Politifact Virginia: Congressman Griffith claim ruled "false"

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – It may seem like a little thing, but when it comes to history, one congressman wants to make sure Virginia gets her due.

Southwest Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith voted against a resolution to honor Massachusetts as the birthplace of the National Guard. Griffith claimed the first one was actually in Virginia. In fact Griffith said Virginia has a lot to brag about.

"On most things except witch trials, Virginia will always have been first," said Rep. Morgan Griffith.

So Virginia is first on everything, except witch trials? Not so fast congressman. The writers at Politifact Virginia rule that claim "false"

Politifact checked in with historians who track things like witch trails and this is what they found. The first witch trial in the American colonies occurred in 1641, in lower Norfolk, Virginia. He was acquitted. The next was in Connecticut in 1647.

The famous Salem Witch Trails didn't occur until 1692, more than 50 years after Virginia's first trial. According to Politifact Reporter Sean Gorman, Congressman Griffith was just joking, but his joke was still false.

"His office did say that it was a tongue in cheek statement, but still…he was still wrong in what he said," Gorman stated.

You can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com. 

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