What is Virginia Known For?

The old town of Alexandria, Virginia.
The old town of Alexandria, Virginia.

The US state of Virginia is located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the country. The state is between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Coast. Virginia has over 8.4 million residents with its most populous city being Virginia Beach. Virginia is the thirty-fifth largest state in the country and occupies an area of about 42,774 sq miles. It is bordered by West Virginia to the west and north, Kentucky to the west, Tennessee to the southwestern side, North Carolina to the southern side, and Washington D.C. and Maryland to the southwest. The Atlantic Ocean forms part of the eastern border. The state of Virginia is known for numerous things including:

Original Colony

Virginia was the first British colony in North America. The thirteen original colonies were split into three regions including the Southern, Middle and New England colonies. Virginia was part of the Southern colonies together with Georgia and Maryland. It was the first enduring English colony in North America. John Smith founded Virginia in 1607 and named it Virginia in honor of the Queen who was known as ‘’Virgin Queen’’. The colony was under the Virginia Company until when King James I revoked their charter in 1624 and made it a crown colony. King Charles II nicknamed Virginia, ‘’the Old Dominion’’ after the 1640s and 1650s English Civil War, due to its perceived loyalty to the crown. After gaining their independence from Great Britain in 1775, the colony of Virginia became the Commonwealth of Virginia. The states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio were part from the original territory of the Virginia Colony. The first profitable export from Virginia was tobacco. Tobacco farming had a major impact on the settlement patter and the society.

Mother of Presidents

The most prosperous, first and largest original colony is known as the Mother of Presidents since it has produced eight American presidents. The state produced four out of the five first American presidents. Virginia has provided the highest number of presidents in the country followed by Ohio (seven), New York (four), and then Massachusetts (four). The state has also provided about five American First Ladies. George Washington was born in Wakefield, in the county of Westmoreland, on February 22, 1732. James Madison grew up in King George, while James Monroe was born in Westmoreland County. Thomas Jefferson grew up in Albemarle County, Virginia. Other presidents from Virginia include John Tyler, Woodrow Wilson, William Harrison, and Zachary Taylor. The American first ladies who came from Virginia include Edith Bolling Wilson, Ellen Lewis, Letitia Tyler, Rachel Donelson Jackson, and Martha Custis Washington.

First English Settlement in US

Virginia was the first permanent British colony in North America after the failed attempts by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in Newfoundland in 1583 and Sir Walter Raleigh in Roanoke during the late 1580s. The Virginia Company established two settlements in Jamestown in 1607. These settlements include Popham colony on River Kennebec and another one on the northern banks of River James. Popham colony failed within the first two years because of conflicts with the native tribes, diseases, and famine. Jamestown was almost failing prior to the arrival of other settlers and suppliers in 1610. The first permanent settlement was on the eastern parts of river James, and it was founded as James Fort. Jamestown is where the British Empire in North America began, and it served as the capital of the Virginia colony for 83 years. The settlement was within Tsenacommacah country which was under the Powhatan Confederacy.

Busy Airports

Virginia is home to some of the busiest airports in the country, including Ronald Reagan-Washington Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. Reagan National is in Arlington Virginia, and it is the main airport that serves Washington D.C. and the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan region. It is a base for numerous American airlines. The Reagan National served over 21,195,775 passengers from March 2014 to March 2015. The second busiest airport in Virginia is the Washington Dulles International Airport. The airport occupies about 13,000 acres of land. It serves the Washington metropolitan region. It is one of the largest airports in the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan with over 21 million passengers annually. Dulles serves the highest number of international traffic in the Mid-Atlantic, and this includes 90% of the international flights in the Washington-Baltimore area. Dulles serves over 60,000 passengers on a normal day to/from over 125 destinations.

George Washington

George Washington was the first American President and one of the founding fathers of the country. Washington was born in the Colony of Virginia in 1732. He served as President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He died in 1799 in Virginia. Washington also served as the commander in chief throughout the American Revolutionary War.


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