Virginia Changemakers
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  • Collection: The Great Depression and World War II

K Sturgill Album Cover001.tif
Ballad singer and songwriter Kate Peters Sturgill preserved the music of her Appalachian region through her recordings and collection of folk songs.
Wise County

Dana Olden Baldwin was a community physician whose entrepreneurial spirit created a thriving African-American business district in Martinsville.

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Charles Spurgeon Johnson battled racism early in the twentieth century as a preeminent sociologist, author, educator, and college president.

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A gifted teacher who strove to bring art to all Virginians, Elizabeth Nottingham Day was also an acclaimed artist of the Virginia scene.

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Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell's belief in the value of education and the power of public broadcasting led her to help create the successful public educational television station, WETA.

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Eleanor Bontecou overcame debilitating illness to combat discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II, study the treatment of conscientious objectors, and counsel federal government employees accused of subversive activities.
Arlington County

A highly respected teacher and principal, Louise Reeves Archer inspired her students through her dedication and commitment to their education.


One of the first women licensed pilots in Virginia, Mary C. Alexander owned and operated a scheduled air service between Norfolk and Washington, D.C., during the 1930s.

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Mollie Holmes Adams helped preserve the Upper Mattaponi heritage by passing on the almost-lost art of feather weaving and recording her herbal remedies.
King William County

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Bessie Niemeyer Marshall created detailed watercolors of plants as part of a federally funded project that rescued a Petersburg park.
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