Tag Archives: Governor Gerald Baliles

- Taking Office: Inaugurations of Virginia’s Governors, 1942-2010


Lt. Governor-elect Ralph S. Northam and former President Bill Clinton, Inauguration Day, 11 January 2014. Photo taken by Michaele White, Visual Arts Coordinator, Office of the Governor.

Every four years, on the Saturday after the second Wednesday in January, Virginia’s three highest elected officials ­- the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the attorney general – are inaugurated. On Saturday 13 January 2018 at noon, Ralph S. Northam will be inaugurated as Virginia’s 73rd Governor. The oath of office also will be administered to Justin E. Fairfax as Lieutenant Governor, and Mark R. Herring as Attorney General. Witnessing the event will be both houses of the General Assembly, a large company of invited guests, and members of the news media. In a ceremony that has not changed significantly since the 1930s, the new governor and his colleagues will take an oath of office to support and defend the state’s constitution and execute the laws of the Commonwealth. To spotlight inaugural records in the collections of the Library of Virginia, we created a new Google Arts & Culture exhibit: Taking Office: Inaugurations of Virginia’s Governors, 1942-2010.

Based on a 2001-2002 exhibit in the Library’s lobby, Taking Office includes inaugural ephemera (tickets, passes, invitations, souvenirs) and photographs. Also included are some videos and WRVA radio broadcasts not included in the original exhibit. For an additional photographic sampling of past inaugurations, visit the small exhibition in the lobby of the Library of Virginia through the end of January 2018.  Inauguration day marks the … read more »

- Peabody’s Improbable History: “Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 2008….”

February 11, 2009, image of President Barack Obama, with Governor Tim Kaine, speaking about infrastructure at a Fairfax County road construction project. Public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Last week President Barack Obama made minor news when he incorrectly signed the guest book at Westminster Abbey in London “24 May 2008.” Obama did not make the same mistake when, as a U.S. senator from Illinois and Democratic presidential candidate, he signed the guest book at the Virginia Executive Mansion on 17 February 2007.  Obama was the keynote speaker at the state Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Richmond.  Governor Tim Kaine endorsed Obama for president that night, becoming the first governor outside of Illinois to endorse a 2008 candidate for president.  The guest book page signed by Obama is a good example of what archivists call a record with secondary value.  The Society of American Archivists defines secondary value as “the usefulness or significance of records based on purposes other than that for which they were originally created.”  The significance of the guest book is derived from future events:  Obama winning the 2008 presidential election and Kaine’s importance as an early supporter.  Another example of secondary value is a 21 July 1987 letter written by Mark R. Warner to Governor Gerald L. Baliles.  The content of the letter is quite ordinary – a young businessman wants to get involved in Virginia politics and requests a meeting with the governor.  The letter’s secondary value originates from Warner’s election as governor in 2001 and United … read more »

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