19 Interesting Facts About Virginia

Just when you think you know everything about “Old Dominion” you’ll be up for a surprise. From a ridiculous number of Presidents who hailed from Virginia to the world renowned Foamhenge, Virginia will keep you on your toes. Here is a handful of interesting facts about Virginia:

Virginia

Sponsored
Image: vidiani.com

1. Much of the United States was simply Virginia!

Virginia

I bet this would double the pride of Virginians for their homeland to know that much of the land we now call the United States was simply “Virginia.” All new lands discovered by the British were initially named “Virginia,” to honor the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I. Everything north of Spanish territory in Florida and south of French territories in modern day Canada were named “Virginia.” Isn’t that cool…!
Source: huffingtonpost.com

2. War over!

Surrender road, Yorktown
Surrender Road, Yorktown

Virginia is also known as the “birthplace of a nation” as the American Revolution officially ended here in Yorktown with the surrender of British General Cornwallis. Virginia also witnessed the nation’s rebirth with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee of Confederate States, ending the Civil War in Appomattox. Also, out of the 4,000 battles fought in the civil war 2,200 were fought in Virginia.
Source: awesomeamerica.com, image: Flickr

3. Mother of Presidents

President Woodrow Wilson
President Woodrow Wilson

Virginia’s boasts of being the “Mother of Presidents” as it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson. Four of the first five US presidents were Virginians.
Source: awesomeamerica.com, image: wikimedia.org

4. First ladies of America!

Edith Wilson
Edith Wilson

Six First Ladies (wives of US Presidents) were born in Virginia: Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, Rachel Jackson, Letitia Tyler, Ellen Arthur, Edith Wilson.
Source: 50states.com, image: wikimedia.org

5. Internet capital of the world!

data centre

Virginia was dubbed the “Internet Capital of the world” back in 1999. Ok, so it was a self-proclaimed title, when Governor Jim Gilmore, issued a Virginia license plate reading “Internet Capital.” Northern Virginia is virtually the Internet. Ashburn, in Loudoun County, has more than 5 million square feet of data space; as a result, 70% of the world’s internet traffic passes through Ashburn. These are some pretty impressive numbers (we’re looking at you, Silicon Valley).
Source: 50states.com, image: Flickr

6. Birthplace of Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving

Virginia claims to have had the true first Thanksgiving which took place in Berkeley, Virginia on December 4, 1619. It predates the school-taught Plymouth feast by two years. Though it was more of a religious day of prayer, not involving feast and also a bit different from the contemporary idea of the holiday, it is considered as the first true Thanksgiving.
Source: movoto.com, image: realclearreligion.org 

7. Home to world’s largest bridge-tunnel complex

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

The 18 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is the world’s largest bridge-tunnel complex. Comprising of two bridges and two mile-long tunnels, it stretches over the mouth of Chesapeake Bay and ties the city of Cape Charles with Norfolk.
Source: awesomeamerica.com, image: wikimedia.org

8. A paradise for students!

Dominator

In Virginia, kids don’t need to choose between homework and roller coasters. The state’s school year depends on the popular amusement parks, and the session can’t start before the first Monday of September, all thanks to the King’s Dominion law. Yippee…!!!
Source: huffingtonpost.com, image: wikimedia.org

9. Brotherhood is in the air!

Phi Beta Kappa Key
Phi Beta Kappa Key

College bros were literally invented in Virginia as it is the birthplace of both streaking and frats. Legend has it that George William Crump was the first-ever recorded person to streak across a college campus at the present day Washington and Lee University, in 1804. You can even thank Virginia for frats as the first college fraternity in the United States- Phi Beta Kappa was started by five students at the College of William & Mary in 1776.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, image: wikimedia.org

Sponsored

10. American Hercules!

Peter Francisco
Peter Francisco

Peter Francisco, Revolutionary War legend who is remembered as the 6′ 6″, 260 pounds “American Hercules.” was raised in Virginia. George Washington once remarked, “Without him, we would have lost two crucial battles, perhaps the War, and with it our freedom. He was truly a One-Man Army.”
Source: huffingtonpost.com, image: wikimedia.org

11. Virginia knows how to share!

Virginia has been nicknamed the “Mother of States” because of the number of states that were “born” in the Virginia territory. West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and, even a part of Minnesota were all a part of the original Virginia territory and formed using sections of the state.
Source: movoto.com

12. Dirty Dancing!

dirty dancing

Virginia is for lovers, but did you know it’s also for dirty dancing? Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia, boasts of being the site for the 1987 classic film “Dirty Dancing” which was entirely filmed here. If you are a diehard fan, you can still make a pilgrimage to the site and see for yourself the fictional “Kellerman’s Resort” which also offers a special “Dirty Dancing Package.” The lodge also has a stone Patrick Swayze monument to remember the now-deceased actor.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, image: Flickr

13. Vanity plates are Virginia’s thing…

Virginia vanity plate

Virginia takes credit for 1 out of 10 personalized license plates registered in the U.S. Virginia is truly for vanity plates lovers.
Source: movoto.com, image: Flickr

14. World’s largest office building!

Pentagon
Pentagon

The Pentagon, which houses the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington, is the largest office building in the world. It’s big enough to fit the entire U.S. Capitol into just one of the sides of the building. The office space of Empire State Building is also half, as compared to Pentagon.
Source: movoto.com

15. Pony swim!

Chincoteague pony swim
Chincoteague pony swim

If you’ve ever wished to watch “saltwater cowboys” corral ponies swim, Virginia is the place to be. Every year, “Saltwater Cowboys” corral more than 100 wild horses swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island in Eastern Virginia, where the ponies are paraded around and auctioned off to raise money for a local fire department. The Chincoteague Island Pony Swim celebrated its 90th event in July 2015.
Source: travelzoo.com, image: wikimedia.org

16. Anything for a good laugh, right?

Foamhenge, Natural Bridge
Foamhenge, Natural Bridge

Foamhenge, the Styrofoam replica of Stonehenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia was created by artist Mark Cline on the April fool’s day in 2004. But the April fool’s prank was turned on him the following year when giant fiberglass dinosaurs were placed all over his hometown of Glasgow. Now that’s called fooling around…
Source: onlyinyourstate.com, image: wikimedia.org

17. Oldest College building!

The wren building
The Wren building

No kidding! The Wren Building at William and Mary is the oldest college building in the U.S. The building was the heart of the newly started school and was popularly known as “the College.” Even though it was thrice ravaged by fire (1705, 1859 and 1862) it just keeps on keeping on.
Source: onlyinyourstate.com, image: Flickr

18. Home to the famous!

George Washington
President George Washington

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison ,James Monroe, William H. Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, Woodrow Wilson (Presidents), Arthur Ashe (tennis), Pearl Bailey (singer), Warren Beatty (actor), Roy Clark (country music), Henry Clay (statesman), Ella Fitzgerald (singer), Sam Houston (political leader), Moses Malone (basketball), Cyrus McCormick (inventor), George C. Scott (actor), Sam Snead (golfer) are some of the Virginians who made it big.
Source: awesomeamerica.com, image: wikimedia.org

19. Beware of the Virginian Laws!

Holloween

Children can’t go trick-or-treating on Halloween in Virginia. Spitting on a sea gull is forbidden here. It’s illegal to tickle women in Virginia, so you’ll have to find another way to irritate laughter out of your girlfriend. You may not engage in business on Sundays, well but there are exceptions for almost all the industries.
Source: dumblaws.com, image: wikimedia.org