The Commonwealth of Virginia has about as much to its history as any of the United States of America. Virginia carries the nickname “Old Dominion” because of its former status as the dominion of the English Crown. It is also know by many as the “Mother of Presidents”, having been the birthplace to 8 American Presidents. There must be something in the water in Virginia, because it produced 4 out of the first 5 US presidents. These men were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. John Adams of Massachusetts was the only non-virginian president in the first 5 American Presidents. The state was named Virginia after England’s “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I. The first permanent English settlement in North America, and the first State Capitol was Jamestown established in 1607. Despite disease, hostilities with the Powhatan natives, and difficulty growing sufficient crops which lead to famine, the settlement survived. Since then Virginia has continued to play a major role in American History, with many important events taking place within its borders. The Battle of Yorktown was the final victory in the American Revolution, and General Lee of the Confederate Army surrendered to General Grant at the Courthouse in Appomattox on April 9th, 1865, marking the end to the Civil War. Along with the rich history of the State, Virginia has also been home to many famous people. Some of these people were the greatly respected Educator Booker T. Washington, Actor George C. Scott, tennis player Arthur Ashe.
With 65% of the state being wooded areas, it is safe to say that Virginia has its fair share of wildlife. Animals that would be found in abundance are White Tail Deer, Skunks, Groundhogs, and North America’s only Marsupial, the Virginia Opossum. The Opossum is joined by a fellow trash can raider, the Raccoon, which is also very common in Virginia. Virginia is one of 10 states that recognize a state dog, of which the American foxhound holds the honor.
If a person is looking for a prime vacation spot, don’t overlook Virginia. From Historic Jamestown to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, there are lots of both fun and educational things to do in the nation’s 12th most populous state. Virginia is strong in agriculture, producing large amounts of tomatoes, soy, and tobacco. But the primary source of income for its residents comes from working for government agencies such as the CIA and Department of Defense, providing the state with over 900,000 jobs.