Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday Thirteen

Virginia Facts and Trivia
1. Virginia was named for England's "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I. Jamestown, located on the coast, was the first English settlement in the U.S. (1607 - 1699) and the community was the first capital of Virginia. The Virginia Company of England established the colony in hopes of cashing in on the silk trade. When that failed, tobacco became the main export. Jamestown was essentially abandoned when the state capital moved to Williamsburg and today the colony exists only as an agricultural site.

2. Soybeans have replaced tobacco as the state's major cash crop. Other agricultural crops include corn, wheat, cotton, and tomatoes. The first peanuts were grown in Virginia.

3. Virginia was the 10th state of the admitted to the union (June 25, 1788) and is one of the original 13 colonies.

4. Eight United States Presidents were born in Virginia: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.

5. Six Presidents' wives were born in Virginia: Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, Rachel Jackson, Letitia Tyler, Ellen Arthur, and Edith Wilson.

6. Seven Presidents are buried in Virginia: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Tyler, Taft and Kennedy.

7. The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, founded in 1693, is the second oldest educational facility in the United States.

8. The state nickname is the "Old Dominion." The state tree is the dogwood, and its blossom is the state flower. The state motto is "Sic Semper Tyrannis"(thus always to tyrants).

9. On March 9, 1862 at Hampton Roads, Virginia, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimac) met in one of the most famous naval engagements in US history. Their battle, the first of its kind between metal armored vessels, changed for all time the nature of naval warfare. Over one-half of the 4,000 battles fought in the civil war (1861-1866) were fought in Virginia. The last major battle, fought in 1865 between General Jubal Early and Philip Sheridan, took place in Waynesboro, VA.

10. Virginia is home to the largest office building in the world, the Pentagon, located in Arlington, VA. It has nearly 68,000 miles of internal telephone lines.

11. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is the world's largest bridge-tunnel complex.

12. Bristol, a city in far Southwest Virginia and in Tennessee, is legally two cities. The city is divided down main street, and each side has its own government and city services.

13. Wild ponies have roamed freely on Assateague Island for centuries. Two herds of wild horses make their home there, separated by a fence at the Maryland-Virginia line. These small but sturdy, shaggy horses have adapted to their environment over the years by eating dune and marsh grasses and drinking fresh water from ponds. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company owns and manages the Virginia herd, which is allowed to graze on Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, through a special use permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The permit restricts the size of the herd to approximately 150 adult animals in order to protect the other natural resources of the wildlife refuge. It is the Virginia herd which is often referred to as the "Chincoteague" ponies. The animals were made famous by Marguerite Henry's children's book, Misty of Chincoteague.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 501st time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. Since I'm a local ,I knew most of this but I enjoy history and love trivia so I'm happy you wrote your 501st about our lovely state.

  2. I'd like to understand more about why Virginia considers itself a commonwealth and does this mean rather than a a state. So many president and peanuts. I've been to that island but didn't see the ponies, but did see wild ponies while hiking the Grayson Highlands.

  3. I was just reading about the Chincoteague Ponies last week sometime. I'd love to have a few of them to cuddle on a daily basis. Loved, LOVED your homage to Virginia.

  4. How interesting! Especially there being a city that is half in Virginia and half in Tennessee. I definitely learned something today.


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