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Virginia History Day By Day page 2
Find out what happened this week in Virginia's history

 Thomas Walker explored and named Cumberland Gap (Civil War cannons pictured in today's Cumberland Gap National Historical Park on Kentucky-Virginia border), 1750.
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 7/12/2011


1852: Presley Marion Rixey is born in Culpeper. Rixey became a U.S. Navy surgeon, and he was U.S. surgeon general from 1902 to 1910. He was the White House physician during President William McKinley's administration and he attended the president when he suffered a fatal gunshot wound in Buffalo in 1901. Rixey died in June 1928. His younger brother was Virginia Congressman John Franklin Rixey of Culpeper. Another brother, Eppa Rixey Sr., was a Culpeper banker whose son, Eppa Jr., was a major league baseball pitcher and later an inductee into the MLB Hall of Fame.

1915: Martha Virginia Wing is born in Amelia County. An actress, Wing took the stage name "Toby," and moved to California in the 1920s. After a few bit parts she took greater roles. Early in her career she was billed as having "a face like the morning sun." She epitomized the platinum-blond look and reportedly received more fan mail than Claudette Colbert or Marlene Dietrich. From 1924 to 1938, she appeared in more than 30 films. She died in Mathews County in 2001.

1982: Major league baseball outfielder Jackie Jensen dies in Charlottesville. He was 55. A Californian, Jensen played for the New York Yankees, Washington Senators and Boston Red Sox from 1950 to 1961. He was with the Red Sox in 1958 when he was named the American League's Most Valuable Player, outpolling both Mickey Mantle and teammate Ted Williams.

1998: Nguyen Ngoc Loan, 67, dies of cancer in Fairfax County. In 1968, Loan, then director of South Vietnam's national police, escorted a bound Viet Cong captain to a Saigon street corner and shot him point-blank in the head in front of journalists. Photos of Loan's execution became one of the most disturbing images of the Vietnam War. Loan fled South Vietnam in 1975 and moved to Burke in Fairfax, where he operated a pizza restaurant.


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