West Virginia was once part of Virginia, but during the Civil War it broke away and became a part of the Confederate side. While the country reunited after the war, West Virginia retained its identity as a separate state. West Virginia is a region of the Appalachian Mountains, and is covered in mountainous terrain, having the highest elevation of any state east of the Mississippi. West Virginia is an area steeped in history. At Harper’s Ferry Historical Park, located where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet, the 19th century industrial town of Harper’s Ferry marks the spot where abolitionist John Brown was hanged right after predicting the upcoming Civil War. West Virginia’s industries include the production of advanced and alternative energy forms, and the state leads the nation in electricity exports. Its aerospace and biometrics industries destroy any doubts that West Virginia is an active participant in the modern economy. With corporations such as Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Bombadier Aerospace operating here, West Virginia is on the cusp of launching into a bright industrial future. West Virginia is also leading the way in medical research with initiatives like the “Bucks for Brains” project – a $50 million investment aimed at boosting scientific innovation at its West Virginia University and Marshall University campuses.