Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population is over 8.54 million.
The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent English colony in the New World. Virginia's state nickname, the Old Dominion, is a reference to this status. Slave labor and the land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy. Virginia was one of the 13 Colonies in the American Revolution. In the American Civil War, Virginia's Secession Convention resolved to join the Confederacy while the First Wheeling Convention resolved to remain in the Union, leading to a split that created West Virginia. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia.
The Chincoteague Pony
, also known as the Assateague horse
, is a breed
that developed and lives in a feral
condition on Assateague Island
in the United States states of Virginia
. The breed was made famous by the Misty of Chincoteague
series written by Marguerite Henry
starting in 1947. While phenotypically
horse-like, they are commonly called "ponies". This is due in part to their smaller stature, created by the poor habitat present on Assateague Island. Island Chincoteagues live on a diet of salt marsh
plants and brush. Although popularly known as Chincoteague ponies, the feral
ponies actually live on Assateague Island.
Several legends are told regarding their origins, the most likely that they descend from stock released on the island by colonists looking to escape livestock laws and taxes on the mainland. In 1835, the practice of pony penning began, rounding up ponies and removing some of them to the mainland. In 1924 the first official "Pony Penning Day" was held by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, where ponies were auctioned as a way to raise money for fire equipment, an annual event that continues to the present day.
(1755 – 1835) was the fourth Chief Justice of the United States
(1801–1835), whose court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law
and made the Supreme Court of the United States
a coequal branch of government
along with the legislative and executive branches. Previously, Marshall had been a leader of the Federalist Party in Virginia, served in the United States House of Representatives
, and was Secretary of State
under President John Adams
from 1800 to 1801.
The longest-serving Chief Justice, Marshall dominated the Court for over three decades and played a significant role in the development of the American legal system. Most notably, he reinforced the principle that federal courts are obligated to exercise judicial review, by disregarding purported laws if they violate the Constitution. Thus, Marshall cemented the position of the American judiciary as an independent and influential branch of government. Furthermore, Marshall's court made several important decisions relating to federalism, affecting the balance of power between the federal government and the states during the early years of the republic. While some of his decisions were unpopular, Marshall nevertheless built up the third branch of the federal government, and augmented federal power in the name of the Constitution and the rule of law.
This month in Virginia history
- May 2, 1863: During the Battle of Chancellorsville, General Stonewall Jackson is shot behind his own lines, and dies several days later.
- May 5–7, 1864: The Battle of the Wilderness is the first engagement between Generals Grant and Lee.
- May 14, 1607: Jamestown is founded on an island in the James River, upstream of the Chesapeake Bay. (Historic Jamestowne, pictured)
- May 15, 1776: Virginia declares itself independent of the British Empire, prior to the general Declaration of Independence made later that year
- May 23, 1610: The Third Supply arrives in Jamestown with desperately-needed provisions and new colonists, enabling continued survival of the colony
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- Capital: Richmond, Virginia
- Total area: 110,862 sq.mi
- Highest elevation: 5,729 ft (Mount Rogers)
- Population (2010 census) 8,001,024
- Date Virginia joined the united States: June 25, 1788
- Governor: Ralph Northam (D)
- Lieutenant Governor: Justin Fairfax (D)
- Attorney General: Mark Herring (D)
- Senators: Tim Kaine (D), Mark Warner (D)
- Representatives: Rob Wittman (R-1st), Elaine Luria (D-2nd), Bobby Scott (D-3rd), Donald McEachin (D-4th), Denver Riggleman (R-5th), Ben Cline (R-6th), Abigail Spanberger (D-7th), Don Beyer (D-8th), Morgan Griffith (R-9th), Jennifer Wexton (D-10th), Gerry Connolly (D-11th)
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