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Virginia is one of the most iconic states in the Eastern United States.
It is the 12th most populous of the 50 states in the United States. West Virginia attained statehood on June 25, 1788, and it was the 10th state to join the union.
Virginia shares its borders with Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. It has 95 counties, and the state capital is Richmond. The Richmond population was recorded at 204,214 as per the 2010 census.
This state originally contained a vast tract of land which was later divided and added into six different southern states. It was one of the first 13 colonies involved in the trade in silk production.
Did you enjoy reading these facts? If you want to learn more such amazing facts about other US states, then check out Georgia Facts and Oregon Facts.
Before learning about the state symbols, did you know how Virginia got its unique name? Well, Virginia was named after Queen Elizabeth I, who was famously called the 'Virgin Queen'. Queen Elizabeth never got married, and hence she was given the title of the 'Virgin Queen'. Historians say that British adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh suggested the name in 1584.
Virginia was given the nickname 'Old Dominion'. Old dominion refers to the fact that Virginia was the first, and thus the oldest, of the overseas dominions of England. The cardinal is the official bird, and the official rock of the state is nelsonite. The official state flower is dogwood, and the American dogwood is the official tree. Interestingly, the official beverage of this state is milk. The state’s official song is 'carry me back to old Virginia' while the most popular song is 'sweet Virginia breeze'.
The state's official motto is 'Sic Semper Tyrannis' which is Latin for 'thus always to tyrants'.
Virginia is a southern state that stretches from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains and borders the Atlantic Ocean. The land is mostly flat, with a few low-lying hills dotting the state. This state features gorgeous beaches and mountains. This geographical diversity makes it one of the most popular tourist spots on the map.
This state is home to more than 20 national parks. Many of these parks have historic significance. Shenandoah National Park is the largest here. Its total size is 42,744.7 sq mi (110,786 sq km) and Virginia Beach is the largest city, with a population of about 425,000. Virginia Beach city is home to three and a half military bases. Blue Ridge Mountain is an award-winning destination in Virginia.
The most prominent bodies of water near the state are the Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River, James River, Rappahannock River, Buggs Island Lake, Philpott Lake, lake Anheritage, and Smith Mountain Lake.
Central Virginia is the state's political power region. It enjoys a wealth of sporting facilities. The state enjoys milder temperatures because of its proximity to the sea. The state is popular for producing tomatoes, soybeans, peanuts, tobacco, and hay. The major cash crop is tobacco. Many Virginians are engaged in the tobacco industry. Also, tobacco was the first export of the Virginia colony. The state is also a manufacturing hub for computer chips, communications technology, the military, data centers, and lumber, and has a strong federal government presence.
Virginia is one of the most historically significant states in the country. The highest number of Civil War battles were fought here, and it is also the oldest British settlement.
The earliest permanent English settlement was in Virginia. Hence, it is often referred to as the 'birthplace of a nation'. In 1607, the first English colony in the United States was founded in Jamestown, which is now called 'Northern Virginia'. Richmond's population reached its peak in 1970 with a record population of 204,214.
Several striking colonial architectures, like the home of George Washington, Mount Vernon, are in Virginia, and they are open to visitors. Before the start of the Civil War, the state of Virginia had a maximum number of slaves.
During the US Civil War (1861-1865), Virginia became one of the confederate states. During the Civil War, more battles were fought on Virginia soil than in any other state. At both the start and end of the Revolutionary War, this state stood as a battlefield bathed in blood.
Virginians enjoy a rich and lively cultural life. You might be surprised to know that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1619, at Berkeley Plantation in Virginia. There are about 100 historical societies and museums in the state. The Virginia Historical Society in Richmond houses one of the most extensive collections from colonial America.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond was the first state museum of the arts and was established in 1934. Apart from this, the state boasts dozens of art galleries, ballet companies, orchestras, civic choruses, and opera and theater companies. The bluegrass and mountain-music festivals of this state are very popular.
English is the only language spoken by 86.7% of Virginians, followed by Spanish. Virginians are fond of classic American colonial architecture as it can be found in many of the houses and buildings. The literary culture of Virginia has emerged from the turbulent history of this state.
As many as eight United States presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, William Harrison, James Monroe, Zachary Taylor, Woodrow Wilson, and John Tyler, have called Virginia their birthplace. This is the reason Virginia is also cited as the 'Mother of Presidents' along with the title of 'Virgin Queen'.
James Madison was a key player in framing the constitution and, hence, he is also called the father of the constitution. John Tyler was the 10th President, and he was the only president to become one without winning an election. Woodrow Wilson was the president during World War I, and he successfully kept the nation out of war!
Zachary Taylor was the 12th president of the U.S. and he was hailed as a Mexican war hero. The Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson. Patrick Henry was a famous attorney and politician who became the first elected governor of the state.
Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson made their homes in Virginia. These were named Mount Vernon and Monticello, respectively. James Monroe was the fifth U.S. president. He introduced the Monroe Doctrine, a warning to European countries against colonization and intervention in the Western hemisphere. William Harrison is famous for having the shortest tenure as a US president since he died of pneumonia just 31 days after his official swearing-in.
In addition, six presidents’ wives, including Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, Rachel Jackson, Letitia Tyler, Ellen Arthur, and Edith Wilson, were born in Virginia. The state is also home to scores of other celebrities!
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Virginia facts then why not take a look at Indiana facts, or Kansas facts.
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