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.
Nickname: “Aloha State”
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
Nickname: “Gem State”
Entered Union: July 3, 1890
Largest City: Same
Bird: Mountain Bluebird
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
Nickname: “Prairie State”
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
Nickname: “Hoosier State”
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: December 11, 1816
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
Nickname: “Hawkeye State”
Capital: Des Moines
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: December 28, 1846
Bird: Eastern Goldfinch
Flower: Wild Rose
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
Nickname: “Sunflower State”
Largest City: Wichita
Entered Union: January 29, 1861
Bird: Western Medowlark
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
Nickname: “Bluegrass State”
Largest City: Louisville
Entered Union: June 1, 1792
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
Nickname: “Pelican State”
Capital: Baton Rouge
Largest City: New Orleans
Entered Union: April 30, 1812
Bird: Brown Pelican
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
Nickname: “Pine Tree State”
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
Nickname: “Old Line State,” “Free State”
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