Inclusive dates
  • Diaries, 1922-1995, of Martha Harris Strong (1902-1995) of Beaverdam, Hanover County, Virginia. The diaries contain daily handwritten notations. Topics covered include weather observations and the social life of her and her family, including recreational activities such as listening to the radio, watching television, going to the movies, visiting with family and friends, gardening, and vacation trips. Strong also comments on her household chores, including baking, cleaning, cooking, and canning
  • Her husband, William Atwell Strong (1885-1972) was a farmer and builder. In the early diaries, she mentions their farming activities, mainly centering around chicken and egg farming, but also the setting, chopping, and striping of tobacco, hauling wood, fencing, planting corn, cutting hay, and thrashing wheat. The various building projects in which he was involved are also mentioned
  • She comments in great detail on the health of her and her family, as well as friends and other citizens of the community. In the later diaries, she lists names of acquaintances, their ailments, and in which hospital they are staying. Births, marriages, and deaths are also frequently mentioned
  • She an her husband were very involved in the activities of their church, Shiloh United Methodist in Montpelier, Virginia, as well as in organizations such as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Rebekah Assembly of Virginia, the Ruritans, the Hanover Republican Women's Club, and garden clubs
  • Strong's interest in politics and national events is evident throughout the diaries. She makes notes on virtually every election day, both state and national, of who is running, and the results. Sometimes her notations are quite detailed, providing voting percentages for each candidate. She also makes references to notable national events, such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the death of Franklin Roosevelt, the ending of World War II, the situation in Korea, space exploration, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis, the Challenger explosion, the Iran-Contra affair, the war with Iraq, the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, and the trial of O.J. Simpson
  • Many of the last entries for 1995 were recorded by Martha Strong's sister, Edna Harris. The diaries for the years 1924 and 1925 are combined in one volume, as well as those for the years 1932 to 1936, and 1942 and 1943. Also included in this collection are family photographs, obituaries, and ephemera
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  • Described
Biographical or historical data
Martha Ann Harris Strong was born on 27 November 1902. She married William Atwell Strong on 16 December 1922. She and her husband were residents of Beaverdam, Hanover County, Virginia, where they were engaged in the chicken and egg farming business. He was also a builder. They raised one daughter from his previous marriage, Dianah Catherine Strong, as well as numerous other foster children. William Atwell Strong died on 23 November 1972. Martha Harris Strong died on 27 November 1995.
Cataloging source
Form designation
  • The Library of Virginia
Immediate source of acquisition
Harris, Edna H.
Type of unit



Member of

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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