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Posted: October 04, 2016

Here's why the VP debate will be in Farmville, Virginia

FARMVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 03: Longwood University prepares to hold the vice presidential debate on October 3, 2016 in Farmville, Virginia. Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is scheduled to debate Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine tomorrow in the first and only vice presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle
FARMVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 03: Longwood University prepares to hold the vice presidential debate on October 3, 2016 in Farmville, Virginia. Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is scheduled to debate Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine tomorrow in the first and only vice presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Lauren Stephenson

What do Hempstead, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and Las Vegas, Nevada, all have in common with Farmville, Virginia? 

Besides being home to universities, they don't have much in common. But each of the cities has been named the site of presidential and vice presidential debates.

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Never heard of Farmville? Most people probably hadn't until the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the vice presidential debate would be held there. 

Tuesday night's matchup between former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and current Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will be held at Longwood University, a small liberal arts university of about 5,100 students.

But why Longwood and Farmville?

Farmville is a rural community of about 8,200 in the swing state of Virginia -- so it has appeal to both tickets. 

The town also has strong historical roots: The Civil War's Battle of High Bridge took place nearby, and it's home to what The Atlantic called "the forgotten school" in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Three-quarters of the plantiffs in that case were actually students at the nearby high school. 

USA Today reported one of the reasons Longwood got the honor was because it promised to incorporate a debate-centered curriculum this semester. And apparently, it wasn't just one college course; the university created over 30 courses. 

The debate-hosting will likely pay off immensely for the university. According to Washingtonian, the school has received donations from about 1,000 more donors this year compared to the same time last year. 

The institution is also using the debate honor as an opportunity to draw in prospective students. 


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