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Lexington, Virginia, USA

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Main St. in Lexington
Lexington is a town in Virginia, in between Roanoke and the West Virginia border. It is the location of two well-known Virginia universities, the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. It lies on the Maury River, a tributary of the James River.

It was established in 1777, named after Lexington, Massachusetts. 

Today, Lexington is best known for its two universities, its history and colonial downtown area, and its independent newspapers.


People Born in Lexington

Sam Houston


Lexington in People's Lives

Gore Vidal: I moved here in 1942, at the age of 17, to attend the Virginia Military Institute. Though I could easily, as the member of a wealthy and well connected family, have gotten into any elite Ivy League university that I wished, I instead chose to attend a military academy. Most likely, I was inspired by my father, and by the fact that I had grown up in a strong military prescence and even been born at another military academy, the Military Academy at West Point. Also, I had always been a rebel who loved going against the current of society and adding shock value to my affairs. For whatever reason, I enlisted in the U.S. Military and began studies here as a military engineer. However, I did not fare well, and ended up failing out of the school. I left in 1944, back to my hometown of Washington D.C.

Pearl S. Buck: I came here with my family in 1902, when I was ten years old. Though I had been born in America, I had left when I was only three months old, and so I had no memory of this country, having been raised in China all my life. I looked at this place like a foreign country. We came here to enroll my older brother in Washington and Lee University, and then returned to China without him.

Sam Houston: I was born in this area in 1793, into a middle-class Scots-Irish family who owned land in the Shenandoah Valley. I was the fifth of nine children, and the youngest son. My family lived in a spacious log cabin on my father's plantation. I recieved little education and felt free and wild in the Virginia frontier forests. Just after purchasing land in Tennessee, closer to relatives, my father with all his grand tales of Revolutionary War glory passed away in 1807, when I was 14 years old. My mother decided to move the family to our new home in Maryville nevertheless, and I left Virginia that year.

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