Longwood University to Hold Vice Presidential Debate on October 4

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If the only Farmville you’ve ever heard of is the Facebook game, you’re not alone.

Many members of the political masses and traveling press will be looking up directions to Farmville, Virginia, home of Longwood University, the site for this year’s vice presidential debate on Oct. 4.

Longwood University, which was founded in 1839, has never hosted a presidential or vice presidential debate before. The school’s president, W. Taylor Reveley IV, said the decision to apply stemmed from a student’s suggestion in 2014.

The students “got to talking about how the modern presidential debates have a strong connection to Virginia,” he said.

The University of Richmond, more than 60 miles northeast of Farmville, hosted the first town-hall-style presidential debate, between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in 1992.

“As happens sometimes in class, organically, people got to talking about whether it was something we would ever do at Longwood,” he said.

Reveley said the idea “really stuck,” and he worked out the logistics for hosting such a prestigious event.

Moreover, “there’s a narrative arc in Farmville and at Longwood that’s especially relevant to the 2016 election,” he said.

“The Civil War functionally drew to a close along the north end of our campus, and then the civil rights movement really took its first powerful strides at the south end of our campus, with a student-led strike at the then-all-black high school,” he added.

Longwood is about 30 miles from the Appomattox Court House, the site of one of the final battles before Gen. Lee’s Confederate Army surrendered to the Union Army in the spring of 1865.

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SOURCE: ABC News, Meghan Keneally

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