Vienna is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 15,687. Significantly more people live in ZIP codes with the Vienna postal addresses (22180, 22181, and 22182) bordered approximately by Interstate 66 on the south, Interstate 495 on the east, Route 7 to the north, and Hunter Mill road.
In August 2013, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Vienna, VA third on its list of the 100 best places to live in the United States. In addition to highly ranked public schools, its assets include a downtown with many small businesses, a Washington Metro station with large parking garages (the western terminus of the Orange Line) just south of the town, and a portion of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park hiker/biker trail cutting through the center of the town. Tysons Corner, a residential, commercial and shopping district, is nearby, as is Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
Non-native settlement in the region dates to ca. 1740. In 1754, prominent soldier and land owner Colonel Charles Broadwater settled within the town boundaries. Broadwater’s son-in-law, John Hunter built the first recorded house there in 1767, naming it Ayr Hill (recalling his birthplace, Ayr, Scotland.) That name was subsequently applied to the tiny, developing community. The name of the town was changed in the 1850s, when a doctor named William Hendrick settled there on the condition that the town would rename itself after his hometown, Phelps, New York, then known as Vienna.
On June 17, 1861 a relatively minor but widely noted military engagement occurred there, the Battle of Vienna, one of the earliest armed clashes of the Civil War. A would-be Union occupation unit under Brig. Gen. Robert C. Schenck approached Vienna from the east by train but was ambushed and forced to retreat by a superior Confederate force led by Colonel Maxcy Gregg.
The First Baptist Church of Vienna was founded in 1867, and the original church structure was built using Union Army barracks lumber obtained through the Freedmen’s Bureau. This church building was also the town’s first black public school. The first white public school was built in 1872. A permanent black elementary school was built, which was later named for its long-time principal, Louise Archer. Fairfax County Schools were completely desegregated by the Fall of 1965.
Robert Hanssen was arrested in Vienna in 2001 for spying for the Russian intelligence service (and previously the KGB). His home was outside the town but had a Vienna mailing address. He used dead drops in nearby Foxstone Park to deliver U.S. government secrets to his handlers, and to collect cash or diamonds in exchange. Hanssen was sentenced that year to serve multiple life terms in prison.
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