Staunton served as a Confederate supply base in the Civil War; twice it was occupied by Union forces. The city manager form of government originated in Staunton in 1908. The city is the seat of Mary Baldwin College and the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (est. 1838). Many colonial houses remain, and President Woodrow Wilson's birthplace is a national shrine. Blackfriars Playhouse, a recreation of a London theater in which Shakespeare's plays were performed, and the Frontier Culture Museum are also there.
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