In These United States: Part 2 – Hawaii to Maryland

In my last post, I covered Alabama to Georgia on my series of US States. In this installment, I’ll cover ten more states in this great country from Hawaii to Maryland. First, we’ll go to the tropical Pacific Island of Hawaii known for its active volcanoes,Tiki luaus and hula dances, putting leas on people, Hawaiian shirts, and Pearl Harbor, a day which would live in infamy and would provide the inspiration of a Michael Bay movie destined to become an infamous craptastrophe. Second, it’s off to Idaho best known for its natural wonders and potatoes. Actually it’s better known for its potatoes, but it has a lot of great natural stuff, too. Third, we venture to the land of Lincoln Illinois, home of Chicago, deep dish pizza, an infamous reputation for political corruption, Prohibition Era gangsters, the Sears Tower, and so much more. Then we go to Indiana known as the “other land of Lincoln” as well as the site of the Indianapolis 500, the Colts, Tippecanoe, Notre Dame, Dillinger, and not much else. Seriously, there’s not a lot associated with Indiana. Next, we’re off to Iowa best known for their corn and it being the birthplace of that grossly overrated actor John Wayne (hey, call him a national treasure or cultural icon but I can’t help saying that he seriously sucks in more ways than one). After that, we go to Kansas best associated with its infamous school boards, heated political bloodbaths, Westboro Baptist Church, tornadoes, and The Wizard of Oz. Seriously, I don’t what’s the matter with Kansas these days but at least it’s not the early days when settlers were killing each other over the question of slavery. Then, it’s on to Kentucky place of bluegrass, hard liquor, and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Next, it’s off to Louisiana famous for New Orleans home to jazz as well as nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. After that, we’re back to New England with Maine best known for beaches, lighthouses, seafood, and a setting for Stephen King novels since he’s from there. Finally, we arrive to Maryland best associated with Edgar Allan Poe, Fort McHenry, the Preakness, and anything pertaining to The Wire.

 

11. Hawaii

Hawaii has always been seen as an island paradise and an ideal vacation destination. However, keep in mind that this state is prone to stuff like tsunamis, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions. Not to mention, the local wildlife is threatened with introductions of invasive species, too.

Hawaii has always been seen as an island paradise and an ideal vacation destination. However, keep in mind that this state is prone to stuff like tsunamis, hurricanes, and volcanic eruptions. Not to mention, the local wildlife is threatened with introductions of invasive species, too.

Abbreviation: HI
Nickname: “Aloha State”
Capital: Honolulu
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: August 21, 1959
Bird: Nene (Hawaiian Goose)
Flower: Pua Aloala (Yellow Hibscus)
Tree: Kukui (Candle Nut)

Celebrities: Barack Obama, Saint Damien du Veuster (or of Molokai), Daniel K. Inouye, King Kamehamha and his family, Queen Liliuokalani, Bruno Mars, Bette Midler, Roseanne Barr, Robert Ballard, Hiram Bingham III, Richard Chamberlain, Charo, Sanford B. Dole, Nicole Kidman, Ferdinand Marcos, James A. Michener, Arthur Murray, Jim Nabors, Timothy Olymphant, Troy Polamalu, the Kingston Trio, Tom Selleck, Mother Marianne Cope, Duke Kahanamoku

Sports Teams: None

Indian Tribes: Not exactly but it was inhabited by Polynesians and later became a kingdom.

Best Known Moments: Visit by James Cook in 1778, had kingdom until it was deposed by the Sanford B. Dole Fruit Company, annexed as a US territory in the 1890s, and saw the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941 leading to US entry in WWII.

Often Associated With: flower leas, Hawaiian shirts, lava spurting volcanoes, palm trees, beaches, pineapples, hula dance, grass skirts, coconut bras, Polynesian Natives, surfer dudes, coconuts, Asians, high cost of living, tiki style, roasting pigs, ukuleles, exotic birds, boats, water skiing, tsunamis, tropical climate, Hawaii Five-O, exotic flowers, macadamia nuts, The Descendants, Pro-Bowl, luaus, papayas, Honolulu, Oahu, Maui, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, poi, taro, slack-key guitar music, dolphins, sea turtles, jungle, tropical, big waves, Waikiki Beach, windsurfing, waterfalls

 

12. Idaho

Shoshone Falls is just one of Idaho's 63 named waterfalls as well as its most famous. Called "Niagra of the West" it's about 212 ft high (45 ft higher than Niagra Falls) and flows over a rim of 1,000 ft wide. Yet, just because Evel Knievel tried to jump this in 1974, doesn't mean you should.

Shoshone Falls is just one of Idaho’s 63 named waterfalls as well as its most famous. Called “Niagra of the West” it’s about 212 ft high (45 ft higher than Niagra Falls) and flows over a rim of 1,000 ft wide. Yet, just because Evel Knievel tried to jump this in 1974, doesn’t mean you should.

Abbreviation: ID
Nickname: “Gem State”
Capital: Boise
Entered Union: July 3, 1890
Largest City: Same
Bird: Mountain Bluebird
Flower: Syringa
Tree: Western White Pine

Celebrities: Lou Dobbs, Ezra Pound, Picabo Street, Lana Turner, Sacagawea, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Larry Craig, Philo Farnsworth, W. Mark Felt, Ernest Hemingway, Chief Joseph, Paul Kruger, Sarah Palin, Aaron Paul

Sports Teams: Boise State Broncos, Idaho Vandals, and Idaho State Bengals (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Nez Perce, Shoshone, Bannock and Coeur d’Alene. May have been inhabited as early as 14,500 years.
Best Known Moments: Lewis and Clark Expedition and Oregon Trail.

Often Associated With: Rocky Mountains, potatoes, Oregon Trail, farming, mountains, snow, skiing, white supremacists, Hells Canyon, closeted senators in bathroom stalls, Shoshone Falls, Lava Hot Springs, Sun Valley, Craters of the Moon, River of No Return Wilderness Area, snowmobiles, Hagerman Fossil Beds

 

13. Illinois

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 US Senate Race marked a high point of Abraham Lincoln's career in Illinois drawing large crowds and intense news coverage. The main issue at hand was slavery and it is here in which Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Still, despite Lincoln's outstanding performance, these debates did nothing to increase his chances of being elected to the US Senate, since senators were elected by the state legislature at the time.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 US Senate Race marked a high point of Abraham Lincoln’s career in Illinois drawing large crowds and intense news coverage. The main issue at hand was slavery and it is here in which Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Still, despite Lincoln’s outstanding performance, these debates did nothing to increase his chances of being elected to the US Senate, since senators were elected by the state legislature at the time.

Abbreviation: IL
Nickname: “Prairie State”
Capital: Springfield
Largest City: Chicago
Entered Union: December 3, 1818
Bird: Northern Cardinal
Flower: Purple Violet
Tree: White Oak

Celebrities: Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Rahm and Ari Emanuel, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Ray Bradbury, Roger Ebert, Jane Addams, Saul Bellow, John Belushi, Jack Benny, Harrison Ford, John Deere, Al Capone, Betty Friedan, Benny Goodman, Ulysses S. Grant, Ernest Hemingway, Charlton Heston, Edgar Lee Masters, Bob Newhart, Elliot Ness, Cyrus McCormick, Oscar Mayer, Carl Sandburg, Shel Silverstein, Adlai E. Stevenson, Philip K. Wrigley, Ray Kroc, Mary Astor, Bill Ayers, Black Hawk, Rod Blagojevich, Robert Bloch, James Brady, Gwendolyn Brooks, William Jennings Bryan, Raymond Chandler, Leonard Chess, Chicago, Diablo Cody, Gary Coleman, Elisha Cook Jr., Sam Cooke, Michael Crichton, John and Joan Cusack, Clarence Darrow, Miles Davis, Bruce Dern, John Dewey, Milton Friedman, Bo Diddley, Philip K. Dick, John Dillinger, Walt Disney, Mike Douglas, Stephen A. Douglas, Wyatt Earp and his brothers, Buddy Ebsen, Louis Farrakhan, Enrico Fermi, Marshall Field, Bobby Fischer, Dan Fogelberg, Betty Ford, Bob Fosse, R. Buckminster Fuller, John Wayne Gacy, Jeff Garlin, Mitzi Gaynor, Stephen Glass, Edward Gorey, Billy Graham, Father Andrew Greely, Kathy Griffin, Buddy Guy, Charles J. Guiteau, Daryl Hannah, Hugh Hefner, Lorraine Hansberry, Robert Hanssen, Ben Hecht, Wild Bill Hickok, William Holden, Edwin Hubble, Rock Hudson, Jennifer Hudson, Burl Ives, Rex Ingram, Mae Jemison, Derrick Jensen, Quincy Jones, Ted Kaczynski, Florence Kelley, R. Kelly, Harvey Korman, Alison Krauss, Gene Krupa, Frankie Laine, Carl Laemmle, John Landis, Leopold and Loeb, Mary Todd Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln, John A. Logan, Bernie Mac, Fred MacMurray, Michael and Virginia Madsen, Karl Malden, Terrence Malick, Kenneth Mars, Marlee Matlin, Jenny McCarthy, Frances McDormand, Elizabeth McGovern, Roger McGuinn, Donovan McNabb, Rashard Mendenhall, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe, Vincente Minnelli, Bugs Moran, Bill Murray, Baby Face Nelson, Nichelle Nichols, Frank Nitti, Ted Nugent, Catherine O’Leary, Suze Orman, Louella Parsons, Deval Patrick, Mandy Patinkin, Allan Pinkerton, Jeremy Piven, Richard Pryor, George M. Pullman, Aidan Quinn, Harold Ramis, James Earl Ray, Nancy Reagan, John C. Reilly, Marcus Reno, Andy Richter, Jason Robards, Jack Ruby, Lillian Russell, Robert Ryan, Mike Shanahan, Gary Shandling, Michael Shannon, William Shockley, Nate Silver, Patti Smith, Joseph Smith Jr., Gene Siskel, Billy Sunday, Studs Terkel, Johnny Torrio, Dick Van Dyke, Vince Vaughn, Eddie Vedder, Robert Wadlow, Muddy Waters, George Wendt, Betty White, Richard Widmark, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Wilco, George Will, Frances E. Willard, Oprah Winfrey, Bob Woodward, and more than I can include.

Sports Teams: Chicago Bears (NFL), Chicago Cubs an Chicago White Sox (MLB), Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), and Chicago Bulls (NBA)

Indian Tribes: Mississippian culture and Illini Confederation. After them came Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, Ioway, Kickapoo, Mascouten, Piankashaw, Shawnee, Wea, and Winnebago.

Best Known Moments: Northwest Territory, Abraham Lincoln’s pre-presidential career, the Chicago Fire, Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, Hull House, clashes with unions and police, Al Capone’s activities during Prohibition, and a lot of corruption scandals.

Often Associated With: Chicago deep dish pizza, political corruption, Sears Tower, Prohibition era gangsters, Great Lakes, Abraham Lincoln, Mississippi River, McDonalds, Oscar Mayer, Chicago Tribune, Wrigley, Sears, John Deere, snow, Chicago, blues music, The Jungle, slaughterhouses, Ohio River, Cubs fans, rudeness, jazz, swearing, Marshalls, Chicago Sun-Times, unions, police brutality, the Pinkertons, Second City, multiculturalism, intellectuals, Oprah, celebrities apparently, a lot of movies and TV shows based in Chicago, WGN, public rail system, Michael Jordan, the World’s Fair, skyscrapers, terrible winters, “Sweet Home, Chicago,” mass fires allegedly started by cows kicking lanterns, green rivers on St. Patrick’s Day, Peoria

 

14. Indiana

Every Memorial Day weekend, Indiana plays host to the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race consists of 200 laps over a 2.5 mile oval course. Though it’s not affiliated with NASCAR, you’re better off spending Memorial weekend watching grass grow, baseball, or golf.

Abbreviation: IN
Nickname: “Hoosier State”
Capital: Indianapolis
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: December 11, 1816
Bird: Cardinal
Flower: Peony
Tree: Tulip Tree

Celebrities: Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, John Dillinger, Michael Jackson and his family, Larry Bird, Ambrose Burnside, Jim Davis, James Dean, Eugene V. Debs, Carole Lombard, David Letterman, Jeff Gordon, Jane Pauley, John Mellencamp, Dan Quayle, Booth Tarkington, Lew Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut, Ryan White, Tony Stewart, Benjamin Harrison, William Henry Harrison, Cole Porter, Ernie Pyle, Abraham Lincoln, George Rogers Clark, John Pointdexter, Little Turtle, Anne Baxter, Irene Dunne, Brendan Fraser, Karl Malden, Dolores Fuller, Steve McQueen (actor), Sydney Pollack, Twyla Tharp, Forrest Tucker, Clifton Webb, Red Skelton, Axl Rose, David Lee Roth, Hoagy Carmichael, Dick York, Jenna Fischer, Mick Foley, Jared Fogle, Colonel Sanders, Alvah Curtis Roebuck, Orville Redenbacher, John Schattner, Norman Bridwell, Will Shortz, Alfred Kinsey, James D. Watson, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Jimmy Hoffa, Jim Jones, Johnny Ringo, Homer Van Meter
Sports Teams: Indianapolis Colts (NFL), Indiana Pacers (NBA), Indiana Hoosiers, Butler Bulldogs, Indiana State Sycamores, Purdue Boilermakers, and Notre Dame Fighting Irish (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Mississippian culture for a long time and had been inhabited since the end of the Ice Age in 8000 BCE. Adena, Hopewell, Shawnee, Illini, and Miami

Best Known Moments: French and Indian War, Northwest Territory, saw action in the War of 1812 with Tecumseh’s rebellion, the Battle of Tippecanoe, and the Battle of Thames, and John Dillinger’s crime sprees in the 1930s.

Often Associated With: Great Lakes, Ohio River, Mississippi River, Parks and Recreation, Indianapolis 500, Indycar racing, Notre Dame, Hoosiers, farming, suburbs, Muncie, Gary, Blandness, A Christmas Story, averageness, whiteness, white basketball players, “Notre Dame Victory Song,” Papa John’s Pizza, Orville Redenbacher, not much happening, Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, John Dillinger, Tippecanoe

 

15. Iowa

Iowa was home to the great Depression Era artist Grant Wood (1891-1942)  who is best known for his American Gothic painting which has become an iconic image of 20th century American Art. This is a painting of his called Arbor Day which is on its state quarter.

Iowa was home to the great Depression Era artist Grant Wood (1891-1942) who is best known for his American Gothic painting which has become an iconic image of 20th century American Art. This is a painting of his called Arbor Day which is on its state quarter.

Abbreviation: IA
Nickname: “Hawkeye State”
Capital: Des Moines
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: December 28, 1846
Bird: Eastern Goldfinch
Flower: Wild Rose
Tree: Oak

Celebrities: Bill Bryson, John Wayne, Johnny Carson, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, George Gallup, Herbert Hoover, Ashton Kutcher, Ann Landers, Abigail Van Buren, Glenn Miller, Cloris Leachman, Lillian Russell, Billy Sunday, Henry Wallace, Kurt Warner, Meredith Wilson, Elijah Wood, Grant Wood, John Wayne Gacy, Black Hawk, Michele Bachman, Bill Daily, Steve Doocy, Mamie Eisenhower, Jim Garrison, Lou Henry Hoover, Lolo Jones, the Lane Sisters, Quashquame, Donna Reed, George Reeves, Ringling Brothers, James Van Allen, Andy Williams

Sports Teams: Iowa State Cyclones and Iowa Hawkeyes (NCAA Div. I).

Indian Tribes: Mississippian culture and the Ioway, Illiniwek, Omaha, Sauk, Dakota, Otoe, Meskwai, and Ho-Chunk all have roots here. Inhabited more than 13,000 years ago. Indians were kicked out with the 1830s Indian Removal.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, clashed with Indians during the War of 1812, 1830s Indian Removal, and results of the Iowa Caucus.

Often Associated With: farming, corn, Field of Dreams, Iowa Caucuses, Midwestness, Mississippi River, State fairs, swing state politics, progressive politics, James T. Kirk, blandness, whiteness, American Gothic, not much happening, Ringling Brothers, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Ames, Waterloo, wheat

 

16. Kansas

J. Steuart Curry's 1929 Tornado Over Kansas is basically a depiction of everything we tend to associate Kansas with. I mean Kansas farm families seeking shelter from a tornado during the Great Depression, we've heard that before. Of course, if this depicted the Dust Bowl, you probably would've thought of Oklahoma. Still, both states were both hit by the Dust Bowl as well as tend to get heavily hit during tornado season.

J. Steuart Curry’s 1929 Tornado Over Kansas is basically a depiction of everything we tend to associate Kansas with. I mean Kansas farm families seeking shelter from a tornado during the Great Depression, we’ve heard that before. Of course, if this depicted the Dust Bowl, you probably would’ve thought of Oklahoma. Still, both states were both hit by the Dust Bowl as well as tend to get heavily hit during tornado season.

Abbreviation: KS
Nickname: “Sunflower State”
Capital: Topeka
Largest City: Wichita
Entered Union: January 29, 1861
Bird: Western Medowlark
Flower: Sunflower
Tree: Cottonwood

Celebrities: Dwight D. Eisenhower, Amelia Earhart, Gwendolyn Brooks, Gordon Parks, Mort Walker, William Burroughs, John Brown, Ed Asner, Kirstie Alley, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, Bob Dole, Melissa Etheridge, “Wild Bill” Hickok, Buster Keaton, Hattie McDaniel, Oscar Micheaux, Carrie Nation, Langston Hughes, Charlie Parker, Dennis Hopper, Linda Brown, Joe Walsh, Gale Sayers, Barry Sanders, James Naismith, the Koch Brothers, Russell Stover, Walter Chrysler, Dan and Frank Carney, Hugh Beaumont, Louise Brooks, ZaSu Pitts, Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, Jason Sudeikis, Jim Lehrer, Robert Gates, Gary Hart, Charles Curtis, Kate Richards O’Hare, Arlen Specter, Fred Phelps and family, George Washington Carver, Erin Brockovich, Ann Dunham, Bat Masterson, Kansas

Sports Teams: Kansas State Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Wichita, Plains, Pawnee, Osage, and Otoe. Inhabited since the Ice Age.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Mexican-American War, Oregon Trail, served as dumping ground for Indian tribes during the 1830s, Bleeding Kansas, Indian Wars, Carrie Nation smashing saloons, Dust Bowl, and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Often Associated With: Political bloodbaths in both figurative and literal sense, creationist school boards, tornadoes, The Wizard of Oz, prairies, prairie dogs, Leavenworth, Dodge City, farming, Superman, flatland, cowboys, In Cold Blood, rednecks, demolished trailers, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Russell Stover Candies, Pizza Hut, Westboro Baptist Church, heartland, Plains Indians, bison, Dust Bowl, Wichita, sunflowers, wheat, farming, a lot of trails, “Home on the Range,” cattle ranching, the other Kansas City

 

17. Kentucky

Each year on the first Saturday in May since 1872, Kentucky plays host to the renown Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs which is the first of the Triple Crown Races. Unlike the Indianapolis 500, this is race is just one lap along a 1 1/4 mile long tract though the broadcast can go on for hours. Still, whoever wins this race will go on to become the horse we all root for to win the Triple Crown (not won since the 1970s) come the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

Each year on the first Saturday in May since 1872, Kentucky plays host to the renown Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs which is the first of the Triple Crown Races. Unlike the Indianapolis 500, this is race is just one lap along a 1 1/4 mile long tract though the broadcast can go on for hours. Still, whoever wins this race will go on to become the horse we all root for to win the Triple Crown (not won since the 1970s) come the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.

Abbreviation: KY
Nickname: “Bluegrass State”
Capital: Frankfurt
Largest City: Louisville
Entered Union: June 1, 1792
Bird: Cardinal
Flower: Goldenrod
Tree: Tulip Poplar

Celebrities: Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, the Everly Brothers, Muhammad Ali, Louis Brandeis, Ned Beatty, John C. Breckinridge, George Clooney, Henry Clay, Rosemary Clooney, Jennifer Lawrence, George “Casey” Jones, D. W. Griffith, Mary Todd Lincoln, Carrie Nation, Diane Sawyer, Colonel Sanders, Zachary Taylor, Hunter S. Thompson, Larry Flynt, Helen Thomas, Jim Bowie, Stephen Bishop, Roy Bean, Johnny Depp, Lee Majors, Victor Mature, Patricia Neal, Rob Riggle, William Shatner, Harry Dean Stanton, Jim Varney, Charles Manson, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Cassius Marcellus Clay, Merriwether Lewis Clark Jr., Thomas Merton

Sports Teams: Kentucky Wildcats, WKU Hilltoppers, and Louisville Cardinals (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Shawnee and Cherokee. Kicked out with Indian Removal in the 1830s.

Best Known Moments: Northwest Territory, Trail of Tears, and other events.

Often Associated With: horse racing, Kentucky Derby, Appalachia, bluegrass music, rednecks, moonshine, coal mining, hillbillies, poverty, Ohio River, Lincoln Log Cabin, tobacco, whiskey, pollution, bourbon, NASCAR racing, Mammouth Cave, Cumberland Gap, Bowling Green, Churchill Downs, KFC, drugs, barbecue, Fort Knox, power outages, Cumberland Gap, Ten Commandments display debates, unusually high political candidacy age laws, a not so influential state Supreme Court, railroads, “My Old Kentucky Home,” heart attack inducing food, Lexington, Louisville, gospel music, Red River Gorge, mint juleps, big hats, Quaker State 400, blue-skinned people, pollution

 

18. Louisiana

In New Orleans, Louisiana, jazz is a music tradition that's played on all sorts of occasions. This painting depicts a New Orleans jazz funeral in which the traditional somber music is replaced with loud, upbeat, raucous music and dancing celebrating the deceased's life.  "When the Saints Go Marching In" is usually a standard tune at these.

In New Orleans, Louisiana, jazz is a music tradition that’s played on all sorts of occasions. This painting depicts a New Orleans jazz funeral in which the traditional somber music is replaced with loud, upbeat, raucous music and dancing celebrating the deceased’s life. “When the Saints Go Marching In” is usually a standard tune at these.

Abbreviation: LA
Nickname: “Pelican State”
Capital: Baton Rouge
Largest City: New Orleans
Entered Union: April 30, 1812
Bird: Brown Pelican
Flower: Magnolia
Tree: Bald Cypress

Celebrities: Huey Long, Peyton and Eli Manning, Terry Bradshaw, Dr. John, Tennessee Williams, Louie Armstrong, Judah P. Benjamin, Ellen DeGeneres, Fats Domino, Lillian Hellman, Braxton Bragg, Kate Chopin, P. G. T. Beauregard, Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Leonidas K. Polk, Anne Rice, Bill Russell, Tim McGraw, Britney Spears, Buddy Guy, Truman Capote, Jim Garrison, Clay Shaw, James Carville, Ryan Clark, Patricia Clarkson, David Duke, Iron Eyes Cody, Mahalia Jackson, Bobby Jindal, Jean Lafitte, Dorothy Lamour, John Larroquette, Lead Belly, Jared Leto, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lil’ Wayne, Jelly Roll Morton, Aaron Neville, Randy Newman, Lee Harvey Oswald, Sister Helen Prejean, Pee Wee Reese, Cokie Roberts, Steven Soderbergh, Kordell Stewart, Jimmy Swaggart, David Vitter, Mike Wallace (football player), Lester Young, Buckwheat Zydeco

Sports Teams: New Orleans Saints (NFL), New Orleans Pelicans (NBA), and LSU Tigers (NCAA Div. I).

Indian Tribes: Mississippian, Marksville, Baytown, Plaquemine, and Fourche Maine cultures for some time. Natchez, Natchitoches, Atchafalaya, Caddo, Choctaw, Tunica, Chitimacha, Chawash, Houma, Tangipahoa, and Avoyel.

Best Known Moments: Accepted Acadian refugees kicked out of their homeland during the French and Indian War, Louisiana Purchase, the Battle of New Orleans, Civil War New Orleans occupation, Hurricane Katrina, and BP Oil Spill as well as other disasters.

Often Associated With: hurricanes, jazz, blues, crime, poverty, Mardis Gras, Creoles, New Orleans, corruption, gumbo, Mississippi River, levees, Mississippi Delta, zydeco, Cajun, French building styles, ibis, A Streetcar Named Desire, egrets, multiculturalism, flooding, raised graves, swamp, ethnic music, Iseno, mosquitos, frogs, crocodiles, French Quarter, The Big Easy, Southern Gothic Literature, “When the Saints Go Marching In,” voodoo, bounty payments to football players, gospel music, blues

 

19. Maine

Maine is well known for its jagged rocky coastline and lighthouses that create picturesque scenery that attracts many tourists and filmmakers. A lot of movies set in New England often feature a jagged coast like Maine's.

Maine is well known for its jagged rocky coastline and lighthouses that create picturesque scenery that attracts many tourists and filmmakers. A lot of movies set in New England often feature a jagged coast like Maine’s.

Abbreviation: ME
Nickname: “Pine Tree State”
Capital: Augusta
Largest City: Portland
Entered Union: March 15, 1820
Bird: Black-Capped Chicadee
Flower: White Pine Cone and Tassle
Tree: Eastern White Pine

Celebrities: Stephen King, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, L. L. Bean, Margaret Chase Smith, Patrick Dempsey, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edmund Muskie, E. B. White, Dorthea Dix, John Ford, Gladys George, Anna Kendrick, David E. Kelley, Olympia Snowe, John O’Hurley, Nelson Rockefeller, Andrew Wyeth

Sports Teams: None

Indian Tribes: Wabanki, Abenaki, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Penobscot. Wiped out by wars and smallpox.

Best Known Moments: Part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony until statehood and home of the 20th Maine led by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain who defended Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg.

Often Associated With: lighthouses, seashores, Stephen King novels, evergreen forests, Hawkeye Pierce, L. L. Bean, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, boats, lumberjacks, snowmobiles, New England, gorgeous scenery, snow, skiing, rocky cliffs, lobster, seafood

 

20. Maryland

It was in Maryland where Francis Scott Key wrote down the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” after witnessing the battle of Fort McHenry while a prisoner on British ship during the War of 1812. In 1931, those lyrics would become the US national anthem and have been butchered at sporting events ever since.

Abbreviation: MD
Nickname: “Old Line State,” “Free State”
Capital: Annapolis
Largest City: Baltimore
Entered Union: April 28, 1788
Bird: Baltimore Oriole
Flower: Black-Eyed Susan
Tree: White Oak

Celebrities: Babe Ruth, Frederick Douglass, Michael Phelps, Edgar Allan Poe, David Simon, Barry Levinson, John Waters, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, H. L. Mencken, Ogden Nash, Francis Scott Key, Charles Wilson Peale, Upton Sinclair, Roger B. Taney, Harriet Tubman, Montel Williams, Tom Clancy, Benjamin Banneker, Bishop John Carroll, Spiro Agnew, Cal Ripken Jr., Charles Joseph Bonaparte, Thurgood Marshall, Nancy Pelosi, William Paca, Sergeant Shriver, Michael Steele, Rachel Carson, Carl Bernstein, James M. Cain, Connie Chung, Dashiell Hammett, Zora Neale Hurston, Leon Uris, Toni Braxton, Cab Calloway, Billie Holliday, Joan Jett, Frank Zappa, David Hasselhoff, Lewis Black, Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, Goldie Hawn, Divine, Kathie Lee Gifford, Ira Glass, William H. Macy, Mo’Nique Imes Jackson, Edward Norton, Spike Jonze, Martin Lawrence, Sylvester Stallone, Debra Monk, Parker Posey, Jada Pinkett Smith, Pete Sampras, Stephen Decatur, Matthew Henson, Alger Hiss, Samuel Mudd, Johns Hopkins, George Peabody, Ben Stein, Noel “Paul” Stookey

Sports Teams: Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins (NFL), and Baltimore Orioles (MLB)

Indian Tribes: Nanticoke, Piscataway, and Susquehannock.

Best Known Moments: Its founding by Lord Baltimore as a haven for English Catholics, one of the original 13 Colonies, American Revolution, Father John Carroll appointed first American Catholic Bishop, Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, early life of Frederick Douglass, Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War, and the Camp David Accords.

Often Associated With: inner city drug wars, The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street, Hairspray, crabs, Ravens fans, Chesapeake Bay, harbor, boats, inner city conditions, Baltimore, Edgar Allan Poe, Camp David, beaches, Ocean City, seafood, Inner Harbor, U. S. Naval Academy, B & O Railroad, Mason-Dixon Line, The Baltimore Sun, Johns Hopkins University, Preakness Stakes, Fort McHenry

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In These United States: Part 1 – Alabama to Georgia

The United States is a large country with a lot of interesting places, cultures, and people to see. Yet, what many outside the country forget that it’s a union of states each with its own history and characteristics. I mean we Americans don’t even talk or look the same way. Heck, we can’t all agree how to pronounce the word “aunt” correctly (my take: the “u” is silent.) Still, in this five part series, I’ll go over what each state has to offer, who inhabited the place before Europeans arrived, their resident sports teams, their best known moments in history, and people from there who became famous. However, here are a few pointers:

State sports teams usually consist of best known in the state everyone knows about whether they be college or professional.

Just because a celebrity is listed as being from that particular state doesn’t mean he or she was necessarily born or died there. It just means that he or she is associated with that state a lot whether they were born, died, grew up there, live there, or have a house there. Also, to be a celebrity listed one needs to achieve some sort of lasting fame or the fact everyone knows or should know about them.

Celebrities can consist of any famous person, not just the people known as “celebrities.”
State Indian Tribes usually consist of the Indian groups that inhabited the state before Europeans came along.

Best known moments include stuff that most people would know from American history from either their textbook or the media, not necessarily history just people from that state would know.

In this selection, we’ll explore what many call the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, good ol’ Alabama. However, contrary to “Sweet Home Alabama,” we must remember that the original members of Lynyrd Skynyrd are actually from Florida. Second, we venture to the great state of the North Alaska which many would associate with its diverse arctic wildlife and beautiful mountain ranges as well as its onetime bitch of a governor who could see Russia from her house. Third, we go to the desert Grand Canyon state of Arizona known for the Gunfight at the O. K. Corral as well as illegal immigration laws that encourage racial profiling. Then, we go to the Appalachian mountain state of Arkansas famous for Wal-Mart, Bill Clinton, Johnny Cash, and offensive stereotypes. Next, it’s off to the great state of California, famous for Hollywood and gorgeous scenery as well as it’s interesting vast population that many call the Cereal State because they believe consists of fruits, nuts, and flakes. Then it’s on to Colorado whose unofficial anthem seems to now be John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High,” partly because of it’s high elevation (hint: its lowest point is higher than the highest point of my home state Pennsylvania) and the fact that pot is basically legal making some of the song lyrics to that famed John Denver song unintentionally hilarious. Next, it’s off to Connecticut known for Yale, Mark Twain, it’s discrimination of non-WASPs in their suburban communities during the 1940s as depicted in Gentleman’s Agreement, and the fact many celebrities live there for some reason. Then there’s Delaware known for being the first state to ratify the constitution, a haven for corporations, and not much else. After that is Florida where many people either venture for vacation or to retire as well as Disney World, Miami, and racist “Stand Your Ground Laws.” Finally, we have the state of Georgia home of Ted Turner as well as where General William Tecumseh Sherman marched to the sea in Gone With the Wind.

1. Alabama

Alabama is known as the home of famous African American scientist George Washington Carver who pioneered alternative crops to cotton for poorer farms such as peanuts, potatoes, soybeans, and yams. He contributed most of his life's work while a professor at the Tuskegee Institute. Still, this doesn't help that most people know him today as

Alabama is known as the home of famous African American scientist George Washington Carver who pioneered alternative crops to cotton for poorer farms such as peanuts, potatoes, soybeans, and yams. He contributed most of his life’s work while a professor at the Tuskegee Institute. Still, this doesn’t help that most people know him today as “the peanut guy.”

Abbreviation: AL

Nickname: “Heart of Dixie,” “Camellia State”
Capital: Montgomery
Largest City: Birmingham
Entered Union: December 14, 1819
Bird: Yellowhammer, Wild Turkey
Flower: Camellia, Oak-Leaf Hydrangea
Tree: Longleaf Pine

Celebrities: Hank Aaron, Harper Lee, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Helen Keller, George C. Wallace, Willie Mays, Hugo Black, Jesse Owens, Coretta Scott King, Hank Williams, Rosa Parks, Lionel Richie, Charles Barkley, Tallulah Bankhead, Werner von Braun, Jimmy Buffett, Truman Capote, Nat King Cole, Angela Davis, Louise Fletcher, Emmylou Harris, Evander Holyfield, Zora Neale Hurston, Bo Jackson, Mae Jemison, Martin Luther King Jr., Carl Lewis, Joe Louis, Jim Nabors, Terrell Owens, Satchel Paige, Wilson Pickett, Condoleezza Rice, Zelda Fitzgerald, Fred Thompson, Jimmy Wales,

Sports Teams: The University of Alabama Crimson Tide (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Alabama, Koati, and Choctaw, according to the Spanish accounts of the early 1500s. Most of these would be forced out west by with the Indian Removal Act in the 1830s. Had Mississippian culture in most of the state for about 500 years.

Best Known Moments: The Louisiana Purchase, the Trail of Tears in the 1830s, the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864, site of the Scotsboro Boys scandal, headquarters for the Tuskegee Airmen during WWII, and the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott sparked by Rosa Parks as well as other demonstrations during the Civil Rights Movement, especially in Birmingham and Selma.

Often Associated With: cotton, slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, rednecks, Skynyrd fans, Southern Rock, “Sweet Home Alabama,” Lynyrd Skynyrd (despite being from Florida), rocketry, Huntsville, Mobile, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.,” NASCAR Racing, To Kill a Mockingbird, racism, lynching, Mississippi River, Tuskegee Airmen, Montgomery, Birmingham, hogging college football state championships

2. Alaska

Alaska is renown for its gorgeous scenery and diverse wildlife now under threat by human activity and global warming. This painting depicts grizzly bears catching salmon from the river with the seagulls waiting for leftovers and a bald eagle soaring high.

Alaska is renown for its gorgeous scenery and diverse wildlife now under threat by human activity and global warming. This painting depicts grizzly bears catching salmon from the river with the seagulls waiting for leftovers and a bald eagle soaring high.

Abbreviation: AK
Nickname: “The Last Frontier”
Capital: Juneau
Largest City: Anchorage
Entered Union: January 3, 1959
Bird: Willow Ptarmigan
Flower: Forget-Me-Not
Tree: Sitka Spruce

Celebrities: Jewel (Kilcher), Sarah Palin, Valerie Plame Wilson, Bob Ross, Robert Stroud

Sports Teams: None.

Indian Tribes: Tinglit, Haida, Aleut, Inuit, Y’upik, Alutiiq, Inupiat, and Athabascan. Many of these are actually still living in their native region. Was the first stop of the Bering Strait people about 13,000 years ago.

Best Known Moments: Bering Strait Crossing 13,000 years ago, its purchase from Russia by William Seward in 1867, Klondike Gold Rush in 1896, 1925 Serum Run, Trans-Alaskan Pipeline construction during the 1970s, and Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill.

Often Associated With: Sarah Palin, oil, the Iditarod, polar bears, Northern Lights, moose, tundra and polar wilderness, wild frontiers, winter, glaciers, Totem poles, sled dog racing, Northern Exposure, caribou, Eskimos, huskies, igloos, puffins, bush pilots, aerial wolf hunting, “Bridge to Nowhere,” 24 hours of sunshine in summers, 24 hours of darkness in winters, glaciers, melting ice caps, oil spills, the Arctic, Denali, ANWAR, Fairbanks, Anchorage, Glacier Bay, hunting, weirdos, the Klondike, seals

3. Arizona

Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon which is one of the more famous national parks of the United States. It is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide with a depth of over a mile. It's also known to be about 2 billion years old.

Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon which is one of the more famous national parks of the United States. It is 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide with a depth of over a mile. It’s also known to be about 2 billion years old.

Abbreviation: AZ
Nickname: “Grand Canyon State”
Capital: Phoenix
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: February 14, 1912
Bird: Cactus Wren
Flower: Saguaro Blossom
Tree: Palo Verde

Celebrities: Cochise, Alice Cooper, Geronimo, Gabrielle Giffords, Barry Goldwater, Zane Grey, Linda Ronstadt, John McCain, Frank Lloyd Wright, Sandra Day O’Connor, Cesar Chavez, Steven Spielberg, Stevie Nicks, Pat Tillman, Ira Hayes, Glenn Campbell, Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens, Wyatt Earp and his brothers, “Doc” Holliday, Joe Arpaio

Sports Teams: Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Arizona Coyotes (NHL).

Indian Tribes: Anasazi, Mogollon, and Hohokam between c. 300 BCE to 1300. Navajo and Apache in the 15th century. Sobaipuri who were there since who knows when.

Best Known Moments: Stop during the Francisco Coronado expedition in the 1500s, Mexican American War, Apache Wars, Gunfight at the O. K. Corral, site of Japanese Internment camps in WWII, and the Tucson shooting.

Often Associated With: Southwest Indians, unfair laws related to targeting Hispanics on suspicion of illegal immigration, canyons, desert, cowboys, cattle, Mexicans, country music, the Grand Canyon, cacti, mesa, Petrified Forest, coyotes, ranches, Indian ruins, Tombstone, Spanish missions, Biosphere 2, London Bridge, Tempe, Yuma, Glen Canyon, Meteor Crater at Winslow, Tuscon, controversial sheriffs with questionable ideas about law enforcement, adobes, “The Grand Canyon Waltz,” Rocky Mountains, Continental Divide

4. Arkansas

Edward Washburn's 1858 The Arkansas Traveler depicts a wealthy farmer with a family of squatters. However, this painting is an icon of how many perceive Arkansas as a bunch of shiftless hillbillies which isn't helped by the state suffering a racial stigma from the American Civil War which helped lead to the Little Rock Nine.

Edward Washburn’s 1858 The Arkansas Traveler depicts a wealthy farmer with a family of squatters. However, this painting is an icon of how many perceive Arkansas as a bunch of shiftless hillbillies which isn’t helped by the state suffering a racial stigma from the American Civil War which helped lead to the Little Rock Nine.

Abbreviation: AR
Nickname: “The Natural State,” “The Razorback State”
Capital: Little Rock
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: June 15, 1836
Bird: Mockingbird
Flower: Apple Blossom
Tree: Pine

Celebrities: Sam Walton, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Daisy Bates, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, John Grisham, Levon Helm, Douglas MacArthur, Scottie Pippen, Al Green, Billy Bob Thornton, James William Fullbright, Maya Angelou, Alan Ladd, Helen Gurley Brown, Charles Portis, Mike Huckabee, Eldridge Cleaver, Bill Hicks

Sports Teams: The University of Arkansas Razorbacks (NCAA Div. I Football)

Indian Tribes: Caddo, Quapaw, Osage, Cherokee, and Choctaw most of them forced out west by the 1830s Indian Removal Act.

Best Known Moments: Visits by Hernando de Soto, Jacques Marquette, Louis Jolliet, and Robert La Salle, the Louisiana Purchase, 1830s Trail of Tears, and the Little Rock Nine of 1957.

Often Associated With: Wal Mart, rednecks, bluegrass music, country music, racism, hillbillies, the Ozarks, Mississippi River, moonshine, Appalachia, Little Rock

5. California

Of course, California is a state of many diverse wealth and beauty. Yet, it's best remembered as the home of Hollywood which has been the film capital of the world for generations. Here is a painting of an assortment of iconic Old Hollywood screen legends we all knew and love throughout the ages.

Of course, California is a state of many diverse wealth and beauty. Yet, it’s best remembered as the home of Hollywood which has been the film capital of the world for generations. Here is a painting of an assortment of iconic Old Hollywood screen legends we all knew and love throughout the ages.

Abbreviation: CA
Nickname: “Golden State”
Capital: Sacramento
Largest City: Los Angeles
Entered Union: September 9, 1850
Bird: California Valley Quail
Flower: California Poppy
Tree: California Redwood

Celebrities: Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Harvey Milk, Cesar Chavez, George Takei, Tom Brady, Robert Redford, Beck, Julia Child, Carson Daly, Iva Toguri D’Aquino (a. k. a. “Tokyo Rose”), Cameron Crowe, Jeremy Renner, Keri Russell, Diane Keaton, Huey Lewis, Eva Longoria, Keb’ Mo,’ Kevin Costner, Oscar De La Hoya, Bo Derek, Laura Dern, Robert Duvall, John Cage, Ed Begley Jr., Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe DiMaggio, Tom Hanks, Jack London, Bret Harte, William Randolph Hearst, John C. Fremont, Steve Jobs, Angelina Jolie, Monica Lewinsky, Maroon 5, Will Ferrell, Mel Blanc, John Sutter, Andy Samberg, Walt Stack, Leland Stanford Jr., Gwen Stefani, Chuck Yeager, George Lucas, Jenifer Aniston, Green Day, Tyra Banks, Marilyn Monroe, John Muir, Gwenyth Paltrow, George S. Patton Jr., Nancy Pelosi, Sally Ride, William Saroyan, John Steinbeck, Levi Strauss, Phil Mickelson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Father Junipero Serra, Shirley Temple, Danielle Steele, David Strathairn, Earl Warren, the Williams Sisters, Barry Bonds, Jeff Bridges and family, Josh Brolin and dad, Lindsey Buckingham, Nicholas Cage, the Carradines, the Barrymores, Sasha Cohen, Tiger Woods, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and his brothers, Isadora Duncan, Sally Field, Sean Astin, Peggy Fleming, Jodie Foster, Tim Burton, James Franco, Cher, Robert Frost, Dian Fossey, Merle Haggard, Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), Thomas Kinkade, Bruce Lee, Jeff Gordon, Randy Newman, Danny Glover, Jason Giambi, Margaret Cho, Bryan Cranston, James Cromwell, David Crosby, Ice Cube, Cameron Diaz, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Beach Boys, O. J. Simpson, Charles R. Schwab, Darryl Strawberry, Amy Tan, Natalie Wood, Kristi Yamaguchi, Steve Wozniack, Gene Hackman, Patty Hearst, Jonah Hill, John Williams, Flogging Molly, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamil, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mark Sanchez, Jason Schwartzman, Harry Shearer, Josh Groban, Jefferson Airplane, Dr. Dre, Bob Hope, Domencio “Domingo” Ghirardelli Sr., Steve Martin, Johnny Mathis, Buck Owens, Carlos Santanna, Dustin Hoffman, the Hustons, Metallica, Mark McGwire, Helen Hunt, Etta James, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Marion Jones, Ashley Judd, Pauline Kael, Michelle Kwan, Weird Al, the Doors, Gloria Grahame, Lynn Swann, Farley Granger, Van Halen, Billie Jean King, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Yashiro Ishimoto, Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis, George Lopez, Courtney Love, Willie McCool, Audra McDonald, Robert McNamara, Liza Minnelli, Edward James Olmos, Sam Peckinpah, Sean Penn, Michael Richards, Tim Robbins, Aaron Rodgers, Pete Rozelle, Tony Romo, Jon Lovitz, the Coppolas, Rube Goldberg, the Grateful Dead, Marcus Benjamin, Michael Bay, Herb Alpert, Ansel Adams, Reggie Bush, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Jason Segel, Tupac Shakur, Richard Sherman, Robert Stack and many more I can’t include right now.

Sports Teams: Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and San Francisco 49ers (NFL), Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and San Diego Padres (MLB), Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Sacramento Kings (NBA), Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and San Jose Sharks (NHL), and UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans (NCAA Div. I Football and Basketball).

Indian Tribes: Inhabited by over 70 tribes and was one of the most diverse regions of Pre-Columbian America

Best Known Moments: Mexican-American War, Fremont Expedition, California Gold Rush of 1849, Compromise of 1850, The Donner Party Incident, Asian discrimination, mass migration in the 20th century due to Hollywood and the Great Depression, San Francisco Earthquake, Japanese Interment during WWII, lots of demonstrations, and other events

Often Associated With: liberals, hippies, stoners, Hollywood, celebrities, rich people, pop culture, Valley girls, surfer dudes, burnouts, weirdos, hipsters, Silicon Valley, gays, Latinos, Spanish Missions, desert, Redwood Forests, tree huggers, intellectuals, earthquakes, New Agers, wine, LA, cowboys, gold, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, LAPD, race riots, illegal immigrants, pot, computer geeks, Asians, prison overcrowding, multiculturalism, water shortages, wildfires, a lot of TV shows and movies I can’t even count, Los Angeles Times, the Golden Gate Bridge, beach, hipsters, suburbs, cacti, Frisco, film noir, San Francisco Bay, Berkeley, San Diego, San Andreas Fault, homeless people, traffic congestion, smog, expensive real estate, Hollywood, urban hellscapes, gorgeous scenery, yuppies, Disneyland, Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, Cascade Range, bikers, Alcatraz, fancy houses, San Francisco Chronicle, gang wars, ghost towns, serial killers, military bases, Sonoran Desert, Sequoia, Bristlecone Pines, the Joshua Tree, Mill Valley, Rose Bowl Parade, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Kings Canyon, Redwood National Park, Lassen Volcanic, Long Beach, Oakland, Monterrey, San Jose, volcanoes, drought, Stanford

6. Colorado

Pikes Peak is one of Colorado's best known places of natural beauty in the Rocky Mountains. Though discovered by a man named Zebulon Pike Jr. in 1806, it was this mountain that helped inspire Kathie Lee Bates to write

Pikes Peak is one of Colorado’s best known places of natural beauty in the Rocky Mountains. Though discovered by a man named Zebulon Pike Jr. in 1806, it was this mountain that helped inspire Kathie Lee Bates to write “America the Beautiful.”

Abbreviation: CO
Nickname: “Centennial State”
Capital: Denver
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: August 1, 1876
Bird: Lark Bunting
Flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine
Tree: Colorado Blue Spruce

Celebrities: Tim Allen, Molly Brown, M. Scott Carpenter, Mamie Eisenhower, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Lon Chaney Sr., the South Park Guys, Don Cheadle, Antoinette Perry, Gordon Cooper, Kalpana Chawla, Jack Dempsey, John Elway, Lowell Thomas, Dalton Trumbo, Karl Rove, Adam McKay, Gary Hart, Temple Grandin , William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody

Sports Teams: Denver Broncos (NFL), Denver Nuggets (NBA), Colorado Rockies (MLB), and Colorado Avalanche (NHL)

Indian Tribes: Ancient Pueblo Peoples lived between 11200 to 3000 BCE, Ute, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Apache, and Comanche.

Best Known Moments: Zebulun Pike Expedition, Mexican American War, Indian Wars, Colorado Silver Boom, and two mass shootings at Columbine and Aurora.

Often Associated With: Rocky Mountains, high elevation, pot, stoners, hipsters, health nuts, hippies, outdoors stuff, desert, wilderness, John Denver, “Rocky Mountain High,” Continental Divide, snowcap mountains, multiculturalism, weirdos, New Agers, suburbs, hipsters, canyons, Indian ruins, South Park, cowboys, pioneers, tree huggers, Pikes Peak, skiing, Denver, Red Rocks Park, Black Canyon, Colorado Springs, Mesa Verde, Aspen, Grand Mesa, Cripple Creek, getting high, Columbine, Aurora

7. Connecticut

Like a lot of places in New England Connecticut is well known for its picturesque scenery and towns with fixtures like barns and steeple churches. Kind of explains why so many celebrities tend to live there.

Like a lot of places in New England Connecticut is well known for its picturesque scenery and towns with fixtures like barns and steeple churches. Kind of explains why so many celebrities tend to live there.

Abbreviation: CT
Nickname: “Constitution State,” “Nutmeg State”
Capital: Hartford
Largest City: Bridgeport
Entered Union: January 9, 1788
Bird: American Robin
Flower: Mountain Laurel
Tree: Charter White Oak

Celebrities: Katharine Hepburn, Ethan Allen, P. T. Barnum, Mark Twain, Suzanne Collins, J. P. Morgan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Charles Dow, Jackie Robinson, Eli Whitney, Noah Webster, Ralph Nader, Norman Lear, Seth MacFarlane, Cordell Hull, Robert Mitchum, Nathan Hale, Charles Ives, Roger Sherman, Christopher Walken, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Richard Belzer, Ernest Borgnine, Kevin Bacon, Ed Begley, Art Carney, Glenn Close, Paul Giamatti, Elia Kazan, Matt Lauer, David Letterman, Christopher Lloyd, Israel Putnam, Frederick March, John Ratzenberger, Rosiland Russell, Kyra Sedgwick, Ed Sullivan, Sam Waterson, Walter Camp, Bruce Jenner, William F. Buckley Jr., Charlotte Perkins Gillman, Madeleine L’ Engle, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Philip Roth, Maurice Sendak, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Wallace Stevens, Samuel Colt, Charles Goodyear, Martha Stewart, Ann Coulter, Denis Leary, Joan Rivers, Andy Rooney, Benedict Arnold, John Brown, 50 Cent, Leonard Bernstein, Dave Brubeck, Michael Bolton, the Carpenters, Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger, Lyman Hall, Joe Lieberman, Clare Boothe Luce, Gideon Welles, Jonathan Edwards, Helen Keller, Alfred P. Sloan, John Trumbull, Frederick Law Olmstead, Glen Beck, Phil Donahue, Igor Sikorsky, Anne Baxter, Marilyn Chambers, Michael J. Fox, Justin Long, Ted Knight, Dylan McDermott, Wally Lamb, Annie Leibowitz, Robert Ludlum, Stephanie Meyer, Arthur Miller, Ida Tarbell, Oliver Wolcott

Sports Teams: UConn Huskies (NCAA Div. I Basketball), Quinnipac University Bobcats (NCAA Div. I Basketball and Hockey), Yale Bulldogs (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Mohegan, Pequot, Paugusetts, and others. Probably died from war and small pox.

Best Known Moments: One of the original 13 Colonies, American Revolution, Discrimination in suburban communities in the 20th century, and school shooting at Newtown.

Often Associated With: Yale, rich people, New England, intellectuals, suburbs, old money, picturesque countryside, lighthouses, seaside, sailboats, small farms, Gentlemen’s Agreement, celebrities apparently, Bridgeport, Gillette Castle, New Haven, harbors, golfing, covered bridges, Darien, Waterbury, steeple churches, spoiled prep school kids, Newtown

8. Delaware

“Recruiting Peter Stuyvesant's Army for the Recapture of Fort Casimir,” is an 1838 paining by Albertus Del Orient Browere. Of course, many don't know that Delaware used to belong to the Dutch West India Company before the Brits seized it during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Of course, Fort Casmir was later renamed New Castle and its still that way today.

“Recruiting Peter Stuyvesant’s Army for the Recapture of Fort Casimir,” is an 1838 paining by Albertus Del Orient Browere. Of course, many don’t know that Delaware used to belong to the Dutch West India Company before the Brits seized it during the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Of course, Fort Casmir was later renamed New Castle and its still that way today.

Abbreviation: DE
Nickname: “First State,” “Diamond State”
Capital: Dover
Largest City: Wilmington
Entered Union: December 7, 1787
Bird: Blue Hen Chicken
Flower: Peach Blossom
Tree: American Holly

Celebrities: Joe Biden, Victor Marie DuPont, Thomas McKean, Dr. Oz, Ryan Philippe, Caesar Rodney, Aubrey Plaza, George Thorogood, Johnny Weir, John Dickinson, Anne Rogers Clark, Teri Polo, Judge Reinhold

Sports Teams: Delaware Fightn’ Blue Hens and Delaware State Hornets (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: The Lenni Lenape or the Delaware and the Nanticoke. Probably wiped out by war and smallpox

Best Known Moments: Henry Hudson expedition of 1609, one of the original 13 Colonies, the American Revolution, and once part of Pennsylvania as well as was the first state to ratify the constitution.

Often Associated With: rich people, pro-business environment, corporation haven, rail and bus transportation for senators, ferry boats, lighthouses, DuPont, Wilmington, Dover, Old Swedes Holy Trinity Church, New Castle, beaches, Delaware River, NASCAR racing, Combat Zone Wrestling, not much else

9. Florida

Florida's Everglades are tropical wetlands and the largest tropical wilderness of the US and largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi. It was made a National Park to support a fragile ecosystem that's home to 36 threatened species, 350 kinds of birds, 300 species of fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles. Yet, even its natural park status doesn't prevent this swamp of beauty from suffering environmental duress.

Florida’s Everglades are tropical wetlands and the largest tropical wilderness of the US and largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi. It was made a National Park to support a fragile ecosystem that’s home to 36 threatened species, 350 kinds of birds, 300 species of fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles. Yet, even its natural park status doesn’t prevent this swamp of beauty from suffering environmental duress.

Abbreviation: FL
Nickname: “Sunshine State”
Capital: Tallahassee
Largest City: Jacksonville
Entered Union: March 3, 1845
Bird: Northern Mockingbird
Flower: Orange Blossom
Tree: Sabal Palmetto

Celebrities: Jeb Bush, Osceola, Janet Reno, Tom Petty, Perez Hilton, Wayne Brady, Johnny Depp, Faye Dunaway, Ray Charles, Sidney Poitier, Bob Ross, Mickey Rourke, Rick Sanchez, Wesley Snipes, Bob Vila, Zora Neale Hurston, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lil’ Wayne, Debbie Harry, Jim Morrison, Vanilla Ice, Enrique Inglesias, Dante Culpepper, Chris Evert, Hulk Hogan, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, Ray Lewis, Chad Ochocinco, Alex Rodriguez, Deion Sanders, Maria Sharapova, Emmit Smith, Tim Tebow, Charles E. Merrill, A. Philip Randolph, William H. Macy, Daniel Tosh, Charles E. Merrill, Pat Boone, The Allman Brothers Band, Andy Garcia, Julio Inglesias, Dave Barry, Jeff Lindsay, Jimmy Wales

Sports Teams: Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Bucaneers, and Miami Dolphins (NFL), Miami Heat and Orlando Magic (NBA), Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins (MLB), Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL), Florida State Seminoles, Florida Gators, and Miami Hurricanes (NCAA Div. I, particularly football)

Indian Tribes: Apalachee, Timucua, Ais, Tocobaga, Callusa, and Tequesta at least by the time Juan Ponce de Leon was there. Seminoles actually came there in the 19th century when driven off their ancestral lands.

Best Known Moments: First contact with Europeans through Juan Ponce de Leon, US clash with the Seminoles, Bush v. Gore, a series of hurricanes and a lot of crime stories including the Casey Anthony trial and the Trayvon Martin killing.

Often Associated With: swamp, Disney World, senior citizens, rednecks, weirdos, the Everglades, Miami, Dexter, psycho killers, beaches, alligators, unbearable heat, hurricanes, weirdos, old retired Jews, Cubans, mosquitoes, strip clubs, NASA, Cape Canaveral, racist “Stand Your Ground” laws, Orlando, Key West, sunshine, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, colorful houses, suburbs, Jimmy Buffet fans, NASCAR racing, swing state politics, Bush v. Gore, hippies, pro-wrestling, trailer parks, tornadoes, oranges, palm trees, marlins, manatees, motorboats, water skis, tourism, Daytona Beach, Miami Beach, Florida panther, multiculturalism, Hawaiian shirts, golfing, exotic birds, herons, tabloid magazines, Sarasota, Pensacola, St. Augustine,  Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Miami Herald, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Panama City, Tebowing, annoying Christian football players, Daytona Beach, Daytona 500, Southern Rock, St. Petersburg, Black Seminoles, subtropical to tropical settings, crocodiles, cypress trees

10. Georgia

Callaway Gardens is a family resort area in Georgia as well as a National Historic Landmark. Founded by a couple who wanted to save a rare species of Azaela as well as play host to other native plants, the gardens include a number of lakes, golf courses, scenic drive, an enclosed butterfly habitat, hiking trails, a horticultural center, a butterfly center and so much more. Pictured here is the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel which must play host to a lot of weddings.

Callaway Gardens is a family resort area in Georgia as well as a National Historic Landmark. Founded by a couple who wanted to save a rare species of Azaela as well as play host to other native plants, the gardens include a number of lakes, golf courses, scenic drive, an enclosed butterfly habitat, hiking trails, a horticultural center, a butterfly center and so much more. Pictured here is the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel which must play host to a lot of weddings.

Abbreviation: GA
Nickname: “Empire State of the South,” “Peach State”
Capital: Atlanta
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: January 2, 1788
Bird: Brown Thrasher
Flower: Cherokee Rose
Tree: Live Oak

Celebrities: Jimmy Carter, Ty Cobb, Ray Charles, Margaret Mitchell, Juliette Gordon Low, “Doc” Holliday, Gladys Knight, Little Richard, John C. Fremont, Joel Chandler Harris, Larry Holmes, Holly Hunter, Flannery O’Connor, Otis Redding, Burt Reynolds, Julia Roberts, Jackie Robinson, Ryan Seacrest, Clarence Thomas, Alice Walker, Joanne Woodward, Martin Luther King Jr., the Allman Brothers, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Lee Atwater, Andre 3000, Mary J. Blige, Mel Blount, James Brown, Reggie Brown, Luke Bryan, Rosalynn Carter, Mark David Chapman, Ossie Davis, Paula Deen, Pretty Boy Floyd, Jeff Foxworthy, Newt Gingrich, Nancy Grace, Cee Lo Green, Nathaniel Greene, Button Gwinnett, Todd Haley, Lyman Hall, Oliver Hardy, Hulk Hogan, Ed Helms, Bill Hicks, Sterling Holloway, Bobby Jones, Stacy Keach, Deforest Kelley, Spike Lee, Lil’ Jon, James Longstreet, Ludacris, William H. Macy, Jack McBrayer, Blind Willie Mc Tell, Johnny Mercer, Elijah Muhammad, Deborah Norville, Terrell Owens, Antwan “Big Boi” Patton, Kanye West, George Foster Peabody, Tyler Perry, Ma Rainey, Jeannette Rankin, Sugar Ray Robinson, Dean Rusk, Soulja Boy, Alexander Stephens, Chris Tucker, Hines Ward, Woodrow Wilson, Miriam Hopkins

Sports Teams: Atlanta Braves (MLB), Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Georgia Bulldogs and Georgia Yellow Jackets (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Inhabited by Mississippian Mound Building culture. By European contact the Creek, Cherokee, and Yamasee prior to being kicked out with the Indian Removal Act in the 1830s.

Best Known Moments: Founding by James Ogelthorpe as debtor colony, one of the original 13 Colonies, American Revolution, Trail of Tears, aw Civil War battles of Chickamauga, Kenneshaw Mountain, and Atlanta as well as Sherman’s March to the Sea and Andersonville, and hosted the 1996 Olympics.

Often Associated With: slavery, cotton, Gone with the Wind, CNN, Ted Turner, “Georgia On My Mind,” rednecks, plantations, rich Southerners, Savannah, Atlanta, very loose gun laws, peaches, peanuts, Masters Tournament, The Weather Channel, TCM, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, racism, lynching, Southern accents, Michael Vick, Southern Rock, “Midnight Train to Georgia,” southern belles, Southern hospitality, Appalachian Mountains, R&B music, golfing, Stone Mountain, CDC, Delta Airlines, Chick-fil-A, Warm Springs, Pine Mountains, Andersonville, Southern Gothic Literature, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,  golfing, Callaway Gardens