West Virginia Facts

West Virginia Facts
The State of West Virginia is located in the eastern United States. It shares state borders with Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and Kentucky. West Virginia is the 41st largest U.S. state with 24,230 square miles. It is the 38th most populated U.S. state with approximately 1,854,304 residents and it is ranked as the 29th most densely populated U.S. state. Prior to European settlement in the region the area was inhabited mostly by Iroquois Native Americans. Prior to becoming its own state, West Virginia was originally part of Virginia, but following many years of discontent, war and political battles, West Virginia separated from Virginia. In 1863 West Virginia became the 35th U.S. state when it joined the Union.
Interesting West Virginia Facts:
West Virginia, as well as Virginia, got their names from a suggestion to honor Queen Elizabeth I. She was known as the Virgin Queen, and the name Virginia is derived from the word virgin.
West Virginia's state nickname is the 'Mountain State'.
The state motto for West Virginia is 'Montani semper liberi' which means 'Mountaineers are Always Free'.
West Virginia's state songs include 'This Is My West Virginia', 'The West Virginia Hills', and 'West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home'.
The state flag for West Virginia was officially adopted in 1929, and features the date West Virginia separated from Virginia in 1863, a farmer, a miner, riffles, a liberty cap and the state motto.
West Virginia residents are referred to as West Virginians.
West Virginia's capital city and its largest city are both Charleston.
West Virginia's state bird is the cardinal and the state butterfly is the Monarch butterfly.
West Virginia's state animal is the black bear and the state fish is the brook trout.
The state flower for West Virginia is the big laurel (rhododendron) and the state tree is the sugar maple.
Major rivers in West Virginia include the Greenbrier River, Guyandotte River and the Ohio River.
Major lakes in West Virginia include Bluestone Lake and Tygart Lake.
Major agriculture in West Virginia includes cattle, eggs, dairy, and turkeys.
Major industry in West Virginia includes coal mining, chemicals, glass products, aluminum, and tourism.
West Virginia is the second leading coal producing state in the U.S.
West Virginia has 9 state forests, 37 state parks, and 55 counties.
West Virginia is considered to be both the most northern of the southern states and the most southern of the northern states.
The largest sycamore tree in the world is located in West Virginia, on the Back Fork of Elk River in Webster Springs.
The first United States federal prison for women was opened in 1926 in West Virginia.
One of the United States' largest and oldest Indian burial grounds is in Moundsville, West Virginia.
Almost three-quarters of West Virginia is forest.
The first state to charge sales tax was West Virginia in 1921.
Mother's Day originated in West Virginia, having been first celebrated in 1908 at Andrews Church in Grafton.
Actress Jennifer Garner and actors John Corbett, and Don Knotts were born in West Virginia.

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