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Nicknamed the 'Old Dominion' and the 'Mother of Presidents', Virginia is situated in the Mid-Atlantic and the South Atlantic regions of the US. Of the 50 US states, Virginia is the 35th largest in terms of area and the 12th most populous state. As of 2015, Virginia had a population of 8,382,993 people. Richmond is the capital of Virginia, while its largest city is Virginia Beach. Virginia comprises 95 counties and 38 independent cities.
History of Virginia
The history of Virginia dates back to many centuries. Before the Europeans made Virginia their home, the region was inhabited by native American tribes. In the 16th century, many European expeditions to the state were organized. Virginia was the first region of the Americas where the English permanently settled.
In 1607, the English founded Jamestown on the banks of the James River. Virginia had a prominent role in the American Revolution that was fought between 1775 and 1783. During the war, Richmond became the capital of Virginia. Virginia was also in the spotlight during the American Civil War fought between the years 1861 and 1865. On April 17, 1861, the state voted to secede from the US. During the Civil War, Virginia sided with the Confederate states and around the same time, Richmond was elevated as the capital of the Confederacy. Virginia was also in the news during the September 11 attacks. Around 190 people were killed when a hijacked jet passenger plane crashed into Pentagon in Virginia.
Geography of Virginia
Virginia covers an area of 42,774.2 square miles. To the north and east of Virginia are located Maryland and Washington D.C. North Carolina and Tennessee are located to the south of Virginia, while Kentucky is located to the west. West Virginia is located to the north and west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Around 65 percent of the state is covered with forests. Some of the mammals that can be found in Virginia include white-tailed deer, beaver, bobcat, coyote, black bear, raccoon, skunk, among others. The state is also famous for Walleye, brook trout, Roanoke bass, and blue catfish. Virginia has an abundance of national parks which boast of immense greenery and exotic flora and fauna. Mount Rogers, standing at a height of 5,729, is the highest point in the state.
Travel destinations in Virginia
Some popular tourist attractions in Virginia are: Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, which apart from a splendid view also offers numerous hiking trails. Here you would come across the Luray Caverns which are famous for its amazing stalactites and stalagmites formations. The Arlington National Cemetery contains the graves of many prominent US personalities. The most famous of these are President John F Kennedy's grave and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Busch Gardens is a lively park that has Europe as its theme. Other places worth visiting in Virginia include Manassas National Battlefield, Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, Jamestown and Yorktown, Virginia Beach, among others.
Transport in Virginia
There are five main airports in Virginia and these include Washington Dulles International, Reagan Washington National, Richmond International, Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport and Norfolk International. The state is also well-connected by rail with Amtrak passenger rail service running along many corridors. From Fredericksburg and Manassas, Virginia Railway Express operates two commuter lines into Washington, D.C.
Education in Virginia
In Virginia, the counties and cities generally operate the public K–12 schools. In Virginia, there are the general public schools, Governor Schools and magnet schools. There are approximately 176 colleges and universities in the state with some prominent ones such as the University of Virginia, The College of William & Mary, and Virginia Tech. The largest university in the state is George Mason University.
Interesting Facts About Virginia
- Eight presidents of the United States were born in Virginia. These include George Washington, the first President of the country; Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.
- Virginia is also known as the Internet capital of the world.
- Virginia was named the Elizabeth I. The Queen of England was also known as the Virgin Queen.
Last Updated on: June 08, 2017