Manassas City Visitor Center

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Manassas is an independent city within the confines of Prince William County in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The population was 35,135 at the 2000 census. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Manassas (along with Manassas Park) with Prince William County for statistical purposes. The City of Manassas is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area and is situated in the Northern Virginia region.

In 1861, the First Battle of Manassas – also known as the First Battle of Bull Run – the first major land battle of the American Civil War, was fought near here. Second Battle of Manassas (or the Second Battle of Bull Run) was fought near here on August 28-30, 1862. At that time, Manassas Junction was little more than a railroad crossing, but a strategic one, with rails leading to Richmond, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and the Shenandoah Valley. Despite these two Confederate victories, Manassas Junction was in Union hands for most of the war.

The crossroads grew into the town of Manassas following the war, incorporated in 1873. In 1892, it became the county seat of Prince William County, replacing Brentsville. In 1975, Manassas became an independent city.

In modern times, Manassas's development has been strongly influenced by its position as a suburb of Washington, D.C. It has developed major problems with traffic and urban sprawl.

Manassas gained notoriety in 1993 as the hometown of John and Lorena Bobbitt, even though they resided outside the city and closer to the city of Manassas Park. Their separate trials (John Wayne Bobbitt's for rape, Lorena Bobbitt's for malicious wounding) occurred at the Prince William County courthouse, which is in the city of Manassas.

On October 9, 2002, the eleventh of the Beltway sniper attacks occurred outside Manassas city limits when 53-year old Dean Harold Meyers was shot pumping gas at a Sunoco station on Sudley Road near Interstate 66 in Prince William County.

In October 2005, Manassas became the site of the first wide-scale Broadband over Power Lines (BPL) implementation in the United States. Currently, 10 MBit/s service is offered for less than $30/month to city residents.


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