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Interesting Facts About Virginia

Virginia is the 10th state of the United States. For history lovers, you will definitely love this state! Virginia can be rightfully called the cradle of the United States for various reasons. Our counry began in Virginia during the 17th century when it was the made as the first permanent English settlement. It is also the birthplace of the presidential dynasty, and paved the way for the nation’s growth during its early years. Know more about Virginia and brush up your history knowledge by going through this gallery!

During the 17th century all regions of North America that weren’t Spanish or French was then called Virginia. One of the earliest colonial expeditions by England to today’s United States were sent by the Virginia Company in London, England

On October 19, 1781, British general Charles Cornwallis and his 8,000 soldiers and seamen formally surrendered to American and French forces in Yorktown, Virginia while making an (obviously unsuccessful) attempt to invade today’s North Carolina. His troops by the had grown weary, hurt and battered.

Mother of Presidents

Virginia is dubbed as “Mother of Presidents” as eight US presidents were born there:

  • George Washington – born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, British America in 1732
  • Thomas Jefferson – born in Shadwell, Colony of Virginia, British America in 1743
  • James Madison – born in Orange, Virginia, in 1836
  • James Monroe – born in Monroe Hall, Virginia, British America in 1758
  • William Henry Harrison – born in Charles City, Virginia Colony, British America in 1773
  • John Tyler – born in Charles City County, Virginia in 1862
  • Zachary Taylor – born in Barboursville, Virginia in 1784
  • Woodrow Wilson – born in Staunton, Virginia in 1856

Four of the first five presidents were Virginians.

The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693 by letters patent issued by King William III and his wife Queen Mary II. It is the oldest insitution of higher education in the southern USA, and the second oldest in the entire United States, after Harvard University which was founded in 1636.

Richmond is the present-day capital of Virginia, but it was also the capital of the Confederate States during the Civil War (from 1861 to 1865). The previous capital of the Confederate States was Montgomery, which is now Alabama’s state capital.

In 1790, the Congress authorized the Residence Act, which gave way to the seat of the United States federal government to be sited on the Potomac River. First US president George Washington chose Arlington County to be a portion of Washington, D.C. in 1791. This very portion of Fairfax County which comprised of present-day Arlington County and Alexandria (a city in Virginia) became part of the District of Columbia.

The Richmond Union Passenger Railway was designed by naval officer and inventor Frank Julian Sprague in 1887. It may not be the first attempt to operate a trolley run by an electricity, but the Richmond Union Passenger Railway became the first successful one, after several trials. It began its operation in early 1888, and its success proved that electric traction was both reliable and safe.

Jamestown, Virginia was made as the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Jamestown was also the first capital from 1616 to 1699, when Virginia was still then the Colony of Virginia which was also the first English colony in the world.

Virginia is known as the “Birthplace of a Nation” because it has so much connection to the early history and establishment of the United States. Many of the early US presidents were born in Virginia. The state has another nickname as “Old Dominion” due to its former status as dominion of the English Crown. Virginia is also the first of the states to be settled. The number of states today — like Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others — once became part of the original Virginia territory.

From 1861 to 1865, Richmond was made capital of the Confederate States during the Civil War.

At present Virginia employs about 106,143 public employees, the most number compared to any other industry in the state. In fact, Virginia depends its economy largely on the local and federal government.

The first commercially grown peanuts in the United States were in Virginia — in Sussex County to be exact — during the 1840s. The large-seeded type of peanuts, the Virginia peanuts, are grown in Virginia of course as well as in other states like North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, to name a few.

The Blue Ridge Mountains is one of the thirteen provinces of the Appalchian Mountains System. It’s one of the most beautiful and iconic parts of the US landscape, and has been a popular tourist destination.

Native Americans (Powhatan) used to live at the foot of the mountains during the years when Virginia was still an English colony. They called the Blue Ridge as Quirank.

Kentucky used to be Kentucky County in Virginia until its residents petitioned for a separation from Virginia. The petition was finally granted in 1792, wherein Kentucky eventually gained its state status.

West Virginia, meanwhile, was obviously the former western section of Virginia until it seceded from the latter in 1863. West Virginia is one of the only two states to attain statehood during the Civil War, and the only state to form by breaking away from a Confederate state.

Tobacco has been one of the Virginia’s major cash crops; it used to be the #1 crop in Virginia until soybeans edged it out for the top spot.

Tobacco has been one of the major factors that shaped Virginia’s economy ever since the colonists first saw the Native Americans growing it. The white settlers saw a great potential in the tobacco as a great idea of getting wealthy, and quickly took advantage of it.

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