Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park


Governor A. Linwood Holton

Abner Linwood Holton, Jr. was born in Big Stone Gap.  He attended public school and graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1994.  After serving in World War II, Holton attended Harvard Law School and received his degree.  Holton served governor from 1970 to 1974 and was the first Republican Governor of Virginia since Reconstruction.  As governor, he increased employment of African-Americans and women in state government, founded the Virginia Governor's Schools Program in 1973, and provided the first state funds for community mental health centers, and supported environmental efforts. In 1970, when forced busing was an issue in Virginia, Holton voluntarily placed his children (including future First Lady of Virginia Anne Holton) in the mostly African-American Richmond public schools garnering much publicity. After his term in office, he served as President of the Center for Innovative Technology.

On Saturday, September 20, 2008, a special public "Induction Ceremony" was held at 5:30 pm on the grounds of the Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap. The event was part of the museum's year-long 60th Anniversary celebration. We wish to thank all those you came out to celebrate these very fine accomplishments. For more information, contact the museum at 276-523-1332.  

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