Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County the County of Fairfax is a county of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. Part of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County borders both the City of Alexandria and Arlington County and forms part of the inner suburban ring of Washington, DC; the county is thus predominantly suburban with some urban and rural pockets. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,081,726, in 2015, it was estimated at 1,142,234, making it the Commonwealth's most populous jurisdiction, with 13.6% of Virginia's population. The county is the most populous jurisdiction in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, with 19.8% of the MSA population, as well as the larger Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA Combined Statistical Area, with 13.1% of the CSA population. The county seat is the City of Fairfax, though because it is an independent city under Virginia law, the city of Fairfax is not part of Fairfax County. Fairfax was the first U. S. county to reach a six-figure median household income and has the second-highest median household income of any county-level local jurisdiction in the United States after neighbor Loudoun County.
The county is home to the headquarters of intelligence agencies such as the Central Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, as well as the National Counterterrorism Center and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The county is home to seven Fortune 500 companies, including three with Falls Church addresses. At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of what would become Fairfax County were an Algonquian-speaking sub-group called the Taux known as the Doeg or Dogue, their villages, as recorded by Captain John Smith in 1608, included Namassingakent and Nemaroughquand on the south bank of the Potomac River in what is now Fairfax County. Virginian colonists from the Northern Neck region drove the Doeg out of this area and into Maryland by 1670. Fairfax County was formed in 1742 from the northern part of Prince William County, it was named for 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, proprietor of the Northern Neck. The Fairfax family name is derived from the Old English phrase for "blond hair" – Fæger-feax.
The oldest settlements in Fairfax County were along the Potomac River. George Washington built his home, Mount Vernon, facing the river. Gunston Hall, the home of George Mason is nearby. Modern Fort Belvoir is on the estate of Belvoir Manor, built along the Potomac by William Fairfax in 1741. Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, the only member of the British nobility to reside in the colonies, lived at Belvoir before he moved to the Shenandoah Valley; the Belvoir mansion and several of its outbuildings were destroyed by fire after the Revolutionary War in 1783, George Washington noted the plantation complex deteriorated into ruins. In 1757, the northwestern two-thirds of Fairfax County became Loudoun County. In 1789, part of Fairfax County was ceded to the federal government to form Alexandria County of the District of Columbia. Alexandria County was returned to Virginia in 1846, reduced in size by the secession of the independent city of Alexandria in 1870, renamed Arlington County in 1920.
The Fairfax County town of Falls Church became an independent city in 1948. The Fairfax County town of Fairfax became an independent city in 1961. Located near Washington, D. C. Fairfax County was an important region in the Civil War; the Battle of Chantilly or Ox Hill, during the same campaign as the second Battle of Bull Run, was fought within the county. Other areas of activity included Minor's Hill, Munson's Hill, Upton's Hill, on the county's eastern border, overlooking Washington, D. C; the federal government's growth during and after World War II spurred rapid growth in the county and made the county suburban. Other large businesses continued to settle in Fairfax County and the opening of Tysons Corner Center spurred the rise of Tysons Corner; the technology boom and a steady government-driven economy created rapid growth and an growing and diverse population. The economy has made Fairfax County one of the nation's wealthiest counties. A general aviation airport located along U. S. Route 50, west of Seven Corners called the Falls Church Airpark operated in the county from 1948 to 1960.
The facility's 2,650 foot unpaved runway was used extensively by private pilots and civil defense officials. Residential development, multiple accidents, the demand for retail space led to its closure in 1960. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 406 square miles, of which 391 square miles is land and 15 square miles is water. Fairfax County is bounded on the southeast by the Potomac River. Across the river to the northeast is Washington, D. C. across the river to the north is Montgomery County and across the river to the southeast are Prince George's County and Charles County, Maryland. The county is bounded on the north and east by Arlington County and the independent cities of Alexandria and Falls Church, it is bounded on the west by Loudoun County, on the south by Prince William County. Most of the county lies in the Piedmont region, with rolling hills and deep stream valleys such as Difficult Run and its tributaries. West of Route 28, the hills give way to a flat, gentle valley which stretches west to the Bull Run Mountains in Loudoun County.
Elevations in the county range from near sea level along the tidal sections of the Potomac River in the southeast port
Eleanor Calvert Custis Stuart, born Eleanor Calvert, was a prominent member of the wealthy Calvert family of Maryland. Upon her marriage to John Parke Custis, she became the daughter-in-law of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington and the stepdaughter-in-law of George Washington, her portrait hangs today at Mount Airy Mansion in Maryland. Eleanor Calvert was born in 1758 at the Calvert family's Mount Airy plantation near Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County, Maryland. Eleanor was the second-eldest daughter of Benedict Swingate Calvert, illegitimate son of Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, Benedict's wife Elizabeth Calvert Butler, she was known to her family as "Nelly." As a teenager, Eleanor was an exceptionally pretty well-mannered. Eleanor married John Parke Custis, son of the late Daniel Parke Custis and Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, on February 3, 1774 at Mount Airy; when "Jacky", as he was known by his family, announced his engagement to Eleanor to his parents, they were surprised due to the couple's youth.
After their marriage, the couple settled at the White House plantation, a Custis estate on the Pamunkey River in New Kent County, Virginia. After the couple had lived at the White House for more than two years, John Custis purchased the Abingdon plantation in Fairfax County, into which the couple settled during the winter of 1778–1779. Eleanor and John had seven children: unnamed daughter, died shortly after birth Elizabeth Parke Custis Law, "Eliza", married Thomas Law Martha Parke Custis Peter, "Patsy", married Thomas Peter Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis, "Nelly", married Lawrence Lewis unnamed twin daughters, died three weeks after birth George Washington Parke Custis, "Wash", married Mary Lee FitzhughIn 1781, John died of "camp fever", believed to be typhus, following the Siege of Yorktown. Eleanor's two elder daughters and Martha, continued to live with her at the Abingdon plantation, she sent her two younger children and George, to Mount Vernon to live with their grandmother, Martha Washington, her husband George Washington, future president.
John died intestate, so his widow was granted a "dower third", the lifetime use of one-third of the Custis estate assets, including its more than 300 slaves. The balance of the Custis estate was held in trust for their children and distributed as the daughters married and the son reached his majority. Eleanor's "dower third". In 1783, Eleanor married Dr. David Stuart, an Alexandria physician and a business associate of George Washington. Eleanor and David had sixteen children together, including: Ann Calvert Stuart, married William Robinson Sarah Stuart, married Obed Waite Ariana Calvert Stuart William Sholto Stuart Eleanor Custis Stuart Charles Calvert Stuart, married Cornelia Lee Rosalie Eugenia Stuart, married William Greenleaf Webster In 1792, Eleanor and their family left Abingdon and moved to David's home at Hope Park in Fairfax County. About ten years they moved to Ossian Hall near Annandale in Fairfax County. Eleanor died on September 28, 1811 at age 53 at Tudor Place, the home of her daughter, Martha Parke Custis Peter, in Georgetown, District of Columbia.
She was buried at Effingham Plantation in Virginia. She was reinterred in Page's Chapel, St. Thomas' Church, Maryland, in the late 1810s near the graves of her parents, her resting place remained unmarked until a limestone grave slab was installed in the chapel floor in autumn 2008. Torbert, Alice. Eleanor Calvert and Her Circle. New York: William-Frederick Press, 1950. Eleanor Calvert, Baltimore Museum of Art Geneall. "Eleanor Calvert". Geneall. Retrieved 2008-03-01
Fairfax, colloquially known as Fairfax Courthouse, Downtown Fairfax, or Fairfax City, named the City of Fairfax, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 22,565, which had risen to an estimated 24,013 as of 2015; the city of Fairfax is an enclave surrounded by the separate political entity Fairfax County. Fairfax City contains an exclave of Fairfax County, as detailed below; the city of Fairfax and the area surrounding the historical border of the city of Fairfax, collectively designated by Fairfax County as "Fairfax", comprise the county seat of Fairfax County. The city is part of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as a part of Northern Virginia; the city is 17 miles west of Washington, D. C; the Washington Metro's Orange Line serves Fairfax through its Vienna station, a mile northeast of the city limits. CUE Bus and Metrobus operate in Fairfax. Virginia Railway Express's Burke Centre station is situated three miles southeast of the city's boundaries.
Virginia's largest public educational institution with 35,189 students in 2017 is George Mason University, located in unincorporated Fairfax County, along the city's southern border. The city derives its name from Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, awarded 5,000,000 acres of land in northern Virginia by King Charles; the area that the city now encompasses was settled in the early 18th century by farmers from Virginia's Tidewater region. The town of "Providence" was established on the site by an act of the state legislature in 1805; the scene of the first land battle of the Civil War, the Battle of Fairfax Court House took place here on June 1, 1861, after a Union scouting party clashed with the local militia with neither side gaining advantage. A second battle took place here two years on June 27, 1863, where Union troops were defeated; this battle delayed the movements of Confederate cavalry chief Jeb Stuart with disastrous consequences for Lee at Gettysburg a few days later. Fairfax was renamed the "Town of Fairfax" in 1859.
It was incorporated as a town in 1874. It was incorporated as a city in 1961 by court order. Under Virginia law the city remains the county seat. In 1904 a trolley line connected Fairfax with Washington, D. C; the former Fairfax County Courthouse is the oldest historic building in Fairfax. The first Fairfax courthouse was established in 1742 near present-day Tyson's Corner, is the namesake for Old Courthouse Road, it intersects with Gallows Road, which today is a major commuter route, but at the time was the road where condemned prisoners were led to the gallows at the old courthouse. In 1752, the courthouse was moved to Alexandria, which offered to build the new courthouse at their own expense; the reason the courthouse was moved from the Tyson's Corner location was because of "Indian hostilities", as noted on the stone marker at the northwest corner of Gallows Road and Route 123. The courthouse operated there until 1790, when Virginia ceded the land where the courthouse was located for the creation of Washington, DC.
The General Assembly specified that the new courthouse should be located in the center of the county, was established at the corner of what was Old Little River Turnpike and is now Main Street and what was Ox Road and is now Chain Bridge Road on land donated by town founder Richard Ratcliffe. The courthouse changed hands during the Civil War, the first officer casualty, John Quincy Marr, occurred on its grounds; the first meeting of the Fairfax Court was held April 21, 1800. The oldest two-story building in the city, built in 1873, the Fairfax Public School for $2,750. In addition to elementary school use the building has housed special education, adult education, police academy training. On July 4, 1992, the building became the Fairfax Visitor Center. Joseph Edward Willard built the town hall building in 1900 gifted it to the town in 1902; the Old Town Hall now houses the Fairfax Art League. The city of Fairfax is located close to the geographic center of Fairfax County, at 38°51′9″N 77°18′15″W.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square miles, of which all but 0.04 square miles is land. While the city is the county seat, a small portion of the county comprising the courthouse complex, the jail and a small area nearby is itself an exclave of the county within the city. Fairfax County's Government Center is west of the City of Fairfax; as of the census of 2010, there were 22,565 people, 8,347 households, 5,545 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,581.7 people per square mile. There were 8,680 housing units at an average density of 1,377.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 69.6% White, 15.2% Asian, 4.7% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.9% from other races, 4.0% from two or more races. 15.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. In 2000 there were 8,347 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.1% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.6% were non-families.
24.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.11. In the city, the population was spread out with 20.4% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 36.2% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older
Heritage Documentation Programs
Heritage Documentation Programs is a division of the U. S. National Park Service responsible for administering the Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, Historic American Landscapes Survey; these programs were established to document historic places in the United States. Records consist of measured drawings, archival photographs, written reports, are archived in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. In 1933, NPS established the Historic American Buildings Survey following a proposal by Charles E. Peterson, a young landscape architect in the agency, it was founded as a constructive make-work program for architects and photographers left jobless by the Great Depression. Guided by field instructions from Washington, D. C. the first HABS recorders were tasked with documenting a representative sampling of America's architectural heritage. By creating an archive of historic architecture, HABS provided a database of primary source material and documentation for the then-fledgling historic preservation movement.
Earlier private projects included the White Pine Series of Architectural Monographs, many contributors to which joined the HABS program. Notable HABS photographers include Jack Boucher; the Historic American Engineering Record program was founded on January 10, 1969, by NPS and the American Society of Civil Engineers. HAER documents historic mechanical and engineering artifacts. Since the advent of HAER, the combined program is called "HABS/HAER". Today much of the work of HABS/HAER is done by student teams during the summer, or as part of college-credit classwork. Eric DeLony headed HAER from 1971 to 2003. In October 2000, NPS and the American Society of Landscape Architects established a sister program, the Historic American Landscapes Survey, to systematically document historic American landscapes. A predecessor, the Historic American Landscape and Garden Project, recorded historic Massachusetts gardens between 1935 and 1940; that project was funded by the Works Progress Administration, but was administered by HABS, which supervised the collection of records.
The permanent collection of HABS/HAER/HALS are housed at the Library of Congress, established in 1790 as the replacement reference library of the United States Congress. It has since been expanded to serve as the National Library of the United States. S. publishers are required to deposit a copy of every copyrighted and published work, book monograph and magazine. As a branch of the United States Government, its created works are in the public domain in the US. Many images and documents are available through the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, including proposed and existing structures. Jack Boucher, former HABS/HAER photographer Jet Lowe, former HAER photographer National Register of Historic Places Notes Further reading "HAER: 30 Years of Recording Our Technological Heritage". IA, The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology. 25. 1999. JSTOR i40043493. "Documenting Complexity: The Historic American Engineering Record and America's Technological History". IA, The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology.
23. 1997. JSTOR i4004348. Lindley, John; the Georgia Collection: Historic American Buildings Survey. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 0-8203-0613-4. Witcher, T. R.. "Fifty Years of Preservation: The Historic American Engineering Record". Civil Engineering. National Park Service−NPS: official Heritage Documentation Programs website
A house is a building that functions as a home. They can range from simple dwellings such as rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes and the improvised shacks in shantytowns to complex, fixed structures of wood, concrete or other materials containing plumbing and electrical systems. Houses use a range of different roofing systems to keep precipitation such as rain from getting into the dwelling space. Houses may have doors or locks to secure the dwelling space and protect its inhabitants and contents from burglars or other trespassers. Most conventional modern houses in Western cultures will contain one or more bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen or cooking area, a living room. A house may have a separate dining room; some large houses in North America have a recreation room. In traditional agriculture-oriented societies, domestic animals such as chickens or larger livestock may share part of the house with humans; the social unit that lives in a house is known as a household. Most a household is a family unit of some kind, although households may be other social groups, such as roommates or, in a rooming house, unconnected individuals.
Some houses only have a dwelling space for similar-sized group. A house may be accompanied by outbuildings, such as a garage for vehicles or a shed for gardening equipment and tools. A house may have a backyard or frontyard, which serve as additional areas where inhabitants can relax or eat; the English word house derives directly from the Old English hus meaning "dwelling, home, house," which in turn derives from Proto-Germanic husan, of unknown origin. The house itself gave rise to the letter'B' through an early Proto-Semitic hieroglyphic symbol depicting a house; the symbol was called "bayt", "bet" or "beth" in various related languages, became beta, the Greek letter, before it was used by the Romans. Ideally, architects of houses design rooms to meet the needs of the people who will live in the house. Feng shui a Chinese method of moving houses according to such factors as rain and micro-climates, has expanded its scope to address the design of interior spaces, with a view to promoting harmonious effects on the people living inside the house, although no actual effect has been demonstrated.
Feng shui can mean the "aura" in or around a dwelling, making it comparable to the real-estate sales concept of "indoor-outdoor flow". The square footage of a house in the United States reports the area of "living space", excluding the garage and other non-living spaces; the "square metres" figure of a house in Europe reports the area of the walls enclosing the home, thus includes any attached garage and non-living spaces. The number of floors or levels making up the house can affect the square footage of a home. Many houses have several large rooms with specialized functions and several small rooms for other various reasons; these may include a living/eating area, a sleeping area, separate or combined washing and lavatory areas. Some larger properties may feature rooms such as a spa room, indoor pool, indoor basketball court, other'non-essential' facilities. In traditional agriculture-oriented societies, domestic animals such as chickens or larger livestock share part of the house with human beings.
Most conventional modern houses will at least contain a bedroom, kitchen or cooking area, a living room. A typical "foursquare house" occurred in the early history of the US where they were built, with a staircase in the center of the house, surrounded by four rooms, connected to other sections of the home. Little is known about the earliest origin of the house and its interior, however it can be traced back to the simplest form of shelters. Roman architect Vitruvius' theories have claimed the first form of architecture as a frame of timber branches finished in mud known as the primitive hut. Philip Tabor states the contribution of 17th century Dutch houses as the foundation of houses today; as far as the idea of the home is concerned, the home of the home is the Netherlands. This idea's crystallization might be dated to the first three-quarters of the 17th century, when the Dutch Netherlands amassed the unprecedented and unrivalled accumulation of capital, emptied their purses into domestic space.
In the Middle Ages, the Manor Houses facilitated different events. Furthermore, the houses accommodated numerous people, including family, employees and their guests, their lifestyles were communal, as areas such as the Great Hall enforced the custom of dining and meetings and the Solar intended for shared sleeping beds. During the 15th and 16th centuries, the Italian Renaissance Palazzo consisted of plentiful rooms of connectivity. Unlike the qualities and uses of the Manor Houses, most rooms of the palazzo contained no purpose, yet were given several doors; these doors adjoined rooms in which Robin Evans describes as a "matrix of discrete but interconnected chambers." The layout allowed occupants to walk room to room from one door to another, thus breaking the boundaries of privacy. "Once inside it is necessary to pass from one room to the next to the next to traverse the building. Where passages and staircases are used, as they are, they nearly always connect just one space to another and never serve as general distributors of movement.
Thus, despite the precise architectural containment offe
Virginia 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. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" due to its status as the first English colonial possession established in mainland North America and "Mother of Presidents" because eight U. S. presidents were born there, more than any other state. 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. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 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 New World English colony. 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, Virginia's First Wheeling Convention resolved to remain in the Union. Although the Commonwealth was under one-party rule for nearly a century following Reconstruction, both major national parties are competitive in modern Virginia; the Virginia General Assembly is the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The state government was ranked most effective by the Pew Center on the States in both 2005 and 2008, it is unique in how it treats cities and counties manages local roads, prohibits its governors from serving consecutive terms. Virginia's economy has many sectors: agriculture in the Shenandoah Valley. S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency. Virginia has a total area of 42,774.2 square miles, including 3,180.13 square miles of water, making it the 35th-largest state by area. Virginia is bordered by Maryland and Washington, D.
C. to the north and east. Virginia's boundary with Maryland and Washington, D. C. extends to the low-water mark of the south shore of the Potomac River. The southern border is defined as the 36° 30′ parallel north, though surveyor error led to deviations of as much as three arcminutes; the border with Tennessee was not settled until 1893, when their dispute was brought to the U. S. Supreme Court; the Chesapeake Bay separates the contiguous portion of the Commonwealth from the two-county peninsula of Virginia's Eastern Shore. The bay was formed from the drowned river valleys of the James River. Many of Virginia's rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, including the Potomac, Rappahannock and James, which create three peninsulas in the bay; the Tidewater is a coastal plain between the fall line. It includes major estuaries of Chesapeake Bay; the Piedmont is a series of sedimentary and igneous rock-based foothills east of the mountains which were formed in the Mesozoic era. The region, known for its heavy clay soil, includes the Southwest Mountains around Charlottesville.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the Appalachian Mountains with the highest points in the state, the tallest being Mount Rogers at 5,729 feet. The Ridge and Valley region includes the Great Appalachian Valley; the region includes Massanutten Mountain. The Cumberland Plateau and the Cumberland Mountains are in the southwest corner of Virginia, south of the Allegheny Plateau. In this region, rivers flow northwest, into the Ohio River basin; the Virginia Seismic Zone has not had a history of regular earthquake activity. Earthquakes are above 4.5 in magnitude, because Virginia is located away from the edges of the North American Plate. The largest earthquake, at an estimated 5.9 magnitude, was in 1897 near Blacksburg. A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Virginia on August 2011, near Mineral. The earthquake was felt as far away as Toronto and Florida. 35 million years ago, a bolide impacted. The resulting Chesapeake Bay impact crater may explain what earthquakes and subsidence the region does experience.
Coal mining takes place in the three mountainous regions at 45 distinct coal beds near Mesozoic basins. Over 64 million tons of other non-fuel resources, such as slate, sand, or gravel, were mined in Virginia in 2018; the state's carbonate rock is filled with more than 4,000 caves, ten of which are open for tourism, including the popular Luray Caverns and Skyline Caverns. The climate of Virginia is humid subtropical and becomes warmer and more humid farther south and east. Seasonal extremes vary from average lows of 26 °F in January to average highs of 86 °F in July; the Atlantic Ocean has a strong effect on southeastern coastal areas of the state. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, coastal weather is subject to hurricanes, most pronouncedly near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. In spite of its position adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean the coastal areas have a significant continental influence with quite large temperature differences between summ