Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 275th anniversary of Prince William County, Virginia.
Prince William County, Virginia, was created on March 25, 1731, from territory that had been part of Stafford County and King George County. It is named for Prince William Augustus, 1720-1765, Duke of Cumberland, and a son of King George II, who became Captain-General of the British Army.
In 1608, Captain John Smith and his party rode a barge along the Potomac River and stopped in Prince William County on their way from Jamestown. They were the first Europeans recorded in this area. Doeg Indians, Algonquin speakers, lived in villages along the Potomac. The Souian-speaking Manahoac people lived in the Piedmont region. By trading with the native tribes, Captain Smith and his men were able to obtain enough food to sustain themselves and the settlers they had left behind in Jamestown. Native American settlements disappeared from the county by the beginning of the 18th century.
The first English settlement in the Northern Neck of Virginia, the land between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers, took place about 1643 in what is now Northumberland County. The first land patent in what is now Prince William County was taken out in 1653 by Thomas Burbage. After successive divisions, Prince William County reached its current outer boundaries in 1759. Manassas and Manassas Park were established as independent cities in 1975.
Prince William County, located 20 miles southwest of the Nation's Capital, is a perfect place to live, work, play, and raise a family. With a desirable location, highly educated work force, nationally recognized schools, and pro-business environment, Prince William County has it all.
Prince William is the second largest county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Prince William school system is one of the finest in the Nation. It is the State's second largest school system, with Internet access in every classroom. Prince William County offers a highly educated workforce--with more than 50 percent of adults holding a college degree. The county is swiftly becoming a major source of northern Virginia's highly educated labor pool. Prince William County is the new center of business opportunity in Metropolitan Washington.
In 2006, Prince William County will host a year-long celebration with special events to honor this momentous anniversary.
Mr. Speaker, in closing, I would like to commend and congratulate the citizens of Prince William County on the occasion of their 275th anniversary. I call upon my colleagues to join me in celebrating the history of this great county, and in wishing for its continued prosperity.