V is for Virginia

Virginia was the 10th state to enter the Union.

va-districts-mapI’ve long had this odd fascination with the state of Virginia. Partly it’s because it’s part of the old Confederacy, but the northernmost part. The distance from Richmond, the Confederate capital during the US Civil War, to Washington, DC is only 110 miles. General Robert E. Lee of Virginia seemed the reluctant warrior.

Several northwest counties broke away from Virginia during the Civil War to create the state of West Virginia, which entered the Union in 1863.

Four of the first five US Presidents, all save John Adams of Massachusetts, were from Virginia, and eight altogether, which gave it the nickname “Mother of Presidents”.

Here’s some trivia information stuck inside my head. In order for the new Constitution to be accepted, nine of the 13 states had to ratify it, and it was so. But the holdouts were massively important to the vitality of the nation; finally, they came around, and that’s why I remember Virginia was the 10th state, New York, the 11th, and North Carolina, the 12th. Rhode Island made lucky 13.

In 1607, the first permanent New World English colony was established in 1607 at Jamestown. I was reminded by a question on the TV quiz show JEOPARDY! that the colonists resorted to cannibalism during the brutal winter of 1609.

I have vacationed in Virginia at least twice. Once, with my girlfriend at the time back in the early 1980s, I went to Virginia Beach. We went to see her brother, whose name, as I recall, was Roger. The other time was in 2008 when my family visited Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg.

Every time I take the train to Charlotte, NC, of course, I travel through Virginia. I think I spend more time in that state than any other during the trip.

The most frequent reference to Virginia in this blog has to be the case of Loving v. Virginia, in which the Supreme Court ruled that the bans by Virginia (and other states) on interracial marriages were unconstitutional.

Since 1969, the motto for the state has been “Virginia is for Lovers”.

Read about Virginia from Wikipedia and the official government site.

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ABC Wednesday, Round 15