Entries by Eric Steigleder

Richmond Story: Fan Free Clinic

In the early 1980s, news outlets began to report about a mysterious new “gay cancer” in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Little was known about the disease, other than its main demographic. At first, the threat seemed far away to many Americans, with risk limited to the urban gay community. But soon, the epidemic spread […]

Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond Explores Change, Conflict Through Fashion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 6, 2020 Contact: Eric Steigleder Director of Communications esteigleder@thevalentine.org Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond Explores Change, Conflict Through Fashion A new exhibition opening at the Valentine examines an evolving Richmond during the roaring 20s  RICHMOND — The Valentine’s newest costume and textiles exhibition, Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond, debuts on July 21, marking the […]

Richmond Cultural Institutions Share Joint Reopening Statement as COVID-19 Restrictions are Lifted

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 10, 2020 CONTACT: Eric Steigleder Communications Director esteigleder@thevalentine.org Richmond Cultural Institutions Share Joint Reopening Statement as COVID-19 Restrictions are Lifted RICHMOND, VA – Richmond area cultural institutions, including museums, attractions, and other sites, have released a joint statement as Virginia continues to lift additional COVID-19 restrictions. The statement, endorsed by 21 cultural […]

Richmond’s Women Mayors

With the current widespread Coronavirus upheaval, editorials have begun to note the efficient government responses and low casualty rates in countries run by women. Is it cause or coincidence? What would our local, national and global realities look like right now if women ran things? What would Richmond be like under a woman with executive […]

The Covenanters

In the midst of the pandemic in the absence of school, Richmond parents are struggling to both educate and entertain their children. While this problem may feel new, at one point in Richmond’s history, a vast, structureless day was common. The first free public school opened here in 1870. But attendance was far from mandatory. […]

Moral Quarantine

The act of quarantine has, of course, been used throughout Richmond’s history to stop the spread of viral contagion.  But the quarantine concept has also been used here to halt what many believed to be moral contagion as well. In the early 19th century, Magdalen Societies began to appear in cities all over America, the first […]

Mint Juleps & John Dabney

Now that Virginians can order cocktails for take out and delivery, consider supporting your favorite bartender by ordering our most historic cocktail: the mint julep. Through tense times, mint juleps have broken seemingly impossible barriers and won over Richmond’s fiercest critics. When Charles Dickens came to visit in 1842, his published impressions scandalized Richmonders. He […]

Another Kind of Microscopic Menace

Viruses aren’t the only microscopic menaces that have shaped Richmond history. Few people know that this city lies atop one of the most diverse diatom deposits in the world.  Diatoms are single-cellular aquatic plants that have been fossilized—quite beautifully—within their silica walls.  The diatoms pictured are leftover from the era 5 million years ago, when […]

Hygiene and Richmond’s Public Baths

Historically speaking, good hygiene is a relatively new concept for Richmonders. At a time when washing our hands is our best bet at defeating a pandemic, let’s remember that for most of this city’s history, for many of its citizens, such a simple act was not easy. Until 1950, a large number of homes in […]

Time Travelers: Free Admission to 24 Historic Sites Across the Richmond Region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 24, 2020 Contact: Eric Steigleder Director of Communications esteigleder@thevalentine.org Time Travelers: Free Admission to 24 Historic Sites Across the Richmond Region RICHMOND – Locals and tourists alike are invited to enjoy unique history, fascinating stories and a journey into the past during the biannual Time Travelers weekend, March 14-15. Explore new participating […]