This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Elizabeth Van Lew, the wealthy Richmond heiress who led one of the most successful Union spy rings of the Civil War. Her legacy has been interpreted through the works of journalists, historians and playwrights. Adding to the intrigue, is Mary Bowser, a woman enslaved by the Van Lew family, rumored to have carried out espionage in the Confederate White House. But as WCVE’s Peter Solomon reports for Virginia Currents, the truth of this story is elusive.
As the weather warms, one popular activity is the Virginia Capital Trail. Along the scenic route, “bike ambassadors” provide an important role - for frequent users and newcomers. WCVE’s Ian Stewart has more for Virginia Currents.
Learn More: Find out more about the Virginia Capital Trail.
The Richmond Mayor’s Youth Academy works with hundreds of young people each year, connecting them to jobs and mentors. This year, the program is doing something new. Teens are organizing and leading youth-centered town halls. WCVE’S Catherine Komp has more for Virginia Currents.
One of the women being honored by the Library of Virginia this month is a founding member of the seminal all female group, Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women. This “Virginia Woman In History” is also a longtime educator and activist. WCVE’s John Porter has more in this edition of Virginia Currents.
New research reveals the orangutan population dropped by 100,000 in a recent 15 year period. The critically endangered species lives on the Southeast Asian Islands of Borneo and Sumatra. As orangutans face ongoing threats, Virginia filmmakers co-created a documentary that highlights new aspects of their culture.