DID YOU KNOW........

In 1619, the first African slaves arrived in Virginia. Africans  were taken from their homeland against their will.

In 1787, slavery is made illegal in the Northwest Territory, but the U.S Constitution states that Congress may not ban the slave trade until 1808.

In 1793, Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin greatly increased the need for slave labor.

In 1793, a federal fugitive slave law is enacted, providing for the return slaves who had escaped and crossed state lines.

In 1808, Congress bans the importation of slaves from Africa.

In 1820, the Missouri Compromise bans slavery north of the southern boundary of Missouri.

In 1849, Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery and becomes one of the most effective and celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad.

In 1857, the Dred Scott case holds that Congress does not have the right to ban slavery in states and, furthermore, that slaves are not citizens.

In 1863, President Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the Confederate states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” 

Then in 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified, giving blacks the right to vote.

In 1866, Cathay Williams posed as a man (William Cathay) and became the one and only female Buffalo soldier to be enlisted in the 38th infantry. A doctor discovered her sexual identity after two years.

In 1926, African-American historian Carter G. Woodson created the Negro History Week. 

By February, 1976, the month-long celebration started coinciding with the birth month of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

John F. Kennedy was president during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. He helped pass laws to make sure all black Americans could vote and get a good education. These laws ended segregation in schools, jobs, restaurants, theaters and other public places. He also had a meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr. On November 22, 1963, JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald during his motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a notable civil rights activist who led the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott. It was the result of Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man. Since then, King helped organize series of movements.

In 1963, King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech during the March on Washington. The march aimed to end segregation in schools, equal protection under the law, and non-discrimination in employment. That same year, he became the youngest laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize. A year later, the Civil Rights Act was passed into law.

On April 14, 1968, King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
Cheyney University was the first higher education institution to be built for African-American students. It was established in 1837. Lincoln University in Pennsylvania was the first higher education institution to award accredited degrees. Some of its distinguished alumni are Thurgood Marshall and Spike Lee.

The West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone were originally founded as colonies for ex-slaves. Liberia’s name is derived from the word ‘liberty’, with its capital Monrovia named in honour of U.S. President James Monroe, who was instrumental in relocating freed slaves. 
Sierra Leone’s Freetown also speaks to the country’s roots for relocated slaves.

In 2009, Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American president.
President Obama grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii. He graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. In 1996, he won a seat at the Illinois State Senate followed by a seat at the U.S. Senate in 2004. By 2009, he won the presidency over John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2012.

In 2008, Jamaican Usain Bolt became the first man to set three world records in a single Olympic Games.

In the field of entertainment, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, holds the most number of Grammy Awards won in year with eight. Beyonce was his female counterpart with six.

Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to go to space, boarding the space shuttle Endeavour in 1992.

UPDATE regarding usage of  City Recreation Facilities

City of Petersburg Recreation Facilities serves as host to many Little League Football Games/Practices.  (Cameron Field, Petersburg Sports Complex, Albert Jones Football Field, Lee Park and the Flank Road Field) all city recreational facilities will remain closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  If you have any further questions, please email

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Petersburg Parks and Services Department develops, implements, and evaluates a comprehensive recreation program. It is the mission of the department to improve the quality of life for the senior, adult, and youth population by providing effective, efficient programs and services. 

Customer Service Goal:  

We strive  to deliver services in a professional and customer friendly manner during each encounter with our internal and external customers.

Program Target Areas

Youth Programs
Adult Programs
Senior Programs

Albert Jones Football Field

Appomattox River Park
Berkley Manor Neighborhood Vest Pocket Park
Farmer Street Park - Outdoor Pool - District Park 
Historic Cameron Field
Historic Lee Memorial Park-District Park 
(Wilcox Lake, Outdoor Tennis Courts with Lights, Cooper  & Lee Softball Fields) 
Low Street Neighborhood Vest Pocket Park
McKenzie Street Neighborhood Vest Pocket 
Petersburg Sports Complex

Let's Move!