Garrison Keillor Says Happy Birthday, V. Dare!
August 18, 2003, 05:00 AM
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Well, what he actually says in The Writer's Almanac for August 18 is:

"It's the birthday of the first English child born in America: Virginia Dare, born in Roanoke Island, Virginia (now North Carolina) (1587). Her mother was Ellinor White Dare, daughter of the Roanoke colony governor, John White. They were among the 120 settlers who left England in 1587 on an expedition sponsored by Sir Walter Raleigh. Virginia Dare's life is a mystery. Nine days after she was born, her grandfather, Governor White, left the Roanoke colony for England, to try to get more supplies. He returned on this day in 1590—on his granddaughter Virginia's third birthday—with a relief expedition, but the settlers, along with the infant, had vanished. There was only one clue, carved on a post: the word croatoan. No one knows for sure what happened to the survivors of the "Lost Colony." Many people think they were absorbed into the Croatan tribe of Native Americans."

[click here for audio]

"Native Americans," of course, should be "Indians," on the authority of our Commanche correspondent, Dr. David Yeagley. But it's nice to see our eponymous heroine rediscovered by National Public Radio.

Maybe they'll discover immigration reform next!