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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