Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Virginia is for Lovers, Politicians & History

Hey there, BATWers! Welcome to Virginia, one of the Premier Battleground States in the upcoming Presidential Sweepstakes! Yup, we're a Purple State, and the race might just come down to how the candidates do in Virginia. We thought this snap would intrigue you just enough to get excited for your BATW tour thru The Old Dominion.


If you're wondering why The Scholastic Scribe might be a wee bit obsessed with Politics, it's 'cause we reside in Beautiful Northern Virginia, snuggled up against the Potomac River, just across from DC, Our Nation's Capital. Your Humble Scribe is a Journalism Teacher at Our Humble High School, where The Battle is On in our politically engaged & active student body, over who would make the Best Prez...but also about who will win the latest Dancing with the Stars competition...they are teenagers, ya know! And BTW: The photo above was created by some Photoshop Genius from the original DWTS snap of Mario Barrett & Karina Smirnoff!

Anyway, Back to Virginia. We can't speak for the entire state (although we often try to, living so close to the Seat of Power & all); in fact, some of our Down-State Brethren have accused us of not being Virginians at all! But we thought it would be appropriate, since Our Great State has so much history, to give you some Fun Facts about The Old Dominion. Thanks so much to 50 States.com for helping us out!
  1. Virginia was named for England's "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I.
  2. The major cash crop of Virginia is tobacco and many of the people who live here still earn their living from the tobacco industry.
  3. Jamestown, along the banks of the James River in the Tidewater area of the state, was the first of the original 13 Colonies. Jamestown was also the first English settlement in the U.S and the first capital of Virginia...Hence, our nickname: "Birthplace of a Nation."
  4. Arlington County, home to Arlington National Cemetery & The Pentagon (which is also the largest office building in the world), was originally part of the 10-mile-square parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be part of DC. Congress later returned that portion of the land to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Maybe that's why the Down-Staters in VA still think of NOVA (Northern Virginia, natch!) as a World Apart.
  5. Eight US Presidents were born in Virginia: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor & Woodrow Wilson. Six Presidents' wives were born in Virginia: Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, Rachel Jackson, Letitia Tyler, Ellen Arthur & Edith Wilson. Seven Presidents are buried in Virginia: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Tyler, Taft & Kennedy.
  6. The present state capital in Richmond was also the capital of the Confederacy. Virginia has had 3 capitals: Jamestown, Williamsburg & Richmond.
  7. The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg is the second oldest in the United States, founded in 1693.
  8. The State Flower is not really a flower, but the blossom of the dogwood tree, which is also the State Tree.
  9. The first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia.
  10. The American Revolution ended with the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown. VA.
  11. 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.
  12. 10th of the 13 original colonies, Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 25, 1788.
  13. The states of Kentucky & West Virginia were formed from sections of the State of Virginia
  14. About 1/2 of all the people in the United States live within a 500-mile radius of Richmond, our capital.
  15. More than one-half the battles fought in the Civil War were fought in Virginia.
  16. Robert E. Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, surrendered his men to Ulysses Grant, General-in-Chief of all United States forces, on April 9, 1865 at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
  17. More Virginians work for the United States government than for any other industry in the state.
  18. Virginia's largest private employer is also the world's largest shipbuilding yard, while The Old Dominion is also the home base for the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet.
  19. The Atlantic HQ of NATO is located in Norfolk, VA.
  20. The first Thanksgiving in North America was held in Virginia in 1619.
  21. Virginia has been dubbed the "Internet Capital of the World," because of the Tech Boom in Northern Virginia, which is our neck of the woods.
  22. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which runs between Virginia's Eastern Shore and Norfolk, is the world's largest bridge-tunnel complex.
  23. Wild ponies have roamed freely along the Assateague Island National Seashore--which is shared by Virginia & Maryland--for centuries. They make the swim between Assateague and Chincoteague every July. An aucton of some yearlings and younger foals benefits the Chinocoteague, VA Volunteer Fire Department. This tradition has been a yearly occurence since 1925.
  24. The world's only oyster museum is on Chincoteague Island, VA.
  25. Patrick Henry made his "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech in St. John's Church in Richmond.

Thanks so much for coming by, y'all! Hope you've enjoyed your BATW tour. Make sure to Dance Your Way to the Polls on November 4th. It's not who you vote for, ya know; it's the fact that you voted at all. And as we say in The Old Dominion, Y'all come back now, hear?

71 comments:

wenderful said...

Wow! I'm first! I just LOVE Virginia. We were there last September and had such a great time. My husband and I did an off road race in Western Virginia and then spent the next two weeks with the kids visiting Jamestown, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and all the wonderful museums in the area. It was one of our favorite trips ever. Your museums are incredible!

illahee said...

thanks for the tour! i visited DC a very very long time ago, i was in junior high. *sigh* i also lived in SC and my family drove through virginia several times.

thanks for the tour!

The Farmer Files said...

Much aloha from Hawaii! We lived in NoVa for 5 years before moving to HI. We are renting out our home there. I taught for FCPS when we lived there, and I went to an inaugural ball in '00.

JourneytoFamily said...

Great post! They say we're a purple state too (California) though I'm not sure I believe them! (visiting from BATW)

HeathahLee said...

You did a great job introducing your state! I have visted the D.C. area, but it was when I was a LOT younger! : ) I've also been to Richmond, but that's about it. I'd love to take my family there...we love history.

Sean Hogan said...

My vote is on it's way to the County Government Center! Probably isn't too hard to guess who it's for =)

sogratefultobemormon.wordpress.com said...

hahaha, that fixed up photo made me giggle. thanks.

and i was born in D.C. and raised in fairfax virginia til i was 18, so this was fun to see your post :)

night, kathleen

ladyfi said...

Great post - and I loved seeing the candidates dancing... wonder what the outcome will be?

Julie said...

Hi I am from VA Beach, dad in the military and then went to George Mason and lived in NOVA for a while...that is how I know Debbie...we go to the same church. I am now in Hungary... but LOVED coming back "home" through the blog...thanks for sharing...

Cairo Typ0 said...

Any state that is home to the world's only oyster museum is okay by me! LOL Thanks for the tour!! :)

Domestic Executive said...

Great tour, stuff I had no idea about. We're watching your presidential election campaign here closely. Can't wait to see the way things turn out.

Clix said...

Aw, man! That photo would've been great for a Silly Sunday!

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

Here from Arkansas. Thanks for the tour. I love to visit Virginia, it's such a beautiful state.
Love that photo.

Desi said...

I LOVE Virginia! Arlington Cemetary is the coolest place to visit. I've gotten some beautiful pictures from that place. DC is my favorite vacation spot.

Amy Kay said...

Thanks for the tour. Sounds like my kind of place where you can have the beach and skiing close by. That would be my dream come true, now all I need is the log cabin in the mountains. oh my...anyway, I'm visiting from Georgia, via BATW. Congrats on the spotlight.
HUgs, Amy ;)

Jenn said...

That was great , thanks for sharing all the cool facts . I would love to go there sometime!

Betty said...

How cool! The dogwood flower is the canadian national flower as well!
Loved your post. Very interesting!

Veggie Mom said...

Hey there, Melissa B.! How cool is that, that you're a BATW Feature today! Congrats to you, and thanks for the political/historical tour thru the Old Dominion!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Ack!! IT's totally who you vote for.... VOTE FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stacey said...

Thank you so much for that lovely tour! I just moved here to VA, and know virtually nothing about the state...all I know is about DC!! I guess I just perpetuate the view of us Nova'ers huh?! :) I loved the info!

Oh2122 said...

That picture is awesome!

Virginia has been on the news pretty much every 5 minutes around here. What's it like to live in a state that is not a foregone electoral conclusion like MA?

Now if we could just *get rid* of the Electoral College... but I digress!

Happy BATW day!

Jen said...

thanks for the tour and I love the photoshop work!

Ruthanne said...

That picture was a hoot! Appomattox is on my list of places to visit someday.

Thanks for the tour!

Lynda said...

You know I love ya and would be here anyway, but I am so happy you are on the BATW tour today! As always, great post... and the photo is priceless!

Amy said...

Congrats on your BATW feature. THanks for all the interesting info on your state :D

heidi said...

Great tour! I've always wanted to visit VA.

Tara @ Living A Dream said...

Stopping in from Nebraska. That picture is GREAT!! I loved the facts about Virginia. Thanks for letting us drop in today!

The Hultman's said...

Thanks for the tour! A great friend of mine is from your neck of the woods and I enjoyed my time there so much! We went in the spring so we got to see all your beautiful cherry blossoms!

Cant Hardly Wait said...

Hi from Louisiana! I love Virginia. It is such a beautiful and historic state. Thanks for the tour!

Elena said...

That picture was HILARIOUS! And my all time favorite flowering tree is the dog wood. Alas, they don't grow where I live, it's too cold.

Tamie said...

wow! i seriously think that you and the others that live in your neck of the woods are just so lucky to live where there is so much history and wow---i'm jealous as one that is a HUGE US history buff and has yet to go and tour the colonies (i think that i'm going to do it all alone though...)
thatnks for all the facts, that was a lot of fun!

Becky Welch said...

Great tour! I use to live near you! I love that area of the country! Hope you have a great BATW day!

Tracy P. said...

Thanks for the tour, Melissa!

1. Hilarious Photoshop pic
2. I actually knew #8 from An American President (or is it THE A. P.?)
3. They don't know that the real Internet Capital of the World is at BATW--it has to be a location in cyberspace, doesn't it?

Darcy @ LWM3B said...

The timing if this couldn't be more perfect. We are studying about Sir Walter Raliegh and Sir Grenville and the first fated attempts to colonize the New World. We just finished studying about Good Queen Bess - so your little history lesson was read aloud here.

Thanks for the tour, from another purple state,
Iowa...

Darcy
(aka The Janitor)

Susie said...

Greetings from Wisconsin:-) Congratulations on your BATW feature. I hope you are enjoying your day in the sun:-)

Thanks for your tour of Virgina and supporting my favorite candidate: Lizzy:-)

Tommy said...

Great tour! I'm so jealous - you're right there at D.C.! How great... especially at this time of year!

Kelley with Amy's Angels said...

I was actually born in Virginia at the Ft. Lee Army base!

Brenda Jean said...

Thanks for the tour! You actually make politics sound, ahem...likeable. My motto has always been "I'd rather stick a needle in my eye than talk politics." but I didn't even get the needle out when I read your blog. That's a good thing! I do vote though, and think it's great that you are encouraging people to do so. I like to vote, just not talk. BAHAHAHA The history in your state is incredible!

Louise said...

Thank-you for some fascinating facts. Beautifully written in real sentences.

Tara R. said...

Funny... I mentioned Virginia in my post today too. Loved the photo... got in trouble because I opened it at work and laughed way too loud. I have to remember to shut my door next time.

Shell said...

Happy BATW day to you. First, that picture is so funny. I love it. Thanks for the great tour of Virginia. It is a beautiful state.

~Trish~ said...

Awesome tour and I LOVE that photoshopped picture! I have forwarded it via email and have received it so many times!! Thanks for the cool blog!

Debbie said...

You did us proud Melissa! That was great...and you have mad photshop skills!

Joy in the Burbs... said...

Virginia is a great place. Our dear friends moved to NO.VA. (Fairfax) Their sweet kids dread when visitors come and they have to tour Washington DC one more time. They were kind and gracious tour guides though for us one spring break. It's beautiful up that way! Thanks for the historic facts.

Vicki said...

Yay! So glad to see you're featured today! We used to live in Hampton, for three years, and I loved it. I'd love to go back. With my husband's career that's almost a sure thing. I'll always have a place in my heart for Virginia. I had never lived there before, but when I found out we were moving there (from New Mexico) I couldn't help but think I was going back home. VA is barely in the South, but it was close enough for this girl who hadn't been in the south in seven years. Anyway, thanks for the tour and all the facts. I love facts!
P.S. Get your BPOTW post to me :)

Wendy said...

Loved the tour! So much rich history. You also made me remember how much I wanted to visit Chincoteague Island and see the wild horses there!

Hey, it's never too late, right? And if we did go, there's so much to see in your corner of the world -- we'd get a lotta bang for our vacation buck!

Thanks again for the tour. Love the blog.

Jennifer P. said...

i love how you combined the "this is Virginia" with the "go and vote" :) --- very clever! I suppose I can overlook your lack of sentence fragments :)!

Happy BATW day!

Gombojav Tribe said...

Thanks for the tour!

I'm wondering if "Virginia is for Lovers" and "Politics makes strange bedfellows" have anything to do with each other. ;-)

Dawn said...

Great post! Happy BATW day!!!

Aubrey said...

Wow! I would love to visit Virginia some day. Thanks for the tour!!

Frizzy and Bird said...

I learned quite a few things today thanks to your post. Love the pic of Obama and Palin. Too too funny! I bet it's fun to see and hear the kids get excited about this election! Sacramento CA had it's highest number of last minute registerers (is that a word?) on Monday. The 20th at Midnight was the deadline to register. Too cool to see our country get involved and care about our future. USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!

Marrdy said...

Have never been to Virginia but someday I will. Love all that History! I too love that picture of Obama and Palin. I need to learn those photoshop skills. Too funny!

EmmaP said...

love your pic at the top of your blog! thanks for hosting us today from BATW! you have yourself a cute blog here!

Lady Dorothy said...

Hilarious picture! (I love DWTS!)

I also thought your fact #14 was quite interesting. I guess I'm glad I'm a bit removed from ALL those people! :-)

Have a great BATW day!

The Sassy Mom said...

I love the photo of Palin and Obama....now, that's funny. I loved the tour through your state. You know a lot about what's going on. I'm not like that, sadly! I leave that to my husband. Anyway, thanks for the visit.

CC said...

I loved your post..it was wonderful..

CC said...

P.S. I forgot to say..I'm from Texas..:)

Shannon said...

Great tour! Lots of interesting facts!

And the pic of Palin and Obama is awesome!

Jori-O said...

I LOVE Virginia! Thanks for all the great little factoids. And my son loved the Palin/Obama pic! ;)

"The Queen in Residence" said...

Loved the stop to Virginia and that picture was priceless. Enjoy your BATW love today!!!

Trish said...

Great Facts!!

Virginia is one of the places we want to take our boys to visit in a few years!!

Enjoy you BATW day!

Michelle said...

I'm still stuck on the purple state. I LOVE that description. I did read through all the rest though. Definitely learned some new things -- really 1/2 the population lives within 500 miles? That's impressive!

Kimberlee said...

congrats on your BATW day! I have always wanted to go to virgina!! But now that i have read your post, I feel like ive already been there! Thanks!!

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

Thanks for the tour! You painted a good picture of Virginia. :)

LaDonna said...

Thanks for the tour! Love seeing the interesting facts.

Bilbo said...

From one (transplanted from Pennsylvania) Northern Virginian to another, Yee-Hah!

Mamasphere said...

This was one of the best tours I've read so far! Absolutely fabulous. I learned so much that I didn't know before!

Nifty Adventures into Denmark said...

a little late, but I wanted to say what a great post. It must be really interesting to be teaching right now in High school. The fact about half the people in the U.S live within 500 mi of VA is really interesting.

Ronnica said...

That's a lot of history! I've been to VA a few times, but really, just in passing, as I now reside in NC.

Congrats on your BATW day (I know I'm a few days late...)!

Kathi said...

Just reading through some of your older posts..sorry I missed ur BATW day. This is a GREAT post. Loved the px!!!

I am praying for Beany.

Joann Mannix said...

Congratulations on being the BON!

I dearly love Virginia. What's not to love?

And that picture is worth a bazillion words. \

Fabulous tour and such interesting facts.

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