National Virginia Day is a yearly celebration observed on September 14. Virginia, formally the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast areas. On this day, we look at the people, places, and flavors that existed long before European settlers arrived in Virginia. We also commemorate Virginia’s history and all that is associated with the Commonwealth.
History of National Virginia Day
It is estimated that the first people to settle in Virginia arrived 18,000 years ago. The history of the area can be traced back to various indigenous groups, notably the ‘Powhatan.’ The Settlement of Jamestown, Virginia was established in 1607 by the London Company as the first permanent English colony in the United States. The Old Dominion, Virginia’s state nickname, is a tribute to this position. Slave labor and land taken from displaced native tribes powered the colony’s booming plantation economy, but they also fostered internal and external tensions. It became a part of the United States in 1776 as one of the original 13 Colonies during the American Revolution, during this year Thomas Jefferson, another prominent Virginian, penned the Declaration of Independence.
Virginia was split during the American Civil War when the state government in Richmond supported the Confederacy. Virginia seceded from the Union or withdrew from what was then the United States, in 1861. This occurred at the start of the Civil War, which was fought between southern states that wished to leave the Union, such as Virginia, and northern states.
Despite this, many of the state’s northern counties wanted to stay with the Union, resulting in the formation of West Virginia in 1863. In 1870, roughly five years after the Civil War ended, Virginia rejoined the Union or the United States. In 2007, Virginia marked the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown Colony with a quadricentennial celebration. Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans all played a significant role in defining Virginia’s history, according to the commemorations.
National Virginia Day timeline
Virginia joins the United States in 1776.
Virginia and Maryland both give land to construct the new District of Columbia.
The Virginia Constitutional Convention gathers in Richmond to examine changes to the state's antiquated constitution.
Virginia is split during the American Civil War, resulting in the formation of West Virginia.
Virginia passes a constitution that protected political, civil, and voting rights, as well as free public education.
National Virginia Day FAQs
What is on the Virginia flag?
The Virginia state flag features the obverse of the seal against a blue background.
What cuisine is famous in Virginia?
Virginia is well-known for its southern cuisine.
What is Virginia's nickname?
Virginia’s nickname is ‘The mother of all states,’ ‘The Mother of Presidents,’ or ‘The Old Dominion.’
How to Observe National Virginia Day
There's always something to celebrate about Virginia, whether it's the beaches along the coast, the mountain ranges inland, or the rich history few can equal. Discover Virginia's charming towns and intriguing cities!
Share on social media
Nothing says celebration like sharing pictures and videos inviting others to join in. To share on social media, use the hashtag #NationalVirginiaDay in your posts.
Read up Virginia's history
Join in the celebration by reading up on Virginia's history. Educate yourself on her origin story and many monumental occasions.
5 Facts About Virginia
Origin of words
‘Raccoon,’ ‘moccasin,’ ‘hickory,’ ‘moose,’ ‘skunk,’ and ‘chipmunk’ are all derived from Native American languages spoken in Virginia
State of presidents
Eight presidents of the United States emerged from the state of Virginia.
Virginia is named after a queen
The Virgin Queen, Queen Elizabeth I, was the inspiration for the name Virginia.
‘Bourbon,’ sometimes known as American Whiskey, has its origin in Virginia.
The first Thanksgiving was held in Virginia.
Why National Virginia Day is Important
Virginia has a long history
The state of Virginia was dubbed ‘The Birthplace of a Nation.’ It has a 400-year-long heritage, and there are plenty of historic sites to see, including presidential mansions, old plantations, battles, museums, and all the historical monuments you could want.
The most vibrant springtime
Virginia offers the most vibrant, vivid springtime anywhere. The Spring season in Virginia is a sight to behold, there's no stopping the flowers once they start blooming.
State-of-the-art school system
Virginia's school system is among the best in America. The University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, and Virginia Tech are all among the top 40 public colleges and universities in the country.
National Virginia Day dates