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As part of our ongoing series on the 50 states, this POST will cover the state of Virginia, which was the 10th state to formally ratify the United States constitution, following New Hampshire and just ahead of New York.

Navy blue flag with the circular Seal of Virginia centered on it.

Quite often, as we work the fifty states for awards and/or endorsements, we may not be aware of some of the fun facts associated with those states. This series focuses on some historical, as well as fun facts about our fifty states.

Virginia is one of only four states called a “Commonwealth”. The four US states whose legal names include the term Commonwealth are: Kentucky, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. However, this term does not affect laws or life in these states today, nor did it when they were first created either.

Virginia is home to the largest “office building” in the world, better known as “The Pentagon”. The Pentagon serves as the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense including all branches of our military services. The Pentagon, however, has a Washington, D.C. mailing address. The building was designed by American architect George Bergstrom and built by contractor John McShain.

The Pentagon
The Pentagon in VA

Virginians were instrumental in writing the United States Constitution. James Madison drafted the Virginia Plan in 1787 and the Bill of Rights in 1789. Virginia ratified the Constitution on June 25, 1788.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, with 17.6 miles span (shore to shore), is the world’s largest bridge-tunnel complex. Its official name is Lucius J. Kellam, Jr. Bridge-Tunnel.

Project Information Board
Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel

Other Fun Facts about the Commonwealth of Virginia:

  • Virginia was named after Queen Elizabeth I, who was called the Virgin Queen.
  • Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution.
  • The Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. And it prohibits the governors from serving two consecutive terms.
  • Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk Virginia, is the world’s largest naval base. For those ex-Navy GERATOLers, perhaps you spent some time in Norfolk. I recall the sign posted in the park, which read: “Sailors and Dogs, keep off the grass” I was glad my stay there was temporary (TAD baby) !!
  • In some terms, Virginia can also be given the title of the “Home of the Internet.” Loudoun County hosts data centers that are responsible to cater to almost 3 quarters of the web’s traffic. The County has more than 10 million square feet of building space and more than 100 massive data centers. And there is no sign of this growth abating.
  • In 1607, Jamestown–the first English colony in what would become the United States–was founded in Virginia. Jamestown was also Virginia’s first capital. The town was established on the bank of the James River.
  • Bourbon, also known as American Whiskey, is often considered a Kentucky drink, but bourbon’s roots are actually Virginian; Fayette County was in Southwest Virginia, but in 1792, county lines were redrawn and the area became part of the new state of Kentucky. 
  • Both wars fought on American soil, the American Revolution and the Civil War, ended in Virginia; the Civil War at Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Park, where Generals Grant and Lee would meet to sign the surrender, and the American Revolution in Yorktown, where the combined forces of the French and American armies would defeat General Cornwallis for a final victory in the war. 
Appalachian Trail
  • Virginia contains 544 miles of the Appalachian Trail, more than any other state. Virginia also boasts the most photographed spot on the AT, the picturesque view from McAfee Knob. 

That’s it for now, hope you find some of the facts about Virginia interesting, and thanks to those Ops who put VA on the net each season !

Kevin N1KL Site Administrator

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