West Virginia, state of the eastern United States. West Virginia lies in the very heart of the Appalachian Highlands, and its predominantly mountainous terrain and picturesque scenery have led to its nickname as the Mountain State. The state’s unusually irregular boundaries, formed largely by rivers and mountains, give it the shape of a large pan with two handles, one in the north and one in the east. For this reason it is sometimes called the Panhandle State. West Virginia is known for its magnificent scenery and its abundance of natural resources, including coal, oil, gas, and timber. It is one of the leading producers of bituminous coal among the states and is also noted for the manufacture of fine glass.
West Virginia, plagued for many years by economic stagnation, has recently attempted to diversify its industrial activity. Yet the state remains one of the poorest in the United States.West Virginia entered the Union on June 20, 1863, as the 35th state. It was part of Virginia until the American Civil War (1861-1865), when its inhabitants, loyal to the Union, formed a separate state after Virginia became part of the Confederacy. Charleston is West Virginia’s capital and largest city. "West Virginia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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