Flash of Tradition 

Virginia welcomes its new governors with a fleeting rite of passage that is long on memories.

click to enlarge cover02_inagurals_200.jpg

Former Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell is scheduled to stand on the steps of the Virginia Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 16. At the stroke of noon, he'll be asked to raise his right hand and swear to uphold the United States and Virginia constitutions. At that moment he joins the ranks of the commonwealth's most exclusive club, joining eight men still living who have served as governor.

Virginia's gubernatorial tradition had auspicious beginnings in 1776 when Patrick Henry became the state's first governor after it threw off the crown. He was followed by Thomas Jefferson, who became the third U.S. president. Two other former governors, James Monroe and John Tyler, also went to the White House.

At various times since their inaugurations, Edwin Slipek Jr., Style Weekly senior contributing editor, has spoken with the eight governors. They reveal nostalgic and even mischievous memories of their own big days in Januaries past.

click to enlarge holton_100_0.jpg
A. Linwood Holton
South Portico of the Capitol
Jan. 17, 1970



click to enlarge robb_100_0.jpg
Charles S. Robb
North Side of the Capitol
Jan. 16, 1982



click to enlarge baliles_100_0.jpg
Gerald L. Baliles
North Side of the Capitol
Jan. 15, 1986




L. Douglas Wilder
North Side of the Capitol
Jan. 13, 1990



click to enlarge allen_100_0.jpg

George F. Allen
Swearing-in, speech on South Portico of the Capitol. Parade review on the North Side of Capitol
January 15, 1994



click to enlarge gilmore_100_0.jpg
James S. Gilmore
South Portico of the Capitol
January 17, 1998



click to enlarge warner_100_0.jpg
Mark R. Warner
South Portico of the Capitol
January 12, 2002



click to enlarge kaine_100_0.jpg
Timothy M. Kaine
The Capitol, Colonial Williamsburg
January 14, 2006




Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

  • Re: Update to Richmond's Master Plan Underway for the City's 300th Anniversary

    • Maybe Mayor Stoney should address the problems that come with the Dillon rule and the…

    • on July 25, 2017
  • Re: Update to Richmond's Master Plan Underway for the City's 300th Anniversary

    • What needs to be done is in plain sight, but effectively ignored. Stop corporate welfare,…

    • on July 24, 2017
  • Re: Richmond Seeks to Open Up Its Process for Selling Property

    • The more things change, the more they stay the same. Many years ago, I participated…

    • on July 24, 2017
  • More »
  • More by Edwin Slipek Jr

    • The 2011 Bar Guide

      The 2011 Bar Guide

      Whether we were Revolutionary patriots, moonshine runners or just imperfect souls considering our bar tabs, we're all just passing through. So why not stop for a few sips along the way?
      • Jun 14, 2011
    • After the Fire

      After the Fire

      The South fell, and Richmond went up in flames. But the Civil War is still here — if you know where to look.
      • May 10, 2011
    • Digging Up Bones

      Digging Up Bones

      A monumental new book chronicles 160 years of the real Hollywood.
      • Oct 6, 2010
    • More »

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation