Country Singer — Virginia

Virginia (officially, and British, Commonwealth of Virginia) is one of the 50 States of the United States of America, located on the Atlantic coast South of United States. Named after Queen Elizabeth I, who, to the not having married ever, was known as the ‘Virgin Queen’. The State is known by the nickname “Old Dominion” (Old Dominion) and sometimes the of “mother of Presidents”, for being the birthplace of eight American Presidents (including four of the top five).

The roots of the modern Virginia go back to the founding of the Virginia Colony in 1607 by the Virginia company of London. Agriculture, colonialism and slavery played significant roles in its economy and its policy during the early stages. The first colony was English in the New world and one of the thirteen colonies that would participate in the Revolutionary war, and later became the heart of the Confederacy in the Civil war.

The capital of the commonwealth is Richmond, Virginia Beach is the most populous city and the Fairfax County is the political subdivision with larger population. 2006, Estimated that the population of Virginia was 7.642.884. Although traditionally conservative and historically part of the South, the modern Virginia is a politically competitive State for two major national political parties.

Virginia has an economy with several major settlements, including The Pentagon of the Department of Defense and various federal agencies in the North of the State, military bases in Hampton Roads as well as a production agricultural significant. The so-called “historic triangle’ includes the popular tourist destinations of American history of Jamestown, Yorktown and the living museum of Colonial Williamsburg. Growth in the technology sector has made chips the State’s main export industry based on the strength of their schools and their universities. Areas where the State needs to improve include health care and environmental protection.


Map of major cities and roads in Virginia.

Virginia has an area of it km², making it the thirty-fifth u.s. State by its extension. Its neighboring States are Maryland and the District of Columbia to the North and East; the Atlantic Ocean to the East; North Carolina and Tennessee to the South; West Kentucky and West Virginia to the North and West. Due to a peculiarity of its original Charter, its boundary with Maryland does not extends ahead of the South shore of the Potomac River, bajamar signal which makes Maryland and the District of Columbia to cover the full width of the river rather than be divided between them and Virginia. The southern border is set to 36 ° 30′ North parallel and has been a cause of territorial disputes with North Carolina in the history.

Geology and relief

Topographic Virginia counties map.

The Chesapeake Bay separates most of the contiguous part of the State in two counties peninsula known as Eastern Shore (Eastern Shore). Most of its rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, including York, James, the Potomac and Rappahannock.

Geographically and geologically, the State is divided into five regions. East to West, we find:

* Lowland coastal – coastal plain between the Atlantic coast and the fall, including the Eastern Shore and the major estuaries.

* Piedmont – based sedimentary and igneous Mesozoic in the foothills East of the Appalachian mountains, including the Southwest mountains mountains foothills.

* Blue Ridge – includes Mount Rogers and path of the Appalachian mountains, as well as higher points status.

* Ridge and Valley — includes Massanutten mountain and the Grand Valley Appalachian, carbonated underground rocks.

* Appalachian plateau – West of the mountains toward the Allegheny with a dendritic drainage which empties into the Ohio River basin system plateau.

Zone seismic Virginia has not had regular activity history. Earthquakes rarely exceed 4.5 on the Richter scale due to its location in the Centre of the North American plate. The largest earthquake, magnitude 5.9, came in 1897 in Blacksburg. Besides coal, State extracted resources such as slate, kyanite, sand and gravel, with more than two thousand million dollars worth.


West of the Blue Mountains unfolds a humid continental climate.

Most of the State East of the Blue Mountains, over the southern part of the Shenandoah Valley, has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa). In the mountainous areas west of the Blue, the climate becomes continental humid (Köppen Dfa). Influence moderator of the ocean from the East, powered by the Gulf stream, also enables the emergence of tropical cyclones near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, making the coastal area vulnerable. Although Hurricane Gaston in 2004 flooded Richmond, the hurricanes rarely threaten remote coastal communities.

The storms occur as regular, with an average of 35-45 days annual thunderstorm activity in the State. The most frequent storms development area is the West. In Virginia, there is an average of approximately 85 tornadoes per year, though most are F2 and minors according the Fujita scale. Cold air masses arriving in the mountains, especially in winter, can be significant snowfall regions, as the ventisca in 1996. The interaction of these elements with the topography of the State creates different micro-climates in the Shenandoah Valley, the mountainous Southwest, and the coastal plains.

In recent years, the expansion of the neighborhoods South of Washington D. C. in Northern Virginia have created an urban heat island due to increased output of energy more urbanized areas. The 2008 American Lung Association report, two counties received poor ratings in the quality of the air, with Fairfax County as the worst of the State, due to car pollution. Coal produces half of the electric power of the State, a third comes from two nuclear power plants and thermal power stations from natural gas and oil most of the rest.

Flora and fauna

Forests cover the sixty-five percent of the territory of Virginia. In some mountainous areas of the State, dominated by pine and occasionally grow naturally cactus prickly. At lower altitudes is easier to find with small but dense pine formations lovers of wetlands, as well as mosses in abundance. Other trees and plants that are usually include oak, American Walnut, chestnut, Maple, Tulip, mountain laurel, Asclepias, daisies and many species of ferns. Infestations of moths that began in the early 1990s have eroded the domain of oak forests.

Virginia has many units of the National Park Service, including a National Park and the Shenandoah National Park. Shenandoah was established in 1935 and covers the picturesque Skyline Drive, about 170 km which runs between the mountains path trail. It is popular for its changing colors in the fall of leaves, and is annually visited by more than two million people, be regarded as National Scenic site. Almost forty percent of the surface of the Park (322 km²) has been designated as ‘natural area’ and is protected as part of the national system of preservation of natural areas. Other parks such as the Great Falls Park and Prince William Forest Park are included in the National Park Service. In addition, has thirty-four State Parks, run by the Department of conservation and recreation and the forest Department of Virginia. Chesapeake Bay, while not a National Park, is protected by State and by the federal legislation, and the ‘programme of the Chesapeake Bay» led jointly by both administrations is aimed at restoration of the Bay and its watershed. The national Great Dismal Swamp wildlife is protected both Virginia and North Carolina.


Article principal: History of Virginia

Jamestown 2007» marked the year cuadringentésimo anniversary of Virginia, celebrating 400 years of the establishment of the Jamestown colony. Virginia has been at the head of the wars of independence, the civil until the Cold war and the war on terror for centuries. Large mid-to late 20th century social changes were expressed through celebrations which were broad popular support and emphasized the contributions of the three cultures of the State: nativoamericana, European and African.

Exploration and early Christian missions

The American coast, 1529, Diego Ribeiro cartographer map detail where the southern part of the East coast of the current United States. UU. named «Tierra de Ayllón».

In 1523, Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón, and with the authorization of the Emperor Carlos I of Spain, organized an expedition to find the northern passage to the Spice Islands, exploring the East coast of the current United States (States of Virginia and North Carolina); In 1526, Vázquez de Ayllón was the first European to explore and draw a map of the Chesapeake Bay. Established a brief village called “San Miguel de Guadalupe”. The location of this village is discussed, and some authors place it in what was then the town of Jamestown, Virginia, and others at the mouth of the River Pedee.

From Jesuits of Florida settled in 1570 by whether alone (no Spanish troops), in the region of Ajacan (current Virginia). In 1572 the Jesuits left missions in this area, being replaced by the Order of St. Francis. The first Franciscan Decade was a turbulent time in which posts were abandoned missionary, but returned to deal with later.

English colony

Portrait of Pocahontas tribe powhatan, an ancestor of many of the so-called ‘first families’ in Virginia.

At the time of the English colonization of the region, many indigenous peoples lived in what is now Virginia. American workplace tribes included Cherokee, the chesepian, the chickahominy, the mattaponi, the meherrin, the monacan, the nansemond, the nottoway, the pamunkey, powhatan, the rappahannock, the saponi and some others.[ 36 ] Often splits the natives into three groups, based largely on linguistic differences. The largest group is known as the Algonquian led by Powhatan, Chief powhatan (and father of the famous Pocahontas). In 1607, the native population of coastal lowlands had between 13,000 and 14,000 inhabitants. Powhatan controlled more than thirty tribes and 150 settlements, the so-called Algonquian-speaking Virginia. Two other large groups, like the nottoway and meherrin, spoke dialects of the Iroquois, and the inhabitants who lived at the foot of the mountains used sioux dialects.

Williamsburg was the colonial capital of 1699 to 1780.

In 1583, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted Sir Walter Raleigh a Charter to explore and to found a colony north of Florida. In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh explored the Atlantic North Coast. Raleigh, or possibly own Queen, called the area “Virginia” because Elizabeth was known as the ‘Virgin Queen’ by not having never contracted marriage. The name eventually applied to the coast from South Carolina to Maine, including Bermuda. The Virginia company of London was incorporated as a limited company by the Statute of 1606, which granted property rights over the area. The company financed the first permanent English settlement in the New world. Jamestown, named for King James I (James I, in English), It was founded on May 13, 1607 by captains Christopher Newport and John Smith. In 1609 many colonists perished during the so-called ‘hungry period’ of the loss of the flagship of the third supply, the Sea Venture.

Virginia House of Burgesses (Chamber of citizens) was established in 1619 as the colony’s elected Government, and was the first Legislative Assembly of the new world. During these early stages its population increased with the introduction of settlers and servants in the growing plantation economy. First black Africans arrived in 1619 and there are no laws on slavery, were initially treated as contracted, bred with the same opportunities of freedom than whites. However, in 1661 slave labour laws were passed, and disappeared any small quota of freedom that would have existed. After 1618, the system of land rights brought more servants bound by contract of Europe. In this system, settlers received land for each raised carrying. Native lands were expropriated by force and treaties, including the «Virginia Treaty with the Indians of 1677», which made the signatory tribes States tax. The colonial capital was moved in 1699 to Williamsburg, where the College of William and Mary had been founded in 1693.

Painting of 1851 of Patrick Henry’s speech to the House of Burgesses during the resolutions of the Legislative Assembly of Virginia against the Stamp Act of 1765.

The Chamber of citizens was temporarily dissolved in 1769 by the Royal Governor, Lord Botetourt, after Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee led speeches against British taxes without corresponding colonial representation. In 1773, Henry and Lee formed a Committee of correspondence, and in 1774 Virginia sent delegates to the Continental Congress. On May 15, 1776, the Virginia Convention declared its independence from the British Empire. Shortly after, the Virginia Convention adopted the Virginia Declaration of rights written by George Mason, a document that influenced the Declaration of independence and the Bill of rights. Then, on June 29, 1776, the Convention enacted a Constitution, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, that formally declared Virginia as an independent commonwealth.

During the Revolutionary war, the capital was moved to Richmond at the urging of Governor Thomas Jefferson, fearing that the Williamsburg location made it vulnerable to British attack. In 1781, the action French land and naval forces of the Continental Army and army combined, trapped the British on the Yorktown peninsula, where troops under the command of George Washington and French Comte de Rochambeau defeated British general Charles Cornwallis in the Battle of Yorktown. The British surrender on October 19, 1781 affected British public opinion, led to the end of major hostilities and secured the independence of the colonies.


The Virginian contributed decisively to the drafting of the Constitution of the United States. James Madison designed a draft of the Virginia Plan in 1787 and the Bill of rights in 1789 and ratified the Constitution on June 25, 1788. «Three-fifths» commitment secured State initially had the largest bloc in the House, and that along with his ‘dynasty’ Presidents gave the commonwealth national importance. In 1790, both Virginia and Maryland ceded territory to form the new District of Columbia, though in 1847 the area originally ceded by Virginia was recovered. Virginia is called sometimes “Mother of States” for his role in the birth of various States in the Midwest.

Richmond was the capital of the Confederate States of America.

The revolt of slaves led by Nat Turner in 1831 and the incursion of John Brown at Harpers Ferry in 1859 showed profound social unrest on the question of slavery in Virginia and its role in the plantation economy. Apart from agriculture, labour slave was also increasingly used in mining, shipbuilding and other industries. By 1860, almost half a million people, approximately thirty-one percent of its population total, were slaves.

Virginia broke Union on April 17, 1861, after the Battle of Fort Sumter, gave its military and ratified the Constitution of the Confederate States of America in June of that year. The Confederates decided to move its Capitol to Richmond. In 1863 forty-eight counties in the Northwest of the State separated from Virginia to form the State of West Virginia. During the Civil war, developed more battles in its territory than in any other State, including the first battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Chancellorsville, and the decisive Battle of Appomattox Court House. The Hampton Roads naval battle was also developed in the Chesapeake Bay. After the capture of Richmond, the Confederate Capitol was transferred to Danville. With the so-called «Committee of nine’ during the post-war reconstruction work, formally rejoined the Union on January 26, 1870, and adopted a Constitution which ensured black suffrage, a system of free public schools, and guarantee of civil and political rights.

Oliver Hill oversees the oath of Office of the first African American member of the procedure Office United States Department of Justice.

However during the culmination of the Jim Crow, era, legislators rewrote the Constitution of Virginia to include an poll tax and other measures on voter deprived Americans their civil rights, infradotando segregated schools and services, in addition to the lack of representation effectively registration. However, African Americans still created strong communities and achieved progress, and the first black students attended the Faculty of law at the University of Virginia in 1950, and Virginia Tech in 1953. Protests in Farmville initiated by activist for civil rights Barbara Rose Johns led lawsuit Davis against School Board of Prince Edward County, was won by natural Richmond Spottswood Robinson and Oliver Hill. This case was decided subsequently with the famous Brown v. Board of education (Brown v. Board of Education case. Virginia however declared in 1958 that desegregated schools would not receive State funding under the policy called “massive resistance” spearheaded by the powerful segregationist Harry f. Byrd Senator. In 1959 Prince Edward County decided to close their schools rather than integrate them.

The civil rights movement gained many adherents in the 1960s and achieved the moral force to gain national legislation for protection of suffrage and civil rights of Americans. In 1971, State legislators returned to amend the Constitution, once the goals, such as legal integration and the abrogation of the Jim Crow laws had been achieved. In 1989, Douglas Wilder became the first African American Governor in the United States access.

In 1926, Dr. Goodwin, rector of Williamsburg, Bruton Parish Church began restoration of colonial buildings in the historic district with financial backing of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (son of John D. Rockefeller) eventually became Colonial Williamsburg. The World War II and the Cold war led to massive expansion of Government in the areas near Washington programs. Virginia was target of the attacks of September 11, 2001, when flight 77 American Airlines crashed Pentagon and where one hundred and eighty-five people were killed. Tragedy struck again to Virginia in 2007, when thirty-two students were killed in the so-called ‘ Virginia Tech massacre ‘.


According to an estimate of the Bureau of the Census of United States in 2006 Virginia had a population of 7.642.884 inhabitants, resulting in increased 78.557 inhabitants, one per cent increase over the previous year, and an increase in 563.854 inhabitants, eight percent increase since 2000. This includes an increase from net migration of 276,292 people in the State. Immigration from outside the United States produced a net increase of 151,748 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 124,544 people.The Centre of town (the geographical point closest to all inhabitants of the State) of Virginia is located in Goochland County.

English was adopted as the official language of the State by statutes in 1981 and 1996, and by law in 2006, although official language status is not mandated by the Constitution of Virginia.[ 68 ] English is the only language spoken by Virginian though (86.9%), and spoken very well by a few additional 536.508 (7.5%), which makes a total of 94.3% of the commonwealth English-speaking. Spanish has the most speakers of other languages, with 412.416 people (5.8%). 240.332 inhabitants (3.4%) speak Asian languages and Islands of the Pacific, including Vietnamese and filipino.

Ethnic origin

The five older ancestry groups in Virginia are: African (19.6%), German (11.7%), unspecified American (11.4%), English (11.1%), and Irish – Scottish and Irish (9.8%). The majority of African Americans of Virginia are descendants of Africans enslaved you worked on tobacco, cotton, and hemp plantations. They brought these men and women from west central Africa, primarily Angola and the Igbo areas of Niger Delta region currently Nigeria. The so-called great migration of the 20th century (the transfer of approximately seven million Americans of the United States South to North, Middle West and West from 1910 and until 1970) of blacks from the rural South to the industrial North, reduced the African-American population in Virginia; however, in the last forty years there was an African-American population returned to Virginia reverse migration and the rest of the South.

The Western mountains have many establishments founded by Scotch-Irish immigrants before the revolution. There is also a considerable number of people of German descent in the Northwestern mountains and Shenandoah Valley. Anglo-Saxon heritage people settled in the State during the colonial period, and other British and Irish heritage emigrated there for decades in search of employment.

Because of more recent late 20th century and early 21st century immigration, there is a rapid increase in population (especially American) Hispanic and Asian. In 2007, 6.6% of Virginia’s inhabitants were Hispanic, the 5.5% Asian and the 1.8% native American, native Alaska Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Pacific. The Hispanic population of the State tripled between 1990 and 2006, of whom two thirds live in Northern Virginia. In contrast to Hispanics nationwide, settled in Virginia have higher median household income and higher educational attainment than the United States general.

Northern Virginia has the population Vietnamese largest of the East Coast, with slightly more than 99,000 Vietnamese residents, whose major wave of immigration followed the Viet Nam Guerra. Due to its relationship with the Navy, Hampton Roads has a substantial population filipina, estimated at approximately 45,000 people. Virginia also remains home to eight federally recognized with other six tribes recognized by the State Amerindian tribes.

Virginia is divided into independent cities and counties, which operate in the same way. According to the U.s. Census Bureau, independent cities are considered equivalent to the County. In 2006, thirty-nine of the forty-two independent cities of United States were in Virginia. The incorporated cities are recognized as part of its 95 counties, but they are not independent. There are also hundreds of various unincorporated communities. The State has no other policies, such as towns or municipalities subdivisions.

Virginia has eleven metropolitan statistical areas. Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, and Richmond-Petersburg are the three most populated state metropolitan areas. Richmond is the capital of Virginia, and its metropolitan area has a population of over 1.2 million people. Virginia Beach is the most populous city, with second Norfolk and Chesapeake in third. Norfolk forms the urban heart of the metropolitan area, which is home to more than 1.7 million people and the world’s largest naval base.

Although it has not been incorporated as a city, Fairfax County is the most populous, with over one million residents town. Fairfax has a major urban business and shopping center in Tysons Corner, Virginia’s largest Office Center. The neighboring Loudoun County, the county seat at Leesburg, is the County growth fastest United States. The Arlington County, the smallest autonomous county of United States area, consists of an urban community organized as a County.[ 86 ] Roanoke, with 292.983 inhabitants, is the largest in West Virginia metropolitan statistical area. Suffolk, which includes a portion of the Great Dismal Swamp (great swamp sad) is the largest city in extension.

Virginia is predominantly Protestant; the Baptists are the largest single group with thirty percent of the population. Baptist denominational groups include the Baptist General Association of Virginia, with about 1,400 member churches, which supports both the Southern Baptist Convention as to the moderate community cooperative Baptist; and the Baptist conservatives of the South of Virginia with over 500 affiliated churches, which supports the Southern Baptist Convention. Catholics are the second largest, group and with the largest increase between 1990 and 2000.

The Catholic diocese of Arlington includes most of the Northern Virginia, Catholic churches while the Diocese of Richmond covers the rest. The Synod of Virginia is responsible for the Lutheran Church congregations. The Diocese of Virginia, Virginia South and Southwest Virginia episcopal holds several Episcopal churches. In November 2006, fifteen conservative Episcopal churches voted to secede from the diocese and the main church of the Anglican Communion because of the issue of sexuality and sorting of clergy and bishops openly gay s. State law allows parishioners to determine your membership to a church. The outcome of the case of legal ownership resulting is a test for Episcopal churches nationwide, as the diocese claims the properties of those congregations that want to secede Church.

Among the followers of “other religions” the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints is 0.75% of the population, while Buddhism and Hinduism share one percent each. Although a small part of the population in terms of the total State, the Jews have been present since 1791.Muslims are a fast-growing religious group but it has experienced some prejudices. Non-denominational megaiglesias State include McLean biblical Church and Immanuel Bible Church.


Tourism is an important sector in the economy of Virginia Beach.

Virginia’s economy is well balanced and has varied, providing employment to 4.1 million civilian workers income sources. In 2006, Forbes magazine named the best State in the nation for business. The Gross domestic product of Virginia was 382.964 million dollars in 2007. According to the 2000 census, had the highest number of counties and independent cities, fifteen, situated between 100 counties richer in the United States median household income. Furthermore, next to Colorado, also has more counties, ten, between 100% with higher per capita income. Since 2007, seven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the Richmond metropolitan area. Virginia has seventeen companies in the Fortune 500, tenth nationwide. Additionally, ten Fortune 1000 companies are in Northern Virginia, with a total of twenty-nine in the State. With only 1% of Hispanic population, the State has 3.6% of the companies in the Hispanic 500.

The Pentagon, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense in the County of Arlington, is the largest building in offices worldwide.

Virginia has the highest concentration of technology workers than any u.s. State. A third of jobs in the State are in the services sector. Chips became more gross export State in 2006, surpassing the main traditional exports of coal and tobacco combined. Northern Virginia, which was considered the dairy state capital now produces software, communications technology and consulting companies. The near of the Washington-Dulles International Airport, Dulles technology corridor has a high concentration of Internet, communications and software engineering firms. In 2006, Fairfax and Loudoun in Northern Virginia counties were the first and second, respectively, higher median household income of all counties in the United States.

Many people with higher education in Northern Virginia work directly to federal agencies. Many others work for Government, contractors including security and defence. Famous government agencies established in Northern Virginia include the Central Intelligence Agency (better known by its acronym in English, CIA) and United States Department of Defense, as well as National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Geological Survey (USGS) and United States trademark and Patent Office. The Hampton Roads area contains the highest concentration of military bases and ancillary facilities of any metropolitan area in the world. The largest of them is the Norfolk Naval Base. The second State is after Alaska, defence spending per capita.

In Southern Virginia, Hampton Roads to Richmond and the County of Lee, the economy is based on military installations, such as cattle vaccine, agriculture tobacco and peanut. Approximately twenty percent of Virginian jobs belong to agriculture, with 47,000 farms, with average 732 m². The cultivation of tomatoes surpassed of soybean as more productive harvest in 2006, with production of peanuts and Hay as other agricultural products. The oysters are an important part of the Chesapeake Bay economy, but its population and their catches have decreased, due to disease, pollution and overfishing. The wineries and vineyards in Northern Neck of the Blue Ridge Mountains also have begun to generate income and attract tourists.


Culture and colonial Virginia style are represented in Williamsburg.

The historical culture of Virginia was popularized and spread through the United States and South to Washington, Jefferson and Lee. Their houses represented it as place of birth of the United States and South. The culture of the modern Virginia is a subculture of the from the South of United States, although also displays items in the North. Based on geography and language, the Smithsonian divides Virginia new cultural regions. Although the Piedmont dialect is one of the most famous with its strong influence on Southern American English, also presents other accents, including the Tidewater dialect and the anachronistic Elizabethan Tangier Island, as well as a more homogenised American English in urban with a lot of influences.

In addition to the typical cuisine of the South, Virginia maintains their own particular traditions. Many parts of the State produces wine. Smithfield ham, sometimes called Virginia ham, is a type of cured ham and usually very salty is protected by the laws of the State, and can occur only in the town of Smithfield. The furniture and architecture are typical of American colonial architecture. Thomas Jefferson, and many of the early leaders of the State favored style neoclassical, using important government buildings. The Pennsylvania Dutch and their style is also found in parts of the State.

Fine and performing arts Arts

The Meadow Pavilion is one of the theatres of arts performing Wold Trap National Park.

The Foundation for the Humanities Virginia works to improve commonwealth’s civic, cultural and intellectual life. The Virginia Museum of fine arts is funded by the State, which has the largest collection of Fabergé eggs outside of Russia Museum. The Chrysler Museum of art has many from pieces of the collection of the family of Chrysler, including the final sculpture of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Other museums include the popular Museum of science in Virginia, the Steven f. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Museum of air and space, the frontier culture Museum and the Museum of the Navy. Apart from these, the State has many museums to outdoor and battlefields as Colonial Williamsburg, Campo de Richmond national battlefield and Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania national military Park.

The National Park for the performing arts Wolf Trap is located in Vienna and is the only national park designed for use as a performing arts center. Wolf Trap hosts the eponymous Opera company, which produces an Opera festival every summer. The Harrison Opera Palace in Norfolk is the official seat of Virginia Opera. The State Symphony Orchestra is headquartered in Hampton Roads. The American Shakespeare Center is located in Staunton and hosting resident theatre companies and others who are on tour. Other notable theatres include the Ferguson Center for the arts, the Barter theater and the Landmark theater.

Virginia has launched many award-winning artists of folk music as well as popular music international success. Ralph Stanley, Patsy Cline, the Statler brothers and the Carter Family are award winners of bluegrass and country musicians, and Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey were both Newport News. Hip hop and rhythm and blues such as Missy Elliott, Timbaland, The Neptunes, Chris Brown, and Clipse singers come from the commonwealth. The Neptunes produced 43% of all songs on American radio in 2003. The Virginia singer-songwriters include Jason Mraz and bands like the Pat McGee Band and the Dave Matthews Band, who continue their strong connection to charitable organizations in Charlottesville jam. The influential alternative rock GWAR Group began at Virginia Commonwealth University. The local main interpretation of the State include the Birchmere, theatre Norva, John Paul Jones Arena, Nissan Pavilion, the Patriot Center and the Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater.


Many of its counties and towns celebrate fairs and festivals such as Virginia Lake which takes place during the third weekend in July in Clarksville. Virginia State Fair is held in the international circuit of Richmond (sede usual racing NASCAR) each September. Fairfax County sponsors the Celebrate Fairfax! second end week after Memorial Day. In Virginia Beach, the end of September brings the Neptune Festival, celebrating in the city, the coast and with regional artists.

The annual feast of Chincoteague Pony Swim shows over two hundred ponies savages that swim through the Assateague channel in Chincoteague.

On the Eastern Shore island of Chincoteague ponies Chincoteague Pony Swim & Auction Maroons in late July is a unique local tradition expanded with a week-long Carnival celebration. The six-day Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is held annually in Winchester and includes parades and bluegrass concerts. From 2005 to 2007, Richmond was host to the national Folk Festival (important festival multicultural, which takes place in the United States.) UU. (since 1934). The Festival of fine arts in Northern Virginia is carried out during a weekend of may in Reston.

Two major film festivals, the Virginia Film Festival and the VCU French Film Festival, is held annually in Charlottesville and Richmond, respectively. Fans of the State conventions include Anime USA, the National Convention of anime held in Crystal City, the Anime mid-Atlantic held in several cities, the Magfest is a festival of games and music, and consisting of a science fiction which is carried out in Richmond Convention RavenCon.


The city of McLean is the headquarters of the USA Today, biggest run of U.S. newspaper. UU.

There are twenty-one stations television in Virginia, that represent each of the major u.s. networks, part of forty-two stations serving Virginia viewers. Approximately 352 radio stations broadcast in Virginia. The Public Broadcasting Service (service broadcast public), the American public string of television, which broadcasts nationwide, is headquartered in Arlington. CA local Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation, a non-profit corporation which owns public TV and radio stations has offices throughout the State.

The main newspapers in the State include the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Virginian-Pilot, headquartered in Norfolk, The Roanoke Times and Daily Press headquartered in Newport News. The Times-Dispatch has a daily circulation of 186.441 copies, slightly higher than the of the Pilot, with 183.024, which places them at the fifty-fifty and two of the nation, respectively, while the Roanoke Times has 97.557 daily subscribers. Several newspapers of Washington D. C. are headquartered in Northern Virginia, as The Washington Examiner and The political. Putting into circulation of the nation, USA Today, major newspaper is headquartered in McLean. The Freedom Forum, headquartered in Arlington, is an organization dedicated to free press and freedom of journalistic expression. Apart from traditional forms of media, Virginia is home to companies of telecommunications as the Sprint Nextel and XO Communications. The so-called Dulles technology corridor contains lines that circulates more than half of all worldwide Internet traffic.


University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, is considered World Heritage by the Unesco.

The public schools of ‘K-12’ in Virginia are administered by Governments of counties and cities, and not by the State. Its educational system is located consistently in the assessment of progress in the education of the Department of education of the United States among the top ten States, with their students exceeding the average in all specialties and educational levels evaluated by the educational administration. The newspaper Education week’s Quality Counts 2008 report ranked Virginia as the fifth best in the country ‘K-12’ education. All school divisions must adhere to the educational standards set by the Virginia Department of education, which maintains an assessment and accreditation known as Standards of Learning (learning standards) to ensure their accountability regime. In 2004, Virginia had an average graduation in higher education 79,3%, which is the highest nineteenth in the nation.

During the academic year 2007 / 2008 there were a total of 1,863 schools local and regional in the commonwealth, including three ‘schools Charter’ (public independent schools, which are not administered by the Government, but dependent on public budgets), and 104 additional alternative and special education centers that focus on 134 school divisions. In addition to general public schools in Virginia, there is the Governor’s schools and the selective magnet schools (literally ‘magnetic schools’ are specialized, curriculum and graduate schools). The Thomas Jefferson high school for science and technology, a public school, but selective admission is classified as the best secondary school (high school) public United States. The Governor’s schools are a series of more than forty magnet high schools regional selective admission and programs intended to gifted students summer. The Virginia Council for private education oversees the regulation of private schools.

The Langley High School in Fairfax County.

Public Virginia often secondary schools are well valued with the Langley High School ranked in the nation according to the prestigious magazine us News & World Report, with the Clarke County High School (Berryville) thirty-sixth best high school public at the forty-eight and the h-B Woodlawn in Arlington at sixteen, according to The Washington Post Challenge Index. Northern Virginia schools also pay students testing access fees to access ‘Advanced placement’ and ‘ IB ‘ programmes, and the city of Alexandria and Arlington County leads the nation in examinations for these two programs.

Two of the top ten universities American public are located in Virginia, according to the annual report for the University academic ranking of U.S. News and World Report. University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, is ranked in second place and The College of William and Mary, the second oldest university in the United States is classified in sixth position. The James Madison University has been the number one at the level of master in South public University since 1993. Virginia is also home to the Virginia Military Institute, the State Military Academy oldest United States and classified in the first positions of the country as a public college of liberal arts. The Virginia Commonwealth University with more than 30,000 students is the largest University in the State, followed closely by George Mason University.  The Polytechnic Institute and State University Virginia, better known as “Virginia Tech” and the Virginia State University are the universities selected by the State to receive grants from the so-called laws of 1862, 1890 Morrill. The State also operates twenty-three colleges on forty campuses serving over 240,000 students.


Hospital of St. Mary’s in Richmond.

Unlike its nationally leading education system, Virginia has a contradictory health record. Virginia percentage of premature deaths, drops to # twenty-three of United States 855,6 for every 100,000. According to the 2007 United Health Foundation’s Health Rankings, is positioned as the twenty-second Healthiest State in the United States with data as 81.5 percent of children 19-35 months receive a comprehensive vaccination or that since 1990 the smoking rate has dropped from 32.7% to 19.3 per cent of the population, but with challenges such as a high rate of 7.3 deaths per 1,000 live births, infant mortality a high frequency of infectious diseases of 17.9 cases per 100,000 population, a high number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases 302,4 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants and a high number of deaths from cancer with 201,9 deaths per 100,000 population. In 2007, Virginia had a 25.3% obesity rate in adults, 2003 30% of young people between 10 and 17 years was overweight or obese was, and only 78 per cent of the residents did exercise regularly. In 2005, 86.4% of the Virginian had health insurance.

There are eighty-five hospitals in Virginia listed in the Department of health and human services of the United States. Notable examples include the Inova Fairfax Hospital, the largest hospital in the Washington metropolitan area, and the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), the medical school of Virginia Commonwealth University, which is home to the national oldest organ transplant program. The University of Virginia Medical Center, part of the health system of the University of Virginia, which according to U.S.News & World Report is ranked the eighth position in the field of Endocrinology in the nation, and the best in the South. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, part of Hampton Roads based on the Sentara health system, is also rated at national level, and was the first birthplace by in vitro fertilization in the United States.


Main terminal Washington-Dulles International Airport, designed by architect Eero Saarinen.

In 2007, the State Government of Virginia owned and administered the 84.6% of roads State, rather than counties or cities local authorities. 93.155 km total km run are under the direction of the Virginia Department of transportation, making it the third largest United States State Highway System. Your road system is ranked as the eighteenth in the nation. While the Washington metropolitan area has the second worst traffic in the nation, Virginia as a whole is the twenty-first less congested. With low disbursements both roads and bridges, and a low percentage of traffic accidents, has a good system with a tight budget. The average duration of daily trips to the workplace is 22.2 minutes.

Virginia has five major airports: Washington-Dulles International Airport, the Ronald Reagan National Airport, the Richmond International Airport, the Norfolk International Airport and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. In total, sixty-six public airports serve the State Aviation needs. Northern Virginia company Space Adventures is currently the only company worldwide offering space tourism. The main port State is Hampton Roads, which is also the largest port complex United States and moves over 50 million tonnes of goods per year.

Virginia has Amtrak passengers from various brokers rail service, and Virginia Railway Express maintains two commuter lines to Washington d.c. from Fredericksburg and Manassas. The Washington Metro rapid transit system currently serves Northern Virginia, and West as Fairfax County, the State and it is estimated that its expansion with a line of the metro to reach Dulles Airport in Loudoun County by 2015. The Department of transportation operates several free ferries of the State, notably the Jamestown-Scotland ferry which crosses the James River in Surry County.

Law and Government

In the Virginia colonial, freemen elected lower House of the legislature, called House of Burgesses (Chamber of citizens), which along with the Governor’s Council, formed the ‘General Assembly’. Founded in 1619, the Virginia General Assembly is still the oldest legislature in the Western Hemisphere. The modern government is classified as ‘A-‘, the highest grade in the nation, by the Pew Research Center, an honor it shares with only two other States.

The building of the Congress of the State of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson and begun by Governor Patrick Henry in 1785, recently underwent major reforms.

Virginia is governed by the Virginia Constitution of 1971, the seventh Constitution of the State, which provides less official elected than the previous Constitution with a strong legislative and a unified judicial system. Similar to the structure federal, the Government is divided into three branches: legislative, Executive and judicial. It the legislature is the General Assembly, a body bicameral consisting of one hundred members of the House of delegates and forty members of the Senate, that drafting laws to the commonwealth. The Assembly is stronger than the Executive, where Governors may not occur for re-election, and the General Assembly selects judges and magistrates. In the year 2010 was elected as Governor Tim Kaine. Other members of the Executive Branch include the Lieutenant Governor and the Minister of justice. The judiciary is formed by the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia Court of appeals, the General district courts and the high courts.

The «code of Virginia’, Code of Virginia, is the statutory law and contains codified law of the General Assembly. Virginia State police is the largest state law enforcement agency. Virginia police of the Congress is the oldest United States Police Department. The army of the Virginia National Guard consists 7,500 soldiers more 1,200 Airmen in the air force of the National Guard of Virginia. The ‘total crime risk’ is 29% lower than the national average. However in 2006, Virginia saw 341 crimes related to the racial hate, the sixth highest number of the nation. Since the resumption in 1976 of the death penalty in Virginia, 101 people have been executed, the second highest figure in the United States (after Texas).


Bob McDonnell, 71 ° Governor of Virginia, took office in 2010.

During the last century Virginia has changed from a predominantly rural state, politically southern and conservative, one more urbanized and an environment politically more pluralistic. Rural areas of South and East of the State are related to the Republican party, while urban centres and the outskirts of Washington, as Arlington and Fairfax counties, are mostly related to the Democratic Party. African Americans were deprived of suffrage law effectively the adoption of legislation on civil rights in the middle of the 1960s, which was one of the “Great migration” catalysts of early 20th century to the cities of the North until after. The granting of the right to vote and immigration of other groups, especially Hispanics, have demonstrated the increasing importance of the vote of minorities.

Regional differences play a major role in the politics of Virginia. Urban and growing suburban areas politically moderate, including Northern Virginia, are the basis of the Democratic Party. The rural Virginia moved its support to the Republican party in response to your ‘Southern strategy’ (in American politics, refers to a Republican method to the southern States carry racism among white voters). Parts of Southwest Virginia influenced by unionized coal mines, college towns, as Charlottesville and Blacksburg and counties of South-East region of the ‘black belt’ have been more favourable to the democratic vote.

The strength of the political parties in Virginia has changed in recent years. United States 2004 presidential election, Fairfax County in Northern Virginia voted for Democrats for the first time in the last forty years, joining the democratic strongholds of Alexandria and Arlington. The Democratic Governor Tim Kaine was elected Governor in 2006 and the 2007 State elections Democrats regained control of the State Senate and reduced the Republican majority in the House of representatives to eight seats. But Republican Robert McDonnell was elected Governor by a margin of 17 points in the 2009 elections, and the Lieutenant Governor and the Minister of justice were Republicans, and recovered six seats in the House of delegates.

In federal elections since 2006, the Democrats have been more successful. In the 2006 Senate elections, Democrat Jim Webb won the Republican incumbent in odds elections. The party won both the u.s. Senate in 2008, when the former Governor Mark Warner replaced John Warner Republican seats. 11 Seats in the State in the U.s. House of representatives, the Democrats won six and five Republicans. In Virginia, which has 13 electoral votes, Barack Obama won the Democrat presidential elections of 2008, when the Republican candidates had won ten previous presidential elections. Virginia is regarded as a ‘oscillating State’ in the presidential election.


Virginia Tech Hokies College football team.

Virginia is by far the most populous u.s. State without a franchise in the “major leagues”, the main U.S. professional sports leagues. UU. The reasons for this situation include the lack of a city or dominant market within the State and the proximity of teams of Washington D. C., which has franchises in four sports in the major leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL). It is also host to many clubs of minor-league especially baseball and football (aka soccer United States), and the Washington Redskins have Redskins Park, their headquarters and training, in the city of Ashburn facilities. The State has many fields of Professional category, golf courses including the Greg Norman field at Lansdowne Resort and Upper Cascades, Kingsmill Resort, home of the Michelob ULTRA open, belonging to the LPGA Tour.

The Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles are also followers due to its proximity to Virginia, and both parties are transmitted in the State by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. When the New York Mets ended long affiliation with the Norfolk Tides in 2007, the orioles were made with minor League club. Other regional teams include the Cincinnati Reds and the Atlanta Braves, whose main players, Richmond Braves, training team is located in the capital.

Virginia currently has two circuits of racing in the Sprint Cup Series: Martinsville Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Joe Weatherly, winner of the NASCAR Grand National in 1962 and 1963, it was born in Norfolk. Current Virginia in NASCAR drivers include brothers Jeff Burton and Ward Burton, Ricky Rudd, Denny Hamlin, and Elliot Sadler.Old Cup Series tracks include eSouth Boston Speedway, Langley Speedway, Southside Speedway, and Old Dominion Speedway.

Virginia does not allow the use of State budget funds for operating costs or capital of intercollegiate athletics. In spite of this, both the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia, the Virginia Tech Hokies have been capable of forming competitive teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference and maintain modern facilities. The traditional Virginia-Virginia Tech rivalry is followed throughout the State. Virginia has other universities that compete in the NCAA Division I. Three ‘universities historical black’ (universities established before 1964 with the intention of serving the community African-American) compete in Division II of the intercollegiate athletic Central Association, and two others compete in Division I of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Several smaller schools competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the USA the NCAA Division III South Athletic Conference. The NCAA currently holds its Division III championship football, basketball, volleyball and baseball in Salem.

Status symbols

The Cardinal is the State bird.

Article principal: Symbols of Virginia

The State nickname is the oldest, symbol but it has never been elevated to the status of official by a statutory provision. Virginia was given the title of «domain» (Dominion) King Charles II of England during the restoration, because it had remained loyal to the Crown during the English civil war, and the current nickname, “Old Dominion” (Old Dominion) is a reference to that title. Another nickname, “Mother of Presidents,” is also historic, by Virginian eight have served as United States Presidents, including four of the top five: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson. In addition, the also Virginian Sam Houston served as President of the Republic of Texas.

Most of the symbols were established as official at the end of the 20th century, though the state motto and seal have been official since Virginia declared its independence. Virginia currently has no State song. In 1940 Virginia declared «Carry Me Back to Old Virginny» as State song, but was withdrawn in 1997 and reclassified as Emeritus State song.

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