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Virginia
Fun Facts


 

  • Colonial Era

  • Mother of States & Mother of Presidents

  • Civil War

  • 20th-Century History

  • Presidential Facts


Colonial Era:

Virginia is the site of the first permanent English-speaking settlement in North America at Jamestown in 1607. Here, the English met the Powhatans, a chiefdom of Algonquian Indians who lived in central and eastern Virginia. The New World's first English women and Africans came to Jamestown in 1619, the year and place where the Western Hemisphere's first representative legislature met. Virginia was the largest, most populous and prosperous of the original 13 colonies.

Virginia leaders including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, George Mason and Patrick Henry, played a major role in the Revolutionary War-era events and in the writing of documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

At Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781, British forces under General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to the combined French and American forces serving under the command of General George Washington.

Mother of States & Mother of Presidents:
Eight states were formed in whole or in part from Virginia, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. Virginia has produced more U.S. presidents than any other state: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.

Civil War:

More major battles of the American Civil War were fought in Virginia from 1861 through 1865 than in any other state. Today, one-third of America's most important Civil War battlefields are in Virginia, and most are open to the public.

20th-Century History:

America's first seven astronauts trained at NASA Langley Air Force Base in Hampton.

Blacksburg, home of Virginia Tech, is renowned as one of the world's first electronic villages.

Newport News is the site of the nation's most powerful continuous electron beam accelerator, located at the Thomas Jefferson National Acceleration Facility.

Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first test tube baby born in the U.S., was delivered Dec. 28, 1981, at Norfolk General Hospital.

Presidential Facts

Two Charlottesville places designed by Thomas Jefferson are listed on the World Heritage Foundation list of prized cultural or natural assets, ranking them with the Great Pyramids of Egypt. These are Monticello: Home of Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia.

The Capitol of Virginia in Richmond houses the only statue for which George Washington ever posed.

One of Virginia's nicknames is "Mother of Presidents" because no other state has produced more U.S. presidents than Virginia. The eight U.S. presidents born in Virginia are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.

Two other presidents were Virginia natives. They are Joseph Jenkins Roberts, who served as the first president of Liberia, and Sam Houston, who served as president of Texas.

According to Braddock's "Presidential Trivia," Thomas Jefferson - not caring for the stiff bowing prevalent among his predecessors - instituted the custom of having guests shake hands.

James Monroe furnished the White House with items he purchased at an auction of the possessions belonging to the executed Queen Marie Antoinette.

President William Henry Harrison and Vice President John Tyler were not only elected to the White House in the same year but were also both born in Charles City County, Va.

William Henry Harrison served for a mere 31 days before dying from pneumonia.

Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed the second Sunday in May to be Mother's Day.

Both Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe died on July 4 -- the first in 1826 and the other in 1831.

George Washington wrote a pamphlet on etiquette when he was 16 years old.

Zachary Taylor cast the first vote in his life when he voted for himself in the presidential election.

James Madison, at 5-foot, 4-inches, was the shortest president.

After leaving office, John Tyler became a member of the Confederate Congress.

Natural Bridge, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, was surveyed by George Washington and once owned by Thomas Jefferson who purchased it for 20 shillings.

Virginia Information Courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Tourism Website


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