In These United States: Part 5 – South Dakota to Wyoming

Of course, this is my final post pertaining to these United States because we’re down to the final ten. Of course, for those upset at me for not including Puerto Rico and Washington D. C., they would probably have to be under a post of US Territories and Districts which I’m not willing to do right now mostly because I can’t really find many celebrities from Guam or American Samoa. In this selection, I’ll cover the states from South Dakota to Wyoming in this final installment. First, we have South Dakota, home to Mount Rushmore and a lot nasty clashes with Indians including the Wounded Knee Massacre. Second, on to Tennessee best known for the Grand ole Opry in Nashville and Graceland in Memphis as well as the site of the Scopes Monkey Trial and the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination. Third, comes the large state of Texas where everything’s bigger they say as well as known for their cowboy culture, the Alamo, and executing more convicts than any other state in America. After that, we have Utah famous for a lot of natural wonders and Mormons. Well, mostly Mormons to put it mildly. Then there’s Vermont, known for the Green Mountains, Ben & Jerry, and a lot of ski resorts. Next, it’s on to Virginia home to a lot of America’s Founding Fathers, presidential mansions, a lot of Civil War battlefields, Williamsburg, and where my sister goes to college. After that, we go to Washington best known for the Space Needle, Grand Coolie Dam, Starbucks, Microsoft, Mt. Saint Helens, grunge music, and Mount Rainier. Then we have West Virginia the site of John Brown’s attack on Harper’s Ferry that left his body a moldering in his grave as well as for its notorious coal industry that has led to mountaintop removal, air and water pollution, mining disasters, and other things turn this state into a hazardous environmental disaster area. Next, it’s on to Wisconsin famous for its dairy industry and being the birthplace of American Beer as well as home to that one troublesome senator. And no, I don’t mean Russ Feingold over campaign financing. In fact, it’s Joe McCarthy himself who led a mass witch hunt on alleged Communists and has a mass 1950s Red Scare that bears his name. Finally, it’s off to Wyoming, a sparsely populated state that’s home to one of America’s most famous National Parks, Yellowstone.

41. South Dakota

South Dakota's Mount Rushmore is one of America's most iconic National sites. However, while most Americans see Guzton Borglum's work as the main reason they go there, it's not without its share of controversy. Rather a lot of members of the Lakota Sioux tribe view the idea of carving four presidents into a sacred site of theirs as desecration a holy shrine.

South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore is one of America’s most iconic National sites. However, while most Americans see Guzton Borglum’s work as the main reason they go there, it’s not without its share of controversy. Rather a lot of members of the Lakota Sioux tribe view the idea of carving four presidents into a sacred site of theirs as desecration a holy shrine.

Abbreviation: SD
Nickname: “Coyote State,” “Mount Rushmore State”
Capital: Pierre
Largest City: Sioux Falls
Entered Union: November 2, 1889
Bird: Chinese Ring-Necked Pheasant
Flower: Pasqueflower
Tree: Black Hills Spruce

Celebrities: Bob Barker, Black Elk, Tom Brokaw, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Tom Daschle, Mary Hart, George McGovern, January Jones, Mary GrandPre, Russell Means, Red Cloud, Hubert H. Humphrey, Ernest O. Lawrence, Gary Owens, Pat O’Brien, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane

Sports Teams: South Dakota Coyotes (NCAA Div. I).

Indian Tribes: Mound builders, Arikara, Yankton Sioux, Dakota, Mandan, and Sioux. Inhabited for several thousand years at least.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Indian Wars, Ghost Dance, Wounded Knee Massacre, and others.

Often Associated With: Mount Rushmore, coyotes, North by Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Plains Indians, Missouri River, mountains, mining, gold rushes, Lutherans, Scandinavians, Rapid City, Black Hills, Deadwood, cowboys, Badlands National Park, Keystone, Harney Peak, Hot Springs, Wind Cave, Deadwood, Jewel Cave, Great Lakes of South Dakota, Reptile Gardens, Chapel in the Hills, Bear Country USA, Great Plains Zoo, coyotes, cattle ranching, farming, Wounded Knee

42. Tennessee

Tennessee is home to the Sun Records Studio in Memphs which was the place where a lot of very influential 1950s musicians that would lay the foundations of late 20th century rock n' roll. Notable artists include Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash,  Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Tennessee is home to the Sun Records Studio in Memphs which was the place where a lot of very influential 1950s musicians that would lay the foundations of late 20th century rock n’ roll. Notable artists include Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Abbreviation: TN
Nickname: “Volunteer State”
Capital: Nashville
Largest City: Memphis
Entered Union: June 1, 1796
Bird: Mockingbird
Flower: Iris
Tree: Tulip

Celebrities: Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Andrew Johnson, Elvis Presley, Al Gore, Michael Oher, Kenney Chesney, David Farragut, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Alex Haley, Minnie Pearl, James Knox Polk, Wilma Rudolph, Dinah Shore, Bessie Smith, Justin Timberlake, Fred Thompson, Tina Turner, Alvin York, James Agee, Roy Acuff, Duane and Greg Allman, Chet Atkins, Kathy Bates, Bill Belichick, Pat Boone, Hattie Carraway, June Carter Cash, Roseanne Cash, John Cullum, Lester Flatt, Ric Flair, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Morgan Freeman, Sam Houston, Samuel L. Jackson, Delbert Mann, Cormac McCarthy, Michael McDonald, Patricia Neal, Bettie Page, Chris Parnell, Carl Perkins, Leonidas Polk, Pat Robertson, Sequoyah, Cybill Shepherd, Lynn Swann, Quentin Tarantino, Usher, Sonny Boy Williamson, Reese Witherspoon

Sports Teams: Tennessee Titans (NFL), Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), Nashville Predators (NHL), and Tennessee Volunteers (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Mississippian culture later Creek, Yuchi, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Cherokee. Kicked out due to 1830s Indian Removal. May have been inhabited 20,000 years ago.

Best Known Moments: Northwest Territory, American Revolution, Trail of Tears, saw a lot of Civil War Battles like Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga, Sultana disaster and Great Train Wreck of 1918, Scopes Trial, TVA, a major hot spot for the Civil Rights Movement and saw the King Assassination, and others.

Often Associated With: Grand Ole Opry, Dollywood, Nashville, Elvis, Graceland, the Civil Rights Movement, country music, Great Smoky Mountains, poverty, heartless state government, Southern Unionists, rednecks, Appalachia, moonshiners, creationism vs. evolution controversies, Bible Belt, Blue Ridge Mountains, Chattanooga, Shiloh, Trail of Tears, Christian jerkasses, Oak Ridge, Cumberland Gap, mosque “controversies,” racism, Knoxville, Lookout Mountain, Murfeesboro, blues, FedEx, AutoZone, loose gun laws, NASCAR racing, Mississippi River, rock n’ roll, conservatism, Sergeant York, The Blindside, bluegrass, Big South Fork, cotton, slavery, Tennessee River, TVA, Shiloh, Ruby Falls, Sweetwater, Lost Sea, Columbia, The Hermitage, Belle Meade Plantation, Parthenon replica, Pigeon Forge, Henning, Casey Jones Village, Bristol Motor Speedway, “The Tennessee Waltz,” Iroquois Steeplechase, Ryman Auditorium, Sun Records

43. Texas

“Remember the Alamo” is an often repeated catch phrase in Texas legend. Yet, nevertheless, this San Antonio icon has gone down in history as the place where Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie along with 600 Texans met their deaths to the Mexican Army after a 13 day siege during the Texas Revolution. Of course, the reason why we know so much about the Alamo in the US is that Texas is a big influential market in the American textbook trade so most textbook companies try to curry favor to them in this fashion.

Abbreviation: TX
Nickname: “Lone Star State”
Capital: Austin
Largest City: Houston
Entered Union: December 29, 1845
Bird: Mockingbird
Flower: Bluebonnet
Tree: Pecan

Celebrities: LBJ, Bill Moyers, Owen and Luke Wilson, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Willie Nelson, Kinky Friedman, Lance Armstrong, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Carol Burnett, James Bowie, Howard Hughes, Tommy Lee Jones, Janis Joplin, Beyonce, Matthew McConaughey, Ross Perot, Katherine Ann Porter, Dan Rather, Sandra Day O’Connor, Joan Crawford, Babe Zaharis, Sissy Spacek, George Strait, Jesse Chisolm, John Bell Hood, Doris Miller, Chester Nimitz, Audie Murphy, Oliver North, Jeb Bush, Laura Bush, Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, Ima Hogg, Barbara Jordan, W. Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel, Ken Starr, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Melinda Gates, Lady Bird Johnson, Cyd Charisse, Bebe Daniels, Ginger Rogers, Tila Tequila, F. Murray Abraham, Dana Andrews, Wes Anderson, Tex Avery, Don Bluth, Gary Busey, Kat Capshaw, Thomas Haden Church, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Larry Hagman, Farrah Fawcett, Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jamie Foxx, Greer Garson, Melora Hardin, Randy and Dennis Quaid, Debbie Reynolds, Bill Paxton, Ethan Hawke, Ted Healy, Katherine Helmond, Sherman Helmsley, Michelle Rodriguez, Brent Spiner, Patrick Swayze, Sharon Tate, Eva Longoria, Terrence Malick, Rip Torn, Steve Martin, Forrest Whittaker, Renee Zellweger, Tom Mix, Pola Negri, Chuck Norris, Lee Pace, Jim Parsons, Aaron Spelling, King Vidor, Isaiah Washington, Peter Weller, JoBeth Williams, Dooley Wilson, Robin Wright, Wyatt Cenac, Bill Hicks, Gene Autry, Buddy Holly, T-Bone Burnett, Waylon Jennings, Kelly Clarkson, Scott Joplin, Jimmy Dean, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Mathis, Steve Earle, Meat Loaf, Roy Orbison, Kenny Rogers, Woody Guthrie, Jessica Simpson, Stephen Stills, Don Henley, Usher, Vanilla Ice, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Norah Jones, Edgar Winter, Michael Nesmith, Phil Ochs, Buck Owens, Billy Preston, Tex Ritter, Boz Scaggs, Barry White, Roger Clemens, Robert Griffin III, Casey Hampton, Aaron Ross, Vince Young, Tara Lipinski, Michael Dell, Carly Fiorina, Charles Goodnight, Bette Nesmith Graham, T. Boone Pickens, Roy Bean, Patricia Highsmith, Walter Cronkite, Sam Donaldson, Molly Ivins, Jim Lehrer, Stone Phillips, Gail Borden, Jack Kilby, Rick Husband, Wiley Post, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, Mark David Chapman, John Wesley Hardin, John Hinckley Jr., Jack Ruby, Belle Starr, Karen Silkwood, Abraham Zapruder, ZZ Top

Sports Teams: Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans (NFL), Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets (NBA), Texas Rangers and Houston Astros (MLB), Dallas Stars (NHL), Baylor Bears, Texas Longhorns, TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Texas A&M Aggies, Houston Cougars, and SMU Mustangs (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Coahuiltecan, Karankawa, Caddo, Jumano, Apache, Wichita, Comanche, Choctaw, Kickapoo, Kiowa, Alabama, Coushatta, Hasinai, Jumano, Cherokee, and Tonkawa. May have been inhabited for at least 12,000 years.

Best Known Moments: War of Texas Independence, Mexican American War, oil boom, Dust Bowl, Kennedy assassination, and others.

Often Associated With: conservatism, executions, cowboys, rednecks, big hair, rednecks, undocumented immigrants, Houston, Dallas, Friday Night Lights, country music, Mexicans, poverty, oppressive law enforcement, chili, the Alamo, San Antonio, El Paso, Baptists, Bible Belt, televangelists, racism, high school football, Dallas, oil, natural gas, Corpus Christi, slavery, cattle ranching, Longhorns, Texas accents, Cowboys fans, suburbs, farming, Fort Worth, megachurches, Spanish Missions, Dell, desert, cacti, multiculturalism, slavery, cotton, “Remember the Alamo,” drought, wildfires, millionaires in cowboy hats and boots, Rio Grande, global warming denial, “Don’t Mess with Texas,” loose gun laws, jerkass school boards, NASCAR racing, “Everything is Bigger in Texas,” egotistical political idiots, weirdos, crime, vultures, coyotes, Johnson Space Center, governors under indictment, Six Flags over Texas, Bernie, San Antonio Missions, Ft. Worth Zoo, Padre Island, Lubbock, Sweetwater, Amarillo, Johnson City, destructive fertilizer plant explosions, San Jacinto, Arlington, prairie, grassland, Big Bend, Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Palo Duro Canyon, Steinhagen Reservoir, Austin City Limits, cattle skulls, Galveston, gushing oil wells, high incarceration, drought, Big oil companies, breakfast burrito, heart attack inducing food

44. Utah

Utah's most famous national Park is none other than Zion with its most prominent feature 15 mile long Zion Canyon. Since it lies at the junction of the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, the park's unique geography provides for lovely scenery and numerous plant and animal diversity in its four life zones.

Utah’s most famous national Park is none other than Zion with its most prominent feature 15 mile long Zion Canyon. Since it lies at the junction of the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, the park’s unique geography provides for lovely scenery and numerous plant and animal diversity in its four life zones.

Abbreviation: UT
Nickname: “Beehive State”
Capital: Salt Lake City
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: January 4, 1896
Bird: Sea Gull
Flower: Sego Lily
Tree: Blue Spruce, Quaking Aspen

Celebrities: Brigham Young, George W. Romney, the Osmonds, Maude Adams, Butch Cassidy, Philo T. Farnsworth, J. Willard Marriot, Loretta Young, Hal Asby, Roseanne Barr, Don Bluth, Orrin Hatch, Joe Hill, Ken Jennings, Jewel (Kilcher), Karl Rove, James Woods, Orson Scott Card, Elizabeth Smart, Wallace Stegner

Sports Teams: Utah Jazz (NBA), BYU Cougars, Utah State Aggies, and Utah Utes (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Ute, Gosiute, Southern Paiute, Navajo, Anasazi, Fremont, and Shosone.

Best Known Moments: Mexican-American War, Mormon settlement, saw completion of Transcontinental Railroad, Indian Wars, and others.

Often Associated With: Great Salt Lake, Zion National Park, Mormons, Salt Lake City, prudes, polygamous communities, Bryce Canyon, Rainbow Bridge, Arches, Flaming Gorge, whiteness, conservatism, skiing, wilderness, Rocky Mountains, creepy clean cut people, Book of Mormon, snow, Sundance Film Festival, Utah Olympic Park, Continental Divide, Lake Powell, Capitol Reef, Timpanogos Cave, Natural Bridges, Temple Square

45. Vermont

Vermont’s Hildene was a summer home for Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd which he had built by 1905 in Manchester. His descendents would occupy this huge 412 acre estate until 1975. Yet, restoration has begun in 1978 and it has become a site to see. For New England brides who have a love for Honest Abe and a large wedding budget, this is the wedding venue for you.

Abbreviation: VT
Nickname: “Green Mountain State”
Capital: Montpelier
Largest City: Burlington
Entered Union: March 4, 1791
Bird: Hermit Thrush
Flower: Red Clover
Tree: Sugar Maple

Celebrities: Chester A. Arthur, Ethan Allen, John Dewey, Howard Dean, Stephen A. Douglas, James Fisk, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Calvin Coolidge, Pearl S. Buck, Ted Bundy, John Deere, George Dewey, Phineas Gage, Felicity Huffman, John Irving, Bob Keeshan, Melissa Leo, Sinclair Lewis, Elisha Otis, Annie Proulx, Norman Rockwell, Rudy Vallee, Henry Wells, Jody Williams, Bill W., Robert Todd Lincoln

Sports Teams: UVM Catamounts (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Abenaki and Mahican. May have been inhabited 10,000 years ago.

Best Known Moments: French and Indian War, the capture of Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution, and others.

Often Associated With: hippies, dairy, farming, liberals, hipsters, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Green Mountains, gorgeous scenery, New England, maple syrup, organic farming, tree huggers, fancy foods, King Arthur Flour, NASCAR racing, skiing, snow, whiteness, Burlington, Woodstock, Stowe, Manchester, Killington ski resort, Burke Mountain Ski Area, Bennington Battle Monument, Waterbury, Shelburne Farms, Proctor, ice fishing, Bolton Valley, Smuggler’s Notch, Mad River Glen, Stowe Mountain, Suicide Six, Mount Snow, Bromley, Magic Mountain Ski Area, Jay Peak, Sugarbrush, hiking, bears, wild turkey, hunting, Hildene

46. Virginia

Virginia's Mount Vernon was George Washington's plantation home. Though Washington didn't become the estate's sole owner till he was in his late twenties, he actually designed the mansion himself in the Palladian style in stages between 1758 to 1778. And yes, he was laying out plans during the American Revolution. Still, you thought Jefferson was the only president to design his own house did you?

Virginia’s Mount Vernon was George Washington’s plantation home. Though Washington didn’t become the estate’s sole owner till he was in his late twenties, he actually designed the mansion himself in the Palladian style in stages between 1758 to 1778. And yes, he was laying out plans during the American Revolution. Still, you thought Jefferson was the only president to design his own house did you?

Abbreviation: VA
Nickname: “Old Dominion”
Capital: Richmond
Largest City: Virginia Beach
Entered Union: June 25, 1788
Bird: Cardinal
Flower: Dogwood
Tree: Dogwood

Celebrities: George Washington, Pocahontas, John Marshall, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Woodrow Wilson, William Henry Harrison, George Mason, Jerry Falwell, Arthur Ashe, Sandra Bullock, Richard E. Byrd, Henry Clay, Gabby Douglas, Katie Couric, Patrick Henry, Robert E. Lee, A. P. Hill, Merriwether Lewis and William Clark, George Rogers Clark, George Pickett, Edgar Allan Poe, John Randolph, Walter Reed, Pat Robertson, J. E. B. Stuart, Zachary Taylor, John Tyler, Booker T. Washington, L. Douglas Wilder, Ellen Glasgow, William Styron, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, the Carter Family, Missy Elliot, Pharrell Williams, V. C. Andrews, Stephen F. Austin, Nathaniel Bacon, Ronnie and Tiki Barber, Pat Benatar, Connie Britton, Chris Brown, Mika Brzezinski, Patsy Cline, Adrian Cronauer, Jimmy Dean, James Farrior, Roberta Flack, Ella Fitzgerald, David Grohl, Benjamin Harrison V, Richard Henry Lee, “Light Horse Harry” Lee, Sam Houston, Allen Iverson, Wayne LaPierre, Shirley MacLaine, Warren Beatty, John McCain, Heath Miller, Patton Oswalt, Chief Powhatan, Edmund Randolph, R. J. Reynolds, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Mark Ruffalo, Bob Saget, Rick Santorum, Ed Schultz, George C. Scott, Winfield Scott, Henry Thomas, Kate Smith, Margaret Sullavan, Mike Tomlin, Nat Turner, Michael and Marcus Vick, Gene Vincent, Maggie L. Walker, George Wythe, Dave Matthews Band

Sports Teams: Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, VCU Rams, VMI Keydets, Richmond Spiders, Virginia State Trojans, and George Mason Patriots (NCAA Div. I).

Indian Tribes: Cherokee, Susquehanna, Nottoway, and Merrihen. Upon the founding of Jamestown, there was a huge confederacy under Chief Powhatan.

Best Known Moments: Founding of Jamestown in 1607, Bacon’s Rebellion, one of the original 13 Colonies, saw a lot of action in the American Revolution, Nat Turner’s Rebellion, Richmond served as capital of the Confederacy, saw a lot of battles during the Civil War, Loving v. Virginia, and the Virginia Tech shooting.

Often Associated With: rich people, slavery, Southern hospitality, tobacco, plantations, presidential mansions, presidents sleeping with slaves, beaches, Confederate nostalgia, Arlington National Cemetery, Norfolk, Richmond, the Pentagon, a lot of celebrities from American history, birthplace of 8 presidents, Chesapeake Bay, Williamsburg, William & Mary, Virginia Tech, the Civil Rights Movement, intellectuals, Colonial America, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachia, Montpelier, a lot of Founding Fathers, Charlottesville, Petersburg, Bull Run, Shenandoah, Appomattox Courthouse, Civil War reenactors, Yorktown, Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Potomac River, Fairfax

47. Washington

Washington's Mt. Rainier is a massive 14, 411 ft high stratavolcano the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous 48 states in the US. Listed as a Decade Volcano and one of the most dangerous in the world which can produce potential lahars that would make any destruction caused by the 1980 eruption of Mt. Saint Helens seem  rather mild by comparison.

Washington’s Mt. Rainier is a massive 14, 411 ft high stratavolcano the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous 48 states in the US. Listed as a Decade Volcano and one of the most dangerous in the world which can produce potential lahars that would make any destruction caused by the 1980 eruption of Mt. Saint Helens seem rather mild by comparison.

Abbreviation: WA
Nickname: “Evergreen State”
Capital: Olympia
Largest City: Seattle
Entered Union: November 11, 1889
Bird: Willow Goldfinch
Flower: Western Rhododendron
Tree: Western Hemlock

Celebrities: Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Glenn Beck, Bing Crosby, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Larson, Edward R. Murrow, Hilary Swank, Adam West, Sherman Alexie, Bob Barker, Ted Bundy, Dyan Cannon, Orson Scott Card, Raymond Carver, Carol Channing, James Caviezel, Kurt Cobain, Judy Collins, Merce Cunningham, John Elway, Frances Farmer, Bryan Fuller, Kenny G, Melissa Harris-Perry, Burl Ives, Chuck Jones, Quincy Jones, Richard Karn, Hank Ketcham, Amanda Knox, Gypsy Rose Lee, Gary Locke, Kenny Loggins, Brandon Lee, Macklemore, Dave Matthews, Darren McGavin, Rose McGowan, Craig T. Nelson, Apolo Ohno, Robert Osbourne, Chuck Palahnuik, Chris Pratt, John Ratzenberger, Dan Savage, Chief Seattle, Tom Skerritt, Alex Smith, Rick Steves, Robert Stroud, Blair Underwood, Eddie Vedder, Brian Urlacher, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Robert Young

Sports Teams: Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Seattle Mariners (MLB), Washington Huskies, and Washington State Cougars (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Clovis culture and later Nez Perce, Spokane, Yakima, Cayuse, Okanogan, Walla Walla, Chinook, Nisqually, Collville, Noosak, Callam, Makah, Quinault, and Puyallup. May have been inhabited as early as 11,000 years ago.

Best Known Moments: Lewis and Clark Expedition, part of Oregon Territory, site of many dam projects during the Great Depression, eruption of Mt. St. Helens, and violent WTO street protests.

Often Associated With: Grand Cooley Dam, Mt. Rainer, Mt. St. Helens, volcanoes, Cascade Range, sandlands, Starbucks, Space Needle, Asians, Fraiser, Seattle, Twilight, Tacoma, Spokane, grunge, Microsoft, hipsters, hippies, tree huggers, Vancouver, Northwest Indians, New Agers, multiculturalism, Puget Sound, violent WTO street protests, geographic confusion, pot, legalized euthanasia, evergreen trees, whale watching, Olympic National Park, stoners, intellectuals, weirdos, skiing, Amazon, totem poles

48. West Virginia

West Virginia's most famous site is the Glade Creek Gristmill which was built in 1976 by combining parts of three other West Virginia Mills as well as serves as a replica of the original nearby Cooper's Mill. It's described as a living, working monument to the more than 500 mills that were once located throughout the state.

West Virginia’s most famous site is the Glade Creek Gristmill which was built in 1976 by combining parts of three other West Virginia Mills as well as serves as a replica of the original nearby Cooper’s Mill. It’s described as a living, working monument to the more than 500 mills that were once located throughout the state.

Abbreviation: WV
Nickname: “Mountain State”
Capital: Charleston
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: June 20, 1863
Bird: Cardinal
Flower: Big Rhododendron
Tree: Sugar Maple

Celebrities: Homer Hickam, Stonewall Jackson, Robert Byrd, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Brad Paisley, Walter Reuther, Chuck Yeager, Don Knotts, Jack Dempsey, Randy Moss, Ted Cassidy, John Corbett, Virginia Fox, Jennifer Garner, Chris Sarandon, Morgan Spurlock, Bill Withers, Frank Yankovic, Patrick Gass, Herbert Morrison, Booker T. Washington, Rick Santorum, John Forbes Nash, John Henry, Anna Jarvis, Nancy Hanks, Sid Hatfield, Mother Jones, Jessica Lynch, Lynndie England, Frank Buckles

Sports Teams: WVU Mountaineers and Marshall Thundering Herd (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Sparsely populated and mainly used for hunting grounds though mound building culture and other tribes did reside like the Adena.

Best Known Moments: Part of Virginia, saw John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, split from Virginia to join the Union during the Civil War, and the Matewan strike.

Often Associated With: John Denver, rednecks, couch burnings, mountaintop removal, environmental destruction, water pollution, hillbillies, Harper’s Ferry, WVU, Southern Unionists, “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” racism, unions, Matewan, October Sky, coal mining, We Are Marshall, deadly mining disasters, Appalachia, poverty, Wheeling, Morgantown, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, trailer parks, chemical spills, future Superfund sites, Berkeley Springs, White Sulphur Springs, Greenbriar Resort, Seneca Rocks, New River Gorge, Monongahela National Forest, Charleston, Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, Williamstown, Mountain State Forest Festival, Elkins, railroads, Glade Creek Grist Mill, undrinkable water

49. Wisconsin

Wisconsin is well known for its dairy industry and leads the nation in cheese production. Thus, its no wonder that Green Bay Packers fans wear cheese hats for their team's games or that they're known as "cheeseheads."

Wisconsin is well known for its dairy industry and leads the nation in cheese production. Thus, its no wonder that Green Bay Packers fans wear cheese hats for their team’s games or that they’re known as “cheeseheads.”

Abbreviation: WI
Nickname: “Badger State”
Capital: Madison
Largest City: Milwaukee
Entered Union: May 29, 1848
Bird: American Robin
Flower: Wood Violet
Tree: Sugar Maple

Celebrities: Joseph McCarthy, Robert La Follette Sr., Golda Meir, Paul Ryan, Russ Feingold, Don Ameche, Carrie Chapman Catt, Edna Ferber, Willem Defoe, Liberace, Georgia O’Keefe, Pat O’Brien (actor), Danica Patrick, Les Paul, Deke Slayton, Spencer Tracy, Orson Welles, Thornton Wilder, Frank Lloyd Wright, Tammy Baldwin, Ron Kovic, Ellen Raskin, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Arthur, Walter, and William Davidson, King C. Gillette, Chris Gardner, William S. Harley, Valentin Blatz, Frederick Miller, Frederick Pabst, Joseph Schlitz, Jack Carson, Brian Donlevy, Chris Farley, Howard Hawks, Harry Houdini, Fred MacMurray, Frederic March, Nicholas Ray, Gena Rowlands, Mark Ruffalo, Tony Shalhoub, Zack Snyder, Jane Kaczmarek, Frank Caliendo, Al Jarreau, Pee Wee King, Steve Miller, Stephen Ambrose, Franklin Jackson Turner, Billy Mitchell, Callista Gingrich, Reince Priebus, Frances Willard, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Jim Lovell, Mike Webster, Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles J. Guiteau, Arthur Bremer, Ed Gein, Aldo Leopold

Sports Teams: Green Bay Packers (NFL), Milwaukee Brewers (MLB), Milwaukee Bucks (NBA), Marquette Golden Eagles, Wisconsin Badgers, and Milwaukee Panthers (NCAA Div. I).

Indian Tribes: Ojibwa, Menominee, Kickapoo, Sauk, Fox, Ioway, Ho-Chunk, and Potawatomi. May have been inhabited since the Ice Age.

Best Known Moments: Northwest Territory, Indian Wars, Robert La Follette’s progressive reforms, electing Joseph McCarthy, and union protests in 2011.

Often Associated With: Mississippi River, Great Lakes, Germans, Poles, Scandinavians, dairy, cheese, Cheeseheads, Packers fans, swing state politics, conservative anti-union governors, angry teachers and public workers, progressive governors who like direct primaries and consumer protection laws, “On Wisconsin,” badgers, That 70s Show, cows, alcoholic red-baiting senators during the 1950s, McCarthyism, unions, Ayn Rand worshipping congressmen, manufacturing, American beer, niceness, Lutherans, red scares, Milwaukee, Happy Days, Green Bay, Harley-Davidson, farming, snow, Kenosha, Wisconsin Dells, Daniel E. Krause Stone Barn, Racine, Eau Claire, Spring Green

50. Wyoming

Of course, Wyoming is best known for Yellowstone National Park which is one of the most famous US tourist attractions. It’s actually the first national park in the world known for its wildlife, Old Faithful, and its many ecosystems. Yet, what people don’t know about this park is that it’s sitting upon a massive active caldera which could practically destroy most of the US as we know it upon eruption.

Abbreviation: WY
Nickname: “Equality State,” “Cowboy State”
Capital: Cheyenne
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: June 10, 1890
Bird: Western Meadowlark
Flower: Indian Paintbrush
Tree: Plains Cottonwood

Celebrities: Dick Cheney, Nellie Tayloe Ross, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Lynne Cheney, Harrison Ford, Esther Hobart Morris, Matthew Shepard

Sports Teams: Wyoming Cowboys (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Shoshone, Crow, Ogala Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. May have been inhabited 12,000 years ago.

Best Known Moments: Mexican-American War, stop of the Oregon Trail, Indian Wars, first to give voting rights for women and elected the first female governor, and not much else.

Often Associated With: Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful, cowboys, Rocky Mountains, Continental Divide, not having a lot of people, bison, elk, wolves, mountains, winter, snow, skiing, large doomsday super volcanoes, grizzly bears, moose, Grand Teton National Park, gorgeous scenery, diverse wildlife, Oregon Trail, Fort Laramie, Fort Bridger, Heaven’s Gate, Devil’s Tower, cattle ranching, the Wild Bunch, Indians, Cheyenne Frontier Days, outdoor stuff, snowmobiles

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In These United States: Part 4 – New Mexico to South Carolina

So we’ve been to about 30 states out of this large country while we still have 20 to go. Of course, you probably notice that each state in the American country has its own culture and history as well as its share of celebrities. In this selection, I’ll cover the states from New Mexico to South Carolina. First, we’re off to New Mexico known for its natural desert beauty, vibrant Hispanic and Indian artwork, Spanish Missions, nuclear testing at Los Alamos, and Breaking Bad. Perhaps it was a good thing that Bugs Bunny took that wrong turn at Albuquerque since we know that’s where Walter White lives. Second, we’re on to New York perhaps most famous for New York City which has Broadway, Times Square, network news stations, the Empire State Building, Lady Liberty, and lots of other things. It also has a lot of stuff upstate, too, not that anyone’s interested. Third, we go to North Carolina known for tobacco, Charlotte, Raleigh, Blue Ridge Mountains, Kitty Hawk, the Biltmore, and Duke. Then there’s North Dakota, home of the Badlands, film site for Fargo, and not much else. After that, it’s off to Ohio which is probably the place your dad would go if he went on a business trip and home of the Cleveland Browns. Yet, despite it being the birthplace of 7 presidents as well as a lot of inventors and astronauts, there isn’t much to see aside from their amusement parks like Six Flags and Cedar Point. Then, there’s Oklamoma! where the wind blows sweeping from the plain, and the waving wheat can sure smell sweet when the wind comes right behind the rain. Of course, thanks to Rogers and Hammerstein, you can’t get the song out of your head when you hear about Oklahoma. Next, it’s off to Oregon, which everyone remembers as the destination for the Oregon Trail as well as Portland, the Columbia River, and legal euthanasia. Make sure you don’t end up with dysentery on the way there. After that, we’re off to my home state Pennsylvania known for Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as well as using groundhogs for weather reports. Actually, we have local news to predict the weather for us but sometimes they could be just as wrong as Punxsutawney Phil is every year. Anyway, go Steelers! Then we move on to Rhode Island which isn’t really an island but is home to America’s earliest synagogue as well as served as a popular tourist destination for rich folk. Finally, we get to South Carolina which many of you know was the first state to secede from the Union after the election of 1860 as well as the childhood home of Stephen Colbert that he usually says on his show.

31. New Mexico

New Mexico is home to some of the oldest European buildings in the United States, some of these are over 400 years old and predate Jamestown. The Franciscans built these adobe style churches which have now become resonant with Southwest architecture and the Spanish mission style in the US.

New Mexico is home to some of the oldest European buildings in the United States, some of these are over 400 years old and predate Jamestown. The Franciscans built these adobe style churches which have now become resonant with Southwest architecture and the Spanish mission style in the US.

Abbreviation: NM
Nickname: “Land of Enchantment”
Capital: Santa Fe
Largest City: Albuquerque
Entered Union: January 6, 1912
Bird: Greater Roadrunner
Flower: Yucca
Tree: Colorado Pinyon

Celebrities: Billy the Kid, Jeff Bezos, Kit Carson, Neil Patrick Harris, Georgia O’Keefe, Conrad Hilton, Pat Garrett, Cochise, Geronimo, Tony Hillerman, Cormac McCarthy, George R. R. Martin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Anna Gunn, Val Kilmer, Demi Moore, Freddie Prinze Jr., John Denver, Jim Morrison

Sports Teams: None

Indian Tribes: Clovis culture and later Apache, Navajo, Ute, Pueblo, Hopi, and Comanche.

Best Known Moments: Mexican American War, Indian Wars, and atomic bomb testing at Los Alamos.

Often Associated With: hippies, Mexicans, Breaking Bad, meth, hipsters, cowboys, desert, cacti, canyons, Southwest Indians, adobes, Spanish Missions, atomic testing, Santa Fe Trail, Los Alamos, Little Miss Sunshine, cattle ranches, UFO sightings, Roswell, multiculturalism, water shortages, Indian ruins, mesas, poverty, coyotes, roadrunners, White Sands, Carlsbad Caverns, Lechuguilla Cave, Sky City or Acoma Pueblo, Taos Ski Valley, skiing, Rocky Mountains, Continental Divide, Shiprock, Rio Grande Gorge, Route 66, 1950s cars, Les Paul music, chili peppers, cattle skulls, cattle ranching, New Mexican Spanish, Mexicans, Georgia O’Keefe paintings, neon motel signs

32. New York

No monument in New York has never become so iconic with the state as the Statue of Liberty in New York City's harbor. This female colossus of 151 ft and an inch has been seen as a beacon of liberty lifting her light beside the golden door for those tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to be free. For many immigrants, her presence reminded that they have come to America.

No monument in New York has never become so iconic with the state as the Statue of Liberty in New York City’s harbor. This female colossus of 151 ft and an inch has been seen as a beacon of liberty lifting her light beside the golden door for those tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to be free. For many immigrants, her presence reminded that they have come to America.

Abbreviation: NY
Nickname: “Empire State”
Capital: Albany
Largest City: New York City
Entered Union: July 26, 1788
Bird: Bluebird
Flower: Rose
Tree: Sugar Maple

Celebrities: Jimmy Fallon, FDR, Eleanor Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Tony Bennett, Adrien Brody, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Lucille Ball, Susan B. Anthony, Edgar Allan Poe, Danny Kaye, Alice Faye, James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Alexander Hamilton, Tom Cruise, Francis Ford Coppola, Aaron Copland, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Lou Gehrig, George and Ira Gershwin, Billy Joel, George Eastman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Jackie Gleason, Rudy Giuliani, Julia Ward Howe, Fiorello La Guardia, Henry and William James, Edith Wharton, John Jay, Ed Koch, Jerry Seinfeld, Herman Melville, Dorothy Day, Clarence Day, Richard Dreyfuss, Patty Duke, David Duchovny, Vin Diesel, Nora Ephron, Arthur Miller, Eddie Murphy, Carroll O’ Connor, Colin Powell, Eugene O’Neill, Nancy Reagan, the Rockefellers, Tim Russert, Al Sharpton, J. D. Salinger, Al Smith, Donald Trump, Barbara Striesand, the Three Stooges, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Martin Van Buren, Boss Tweed, Luther Vandross, Gore Vidal, Tony Kushner, Jake LaMotta, Regis Philbin, Mario Puzo, the Rosenbergs, Denzel Washington, Walt Whitman, Mark Zuckerberg, Ulysses S. Grant, Elliot Spitzer, Millard Fillmore, Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Aaron Burr, Shirley Chisholm, Thomas Dewey, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, June Allyson, Alan Arkin, Anne Bancroft, Ann Blyth, Clara Bow, James Caan, Beverly Sills, Daniel Sickles, James Cagney, Paul Muni, Edward G. Robinson, Claudette Colbert, Claire Danes, Sammy Davis Jr. Kirk Douglas, Matt Dillon, Fran Drescher, Jimmy Durante, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Judy Holliday, Scarlett Johansen, Wolf Blitzer, Jane Fonda, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Paulette Goddard, Harvey Milk, Elliot Gould, Anne Hathaway, Susan Hayward, Rita Hayworth, Veronica Lake, Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Walter Matthau, Ethel Merman, Anthony Perkins, Joseph Barbera, John Zogby, Christopher Reeve, George Raft, Bill Pullman, Thelma Ritter, Mickey Rooney, Ray Romano, Martin Scorsese, Sylvia Sidney, Rod Steiger, Mel Gibson, Oliver Stone, Gene Tierney, Claire Trevor, Mae West, George Carlin, Jay Leno, the Marx Brothers, Rosie O’Donnell, Chris Rock, Demetri Martin, Lady Gaga, Pat Benatar, Fiona Apple, Mary J. Blige, Maria Callas, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Alicia Keys, Carole King, Cyndi Lauper, Jennifer Lopez, Laura Nyro, David Geffen, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Notorious BIG, 50 Cent, Mos Def, LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, John Jacob Astor, J. P. Morgan, Bernie Madoff, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Frederick Douglass, Arnold Rothstein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Lennon, Jon Stewart, Terry Gross, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Whoopi Goldberg, Peggy Guggenheim, Alan Greenspan, Oscar Hammerstein II, Gregory Hines, Matt Lauer, Norman Mailer, Ogden Nash, Joyce Carol Oates, Thomas Pynchon, Norman Rockwell, Marion Davies, Shirley Booth, William Bendix, Dewitt Clinton, John Gotti, David Sedaris, Gertrude B. Elion, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mick Foley, Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, Alex Rodriguez, Frank Serpico, Anderson Cooper, Tony Danza, Rodney Dangerfield, Larry David, Neil Diamond, Timothy McVeigh, Elena Kagan, Harry Houdini, Margaret Sanger, and many I can’t include here.

Sports Teams: Buffalo Bills (NFL), Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks (NBA), Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, and New York Islanders (NHL), New York Yankees and New York Mets (MLB), Columbia Lions and Syracuse Orangemen (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Mahican, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. Headquarters for the Iroquois Confederacy.

Best Known Moments: Founded by Dutch as New Netherland, seized by the British in the 1600s, one of the original 13 Colonies, saw action in the French and Indian War with the debacle at Fort William Henry, saw battles during the American Revolution most famously Saratoga, site of the Burr-Hamilton duel, gateway for a lot of European immigrants, Seneca Falls, had draft riots during the Civil War, Tammany Hall political machine, Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in the early 1900s, Harlem Renaissance, 1929 stock market crash, Woodstock, 9/11, and Hurricane Sandy

Often Associated With: New York City, “New York, New York,” Frank Sinatra, crime, a lot of movies, books, plays, and TV shows, Broadway, theater, NYPD, network news, NBC, Empire State Building, 9/11, Chrysler Building, rudeness, swearing, the Met Museum, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Washington Square, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Madison Square Gardens, the Bronx Zoo, high end stores, multiculturalism, folk music, New York accents, Jews, Italians, inner city poverty, Wall Street, Hudson River, the Catskills, Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Buffalo, Syracuse, lots of celebrities, Erie Canal, subway system, traffic, Brooklyn Bridge, Grand Central Station, Penn Station, Adirondacks, Saratoga Race Course, intellectuals, Long Island, suburbs, unions, dirty construction workers, bad mouthing cops, Irish cops, Tammany Hall, Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, Knickerbocker Tales, corruption, Tarrytown, Yankees fans, Mets fans, Hyde Park, Sagamore Hill, Roosevelts, Oyster Bay, Woody Allen, Billy Joel, gangsters, old mansions, skyscrapers, dirtiness, Puerto Ricans, Harlem, liberals, Lake Placid, World Trade Center, Niagara Falls, Sing Sing, water pollution, Love Canal, Grant’s Tomb, West Point, gays, hipsters, hippies, Occupy Wall Street protesters, riots, Columbia, Cornell, Syracuse, NYU, Gershwin, jazz, Harlem Globetrotters, rich people, high fashion, Central Park, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fort Ticonderoga, weirdos, pizza, skiing, Fire Island, the Hamptons, expensive real estate, magazines, publishing companies, gorgeous scenery, wilderness, farming, Finger Lakes, NYSE, Yonkers, New York Times, New York Post, New York Daily News, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Belmont Stakes, Rochester religious revivals, comic books, governors soliciting hookers, hookers, vice president shooting well known statesman who’s on the $10 bill in a duel, Cooperstown, Sunnyside, Philipsburg Manor, Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Staten Island ferry, Hell’s Kitchen, Harlem, Greenwich Village, Alphabet City, sexting congressmen with funny names, Woodstock, Chautauqua

33. North Carolina

It was at today's Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina where two Dayton, Ohio bicycle mechanics known as the Wright Brothers made their first controlled powered airplane flights on December 17, 1903. After the flights, the two walked to Kitty Hawk and sent a telegram to the Weather Bureau informing of their success. Of course, Kitty Hawk became world-famous because it was the nearest settlement to the site at the time.

It was at today’s Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina where two Dayton, Ohio bicycle mechanics known as the Wright Brothers made their first controlled powered airplane flights on December 17, 1903. After the flights, the two walked to Kitty Hawk and sent a telegram to the Weather Bureau informing of their success. Of course, Kitty Hawk became world-famous because it was the nearest settlement to the site at the time.

Abbreviation: NC
Nickname: “Tar Heel State,” “Old North State”
Capital: Raleigh
Largest City: Charlotte
Entered Union: November 21, 1789
Bird: Cardinal
Flower: Dogwood
Tree: Pine

Celebrities: Charlie Rose, David Brinkley, John Coltrane, Ava Gardner, Bob and Elizabeth Dole, John Edwards, both Dale Earnhardts, Billy Graham, Andy Griffith, O. Henry, Andrew Johnson, Michael Jordan, Dolley Madison, Thelonious Monk, Richard Petty, Edward R. Murrow, Carl Sandburg, James K. Polk, James Taylor, Billy Strayhorn, Doc Watson, Roberta Flack, Clay Aiken, William Blount, Braxton Bragg, Robert Byrd, the Greensboro Four, Edward Snowden, Cecil B. DeMille, Zach Galifianakis, David Sedaris, Amy Sedaris, Kathryn Grayson, Michael C. Hall, Ken Jeong, Star Jones, Vince McMahon, Julianne Moore, Jaime Pressley, Soupy Sales, Tori Amos, George Clinton, Charlie Daniels, Earl Scruggs, Nina Simone, Loudon Wainwright III, Howard Cosell, Nicholas Sparks, Willie Parker, Brandon Tate, Virginia Dare, Richard Jordan Gatling, Afeni Shakur, Maya Angelou, Chang and Eng Bunker, Orson Scott Card, Ric Flair, Blackbeard, John Tesh, Kristi Yamaguchi

Sports Teams: Carolina Panthers (NFL), Charlotte Hornets (NBA), Carolina Hurricanes (NHL), Duke University Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Carolina Spartans, and North Carolina State Wolfpack (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Mississippian culture, later Chowanoke, Roanoke, Pamlico, Coree, Cape Fear Indians, Meherrin, Cherokee, Tuscarora, Cheraw, Waxhaw, Saponi, Waccamaw, and Catawba. If not killed with war and small pox, then kicked out by Indian Removal during the 1830s.

Best Known Moments: Roanoke settlement, one of the original 13 Colonies, saw action at King’s Mountain and Guilford Courthouse, Trail of Tears, saw the first flight at Kitty Hawk, the Civil Rights Movement sit-ins at Greensboro, and others.

Often Associated With: rich people, rednecks, military personnel, Duke, Great Smoky Mountains, Guilford Courthouse, beaches, Roanoke, Kitty Hawk, King’s Mountain, tobacco, Atlantic Beach, NASCAR racing, golfing, plantation mansions, slavery, racism, bluegrass, politeness, Southern hospitality, Southern Gothic Literature, Golden Age piracy, intellectuals, Charlotte, lighthouses, swing state politics, Krispy Kreme, Outer Banks, Biltmore House Gardens, presidential candidates cheating on cancer stricken wives and fathering love children, hurricanes, Roanoke Island, Fort Bragg, barbecue, lighthouses, Cherohala Skyway, Old Fort, military bases, Graveyard Fields, Atlantic Beach, Flat Rock, Fort Macon, Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Asheboro, Greensboro, Durham, Kill Devil Hills, Moore’s Creek, Ft. Raleigh

34. North Dakota

North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to its legendary badlands in the western part of the state. Teddy Roosevelt came to these Badlands to hunt bison during his 1883 trip and returned in 1884 to heal from one of the darkest moments of his life after experiencing the loss of his wife and mother on the same day. His hunting trips and ranching out West in the 1880s would be very influential to Roosevelt's beliefs in conservation.

North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to its legendary badlands in the western part of the state. Teddy Roosevelt came to these Badlands to hunt bison during his 1883 trip and returned in 1884 to heal from one of the darkest moments of his life after experiencing the loss of his wife and mother on the same day. His hunting trips and ranching out West in the 1880s would be very influential to Roosevelt’s beliefs in conservation.

Abbreviation: ND
Nickname: “Peace Garden State”
Capital: Bismarck
Largest City: Fargo
Entered Union: November 2, 1889
Bird: Western Meadowlark
Flower: Wild Prairie Rose
Tree: American Elm

Celebrities: Maxwell Anderson, Angie Dickinson, Louis L’Amor, Roger Maris, Lawrence Welk, Louise Erdich, Peggy Lee, Phil Jackson, Sacagawea, Ann Sothern, Wiz Khalifa, Bobby Vee

Sports Teams: North Dakota State Bison (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Mandan, Dakota, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Arikara, Hidasta, and Yanktoni. May have been inhabited as early as 11,000 years ago.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Indian Wars, and not much else.

Often Associated With: Fargo, Badlands, Fargo, oil and gas drilling, not having a lot of people, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Scandinavians, Plains Indians, Lutherans, ice fishing, skiing, whiteness, snowmobiles, snow, not much happening, Bonanzaville, Ft. Union Trading Post, International Peace Gardens, Elkhorn Ranch, Knife River Indian Village, Dunseith, Minden, Great Plains, moose, Lake Sakakawea, more men than women, New Salem, Painted Canyon, bison, dinosaur fossils, wild horses, elk, prairie dogs, prairie, grassland, bighorn sheep

35. Ohio

Ohio is home to the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. This glass botanical palace was built in 1895 and now serves as a horticultural and educational institution showcasing exotic plant collections, special exhibitions and artworks by renown glass sculptor Dave Chihuly. Contains over 400 species in all.

Ohio is home to the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus. This glass botanical palace was built in 1895 and now serves as a horticultural and educational institution showcasing exotic plant collections, special exhibitions and artworks by renown glass sculptor Dave Chihuly. Contains over 400 species in all.

Abbreviation: OH
Nickname: “Buckeye State”
Capital: Columbus
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: March 1, 1803
Bird: Cardinal
Flower: Scarlet Carnation
Tree: Buckeye

Celebrities: Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, the first two John D. Rockefellers, John Glenn, Annie Oakley, Dean Martin, Jesse Owens, Drew Carey, the Wright Brothers, Bob Hope, Hart Crane, George Armstrong Custer, Erma Bombeck, Halle Berry, Clarence Darrow, Maya Lin, Toni Morrison, Pete Rose, Roy Rogers, Steven Spielberg, James A. Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, William Henry Harrison, Clark Gable, Thomas Edison, Zane Grey, William Dean Howells, Eddie Rickenbacker, Pontiac, Jack Paar, Paul Newman, Jack Nicklaus, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., William Tecumseh Sherman, Gloria Steinem, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Tecumseh, James Thurber, Jerry Springer, Ted Turner, Neil Armstrong, Sherwood Anderson, Ambrose Bierce, Martin Mull, Harlan Ellison, Wes Craven, P. J. O’Rourke, David Pogue, Jerry Seigel and Joe Schuster, Lowell Thomas, R. L. Stine, Lou Wasserman, Jack Warner, John Dean, John Boehner, Dennis Kucinich, Clement Vallandingham, Victoria Woodhull, George Bellows, Theda Bara, Teri Garr, Arsenio Hall, Margaret Hamilton, Woody Harrelson, Steve Harvey, Patricia Heaton, Ed O’Neil, Eleanor Parker, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dan Patrick, Anne Heche, Hal Holbrook, Katie Holmes, Terrence Howard, Chrissie Hynde, Alison Janney, Tyrone Power, George Clooney, Tim Conway, Dorothy Dandridge, Doris Day, Phyllis Diller, Phil Donahue, Brian Donlevy, Ted Levine, John Lithgow, Rob Lowe, Paul Lynde, Hugh Downs, Carmen Electra, Jamie Farr, Alan Freed, Burgess Meredith, Debra Monk, Fred Williard, Debra Winger, Jonathan Winters, Jack Hanna, the Naked Cowboy, Dave Grohl, Phil Ochs, Pure Prairie League, the O’Jays, Jim Brickman, Tracy Chapman, Isley Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Billy Strayhorn, Devo, Marilyn Manson, John Legend, Danny Thomas, Joe Walsh, Frank Yankovic, Philip Sheridan, Harvey Firestone, Jim Lovell, Charles Kettering, Judith Resnick, Chad Billingsley, Ken Griffey Jr., James Harrison, LeBron James, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Chuck Noll, Ben Roethlisberger, Randy Walker, Cy Young, Herbert H. Dow, Charles Keating, George Steinbrenner, Roger Ailes, Larry Flynt, John Brown, Elizabeth Blackwell, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ariel Castro, Charles Manson, Norman Vincent Peale, Tenskwatawa, Langston Hughes, George Remus, Macy Gray

Sports Teams: Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals (NFL), Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians (MLB), Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL), Ohio State Buckeyes, Ohio Bobcats, Cincinnati Bearcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Akron Zips, Miami Redhawks, and Toledo Rockets (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Early Mississippian culture. Adena, Hopewell, Wyandot, Miami, Shawnee, Ottawa, Mingo, and Delaware. May have been inhabited 11,000 years ago.

Best Known Moments: Northwest Territory, Pontiac’s Rebellion, saw action in the War of 1812 with Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory in Lake Erie, industrialization, Kent State shooting, and others.

Often Associated With: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Kent State, Pro Football Hall of Fame, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, birthplace of 7 presidents, a lot of inventors, and several astronauts, Cedar Point, Amish Country, Toledo, Dayton, Six Flags, Steubenville, Great Lakes, Ohio River, Kings Island, OSU, businessmen, manufacturing, Rust Belt, swing state politics, golfing, suburbs, corruption, skyscrapers, unions, farming, rednecks, Erie Canal, Franklin Park Conservatory, Wapakoneta, Lake Erie Islands, Marietta, Copperhead lawyers who accidentally shoot themselves dead while defending a client

36. Oklahoma

Oklahoma is known as the "Sooner State" because many of its white settlers from the South came to parts of this state before they were officially opened to them. Of course, since this area was once known as Indian Territory, you can imagine that the Indian tribes who were forced reside there decades before were not happy.

Oklahoma is known as the “Sooner State” because many of its white settlers from the South came to parts of this state before they were officially opened to them. Of course, since this area was once known as Indian Territory, you can imagine that the Indian tribes who were forced reside there decades before were not happy.

Abbreviation: OK
Nickname: “Sooner State”
Capital: Oklahoma City
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: November 16, 1907
Bird: Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher
Flower: Mistletoe
Tree: Redbud

Celebrities: Will Rogers, Gene Autry, Garth Brooks, Lon Chaney Jr. Gordon Cooper, Ralph Ellison, John Hope Franklin, James Garner, Vince Gill, Woody Guthrie, Ron Howard, Louis L’Amour, Shannon Lucid, Mickey Mantle, Reba McEntire, Wiley Post, Tony Randall, Oral Roberts, Jim Thorpe, Carrie Underwood, Pretty Boy Floyd, Wilma Mankiller, Sequoyah, Tommy Franks, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Kristin Chenoweth, Joan Crawford, Blake Edwards, Bill Hader, Van Heflin, James Mardsen, Rue McClanahan, Lee Pace, Vera Miles, Tim Blake Nelson, Chuck Norris, Brad Pitt, Mary Kay Place, Hoyt Axton, Chet Baker, J. J. Cale, Eddie Cochran, Patti Page, Leon Russell, Blake Shelton, Paul Harvey, Bill Moyers, Dr. Phil McGraw, Mary Hart, Dan Rowan, Judy Woodruff, Rick Bayless, Sylvan Goldman, T. Boone Pickens Jr., Sam Walton, Tony Hillerman, S. E. Hinton, Barry Sanders, Willie Stargell, Belle Starr, Anita Hill, Cornel West

Sports Teams: Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA), Oklahoma Stat Cowboys, and Oklahoma Sooners (NCAA Div. I).

Indian Tribes: Mississippian culture. Wichita, Osage, Quapaw, and Caddo. May have been inhabited as early as the Ice Age. Those Indians native there were bound to have company in the 1830s. Now home to at least 39 federally recognized tribes.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, receiving place for Indians at the Trail of Tears, contention between Indians and whites after the Civil War, race riots in the early 1900s, the Dust Bowl, and the Oklahoma City bombings.

Often Associated With: Oklahoma!, Indians, oil and gas drilling, race riots, tornadoes, cowboys, cattle ranching, Tulsa, The Grapes of Wrath, Southern hospitality, Dust Bowl, multiculturalism, bison, Sooners, Okies, rednecks, country music, lady golf, trailer parks, Wichita Mountains, Sallisaw, Norman, Ouachita Mountains, Medicine Park, Oklahoma City bombings, Ozarks, Tahlequah, Waurika Lake

37. Oregon

Oregon's Mt. Hood is a 11,249 ft stratavolcano on the Cascade Range's Volcanic Arc. It's Oregon's highest mountain as well as one of the loftiest peaks in the US. It is home to 12 named glaciers and snowfields and is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt but not explosively.

Oregon’s Mt. Hood is a 11,249 ft tall stratavolcano on the Cascade Range’s Volcanic Arc. It’s Oregon’s highest mountain as well as one of the loftiest peaks in the US. It is home to 12 named glaciers and snowfields and is considered the Oregon volcano most likely to erupt but not explosively.

Abbreviation: OR
Nickname: “Beaver State”
Capital: Salem
Largest City: Portland
Entered Union: February 14, 1859
Bird: Western Meadowlark
Flower: Oregon Grape
Tree: Douglas Fir

Celebrities: Ty Burrell, Beverly Cleary, Matt Groening, Chief Joseph, Linus Pauling, Jack Reed, Jean M. Auel, Chris Botti, Ann Curry, Sam Elliot, Tony Harding, Herbert Hoover, Terry Irwin, John Krakauer, Courtney Love, Chuck Palahnuik, River Phoenix, Johnnie Ray, David Ogden Stiers

Sports Teams: Portland Trail Blazers (NBA), Oregon Ducks, and Portland State Vikings (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Inhabited by more than 100 Indian tribes including the Nez Perce, Coquille, Bannock, Chasta, Kalapuya, Molala, Takelma, Tillamook, Umpqua, Yakima, Chinook, Cayuse, and Modoc. May have been inhabited as early as 15,000 years.

Best Known Moments: Oregon Territory, Lewis and Clark Expedition, destination for Oregon Trail, and site of many dam projects during the Great Depression.

Often Associated With: Oregon Trail, hippies, hipsters, tree huggers, Portland, Portlandia, New Agers, wilderness, Cascade Range, dysentery, Bonneville Dam, hydroelectric power, forests, Columbia River, Mount Hood, legal euthanasia laws, high tech industry, diverse wildlife, fishing, corporate headquarters, Nike, Intel, no sales tax, revenue limits, pioneers on covered wagons, hiking, Crater Lake, Oregon Caves, Astoria Column, Timberline Lodge, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon Dunes, Ft. Clatstop, International Rose Test Garden, Ashland, Multnomah Falls, volcanoes, mountains, snow, skiing, Newport, Kalimiopsis Wilderness, snow capped peaks, Eugene, totem poles

38. Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was a city of industry that has managed to successfully turn itself around after the 1980s as a leading city of the 21st century. Its high culture, beautiful skylines, business friendly environment, technological innovation, and decent standard of living, Pittsburgh is now a top world destination and more of a leading contender than it ever could be in the 19th century.

Abbreviation: PA
Nickname: “Keystone State”
Capital: Harrisburg
Largest City: Philadelphia
Entered Union: December 12, 1787
Bird: Ruffed Grouse
Flower: Mountain Laurel
Tree: Hemlock

Celebrities: Benjamin Franklin, James Buchanan, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, H. J. Heinz, Fred Rogers and much of the cast of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Arnold Palmer, Dan Marino, Zachary Quinto, Marian Anderson, Kobe Bryant, Bill Cosby, Will Smith, Wilt Chamberlain, Rachel Carson, Perry Como, Noam Chomsky, Joe Biden, Tina Fey, Stephen Foster, Robert Fulton, Martha Graham, Gene Kelly, Grace Kelly, William Powell, Margaret Mead, Joe Namath, both Ken Griffeys, Russ Grimm, Joe Montana, Andrew W. Mellon, Robert E. Peary, Alecia Moore (a. k. a. Pink), Sharon Stone, Tom Ridge, Robert Morris, James Wilson, Gouveneur Morris, Jimmy Stewart, Thaddeus Stevens, Jim Thorpe, Benjamin West, Honus Wagner, John Updike, George Benson, Shirley Jones, Kevin Bacon, the original Barrymores, Mario Andretti, Julie Benz, Peter Boyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Bronson, Jeff Goldblum, Bradley Cooper, Dolores Costello, Broderick Crawford, Mario Lemieux, Barbara Feldon, W.C. Fields, Larry Fine, Richard Gere, Scott Glenn, Jamie Kennedy, Jack Klugman, Jeannette MacDonald, Frances McDormand, Hugh Marlowe, Adolphe Menjou, James A. Michener, Dennis Miller, Tom Mix, Jack Palance, Jon Polito, George Romero, Bob Saget, David O. Selznick, M. Night Shyamalan, Mary Cassatt, George Catlin, Thomas Eakins, Andy Warhol, Andrew Wyeth, Guion S. Bluford, Joe Amato, Bill Cowher, Ernie Davis, Floyd Landis, Stan Musial, Jerry Sandusky, Johnny Unitas, Louisa May Alcott, Oscar Hammerstein II, David McCullough, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Daniel Boone, Ida Tarbell, Wallace Stevens, John Edgar Wideman, Dr. Jonas Salk, the Sundance Kid, Thomas Midgley Jr., Milton S. Hershey, Lee Iacocca, Charles M. Schwab, Jeffrey Skilling, Sidney Lumet, Christina Aguilera, Frankie Avalon, Wiz Khalifa, Boyz II Men, Solomon Burke, John Dickinson, Chubby Checker, John Coltrane, Jim Croce, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Hall & Oates, Joan Jett, Henry Mancini, the Roots, Robert Bork, Bob Casey Jr., Rick Santorum, Arlen Specter, Alexander Haig, Orrin Hatch, Ron Paul, Benjamin Netanyahu, A. Mitchell Palmer, Robert Reich, Jim Cramer, Billy Mays, F. Murray Abraham, the Warner Brothers, Michael Chabon, Nellie Bly, Mark Cuban, Joe Paterno, Randy Pausch, Herb Morrison, George C. Marshall, Dick Clark, Blythe Danner, Benjamin Guggenheim, George B. McClellan, George Meade, Ed Bradley, Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass, Edwin Drake, Joseph D. Pistone (a. k. a. Donnie Brasco)

Sports Teams: Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles (NFL), Pittsburg Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Pittsburgh Panthers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Temple Owls, Villanova Wildcats, and La Salle Explorers (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Lenni Lenape, Shawnee, Susquehannock, Erie, and Seneca. Probably wiped out by war and smallpox.

Best Known Moments: Its founding by William Penn, French and Indian War would start at Fort Necessity and would later see Bushy Run, Braddock’s defeat as well as the capture of Fort Duquesne, one of the original 13 Colonies, Philadelphia was site of the Declaration of Independence signing and the Constitutional Convention, would see several incidents during the American Revolution like Washington crossing the Delaware, Battles of Brandywine and Germantown, and Valley Forge, industrialization, saw the Battle of Gettysburg during Civil War, Gettysburg Address, the Homestead Strike, the Johnstown Flood, Three Mile Island, Flight 93, and “Kids for Cash.”

Often Associated With: Pittsburgh, Philly, Philly cheesesteak, drinking, swearing, die hard sports fans, steel, Rustbelt, Pitt, Penn State, Delaware River, Ohio River, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, “yinz,” Appalachian Mountains, rednecks, Valley Forge, Hershey chocolate, Heinz 57 Varieties, Steeler fans, Fallingwater, Pocono Mountains, Flight 93, Gettysburg, Amish Country, Johnstown Flood, coal mining, Susquehanna River, “Kids for Cash,” Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Rolling Rock, pierogies, kielbasa, Poles, Italians, manufacturing, unions, glass, KDKA, The Office, Three Mile Island, horrendous road conditions, unpredictable winters, Groundhog Day, Quakers, Methodists, mushrooms, swing state politics, deer hunting, white tail deer, wild turkey, black bears, a lot of amusement parks, tunnels, motorcross, pretzels, snack foods, Sauerkraut, Andy Warhol, Pittsburghese, smog, idyllic farm country, Punxsutawney Phil, Groundhog Day, predicting 6 week weather conditions using rodents, Lake Erie, ketchup, Pine Creek Gorge, “Pennsylvania Polka,” polka music, Gettysburg, Scranton, Allentown, Erie, Wilkes-Barre, Bethlehem, Carlisle, Johnstown, King of Prussia, Snyder’s of Berlin, Rocky, Utz, Snyder’s of Hanover

39. Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a popular New England tourist destination because of its many ocean front beaches and harbors many rich people can sail their yachts in. Of course, this was in the Gilded Age but still, it makes money from vacationing New Englanders nevertheless.

Rhode Island is a popular New England tourist destination because of its many ocean front beaches and harbors many rich people can sail their yachts in. Of course, this was in the Gilded Age but still, it makes money from vacationing New Englanders nevertheless.

Abbreviation: RI

Nickname: “Little Rhody,” “Ocean State”
Capital: Providence
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: May 29, 1790
Bird: Rhode Island Red Chicken
Flower: Violet
Tree: Red Maple

Celebrities: Nathanael Greene, George M. Cohan, Gilbert Stuart, Nelson Eddy, Ambrose Burnside, Cormac McCarthy, John McLaughlin, Matthew C. and Oliver Hazard Perry, Meredith Vieira, H. P. Lovecraft, David Macaulay, Marilyn Chambers, Viola Davis, the Farrelly Brothers, Richard Jenkins, Van Johnson, Seth McFarlane, Ted Knight, George Macready, Louis B. Mayer, James Woods, A. O. Scott, Sullivan Ballou, Roger Williams, Anne Hutchinson

Sports Teams: Brown Bears, Providence College Friars, Bryant Bulldogs, and Rhode Island Rams (NCAA Div. I).

Indian Tribes: Narragansett, Niantic, Nipmuc, Wampanoag, and Pequot. Probably died from war and small pox.

Best Known Moments: Founded by Roger Williams in the 1600s, King Philip’s War, was heavily involved with the slave trade as well as known for religious toleration, one of the original 13 Colonies, American Revolution, industrialization, and not much else.

Often Associated With: New England, beaches, whaling, small landmass, geographic confusion, boats, lighthouses, not a lot of crime, Brown, rich people, intellectuals, seafood, shellfish, clam chowder, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, Touro Synagogue, mansions, Narragansett, harbor, Block Island Mansions, Cliff Walk, Slater Mill, Pawtucket, Sanderstown, ferry boat, Block Island Sound

40. South Carolina

South Carolina's Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of the oldest plantations in the South and is located near Charleston. Though originally a rice plantation, it's now a tourist attraction as well as a great wedding destination for the bride who really wants her big day to appear something like she'd seen in a Southern Gothic novel minus the weird stuff happening.

South Carolina’s Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of the oldest plantations in the South and is located near Charleston. Though originally a rice plantation, it’s now a tourist attraction as well as a great wedding destination for the bride who really wants her big day to appear something like she’d seen in a Southern Gothic novel minus the weird stuff happening.

Abbreviation: SC
Nickname: “Palmetto State”
Capital: Columbia
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: May 23, 1788
Bird: Carolina Wren
Flower: Yellow Jessamine
Tree: Palmetto

Celebrities: Stephen Colbert, Strom Thurmond, John C. Calhoun, Marian Wright Edleman, Jesse Jackson, “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, Andie McDowell, Francis Marion, Preston Brooks, Mary MacLeod Bethune, James Brown, Joe Frazier, Althea Gibson, Dizzy Gillespie, Thomas Hayward Jr., Eartha Kitt, James “Pete” Longstreet, Thomas Lynch Jr., Melvin Purvis, Joel Roberts Poinsett, Edward Rutledge, Mickey Spillane, William C. Westmoreland, John B. Watson, Aziz Ansari, Chubby Checker, Pat Conroy, Viola Davis, Andy Dick, Stanley Donen, John Edwards, Shepard Fairey, Mary-Louise Parker, Chris Rock

Sports Teams: South Carolina Gamecocks, South Carolina State Bulldogs, and Clemson Tigers (NCAA Div. I)
Indian Tribes: Inhabited by 30 tribes including the Cherokee, Catawba, and Muskogean. Kicked out in the 1830s with Indian Removal.

Best Known Moments: One of the Original 13 Colonies, saw a lot of action during the American Revolution with Cowpens and Kings Mountain, started the Nullification Crisis, Trail of Tears, first state to secede from the Union and saw the beginning of the Civil War at Ft. Sumter as well as Sherman’s March to the Sea,

Often Associated With: Charleston, slavery, racism, South Carolina primary, governors “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” governors basically going missing to carry on an extramarital affair on Father’s Day, rednecks, messed up politics, indigo, cotton, rice, racist senators having illegitimate black love children, Myrtle Beach, plantations, southern belles, Southern Gothic Literature, palmettos, salt marshes, swamp, Blue Ridge Mountains, hurricanes, Confederate flag displays, Confederate nostalgia, conservatism, pro-slavery congressmen caning anti-slavery senators from Massachusetts, Bob Jones University, Kings Mountain, Cowpens, videotaped Breathalyzer tests, strict laws on alcohol, Fort Sumter, poverty, poinsettias, Baptists, Bible Belt, brightly painted houses, plantations, Magnolia Plantation, Cypress Gardens, Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens, Riverbanks Zoo, Moncks Corner, swamp, Brookgreen Gardens, Hilton Head Island, Drayton Hall, Murrells Inlet, beaches, cypress, Middleton Place, Waterfront Park

In These United States: Part 3 – Massachusetts to New Jersey

In my previous two posts in my five part series, I’ve written state profiles from all over the American nation, mostly because I’ve listed them in alphabetical order like most reference books do. In this selection, I’ll cover the states from Massachusetts to New Jersey. First, we venture to Massachusetts which is perhaps one of the most covered regions in your American History or your American history class. Let’s say very few Americans have never read (or never pretended to have read) anything that was by someone from Massachusetts because a lot of early American literature comes from there and The Scarlet Letter is required reading. Second, we have Michigan best known as the headquarters for America’s Big 3 automakers, Motown, and the poverty stricken Rust Belt hellscape known as Detroit that tends to somehow beat Pittsburgh at hockey. Third, it’s on to Minnesota home of the Twin Cities, Mall of America, having a lot of lakes, Garrison Keilor, and Target. Strangely enough it’s also where Prince and Bob Dylan came from but you wouldn’t have guessed unless you looked it up on Wikipedia. After that, is Mississippi which was once one of the most prosperous states in the nation during the antebellum era but is now the poorest state in the nation. Then it’s off to Missouri, home of Mark Twain and Harry Truman as well as the Gateway Arch since it was seen as the gateway to the West. It’s also the state that features Kansas City we all know which kind of creates geographic confusion. Apparently “Missouri City” didn’t cut it. Next, we have Montana known for its many natural wonders as well as being very cold and being the state where George Custer met his Little Big Horn. We then go off to Nebraska which is the only state to have a unicameral legislature as well as Warren Buffett, Omaha, and agriculture. After that, we have Nevada most famous for the tackiest adult playground on earth Las Vegas home to gambling casinos, scantily clad showgirls in feather headdresses, and weddings under the influence. Then it’s off to New Hampshire home of the New Hampshire primary, Dartmouth, skiing resorts, and not much else. Finally, we arrive in New Jersey known for Superfund sites, government induced traffic jams, Monopoly, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and being home to way more celebrities than just Bruce Springsteen.

 

21. Massachusetts

Massachusetts was the site of the first Thanksgiving as a three day feast between the Pilgrims and Indians after the latter taught the former how to survive through after they went through a harsh winter that killed about half of them. Unfortunately, their friendship wouldn't last and this tradition wasn't repeated until Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863.

Massachusetts was the site of the first Thanksgiving as a three day feast between the Pilgrims and Indians after the latter taught the former how to survive through after they went through a harsh winter that killed about half of them. Unfortunately, their friendship wouldn’t last and this tradition wasn’t repeated until Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863.

Abbreviation: MA
Nickname: “Bay State,” “Old Colony”
Capital: Boston
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: February 6, 1788
Bird: Black-Capped Chickadee, Wild Turkey
Flower: Mayflower
Tree: American Elm

Celebrities: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Abigail Adams, Samuel Adams, Bronson and Louisa May Alcott, Frederick Douglass, Henry David Thoreau, Susan B. Anthony, Helen Hunt Jackson, Emily Dickinson, Steve Carell, Benjamin Franklin, Ben and Casey Affleck, Crispus Attucks, Clara Barton, George H. W. Bush, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison, Bette Davis, John Hancock, Nathaniel Hawthorne, both Oliver Wendell Holmeses, Elias Howe, JFK, RFK, Ted Kennedy, Joe Kennedy, Jack Kerouac, John Kerry, Jack Lemmon, James Russell Lowell, Cotton Mather, B. J. Novak, John Krasinski, Maria Mitchell, Samuel F. B. Morse, Conan O’Brien, Dr. Seuss, Barbara Walters, James Whistler, John Greenleaf Whittier, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Bullfinch, John Singleton Copley, Charles Dana Gibson, Norman Rockwell, Nancy Kerrigan, Michael Bloomberg, Sumner Redstone, Eli Whitney, the Boston Strangler, Louis C. K., Mindy Kaling, Jay Leno, Amy Poehler, Steven Wright, Elizabeth Banks, Ray Bolger, Walter Brennan, Matt Damon, Geena Davis, Olympia Dukakis, Michael Dukakis, Hal Holbrook, John Michael Higgins, Jennifer Coolidge, Madeline Kahn, David E. Kelley, Arthur Kennedy, Agnes Moorehead, Leonard Nimoy, Edward Norton, Estelle Parsons, Robert Preston, James Remar, James Spader, Julie Taymor, Uma Thurman, Sam Waterson, Mark Wahlberg, Tom and Ray Magilozzi, Tom Bergeron, John King, George Stephanopolous, Mike Wallace, Elizabeth Poole, Horatio Alger, Anne Bradstreet, Augusten Burroughs, William Cullen Bryant, e. e. Cummings, E. J. Dionne, W. E. B. DuBois, Robert Frost, John Kenneth Galbraith, Khalil Gibran, Edward Gorey, Timothy Leary, Peter Laird, Henry Cabot Lodge, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, John Updike, Edith Wharton, Leonard Bernstein, Taj Mahal, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Aerosmith, Boston, the Cars, King Philip (Indian chief), Samoset, Tisquantum (a. k. a. Squanto), Massasoit, Deborah Sampson, Edward Brooke, Calvin Coolidge, Tip O’Neill, Frances Perkins, Mitt Romney, Mary Baker Eddy, Louis Farrakhan, John Harvard, Increase Mather, Edmund Sears, D. L. Moody, Ram Dass, Alexander Graham Bell, Temple Grandin, Gregory Pincus, F. Lee Bailey, Abbie Hoffman, Horace Mann, Grover Norquist, Mark Foley, Lucy Stone, Elbridge Gerry, Robert Goddard, Charles Goodyear, Tim Berners-Lee, John Hodgeman, Sacco and Vanzetti, Mercy Otis Warren, Charles Sumner

Sports Teams: New England Patriots (NFL), Boston Bruins (NHL), Boston Celtics (NHL), Boston Red Sox (MLB), Harvard Crimson, and Boston College Eagles (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: The Wampanoag, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Mahican, and Massachusett.

Best Known Moments: First settled by the Pilgrims in 1620, Puritains set theocracy later as the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Salem Witch Trials, one of the original 13 Colonies, was a place of many demonstrations that led to the American Revolution and first battles were fought there, Shays Rebellion, led in the Industrial Revolution and Abolitionist Movement, Sacco and Vanzetti trials, first state to legalize same-sex marriage, and Boston Marathon bombing.

Often Associated With: Puritans, Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, Sam Adams beer, Cheers, Boston Legal, Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre, Boston, Salem Witch Trials, Harvard, rich people, the Kennedys, liberals, prudes, Patriots fans, swearing, reckless driving, Boston Marathon, Boston baked beans, Boston cream pie, Irish, Transcendentalism, abolitionism, Walden, The Scarlet Letter, New England, Massachusetts Bay, Lobster, “Paul Revere’s Ride,” rudeness, preppies, WASPs, Cape Cod, light houses, boats, whaling, Moby Dick, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, crusty sailors, MIT, rowing, drinking, brawling sports fans, intellectuals, a lot of celebrities you’ll find in many American History or Literature classes, Whistler’s Mother, Car Talk, fishing, Old North Church, seafood, Boston terrier, Red Sox fans, The Crucible, much of American Literature, Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, clam chowder, anti-slavery senators being caned by pro-slavery representatives in South Carolina

 

22. Michigan

As seen in this mural section by Diego Rivera, Michigan is best known for being the headquarters of America's auto industry. Chrysler, GM, and Ford are all based in Detroit which by now is seen as an urban disaster. Yet, until the Rust Belt set in, it was a center of American Industry.

As seen in this mural section by Diego Rivera, Michigan is best known for being the headquarters of America’s auto industry. Chrysler, GM, and Ford are all based in Detroit which by now is seen as an urban disaster. Yet, until the Rust Belt set in, it was a center of American Industry.

Abbreviation: MI
Nickname: “Great Lakes State,” “Wolverine State”
Capital: Lansing
Largest City: Detroit
Entered Union: January 26, 1837
Bird: American Robin
Flower: Apple Blossom
Tree: White Pine

Celebrities: Gerald Ford, Henry Ford, Eminem, Jerome Bettis, Aretha Franklin, Edna Ferber, Magic Johnson, Lee Iacocca, Malcolm X, Casey Kasem, Edgar Guest, Madonna, Michael Moore, Elmore Leonard, Charles Lindbergh, Pontiac, Gilda Radner, Mitt Romney, George Romney, Diana Ross, Sinbad, Tom Selleck, Lily Tomlin, the Williams Sisters, Tim Allen, Gillian Anderson, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Jeff Daniels, Sonny Bono, Christie Brinkley, Tom Hulce, Ellen Burstyn, Kim Hunter, James Earl Jones, Julie Harris, Charlton Heston, Keegan-Michael Key, Tim Meadows, Lee Majors, George Peppard, Harry Morgan, Verne Troyer, Elaine Stritch, David Spade, Robert Wagner, Robin Williams, Danny Thomas, Jerry Bruckheimer, Francis Ford Coppola, John Hughes, Sam Raimi, Paul Schrader, Thom Hartmann, Candy Crowley, Sanjay Gupta, Miles O’Brien, Edgar Bergen, Kate Upton, Eero and Eliel Saarinen, William Boeing, Roger B. Chaffee, George Jarvis, John De Lorean, the Dodge brothers, William C. Durant, Edsel Ford, Ransom E. Olds, Roger Penske, David Dunbar Buick, William Hewlett, Larry Page, Will Kellogg, Tom Monaghan, C. W. Post, David M. Overton, James Anthony Bailey, Herbert Henry Dow, Dr. Homer Stryker, Irene Osgood Andrews, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Jim Bakker, Father Charles Coughlin, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, Leon Czolgosz, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, John Mitchell (attorney general), Terry Nichols, Aileen Wuornos, Thomas Edison, Robert Jarvik, Jimmy Hoffa, Walter Reuther, Lewis Cass, George Armstrong Custer, Daniel Ellsberg, the Supremes, Al Green, Al Green, Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Alice Cooper, Glenn Frey, Bill Haley, Kid Rock, Ted Nugent, Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, the White Stripes, Noel “Paul” Stookey, Betty Ford, Thomas Dewey, Nate Silver, Dr. Jonas Salk, Derek Jeter, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Larry Foote, Dan Bylsma, Jill Carroll, Dr. Wayne Dyet, Dita Von Teese

Sports Teams: Detroit Lions (NFL), Detroit Tigers (MLB), Detroit Pistons (NBA), Detroit Red Wings (MLB), Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: The Ojibwe, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Mascouten, Menominee, Miami, Sauk, Fox, and Huron

Best Known Moments: Part of French Canada until the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Rebellion, Northwest Territory, industrialization, and has urban areas in decline since the 1980s.

Often Associated With: American cars, working class, manufacturing, Rust Belt decline, urban hellscapes, unions, poverty, poor people getting screwed, United Auto Workers, the Great Lakes, northern based racism, Gran Torino, crumbling infrastructure, harsh winters, snow, swing state politics, 8 Mile, crime, NASCAR racing, Motown, Michael Moore documentaries, Home Improvement, Boeing, Kellogg, Domino’s Pizza, Post cereal, the Cheesecake Factory, Jimmy Hoffa, Christmas tree farms, Mackinac Island, Tulip Time Festival, Sault Ste. Marie, Air Zoo, Grand Rapids, Tahquemnon Falls, De Zwaan windmill, Belle Isle Park, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Greenfield Village

 

23. Minnesota

Minnesota's Minnehaha Falls was depicted in Henry Wadsworth Longefellow's poem "The Song of Hiawatha." It's located on Minnehaha Creek which is a tributary of the Mississippi River and its name means, "laughing water." It's about 53 ft high.

Minnesota’s Minnehaha Falls was depicted in Henry Wadsworth Longefellow’s poem “The Song of Hiawatha.” It’s located on Minnehaha Creek which is a tributary of the Mississippi River and its name means, “laughing water.” It’s about 53 ft high.

Abbreviation: MN
Nickname: “North Star State,” “Gopher State”
Capital: St. Paul
Largest City: Minneapolis
Entered Union: May 11, 1858
Bird: Common Loon
Flower: Pink and White Lady Slipper
Tree: Red Pine

Celebrities: Garrison Keilor, Bob Dylan, Prince, Charles Schultz, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jesse Ventura, Al Franken, Jessica Lange, Judy Garland, Hubert H. Humphrey, the Coen Brothers, Sinclair Lewis, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Lindsey Vonn, Michelle Bachmann, Eddie Albert, Loni Anderson, Lew Ayres, Jim Bakker, Ann Bancroft (polar explorer), Patty Berg, Marlon Brando, Herb Brooks, Gretchen Carlson, Diablo Cody, Dr. Demento, William Demarest, Larry Fitzgerald, Ric Flair, Keith Ellison, J. Paul Getty, Terry Gilliam, Mary GrandPre, George Roy Hill, James J. Hill, Kris Humphries, William J. Mayo, Randy Moss, Owl City, Chris Pratt, Jane Russell, Winona Ryder, Richard Warren Sears, Tiny Tim, Richard Widmark, the Andrews Sisters

Sports Teams: Minnesota Vikings (NFL), Minnesota Twins (MLB), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), Minnesota Wild (NHL), and Minnesota Golden Gophers (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Dakota and Ojibwe.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, Zebulun Pike Expedition, and industrialization.

Often Associated With: the Midwest, Scandinavians, harsh winters, A Prairie Home Companion, niceness, politeness, lots of lakes, Lutherans, “ Don’t cha know,” folksiness, Target, Twin Cities, Great Lakes, Mississippi River, wilderness, countryside, Mayo Clinic, Mall of America, Duluth, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Betty Crocker, Paul Bunyan, Jolly Green Giant, Fargo, Juno, Pilsbury Doughboy, moose, hipsters, Lake Woebegone, Aerial Lift Bridge, Minehaha Falls, Lake Minnetonka, Bloomington, Rochester, Minnetonka, Coon Rapids, Land O’ Lakes, General Mills, Supervalu, Best Buy, 3M, farming, elk, caribou, bald eagles, snowy owls, fishing, suburbs, Woodbury, lutefisk, butter sculptures of dairy princesses, foods on a stick, Aquatennial, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, water skiing, hockey, curling, skiing, hunting, hiking

 

24. Mississippi

Major General Ulysses S. Grant's hard won strategic victory in capturing Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1863 would be a major turning point in the US Civil War which would divide the South in two by the Mississippi River. Vicksburg wouldn't formally celebrate the 4th of July for years after this. I know posting a picture pertaining to Vicksburg may offend a lot of Southerners, but it's a very significant moment in American history whether you like it or not.

Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s hard won strategic victory in capturing Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1863 would be a major turning point in the US Civil War which would divide the South in two by the Mississippi River. Vicksburg wouldn’t formally celebrate the 4th of July for years after this. I know posting a picture pertaining to Vicksburg may offend a lot of Southerners, but it’s a very significant moment in American history whether you like it or not.

Abbreviation: MS
Nickname: “Magnolia State”
Capital: Jackson
Largest City: Same
Entered Union: December 10, 1817
Bird: Northern Mockingbird, Wood Duck
Flower: Magnolia, Coreopsis (Tickseed)
Tree: Southern Magnolia

Celebrities: Jimmy Buffett, Bo Diddley, Medgar Evans, Brett Favre, Shelby Foot, Morgan Freeman, John Grisham, Fannie Lou Hamer, Jim Henson, Faith Hill, John Lee Hooker, James Earl Jones, B. B. King, Trent Lott, Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Richard Wright, Tammy Wynette, Parker Posey, Archie Manning, Britney Spears, William Faulkner, Jefferson Davis, Jerry Rice, Howlin’ Wolf, Fred Phelps, Ida B. Wells, Dana Andrews, Diane Ladd, Dizzy Dean, Steve McNair, Robin Roberts, Tavis Smiley, Shepard Smith, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Sam Cooke, Nate Dogg, Soulja Boy, Gail Borden

Sports Teams: Mississippi Rebels (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Mississippian culture, Chickasaw, Natchez, Biloxi, Yazoo, and Choctaw.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, saw action during the American Civil War at Jackson and Vicksburg, and saw a lot of action during the Civil Rights Movement, particularly during Freedom Summer.

Often Associated With: poverty, the Mississippi River, slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, racism, lynching, Mississippi Burning, rednecks, trailer parks, cotton, plantations, Ole Miss, Southern Gothic Literature, southern belles, Vicksburg, hurricanes, floods, bluegrass, blues, steamboats, casino gambling, In the Heat of the Night, hurricanes, Natchez, Tupelo, Mynelle Gardens, historic mansions, Yazoo River, Bay St. Louis, Biloxi Blues, Biloxi, seasonal flooding

 

25. Missouri

Missouri's Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a monument of US westward expansion and the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. At 630ft high it's the tallest man made monument in the Western Hemisphere, the world's tallest Arch and an international symbol of Saint Louis.

Missouri’s Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a monument of US westward expansion and the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. At 630ft high it’s the tallest man made monument in the Western Hemisphere, the world’s tallest Arch and an international symbol of Saint Louis.

Abbreviation: MO
Nickname: “Show Me State”
Capital: Jefferson City
Largest City: Kansas City
Entered Union: August 10, 1821
Bird: Eastern Bluebird
Flower: White Hawthorn
Tree: Flowering Dogwood

Celebrities: Harry Truman, Mark Twain, Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow, Maya Angelou, Robert Altman, Burt Bacharach, Josephine Baker, Scott Bakula, Thomas Hart Benton (muralist), Omar Bradley, William S. Burroughs, Dale Carnegie, Walter Cronkite, Bob Costas, Walt Disney, T. S. Elliot, Kate Chopin, Robert A. Heinlein, John Goodman, Betty Grable, Rush Limbaugh, Jon Hamm, Edwin Hubble, Marianne Moore, Reinhold Niebuhr, J. C. Penney, J. John Pershing, Brad Pitt, Joseph Pulitzer, Ginger Rogers, Kathleen Turner, Shelley Winters, Jane Wyman, Scott Joplin, Langston Hughes, Tennessee Williams, Yogi Berra, Stan Musial, Wallace Beery, Don Cheadle, Daniel Boone, Chris Cooper, Jenna Fischer, Dennis Hopper, John Huston, Kevin Kline, Virginia Mayo, Steve McQueen (actor), Geraldine Page, William Powell, Vincent Price, Dick Van Dyke, Cedric the Entertainer, Redd Foxx, Dick Gregory, Dan Piraro, Mort Walker, Charlie “Bird” Parker, Eminem, Bob Barker, Stone Philips, John V. Cox, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, Calamity Jane, Phyllis Schlafly, J. William Fullbright, Ulysses S. Grant, Nellie Tayloe Ross, George Washington Carver, Edwin Hubble, Jack Kilby

Sports Teams: St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals (MLB), and St. Louis Blues (NHL)

Indian Tribes: Mississippian culture according to archaeology. Sauk, Fox, Illinois, Osage, Kansa, and Missouri at least to French explorers in the 17th century. Few remained by the 1830s.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, starting point of the Oregon Trail, Jesse James’ exploits, and some natural disasters.

Often Associated With: steamboats, St. Louis, Kansas City, Mississippi River, Missouri River, Mark Twain, swing state politics, Qunatrill’s Raiders, Gateway Arch, geographic confusion, Oregon Trail, smartasses, loose laws on alcohol and tobacco, Meet Me in St. Louis, diverse wildlife, Lake of the Ozarks, J. C. Penney, blues music, St. Joseph, Wilson’s Creek

 

26. Montana

Montana is home to many places of natural beauty yet virtually none come close to Glacier National Park on its border with Canada. Here is St. Mary Lake which is 90 miles long and 300 ft deep. Behind that is Little Chief Mountain which is 9, 541 ft high.

Montana is home to many places of natural beauty yet virtually none come close to Glacier National Park on its border with Canada. Here is St. Mary Lake which is 90 miles long and 300 ft deep. Behind that is Little Chief Mountain which is 9, 541 ft high.

Abbreviation: MT
Nickname: “Treasure State”
Capital: Helena
Largest City: Billings
Entered Union: November 8, 1889
Bird: Western Meadowlark
Flower: Bitteroot
Tree: Ponderosa Pine

Celebrities: Dana Carvey, Gary Cooper, Myrna Loy, Chet Huntley, Jeannette Rankin, Stephen E. Ambrose, Jean Parker, Sitting Bull, F. Augustus Heinze, Chief Joseph, Jack Horner, Ted Kaczynski, Evel Knievel

Sports Teams: Montana Grizzlies and Montana State Bobcats (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Crow, Cheyenne, Blackfeet, Assiniboine, Gros Ventres, Kooteni, Salish, Kalispel, and Pend d’ Oreille. Still has a substantial Native American population.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Battle of Little Bighorn, Indian Wars, and electing Jeannette Rankin to Congress.

Often Associated With: Rocky Mountains, Missouri River, Glacier National Park, snow, cowboys, cattle ranching, mining, microbrewing, Indian Reservations, Plains Indians, skiing, fishing, hunting, Continental Divide, Little Bighorn, mountain climbing, wilderness, Great Falls, Clark Caverns, wildfires, grizzly bears, cougars, snowmobiles

 

27. Nebraska

Nebraska has a large agricultural sector and is an important producer of beef, pork, corn, soybeans, and sorghum. During the days of the cowboys, it was also a place where they would drop off the cattle for their final journey to the Chicago slaughterhouses.

Nebraska has a large agricultural sector and is an important producer of beef, pork, corn, soybeans, and sorghum. During the days of the cowboys, it was also a place where they would drop off the cattle for their final journey to the Chicago slaughterhouses.

Abbreviation: NE
Nickname: “Cornhusker State”
Capital: Lincoln
Largest City: Omaha
Entered Union: March 1, 1867
Bird: Western Meadowlark
Flower: Goldenrod
Tree: Cottonwood

Celebrities: Fred Astaire, Warren Buffett, Johnny Carson, William Jennings Bryan, Dick Cavett, Dick Cheney, Father Edward J. Flanagan, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Gerald Ford, Henry Fonda, Harold Lloyd, Malcolm X, Chuck Hagel, Ted Sorensen, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Nick Nolte, Robert Taylor, Darryl F. Zanuck, Ward Bond, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, James Coburn, Dorothy McGwire, Alexander Payne, Hilary Swank, Inga Swenson, Larry the Cable Guy, Willa Cather, Ted Kooser, L. Ron Hubbard, Nicholas Sparks, Joyce Hall, Max Baer, Andy Roddick, Gale Sayers, Brandon Teena

Sports Teams: Creighton Blue Jays, Nebraska Cornhuskers, and Nebraska Mavericks (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Pawnee, Ponca, Omaha, Missouria, and Oto.

Best Known Moments: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, and served as a hub for Populism.

Often Associated With: unicameral state legislature, farming, cattle, cowboys, telemarketing, Indians, prairies, prairie dogs, Nebraska, whiteness, populism, Omaha, Hallmark, Chimney Rock, Ashfall Fossil Beds, Ashland, Arbor Lodge, Great Platte River Road Archway, Nebraska City, Grand Island, Buffalo Bill Ranch, Scotts Bluff, Great Plains, Disected Till Plains, grassland, Toadstool Geologic Park, Ogala National Grassland

 

28. Nevada

Nevada's Las Vegas is a major resort city known for gambling, shopping, fine dining, and nightlife as well as one of the top tourist destinations of the world. Yet, Wikipedia says it's a growing family and retirement city. Well, I can believe the bit about the retirement but as a family city? I mean I wouldn't want to go there on my honeymoon, let alone take my kids to what I think is the sleaziest place on earth.

Nevada’s Las Vegas is a major resort city known for gambling, shopping, fine dining, and nightlife as well as one of the top tourist destinations of the world. Yet, Wikipedia says it’s a growing family and retirement city. Well, I can believe the bit about the retirement but as a family city? I mean I wouldn’t want to go there on my honeymoon, let alone take my kids to what I think is the sleaziest place on earth.

Abbreviation: NV
Nickname: “Sagebrush State,” “Battle Born State,” “Silver State”
Capital: Carson City
Largest City: Las Vegas
Entered Union: October 31, 1864
Bird: Mountain Bluebird
Flower: Sagebrush
Tree: Single Leaf Pinyon Pine, Bristlecone Pine

Celebrities: Andre Agassi, Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Pat Nixon, Edna Purviance, Jimmy Kimmel, Tony Curtis, Criss Angel, Penn and Teller

Sports Teams: None

Indian Tribes: Paiute, Shoshone, Washoe, and Walapai. If they have reservations in the area, they probably have their own casinos.

Best Known Moments: Mexican-American War, once part of California and Utah, Hoover Dam built, atomic bomb testing, organized crime had casinos and glitz in Vegas, and other incidents.

Often Associated With: Las Vegas, casino gambling, desert, Elvis Impersonators, Reno, easy divorce laws, precious metals, tacky neon displays, people getting married under the influence, drugs, scantily clad showgirls in feather headdresses, strippers, hookers, The Misfits, Ocean’s 11, Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, Lake Tahoe, Hoover Dam, nuclear testing, Big Band music, has-been celebrity entertainers, organized crime, Yucca Mountain, Area 51, ranching cowboys, crime, smut, old people, Reno 911, daredevil magicians, Valley of Fire

 

29. New Hampshire

New Hampshire's Mt. Washington is well known for its dangerously erratic weather with its highest gust of wind measured at 231 mph on the afternoon of April 12, 1934. At a height of 6, 288 ft, it's the highest peak in the American Northeast and the most prominent east of the Mississippi River.

New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington is well known for its dangerously erratic weather with its highest gust of wind measured at 231 mph on the afternoon of April 12, 1934. At a height of 6, 288 ft, it’s the highest peak in the American Northeast and the most prominent east of the Mississippi River.

Abbreviation: NH
Nickname: “Granite State”
Capital: Concord
Largest City: Manchester
Entered Union: June 21, 1788
Bird: Purple Finch
Flower: Purple Lilac
Tree: White Birch

Celebrities: Daniel Webster, Franklin Pierce, Dan Brown, Salmon P. Chase, Mary Baker Eddy, Horace Greely, Sarah Josepha Hale, Seth Meyers, John Irving, Adam Sandler, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Alan B. Shepard Jr., Christa McAuliffe, e. e. cummings, Tomie dePaola, Robert Frost, J. D. Salinger, Sarah Silverman, Ken Burns, Adam Lanza, David Petraeus, Lewis Cass, Bishop Gene Robinson, Phineas Gage

Sports Teams: None

Indian Tribes: Pennacook and Abenaki. May have been inhabited 10,000 years ago.

Best Known Moments: One of the original 13 Colonies, American Revolution, and industrialization.

Often Associated With: New England, “Live Free or Die,” New Hampshire Primary, NASCAR racing, rich people, skiing, snowmobiles, Dartmouth, gorgeous scenery, Mt. Washington, Peyton Place, farming, Pinkham Notches, Lake Winnipesaukee, Flume Gorge, White Mountains, Shakers, Santa’s Village, Nashua, Concord, Manchester, Mt. Monadnock, maple syrup

 

30. New Jersey

New Jersey’s Atlantic City is famous for its boardwalk, casinos, and beach as well as is home to the Miss America Pageant. Not only that, but this city inspired the original version of Monopoly and was a 1920s hotspot as seen in Boardwalk Empire. Steve Buscemi’s character was based on Prohibition Era kingpin Enoch “Nucky” Johnson known to run Atlantic City’s political machine as well as had an organization involved in bootlegging, gambling, and prostitution. Like Buscemi’s Nucky, the real Nucky also lived in the Ritz Carlton and had a German valet, too.

Abbreviation: NJ
Nickname: “Garden State”
Capital: Trenton
Largest City: Newark
Entered Union: December 18, 1787
Bird: Eastern Goldfinch
Flower: Purple Violet
Tree: Red Oak, Dogwood

Celebrities: Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra, Cory Booker, Queen Latifah, Jon Stewart, Jon Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston, Buzz Aldrin, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Joe Pesci, Jason Alexander, Antonin Scalia, Chris Christie, Judy Blume, Grover Cleveland, Thomas Edison, Aaron Burr, Jonathan Edwards, James Gandolfini, Allen Ginsberg, Simon and Garfunkel, Jack Nicholson, Shaquille O’Neal, Dorothy Parker, Wally Schirra, Paul Robeson, Philip Roth, both H. Norman Schwartzkopfs, Martha Stewart, Walt Whitman, Woodrow Wilson, William Carlos Williams, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Danny DeVito, Count Baise, Joan Bennett, Betsy Blair, Zach Braff, Roscoe Lee Brown, Abbott and Costello, Peter Dinklage, Taye Diggs, Jerry Lewis, George Clinton, Jim McGreevey, George R. R. Martin, Michael Douglas, Janet Evanovich, Steve Forbes, Donald Fagen, Vera Farmiga, Barney Frank, Chelsea Handler, Ed Harris, Franco Harris, Paul Krugman, Lauryn Hill, Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, Artie Lange, Mark and Scott Kelly, Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Ernie Kovacs, Jane Krakowski, Larry Kudlow, Nathan Lane, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, Andrew Napolitano, Alice Paul, Kal Penn, Isaac Redman, Kelly Ripa, Tom Ruegger, Eva Marie Saint, Roy Scheider, Bitty Schram, Joel Silver, Mira Sorvino, Meryl Streep, John Travolta, Paul Volcker, Patrick Warburton, Flip Wilson, Anne Hathaway, Anthony Bourdain, Tom Cruise, William Demarest, Milton Friedman, Valerie Harper, Ethan Hawke, Michelle Malkin, Carl Lewis, Richard Lewis, G. Gordon Liddy, Bill Maher, Brittany Murphy, John C. McGinley, Anna Quindlen, Christopher Reeve, Michelle Rodriguez, Carl Sagan, Susan Sarandon, Bruce Willis, Teresa Wright, Brooke Shields, Robert Blake, Jack Abramoff, Mel Ferrer, Janeane Garoalo, Sterling Hayden, Derek Jeter, Ice T, Richard Kind, Norman Mailer, Daniel Pearl, Dennis Rodman, Dana Reeve, Paul Rudd, Zoe Saldana, Kevin Spacey, Dave Thomas, Alan Alda, Paul Anka, Muhammad Ali, Yogi Berra, George Bensen, Andre Brauger, Mary J. Blige, Connie Chung, Stephen Colbert, Mary Higgins Clark, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Lil’ Kim, Donovan McNabb, Eddie Murphy, Maury Povich, Aidan Quinn, Geraldo Rivera, Chris Rock, Wesley Snipes, Stevie Wonder, Albert Einstein

Sports Teams: New Jersey Devils (NHL), New York Giants and New York Jets (NFL), Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Seton Hall Pirates, and Princeton Tigers (NCAA Div. I)

Indian Tribes: Lennie-Lenape

Best Known Moments: Part of New York while it was New Netherland, one of the original 13 Colonies, saw battles of Trenton, Princeton, and Monmouth during the American Revolution, Atlantic City was a hotspot in the 1920s thanks to the efforts pf Enoch “Nucky” Johnson who made sure Prohibition had no effect there, site of the Hindenburg disaster and Lindbergh baby kidnapping, and Hurricane Sandy.

Often Associated With: Bruce Springsteen, politically engineered traffic jams, corruption, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, rudeness, swearing, Jersey Shore, tanning, Italians, gangsters, Jersey Boys, toxic waste dumps, Delaware River, suburbs, Glacial Lake Passaic, Princeton, crime, organ snatching rabbis, Atlantic City, Monopoly game (all original editions have it modeled after Atlantic City), Miss America Pageant, Menlo Park, multiculturalism, Rutgers, Seton Hall, casino gambling, commuters to Philly or NYC, big hair, shopping malls, pollution, garbage, diners, weirdos, rich people, good schools, intellectuals, the Jersey Shore, Asbury Park, no self-service gas stations, American Hustle, Superfund sites, Jersey accents, “Joisey,” Lindbergh baby kidnapping, Hindenburg disaster, “Oh, the humanity!,” Ocean City, Wildwood, boardwalks, beaches, gambling, Camden, High Point Monument, Palisades, Great Falls of the Passaic River, Delaware Water Gap, rock music, George Washington Bridge, Hurricane Sandy, Newark, the Ritz-Carlton