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

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