Read this profile of Virginia to learn about the state's history, points of interest, and government. Also find interesting facts about each state, including the state's motto, symbols, and when it entered the union.
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Flag of Va.

Capital: Richmond

State abbreviation: Va.

Postal code: VA

Population est.: 7,567,465

Largest City (2005 est.): Virginia Beach, 438,415

Land area: 39,594 sq mi. (102,558 sq km)

U.S. Representatives: 11

Entered Union (rank): June 25, 1788 (10)

Motto: Sic semper tyrannis (Thus always to tyrants)

Origin of name: In honor of Elizabeth "Virgin Queen" of England

State symbols:

flower: American dogwood
bird: cardinal
song: NA
tree: dogwood

Nickname:The Old Dominion; Mother of Presidents

Residents: Virginian

Did you know: Virginia is home to the only full-length statue of George Washington. It was placed in capitol in 1796

Map of VA


The history of America is closely tied to that of Virginia, particularly during the Colonial period. Jamestown, founded in 1607, was the first permanent English settlement in North America and slavery was introduced there in 1619. The surrenders ending both the American Revolution (Yorktown) and the Civil War (Appomattox) occurred in Virginia. The state is called the "Mother of Presidents" because eight U.S. presidents were born there.

Today, the service sector provides one-third of all jobs in Virginia, generating as much income as the manufacturing and retail industries combined in 1999 and accounting for 23% of gross state product. (The largest component of the service sector is business services, which includes computer and data processing services.)

Virginia has a large number of manufacturing industries, including transportation equipment, food processing, electronic and other electrical equipment, chemicals, textiles and apparel, lumber and wood products, and furniture.

Agriculture remains an important sector, and the state ranks among the top ten in a variety of agricultural products, including tomatoes, tobacco, peanuts, apples, summer potatoes, sweet potatoes, snap beans, and turkeys and broilers. Virginia also has a large dairy industry.

Virginia is one of the top ten coal producers in the U.S. Coal accounts for roughly 70% of Virginia's mineral value; crushed stone, sand and gravel, lime, and kyanite are also mined.

Points of interest include Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington; Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson; Stratford, home of the Lees; Richmond, capital of the Confederacy and of Virginia; and Williamsburg, the restored Colonial capital.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel spans the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, connecting Cape Charles with Norfolk. Consisting of a series of low trestles, two bridges and two mile-long tunnels, the complex is 18 miles (29 km) long. It was opened in 1964.

Other attractions are the Shenandoah National Park, Colonial National Historical Park, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, the Booker T. Washington birthplace near Roanoke, Arlington House (the Robert E. Lee Memorial), Luray Caverns, the Skyline Drive, and the Blue Ridge National Parkway.

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