed compensation from the fund.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“’Official’ Historians Face Tough Task” (October 21, 1951) 

In this editorial, dated October 21, 1951, Washington Post columnist Benjamin Muse raises questions and doubts about the Virginia History and Textbook Commission’s efforts to write truthful history, government, and geography textbooks for Virginia’s public schools. After his political career in the 1940s, Muse wrote a weekly “Virginia Affairs” column, where he criticized the Byrd Organization and Massive Resistance.