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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Virginia: Birthplace of a Nation

This Day in History: June 25, 1788

Virginia, "Old Dominion," "Mother of Presidents," "Mother of States," the Birthplace of a Nation

The nickname "Old Dominion" originated in Colonial days. Dominion refers to complete ownership of a particular piece of land or territory. Around 1663, King Charles II considered the Virginians "the best of his distant children" thus elevating Virginia to the status of dominion along with England, Scotland, Ireland and France.
Virginia is referred to as the "Mother of Presidents" because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson. Four of the first five presidents were Virginians.

Virginia has been called the "Mother of States" because she was the first of the states to be settled and because of the number of states that were "born" of the Virginia territory. West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and, even a part of Minnesota were all a part of the original Virginia territory.
Each of the representations described above independently, as well as in combination, attribute to Virginia being declared the "Birthplace of a Nation". Virginia is an American history icon! This is where our country began...the founding of Jamestown on the banks of the James River, our first permanent English colony, in Virginia in 1607 – 13 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in Massachusetts. So much American history, so many historical sites. No wonder it is said Virginia's history IS America's history!

 Pay respect to those who braved their lives!
Virginia is home to Arlington National Cemetery established June 15, 1864 by Brig. Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, who commanded the garrison at Arlington House. The awe-inspiring, breathtaking monumental grounds hold within their grasp the silence of row after row of white marble headstones representative of sacrifice after sacrifice for America.

It's been called the New World and the Old Dominion. It is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents, and the legend of Pocahontas. It's the site of Williamsburg, perhaps the most ambitious history lesson in America. Virginia proudly celebrates its past without losing its sense of fun. Join us as we travel across a diverse and rugged landscape into the realm of pirates, the source of myths and the heart of American democracy.
What is the origin of Virginia's name? The state of Virginia was named after England's Queen Elizabeth I. In the early 1600's, all of North America that was not Spanish or French was then called "Virginia" in honor of "The Virgin Queen," and the earliest English colonial expeditions were sent by the Virginia Company of London. Virginia, one of the thirteen original colonies, became the 10th state on June 25, 1788.
[The thirteen colonies were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, NewJersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and  Rhode Island and Providence Plantations]

Virginia officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a U.S. state
located in the South Atlantic region of the United States.

Virginia State Flag

Virginia State Seal

Virginia State Bird: Northern Cardinal
Virginia designated the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) as official state bird in 1950. One of America's favorite backyard birds, cardinals are distinctive in appearance and song - known for their "cheer cheer cheer," "whit-chew whit-chew" and "purty purty purty" whistles.

Maine, Maryland and Massachusetts have a state cat, Maryland also has a state dinosaur, West Virginia has a state rattlesnake and Virginia has a state BAT!

The Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) was designated the official state bat of Virginia in 2005. An endangered species, this symbol helps to educate Virginians about caves and the creatures that inhabit them.
The Virginia big-eared bat (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) was designated the official state bat of Virginia in 2005. An endangered species, this symbol helps to educate Virginians about caves and the creatures that inhabit them.
Virginia State Flower: Flowering Dogwood
Virginia designated the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) as the official state floral emblem in 1918. The dogwood blooms in spring with large showy flowers (usually greenish-white, sometimes pink or yellow). The dogwood develops red berries in autumn, and the leaves also turn a deep red before falling for winter.
For all State Symbols of Virginia click HERE!
Virginia State Dance: Square Dance

 Virginia State Song: Carry Me Back to Old Virginny (Virginia)

 The Birthplace of a Nation

 Retreat to an enchanting land of mountains, forests and caves!

So much beauty, so much awaits
Land divided became mother of states
 Site of first landing along the seashore
America's grassroots, America's yore


So much history, so much to tell
Book after book tells it so well
This is where it started, its beginning
America's plights, America's winning


From discovery to revolution
Independence 'rang out' in celebration
A proud nation is she, a nation set free
 America's hope, America's liberty


So much has past, so much to declare
Civil war claimed death and despair
 Stories exclaim pain and suffering
America's fights, America's recovering

From cessation to a united nation
Peace and unity began restoration
 Honor among men each proclaim
 America's heritage, America's fame 

 Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center
at Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, VA

So much to offer, so much to impart
"To bind up the nation's wounds" taken to heart
The birthplace of a nation remains at length
America's courage, America's strength

©2014 Awakenings
Sharla Lee Shults

Virginia Facts and Trivia

Next state by month: #43 Idaho, July 3, 1890