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Posted on: March 20, 2017

Marking Samuel L. Slover's Birthday in an Historic Way

Come to Slover Library, 235 E. Plum St., on Thursday, March 23 at 10 am for the unveiling of a new historical marker and enjoy cake to celebrate Colonel Slover’s birthday.

Samuel Leroy Slover, born March 23, 1873, was an insightful businessman who successfully merged six newspapers, which would shape the path of Virginia journalism. During the Great Depression, Norfolk Mayor P.H. Mason quit and the City Council endorsed Slover, ultimately asking him to serve as its president – the equivalent to mayor.

Reluctantly agreeing, Slover held the position only long enough to correct the City’s finances, as promised. Slover was known as the Colonel; the title given to him during his time on governor Westmoreland Davis’ staff.

In 2008, Frank Batten Sr., Slover’s nephew and former CEO and Chairman of Landmark Communications donated $20 million for construction of a new main library in Norfolk to be named after his uncle. Following the death of Batten, an additional $20 million was donated to the project from the Batten Foundation. Additional funding from the City of Norfolk and private contributions made up the difference for the $65 million project.

Since it’s opening in January 2015, library staff have worked to acquire a historical marker honoring the contributions and impacts made by Colonel Slover. There are more than 2500 such markers around the Commonwealth that commemorate people, places and events that hold regional, state or national significance.

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