Charlotte Harris was in the custody of local law enforcement in Rockingham County on March 6, 1878, when a mob seized her and hung her from a tree – the only documented lynching of an African-American woman in Virginia’s history. The next month, a grand jury in Harrisonburg ended its investigation of the murder without returning any indictments. Judge Charles T. O’Ferrall, who oversaw that investigation, went on to become governor in the 1890s.
Kurt Miller and other homeless people have found an avenue to address one of their biggest challenges: lack of public bathrooms, especially during nights in the spring, summer and fall when they sleep outside. Occupy Harrisonburg, the democratically run community group birthed from the national Occupy movement, has given them an opportunity to raise that issue, including at Tuesday’s meeting that has drawn the mayor.