Do you pride yourself on being a bit of a United States expert? Think you could slaughter the competition in trivia? Or maybe you just remember the American basics from high school.

Either way, the majority of you (even us here at KarryOn) have been wrong about one pretty important US fact. You’re going to kick yourself.

Answer this, where is the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) located?

Pentagon

Washington D.C.?

Washington D.C., right?

Yeah, it has to be Washington D.C. because that’s where the White House is.

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WRONG!

The Pentagon is actually located in Arlington, Virginia.

We’re not lying, Google it.

Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Maurice A. Jones corrected KarryOn during his recent visit in Sydney, saying it’s a common error made amongst foreigners and even a fair few US citizens.

The confusion comes because Arlington is located right on the cusp of Northern Virginia and just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

While that’s one of the biggest factual errors, Jones said it’s not the only one.

country music

Image Credit: Morgan Harris, Virginia Tourism Corporation

For example, while Nashville may be famed for country music now, the home of country music is actually Bristol, Virginia.

Jones said the genre was created around the 1920s when a group of artists recorded their jam sessions.

Also, contrary to popular belief, Plymouth is NOT the location of the first English settle, but rather the first ships arrived in Jamestown, Virginia 15 years before Plymouth.

In our chat, Jones said he’s keen to spread the Virginia word around Australia, by educating Australian Travel Agents and travellers about the political, historical, musical, gastronomical and financial importance of the state.

“Virginia is a great mix of things. You name it, we have it – beaches, mountains, ocean, wine, history, entertainment, sports, US Presidents and so much more.”

Maurice A. Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade

He told KarryOn that he’s looking to build tourism from Australia and is even considering the possibility of sending a representative to Australia next year in time for the annual Visit USA expos.

In the meantime, here are eight things you probably didn’t know about Virginia:

 

1. It’s home to the first English settlement

Jamestown

Image Credit: National Park Service/Sidney E. King

English ships arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in around 1607, well before Plymouth was founded in 1620.

 

2. It’s got the most Civil War battlefields

battlefields

Image Credit: Scott K. Brown, Virginia Tourism Corporation

As well as being the first to welcome pilgrims, Virginia was the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War and is the state with the largest number of Civil War battlefields – some are still used today for American Civil War reenactments.

 

3. The Pentagon is actually in Virginia

Pentagon

Okay, this one you can read more about earlier in the article.

 

4. It’s home of country music

country music

Image Credit: Emily Edmonds, Virginia Tourism Corporation

Don’t let that Nashville hype fool you. It may be the capital of country music now but the first recordings of country music were made in Britstol Virginia. The state has erected a country music museum in the town to commemorate its country music heritage.

 

5. And it’s the home of George Washington

washington

Well it was. The plantation home of the first American president was located in Mount Vernon, Virginia. It’s about 20 minutes outside of Washington D.C. A group of Washington fans have raised money and set up a foundation to protect the property. They’ve also built a museum around it.

 

6. Virginia has over 3,000 miles of scenic drive

scenic

Image Credit: Randall Rose, Virginia Tourism Corporation

 

7. As well as seven different kinds of oysters

oysters

Image Credit: Sarah Hauser, Virginia Tourism Corporation

 

8. And finally, it’s one of the highest producers of wine in the United States

Virginia wine

Image Credit: Steven Morris, Virginia Tourism Corporation

Virginia is fifth in production of wine in the States with over 250 wineries and 150 craft breweries.

Did you know the Pentagon was located in Virginia?