Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most-populous city, and Fairfax County is the most-populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population is over 8.54 million.
The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent English colony in the New World. Virginia's state nickname, the Old Dominion, is a reference to this status. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy. Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution. In the American Civil War, Virginia's Secession Convention resolved to join the Confederacy while the First Wheeling Convention resolved to remain in the Union, leading to a split that created West Virginia. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia.
is an independent city
located in the Hampton Roads
metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia
, on the Atlantic Ocean
at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay
. Although Fairfax County
is the most populous jurisdiction in the state, Virginia Beach is the most populous city in the state, as well as the 39th largest city in the United States
, with a population of 447,489 in 2012. Virginia Beach is the easternmost city of the Hampton Roads
area that makes up the core of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA
Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. Every year the city hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships as well as the North American Sand Soccer Championship, a beach soccer tournament. It is also home to several state parks, several long-protected beach areas, three military bases, a number of large corporations, two universities, Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment, and numerous historic sites. Near the point where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Cape Henry was the site of the first landing of the English colonists, who eventually settled in Jamestown.
The city is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world. It is located at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the world.
(1732 –1799) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States
, serving as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army
during the American Revolutionary War
. After victory had been finalized in 1783, Washington resigned as Commander-in-chief rather than seize power, proving his opposition to dictatorship and his commitment to American republicanism
. He also presided over the convention that drafted the Constitution
, which replaced the Articles of Confederation. The Constitution established the position of President of the United States
, which Washington was the first to hold, serving two terms in office.
At his death, Washington was hailed as "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen". As the leader of the first successful revolution against a colonial empire in world history, Washington became an international icon for liberation and nationalism. He is consistently ranked among the top three presidents of the United States, according to polls of both scholars and the general public.
This month in Virginia history
- September 11, 2001: Flight 77 is steered into the Pentagon Building in Arlington, Virginia, killing 189, as part of the September 11 attacks.
- September 19, 1676: The capital city of Jamestown is burnt to the ground during Bacon's Rebellion, by rebels under the leadership of Nathaniel Bacon
- September 24, 1960: USS Enterprise (pictured), the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is christened and launched at the Newport News Shipbuilding yard.
- September 27, 1903: The Wreck of the Old 97 occurs while the train near Danville, and is later immortalized by a popular ballad.
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- Capital: Richmond, Virginia
- Total area: 110,862 sq.mi
- Highest elevation: 5,729 ft (Mount Rogers)
- Population (2010 census) 8,001,024
- Date Virginia joined the united States: June 25, 1788
- Governor: Ralph Northam (D)
- Lieutenant Governor: Justin Fairfax (D)
- Attorney General: Mark Herring (D)
- Senators: Tim Kaine (D), Mark Warner (D)
- Representatives: Rob Wittman (R-1st), Elaine Luria (D-2nd), Bobby Scott (D-3rd), Donald McEachin (D-4th), Denver Riggleman (R-5th), Ben Cline (R-6th), Abigail Spanberger (D-7th), Don Beyer (D-8th), Morgan Griffith (R-9th), Jennifer Wexton (D-10th), Gerry Connolly (D-11th)
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