Information about Virginia for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on highlighted word for more information.
A IS FOR AGRICULTURE, AMISH, & ARCHAEOLOGY
Virginia celebrates ARCHAEOLOGY Month in October, and there are several archaeology and paleontology events. The Virginia Museum of Natural History has permanent and temporary exhibits, festival weekends, and field trips. The state has many Archaeological Sites and some are on the National Register of Historic Places in Virginia. The Flint Run site has the ruins of the earliest structure built in the western hemisphere and has been dated as being at least 10,000 year old. Cactus Hill is one of the oldest archaeological sites in North America. A historical marker dedicated in 2015 states that recent archaeological work at Pocahontas Island has revealed prehistoric habitation dating to about 6500 BCE
Virginia has a variety of BIRDS. The State Bird is the Cardinal. Chesapeake Bay is on the Atlantic flyway path that many birds take when traveling north or south, and more than 200 species have been identified. Bird watching is popular and there are many Birding Hotspots. The Audubon Society has several clubs in the state. Many birds inhabit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The state has Important Bird Areas . The Raptor Conservancy of Virginia rehabilitates birds of prey.The Virginia State Bird is the Northern Cardinal.
Virginia has many BRIDGES including suspension bridges and covered bridges. The Humpback Covered Bridge is the oldest remaining covered bridge in the state. Virginia has 3 Bridge-Tunnels. The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel was the 1st bridge-tunnel in the world. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is one of the longest bridge-tunnels in the world. The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel was named for 2 ironclad warships used during the Civil War. Natural Bridge is a National Historic Landmark. Many of the bridges are on the National Register of Historic Places in Virginia.
Virginia was one of the original 13 colonies and is one of 4 states that use the name COMMONWEALTH. It has 95 counties and 40 independent cities that do not belong to specific counties. The term "county" is used in 48 of the 50 states for the level of government below the state government. Arlington is a county without a city and the smallest self-governing county in the country. Alexandria is a city without a county. Fairfax is the largest county and Highland is the the smallest. Virginia Beach has the largest population and Highland the smallest.
Virginia has all forms of COMMUNICATION including newspapers, magazine, radio, and television. The state has several telephone Area Codes, and Internet Service Providers. Webcams are located throughout the state.
The Fossilized footprints found near Culpeper have been identified as those of DINOSAURS that roamed what is now Virginia around 200 million years ago. A variety of other fossils have also been found in the state and the State Fossil is the Chesapecten Jefferrsonius. The Virginia Museum of Natural History has computer-animated triceratops as well as other exhibits about the natural history of the state. CLICK HERE for dinosaur coloring pages.
The Virginia State DOG is the American Foxhound and 1 of 4 breeds of American origin. George Washington imported foxhounds for hunting purposes. The state has many Dog Events. Service Dogs of Virginia raises, trains, and places dogs to assist people with disabilities. The State Horse is the Morgan - one of the earliest horse breeds developed in the United States. The state has Horse races, polo matches, and horse shows. Horseback riding is popular and the state has many Horse Trails and campgrounds.
Virginia provides free public EDUCATION is provided for children from age 5 to 18. The are also many private schools. The Syms-Eaton Academy in Hampton was the location of the first free school in America. The Organization of Homeschoolers provides information about homeschooling. Schoolbug and Great Schools provide information about public schools in Virginia.
A variety of EVENTS are held in Virginia. The State Fair is held in Richmond, and there are many County Fairs. Several Festivals are held throughout the state. One of the oldest festivals in Virginia is the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. The state has several rodeos. Virginia has some unusual attractions.
The state FLAG shows the State Seal on a blue background. The State Seal has 2 sides. One side shows Virtua as the Roman Goddess, and the other side shows Virtua as a warrior. Several Municipalities and Counties have their own flag.
The FOOD Timeline of Virginia dates back to Colonial days and food played an important part in the social lives of 18th century Virginians. The state has FOOD Festivals, Events, and Shows. The Commonwealth has a variety of Foods and is most famous for ham and peanuts. The State Beverage is milk. The Federation of Virgina Food Banks is a association of food banks affiliated with America's Second Harvest and is one of the largest hunger relief networks in the Commonwealth.
Virginia has had many FORTS. Some are now historic sites and some have been restored. Fort Myer was the last Army fort to house horses for cavalry officers and the 1st military base to have military aircraft. It was here that the Wright brothers demonstrated the military version of their airplane. Fort Ward was the 5th largest fort built to defend Washington, D.C. in the American Civil War and is well-preserved. Several plans for Fort Monroe after it is decommissioned are being developed. Fort Myer is headquarters to service personnel working throughout the National Capital Region and home to 2 battalions of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment. For Belvoir is home to a number of important United States military organizations.
The GLOBAL POSITION of Virginia is approximately 37.53 latitude north and 77.47 longitude west. The geographic center is 5 miles southwest of Buckingham. The highest point is Mount Rogers, and the lowest point is the Atlantic coast. The topography of Virginia is varied. Geocaching is a high-tech sport using a Global Positioning Finder and Virginia has many Geocaches.
The HISTORY of Virginia dates back for at least 12,000 years when Indigenous Peoples occupied the region. Giovanni da Verrazano was the first European to pass through the area in about 1529. The first English settlers arrived in JAMESTOWN in 1607. Virginia was the setting for some important battles of the American Revolution. The Yorktown Victory Center includes a Continental Army camp and a timeline walkway called Road to Revolution. Significant events occurred in the state during the War of 1812. Many Battles occurred in the state during the Civil War. The American Civil War Museum operates three sites: the White House of the Confederacy, the American Civil War Center, and the Museum of the Confederacy–Appomattox. The Mariners Museum includes special exhibits on the Civil War ironclad ship the Monitor. Virginia participates in National History Day.
Virginia celebrates Public HOLIDAYS and other special days. Many states claim to have originated Memorial Day including Virginia. In January the state celebrates Lee/Jackson/King Day in honor of each of those people who were born in that month. Virginia has 3 annual Sales Tax Holidays.
Virginia has a variety of INSECTS including many butterflies and moths. The Museum of Natural History has interesting facts about insects in the state. The State Insect is the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. The multicolored lady beetle was first detected in Virginia in 1993.
Virginia has many ISLANDS. Some are on the U.S. Islands Directory because they have a ham radio. The Barrier Islands give Virginia some protection from Atlantic storms. Lauck's Island was first plotted in 1608. Chincoteague is the largest island in Virginia. The Chincoteague Island Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history and traditions of the island.
The JUDICIAL System is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The Virginia Court System is comprised of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, circuit courts in 31 judicial circuits, general district and juvenile and domestic relations district courts in 32 districts, and magistrates in offices in 32 districts. The administrative office of the courts, known in Virginia as the Office of the Executive Secretary, supports the administration of the court system under the direction of the Chief Justice and the Executive Secretary.
Many aspects of life in Virginia focus on KIDS. Family Fun Getaways has information about special places in the state kids enjoy. Arlington Library and the Science Museum of Virginia each have a special Kids section. NOAA has a special page for kids. The state has a special page for kids about dialing 911 The Virginia Air & Space Center summer camps for kids. The U.S. Mint has a special Kids Page.
Public LIBRARIES are located throughout Virginia. There are also many Law Libraries. The State Library is in Richmond. One of the best-loved children's books, Misty of Chincoteague, tells the story of the ponies along the Eastern shore of Virginia. The state has a Poet Laureate.
Virginia has a number of LIGHTHOUSES. Some of the lighthouses are historic including Old Cape Henry Lighthouse which is the 3rd oldest, still standing, lighthouse in the country. The Cape Charles Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the state and 2nd tallest in the country. The Assateague Lighthouse is on the National Register of Historic places and offers tours. A lighthouse is an important aspect to the mariner.
Virginia has a variety of MUSEUMS. The CIA Museum is not open to the public but develops public exhibitions in partnership with the Presidential Libraries and other major museums and institutions. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has unique collections. The Mariners Museum Library and Archives is home to thousands of books, photographs, and films, and over 1 million pieces of archival material, making it the largest maritime library in the Western Hemisphere. Working farms from England, Ireland, and Germany are re-created at The Museum of American Frontier Culture.
The first inhabitants of what is now Virginia were NATIVE AMERICANS - the Paleo-Indians. They were followed by the Archaic Indian Culture. At the end of the 16th century, Native Americans living in what is now Virginia were part of three major groups. The largest group was the Algonquian who occupied most of the coastal area. Groups to the interior were the Iroquoian and the Siouan. Virginia now has several Tribes and 2 Reservations. The Pamunkey Reservation in King William and the Mattaponi Reservation near West Point are monuments to the great Powhattan Confederacy. In a custom that dates back to the 1600s, the Mattaponiand the Pamunkey Indians present the governor with a number of gifts every year instead of paying taxes. There are several Native American events during the year including Pow-Wows.
Virginia has several OBSERVATORIES and Planetariums. There are also many Astronomy Clubs . The Stokesville Observatory has a Clear Sky Chart. The Staunton River State Park is a Silver-tier International Dark Sky Park. The Chesapeake Planetarium is the first of its kind built by a public school system in Virginia. The state participates in National Astronomy Day P IS FOR PARKS & PEOPLE
Over 8 million PEOPLE live in Virginia and they are called Virginians. Many famous people have called Virginia their home including 8 presidents. Other important people include Pearl Bailey -singer; Warren Beatty -actor; Ella Fitzgerald -singer; Patrick Henry-statesman; Booker T. Washington -educator/author; and Cyrus McCormick - inventor.
QUILTING is popular in Virgina and there are many Quilting Guilds and Quilt Shows. The Virginia Quilt Museum is in Harrisonburg. The Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana, was founded in Vienna, Virginia. There are also several Knitting Guilds and Fiber Groups.
Take a QUIZ about Virginia.
Virginia ranks 3rd in the country in the number of REPTILES found in a state. It has many snakes including 3 species of poisonous snakes and many species of salamanders. The are many varieties of turtles. The Virginia Herpetological Society provides information about conservation and research of amphibians and reptiles. The state is part of the Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Program.
Virginia has RIVERS and Watersheds. Many of the rivers empty into the Chesapeake Bay. The New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world. The Potomac is an American Heritage River. The James River was used by English settlers to sail westward.
Virginia has a variety of TRAILS including Birding & Wildlife Trails and participates in National Trails Day. Part of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail goes through Virginia and it is considered the best trail in the state. The New River Trail State Park is a National Recreation Trail. Skyline Drive is considered one of the best road trips in the state. A road through Cumberland Gap National Historical Park closely follows the one blazed by Daniel Boone. The state has a Scenic Byway Program and Roadside Attractions.
Virginia has all forms of TRANSPORTATION. The Virginia Department of Transportation has developed for hundreds of years. It is responsible for building, maintaining, and operating road, bridges, and tunnels in the state. It has an Adopt-a-Highway Program and Special License Plates . To celebrate its birthday in 2002, Matchbox cars issued a vehicle for each state in the order in which it was admitted into the union. The vehicle for Virginia was the Chevrolet Impala Police Car. The Federal Highway Administration provides information about traffic and road closures in Virginia. The Transportation Museum in Roanoke traces history of the railroads.
Ten Ships have been named USS Virginia. The 1st USS Virginia was a sailing frigate. The 2nd Uss Virginia was a revenue cutter. The 3rd USS Virginia was a ship of line. The 4th USS Virginia was a captured Spanish blockade runner. The 5th USS Virginia (BB-13) was a yacht. The 6th USS Virginia SP 274) was a battleship. The 7th USS Virginia (SP-746) was a motorboat. The 8th USS Virginia (SP-1965) was a schooner. The 9th USS Virginia (CGN-38) was a guided missile cruiser. The 10th USS Virginia (SSN-774) is a nuclear submarine. The State Boat is the Chesapeake Bay Deadrise.
There is evidence that at one time Virginia had active VOLCANOES. There are 50-million-year-old lava flows in the Shenandoah National Park. Near Richmond much bedrock consists of granite which forms if lava cools slowly underground without being erupted.
The WEATHER in Virginia is influenced by the ocean. Summers near the ocean are cooler than farther inland. The current weather is provided by Weather Underground and NOAA. Virginia may be effected by Global Warming. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management works to protect people, property, and communities.
Virginia has a variety of WILDLIFE. Large animals include white-tailed deer, black bear, and bobcat. Small animals include fox, opossum, skunk, raccoon, rabbit, weasel, mink, squirrel, beaver, and river otter. Wild ponies live on an island. The State Bat is the Big-Eared Bat.Some animals are endangered. Virginia Division of Wildlife tracks animal species. Virginia has 14 Wildlife Refuges.
Virginia has several YOUTH HOSTELS and Budget Hotels. It also has Elder hostels now called Road Scholars. The Virginia Beach Hostel is 1 block from the beach. There is Elder Hostel at William and Mary College.
Virginia has ZOOS and Aquariums. Leesburg Animal Park has special events and educational programs. Virginia Zoological Park has 350 animals representing 110 species. The Luray Zoo is a Rescue Zoo dedicated to providing animals with a loving and caring home. At the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum, visitors can explore a Chesapeake Bay habitat through an aquarium exhibit.