Fun and Interesting Facts about the 50 States in America

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We have fifty states in America, each with unique histories, mottos, and even state flowers. Together, they create the diverse and unique country that we all know.

Learn something new about each of the states below.

Alabama

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1819

Capital: Montgomery

Nickname: The Heart of Dixie

Motto: Audemus jua nostra defendere (We Dare Defend Our Rights)

State flower: Camellia (Camellia japonica)          

State tree: Southern Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustis)

State bird: Yellowhammer (Colaptes auratus)

Historical Facts

The first Electric Trolley System in the world was brought to life in Montgomery in 1886.

A skeleton of a pre-historic man was discovered in the stare in Russell Cave.

The oldest state-funded archival agency in the nation is the Alabama Department of Archives.

Fun Fact

George Washington Carver discovered more than 300 uses for peanuts in Alabama.

Resources:

State of Alabama: Alabama official emblems, symbols, and honors

Auburn University: Alabama quick facts

Alaska

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1959

Capital: Juneau

Nickname: The Great Land

Motto: North to the Future

State flower: Forget-me-not (Myosotis alpestris; Subspecies: asiatica)   

State tree: Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)

State bird: Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus)

Historical Facts

Alaska was discovered in 1741 by Danish explorer Vitus Jonassen Bering.

The first settlement in Alaska was created in 1784 by whalers and fur traders on Kodiak Island.

Joe Juneau discovered gold in 1880 and brought forth the gold rush.

Fun Fact

The longest coastline in the states in in Alaska. It is 6,640 miles, which is greater than the coastlines of all other states combined.

Resources:

State of Alaska: Facts about Alaska

USGS: Alaska state fact sheet

Arizona

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1912

Capital: Phoenix

Nickname: The Grand Canyon State

Motto: Ditat Deus (God Enriches)

State flower: Blossom of the Saguaro Cactus (Carnegia gigantea)            

State tree: Paloverde (Parkinsonia Florida)         

State bird: Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)

Historical Facts

The Southern Pacific Railroad connected Arizona with the eastern half of the country In 1926.

The London Bridge was shipped to and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.

Fun Fact

The most telescopes in the world are in Tucson, Arizona.

Resources:

State of Arizona: Arizona facts

Arizona State University: Arizona facts

Arkansas

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1836

Capital: Little Rock

Nickname: The Natural State

Motto: Regnat Populus (The People Rule)

State flower: Apple blossom (Malus domestica)

State tree: Lobolly Pine (Pinus taeda)    

State bird: Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Historical Facts

Bill Clinton started his political career in Hope, Arkansas.

The only Revolutionary War skirmish in the state was the 1783 Colbert Incident.

Fun Fact

The only active diamond mine in the United States is in Arkansas.

Resources:

State of Arkansas: State facts

National Geographic: Arkansas pictures and facts

California

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1850

Capital: Sacramento

Nickname: The Golden State

Motto: Eureka (I have found it)

State flower: Golden Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

State tree: California Redwood (Two Species: Sequoia giganteum and Sequoia sempervirens)  

State bird: California Valley Quail (Callipepla californica)

Historical Facts

The first movie theater opened in in Los Angeles in 1902.

In 1947 Norma Jean was crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen. She would become Marilyn Monroe.

Fun Fact

“General Sherman” is a 3,500-year-old tree in the state. It is one of the oldest living things on the planet.

Resources:

State of California: State symbols

History.com: California

Colorado

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1876

Capital: Denver

Nickname: The Mile-High State, The Centennial State

Motto: Nil Sine Numine (Nothing Without Providence)

State flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine (Aquilegia caerulea)  

State tree: Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

State bird: Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys)

Historical Facts

The 1976 Winter Olympics were planned for Colorado, but state voters decided against it due to the coast and pollution it would bring with it.

First rodeo on the world was held in 1869 in Deer Trail.

Fun Fact

The world's largest silver nugget was 1,840 pounds and it was found near Aspen.

Resources:

State of Colorado: State information

Colorado Christian University: Fun facts about Colorado

Connecticut

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Hartford

Nickname: The Constitution State

Motto: Qui Transtulit Sustinet  (He Who Transplanted still sustains)

State flower: Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)               

State tree: White Oak (Quercus alba)

State bird: American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Historical Facts

The world's first nuclear powered submarine was built in Connecticut in 1954.

The New Haven District Telephone Company published the first telephone book in 1878.

Fun Fact

The first law regulating the speed of motor vehicles was created in this state in 1901. The first speed limit was 12 miles per hour.

Resources:

State of Connecticut: Connecticut’s historical facts

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Connecticut from A to Z

Delaware

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1787

Capital: Dover

Nickname: The First State

Motto: Liberty and Independence

State flower: Peach blossom (Prunus persica)   

State tree: American Holly (Ilex opaca) 

State bird: Blue Hen Chicken (Gallus gallus)

Historical Facts

The country's first steam railroad began in New Castle in 1831.

Delaware was the first state to ratify the United States constitution in 1787.

Fun Fact

The Delaware Memorial Bridge is the largest twin suspension bridge on the planet.

Resources:

State of Delaware: Delaware facts and symbols

Delaware Geographical Survey: Facts about Delaware

Florida

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1845

Capital: Tallahassee

Nickname: The Sunshine State

Motto: In God We Trust

State flower: Orange blossom (Citrus sinensis)  

State tree: Sabal Palmetto Palm (Sabal palmetto)

State bird: Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Historical Facts

Fort Meade is the oldest settlement in Polk County, dating back to 1849.

Saint Augustine is the oldest European settlement in the United States.

Fun Fact

Tallahassee, Florida has the world's deepest freshwater spring.

Resources:

State of Florida: Fun facts

University of Florida: Florida agriculture facts

Georgia

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Atlanta

Nickname: The Peach State

Motto: Wisdom, justice, and moderation

State flower: Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata)

State tree: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

State bird: Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum)

Historical Facts

John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his fiancé stopped in Kingsland on the way to be married on Cumberland Island.

Saint Mary’s Georgia is the second oldest city in the country.

The first steamship to cross the Atlantic started its journey in Georgia.

Fun Fact

The carving of Confederate leaders on Georgia's Stone Mountain is the largest bas-relief carving on Earth.

Resources:

State of Georgia: Georgia facts

Georgia Public Broadcasting: Fun facts

Hawaii

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1959

Capital: Honolulu

Nickname: The Aloha State

Motto: Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono (The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness)

State flower: Yellow Hibiscus/Pua Aloalo (Hibiscus brackenridgei)

State tree: Kukui (candlenut) (Aleurites moluccana)       

State bird: Nēnē (Hawaiian Goose) (Branta sandvicensis)

Historical Fact

Hawaii was the last state admitted to the union. It occurred in 1959.

Fun Fact

Hawaii's Haleakala Crater is the largest dormant volcano in the world. It is seven miles across and two miles wide.

Resources:

State of Hawaii: 50 fun facts about the 50th state

University of Hawaii: Hawaii’s four of five counties

Idaho

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1890

Capital: Boise

Nickname: The Gem State

Motto: Esto Perpetua (It is Perpetual)

State flower: Syringa (Philadelphus lewisii)         

State tree: Western White Pine (Pinus monticola)           

State bird: Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)

Historical Facts

The oldest building in the state the Cataldo mission.

The entire town of American Falls was moved in the 1920a when the American Falls Dam was built.

Fun Fact

The longest main street in America is 33 miles and located in Island Park.

Resources:

State of Idaho: About Idaho

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education: State highlights

Illinois

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1818

Capital: Springfield

Nickname: The Prairie State

Motto: State sovereignty, national union

State flower: Native Violet (Viola)           

State tree: White Oak (Quercus alba)    

State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Historical Facts

Cities in the state hosted the Lincoln-Douglas debates that brought attention to the issue of slavery.

The first Mormon Temple in the state was built in Nauvoo.

Fun Fact

The tallest building in the country, the Sears Tower, is located in Chicago.

Resources:

State of Illinois: Illinois facts and trivia

Michigan State University: Illinois

Indiana

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1816

Capital: Indianapolis

Nickname: The Hoosier State

Motto: The Crossroads of America

State flower: Peony (Paeonia lactiflora)               

State tree: Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)

State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Historical Facts

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway had the first long-distance automobile race in the United States in 1911.

Abraham Lincoln spent most of his childhood in the state.

Fun Fact

Someone who lives in Indiana is known as a Hoosier.

Resources:

State of Indiana: State facts

Indiana University Bloomington: Indiana

Iowa

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1890

Capital: Des Moines

Nickname: The Hawkeye State

Motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain

State flower: Wild Rose (Rosa suffulta) 

State tree: Oak (Quercus)           

State bird: Eastern Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

Historical Facts

A monument in Sioux City was placed to honor The Sergeant Floyd, the man who died during the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Fort Atkinson was the site of the sole fort built by the government to protect one Indian tribe from another.

Fun Fact

Iowa has the shortest and steepest railroad in the country. It has a sixty-degree incline and is only 296 feet long.

Resources:

State of Iowa: About

NPR: Think you know Iowa?

Kansas

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1861

Capital: Topeka

Nickname: The Sunflower State

Motto: Ad Astra per Aspera (To the Stars Through Difficulties)

State flower: Native Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)      

State tree: Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)       

State bird: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Historical Facts

The first woman mayor in the United States was elected in Argonia in 1887.

Kansas inventors include created the dial telephone in 1889, the helicopter in 1909, and the frozen carbonated drink machine in 1961.

Fun Fact

Helium was discovered at the University of Kansas in 1905.

Resources:

State of Kansas: Kansas kids facts

Utah State University: Kansas is a pancake

Kentucky

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1792

Capital: Frankfort

Nickname: The Bluegrass State

Motto: United we stand, divided we shall fall

State flower: Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis var. scabra)         

State tree: Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)             

State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Historical Facts

The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the United States.

The first commercial oil well was built on the Cumberland River 1819.

Fun Fact

The largest underground cave in the world is in Kentucky. It is 300 miles long.

Resources:

State of Kentucky: Kids

University of Louisville: Kentucky facts

Louisiana

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1812

Capital: Baton Rouge

Nickname: The Pelican State

Motto: Union, justice and confidence

State flower: Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

State tree: Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

State bird: Eastern Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

Historical Facts

The state was named in honor of King Louis XIV.

The New Orleans & Carrollton Line is the oldest street railway line, having first started operating in 1835.

Fun Fact

This state has ninety-eight percent of the world's crayfish.

Resources:

State of Louisiana: State facts

University of Chicago: History of Louisiana

Maine

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1820

Capital: Augusta

Nickname: The Pine Tree State

Motto: Dirigo (I Direct)

State flower: White Pinecone/Tassel (Pinus strobus)                    

State tree: Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

State bird: Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)

Historical Facts

Ice Age hunters were the original inhabitants of the state.

Portland was the original state capital until it was moved to Augusta in 1832.

Fun Fact

West Quoddy Head in Maine is the most easterly point in the United States.

Resources:

State of Maine: Facts about Maine

University of Maine: History of the state of Maine

Maryland

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Annapolis

Nickname: The Old-Line State

Motto: Fatti Maschii Parole Femine (Strong Deeds, Gentle Words)

State flower: Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)            

State tree: White Oak (Quercus alba)    

State bird: Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

Historical Facts

The United States Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis in 1845.

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company constructed the first railroad station in Baltimore in 1830.

Fun Fact

The first umbrella factory in the country opened in 1928 in Baltimore.

Resources:

State of Maryland: Famous facts about Maryland

Maryland Office of Tourism: Maryland facts

Massachusetts

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Boston

Nickname: The Bay State

Motto: Ense Petit Placidam Sub Libertate Quietem  (By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty)

State flower: Mayflower (Epigaea repens)                        

State tree: American Elm (Ulmus americana)

State bird: Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)

Historical Facts

The first subway system in the US was created in Boston in 1897.

United States presidents John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and George Herbert Walker Bush were all born in Norfolk County.

Fun Fact

The Boston University Bridge in Massachusetts is said to be the only place in the where "a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane."

Resources:

State of Massachusetts: Interesting facts about Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts Boston: Symbols

Michigan

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1837

Capital: Lansing

Nickname: The Wolverine State

Motto: Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumsice  (If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you)

State flower: Apple Blossom (Malus domestica)

State tree: Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)   

State bird: American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Historical Facts

The Packard Motor Car Company manufactured the first air-conditioned car in Detroit in 1939.

Sault Ste. Marie is the third oldest settlement in the country.

Fun Fact

Battle Creek, known as the Cereal Bowl of the US, produces more cereal than anywhere else in the country.

Resources:

State of Michigan: Michigan facts

State Data Lab: Michigan

Minnesota

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1858

Capital: St. Paul

Nickname: The Land of 10,000 Lakes

Motto: L'Etoile du Nord  (The Star of the North)

State flower: Pink and White Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium reginae)         

State tree: Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)     

State bird: Common Loon (Gavia immer)

Historical Facts

The St. Lawrence Seaway first opened in 1959, allowing oceangoing ships to pass through.

The Old Log Theater in Minneapolis is the oldest continuously running theater.

Fun Fact

The oldest rock in the world is 3.8 billion years old and can be seen in the Minnesota River valley.

Resources:

State of Minnesota: Minnesota facts

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Minnesota state park and recreation areas

Mississippi

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1817

Capital: Jackson

Nickname: The South's Warmest Welcome

Motto: Virtute et Armis (By Valor and Arms)

State flower: Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)                 

State tree: Magnolia (Magnolia)

State bird: Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Historical Facts

The University of Mississippi Medical Center did the world's first human lung transplant in 1963.

President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a captured bear in the state In 1902.

Fun Fact

Coca-Cola was first bottled in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1894.

Resources:

State of Mississippi: About Mississippi

University of Mississippi: Mississippi encyclopedia

Missouri

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1821

Capital: Jefferson City

Nickname: The Show Me State

Motto: Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto  (The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law)

State flower: Hawthorn (Crataegus)      

State tree: Dogwood (Cornus florida)    

State bird: Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Historical Facts

Captain Berry performed the first successful parachute jump from a plane in St Louis in 1912.

Annapolis experienced the most destructive tornado on record in 1925.

Fun Fact

The Missouri Gateway Arch in St. Louis is the tallest stainless-steel monument on the planet.

Resources:

State of Missouri: Missouri state facts

The State Historical Society of  Missouri: Our Missouri podcast

Montana

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1867

Capital: Helena

Nickname: Big Sky Country

Motto: Gold and Silver

State flower: Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva)           

State tree: Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)

State bird: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Historical Facts

Henry Plummer, a notorious outlaw, was the builder of the first jail in the state.

Lolo Hot Springs had the first luge run in the country in 1965.

Fun Fact

Grasshopper Glacier is named for the grasshoppers that can be seen frozen in its ice.

Resources:

State of Montana: About Montana

Princeton University: Where the Buffalo roamed

Nebraska

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1864

Capital: Lincoln

Nickname: Cornhusker State

Motto: Equality before the law

State flower: Goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

State tree: Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

State bird: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Historical Facts

  1. Sterling Morton was the founder of Arbor Day, which began in 1872.

The state had the largest U.S. ammunition plant and provided forty percent of World War II ammunition.

Fun Fact

Lincoln, Nebraska has the only roller-skating museum in the world.

Resources:

State of Nebraska: Nebraska state symbols

Nebraska Land Foundation: Interesting facts about Nebraska

Nevada

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Carson City

Nickname: The Silver State

Motto: All for our country

State flower: Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)                

State tree: Single-leaf Piñon (Pinus monophylla) and Bristle-cone Pine

State bird: Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)

Historical Facts

In 1960, there were 16,067 slots in the state. In 1999, there were 205,726.

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) began his writing career as a reporter in the area.

Fun Fact

Nevada has rare and prehistoric fish, such as the Devils Hole pup.

Resources:

State of Nevada: History of Nevada

Nevada State Parks: Welcome to Nevada state parks

New Hampshire

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Concord

Nickname: The Granite State

Motto: Live free or die

State flower: Purple Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)         

State tree: White Birch (Betula papyrifera)         

State bird: Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus)

Historical Facts

New Hampshire was the first of the original colonies to declare its independence from England.

In 1905, Portsmouth was hosting location of the treaty that ended the Russo-Japanese War.

Fun Fact

Artificial rain was first used here in 1947 to stop a forest fire. 

Resources:

State of New Hampshire: Fast facts

Visit New Hampshire: Soak up the sun

New Jersey

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1787

Capital: Trenton

Nickname: The Garden State

Motto: Liberty and Prosperity

State flower: Purple Violet (Viola sororia)                         

State tree: Northern Red Oak (Quercus Rubra)

State bird: Eastern Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

Historical Facts

The first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland was in the Passaic river.

Thomas Edison created the light bulb and more in his Menlo Park laboratory.

Fun Fact

The world's first drive-in movie theater was built in this state in 1933.

Resources:

State of New Jersey: Facts and symbols

Visit New Jersey: Discover the Garden State

New Mexico

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1912

Capital: Santa Fe

Nickname: Land of Enchantment

Motto: Crescit Eundo (It Grows as It Goes)

State flower: Yucca (Yucca glauca)          

State tree: Piñon (Pinus edulis) 

State bird: Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

Historical Facts

The world's first atomic bomb was detonated in 1945 on the White Sands Testing Range.

The Palace of Governors was built in 1610 and is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States.

Fun Fact

Smokey Bear was an orphaned cub orphaned found after a fire in 1950 in this state.

Resources:

State of New Mexico: State of New Mexico

New Mexico Wildlife Federation: State parks and public lands

New York

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Albany

Nickname: The Empire State

Motto: Exelsior (Ever Upward)

State flower: Rose (Rosa)                         

State tree: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

State bird: Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis)

Historical Facts

The first chess tournament in American was in New York in 1843.

The first successful steamboat made its maiden voyage from New York City to Albany in 1807.

Fun Fact

The first 3-D film was played in the Astor Theatre here in 1915.

Resources:

State of New York: Fun facts

Encyclopedia Britannica: New York

North Carolina

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1789

Capital: Raleigh

Nickname: The Tar Heel State

Motto: Esse Quam Videri (To Be Rather than to Seem)

State flower: Dogwood (Cornus florida)

State tree: Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)           

State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Historical Facts

The oldest state university is the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

The Wright Brothers made the first successful powered flight here in 1903.

Fun Fact

High Point, North Carolina hosts the world's biggest annual furniture trade show.

Resources:

State of North Carolina: Kids history page

Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina: A story at every stop

North Dakota

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1889

Capital: Bismarck

Nickname: Peace Garden State

Motto: Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable

State flower: Wild Prairie Rose (Rosa arkansana)            

State tree: American Elm (Ulmus americana)     

State bird: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Historical Facts

The state has tried to remove the word North from its name several times, but it never passes the legislative assembly.

When the territory was formed in 1861, the state was named for the Dakota Indian tribe.

Fun Fact

The geographic center of North America is in Pierce County, North Dakota.

Resources:

State of North Dakota: North Dakota facts

America’s Library: North Dakota and South Dakota were admitted to the union

Ohio

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1803

Capital: Columbus

Nickname: The Buckeye State

Motto: With God, all things are possible

State flower: Scarlet Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)

State tree: Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)

State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Historical Facts

Cleveland had the country's first traffic light in 1914.

Akron was the first city in the country to have police cars.

Cincinnati would become home to the first professional fire department.

Fun Fact

The world's largest basket is over seven stories tall and can be found in Dresden, Ohio.

Resources:

State of Ohio: Sites for kids

Cleveland.com: 50 fun facts about Ohio you didn’t know

Oklahoma

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1907

Capital: Oklahoma City

Nickname: The Sooner State

Motto: Labor Omnia Vincit (Labor Conquers All Things)

State flower: Mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum)                      

State tree: Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

State bird: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)

Historical Facts

Boise City, Oklahoma was the only city in the country to be bombed during World War II as a test run.

WKY Radio was the first radio station west of the Mississippi River.

Fun Fact

In 1935, the first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City.

Resources:

State of Oklahoma: Welcome to Oklahoma’s official website

Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department: Welcome to the official site

Oregon

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1859

Capital: Salem

Nickname: The Beaver State

Motto: Alis Volat Propriis (She Flies with Her Own Wings)

State flower: Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium)                       

State tree: Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

State bird: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Historical Facts

Eugene was the first town to introduce one-way streets.

The discovery of the Willamette River occurred in 1792.

Fun Fact

The world's smallest park can be found in Portland. It is a total of 452 inches and was created for leprechaun and snail races.

Resources:

State of Oregon: Oregon facts

Travel Oregon: Welcome to Oregon

Pennsylvania

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1787

Capital: Harrisburg

Nickname: The Keystone State

Motto: Virtue, liberty and independence

State flower: Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)               

State tree: Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

State bird: Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus)

Historical Facts

The first baseball stadium was built in Pittsburgh in 1909.

The first daily newspaper was published in Philadelphia in 1784.

Fun Fact

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania produces over a million pounds of mushrooms per week.

Resources:

US Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania

Visit PA: Main page

Rhode Island

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1790

Capital: Providence

Nickname: The Ocean State

Motto: Hope

State flower: Violet (Viola palmata)

State tree: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)     

State bird: Rhode Island Red (Gallus gallus)

Historical Facts

Rhode Island was the final of the original thirteen colonies to become a state.

Rhode Island had the country's first open golf tournament in 1895.

Fun Fact

The Rhode Island Red chicken breed were at the start of poultry as a major industry the country.

Resources:

State of Rhode Island: Facts

Visit Rhode Island: Main page

South Carolina

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Columbia

Nickname: The Palmetto State

Motto: Animis Opibusque Parati (Prepared in Mind and Resources)

State flower: Yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens)        

State tree: Palmetto (Sabal palmetto)

State bird: Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)

Historical Facts

Campbell's Covered Bridge, built in 1909, is the only covered bridge the remains in the state.

South Carolina became the eigth state in 1788.

Fun Fact

The first tea farm in the United States was started in 1890 near Summerville, South Carolina.

Resources:

State of South Carolina: Only in South Carolina

South Caroline Tourism Official Site: Discover South Carolina

South Dakota

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1889

Capital: Pierre

Nickname: The Mount Rushmore State

Motto: Under God, the people rule

State flower: Pasqueflower (Anemone patens var. multifida)     

State tree: Black Hills Spruce (Picea glauca)

State bird: Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Historical Facts

The state is home to Mount Rushmore, the world's largest mountain carving.

Jack McCall was tried, convicted, and hanged here in 1877 for shooting Wild Bill Hickok.

Fun Fact

The planet's biggest natural indoor warmwater pool is fed by hot springs and can be found in South Dakota.

Resources:

State of South Dakota: About the state of South Dakota

Department of Tourism: Travel South Dakota

Tennessee

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1796

Capital: Nashville

Nickname: The Volunteer State

Motto: Agriculture and commerce

State flower: Iris (Iris germanica)            

State tree: Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)             

State bird: Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Historical Facts

The city of Kingston was the state capital for one day in 1807.

Tennessee became The Volunteer State in 1812 because of the fearless fighting done by volunteers in the Battle of New Orleans.

Fun Fact

Graceland, the estate and gravesite of Elvis Presley, can be found in Tennessee.

Resources:

State of Tennessee: State symbols

Tennessee Department of Tourism: Start planning the perfect trip

Texas

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1845

Capital: Austin

Nickname: The Lone Star State

Motto: Friendship

State flower: Bluebonnet (Lupinus)        

State tree: Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)    

State bird: Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Historical Facts

Texas has had six flags flying over it. They include Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and the United States.

Texas was an independent nation between 1836 to 1845.

Fun Fact

Port Lavaca in Texas has the world's longest fishing pier.

Resources:

State of Texas: About Texas

Travel Texas: Welcome to the state of Texas

Utah

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1896

Capital: Salt Lake City

Nickname: The Beehive State

Motto: Industry

State flower: Sego Lily (Calochortus)      

State tree: Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

State bird: California Gull (Larus californicus)

Historical Facts

Completion of the world's first transcontinental railroad happened here in 1869.

The Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City took 40 long years to finish.

Fun Fact

Rainbow Bridge is the largest natural stone bridge in the world and can be found here.

Resources:

State of Utah: Utah state symbols

Visit Utah: Utah events and attractions

Vermont

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1791

Capital: Montpelier

Nickname: The Green Mountain State

Motto: Freedom and unity

State flower: Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)    

State tree: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

State bird: Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)

Historical Facts

This the first state admitted to the Union after the ratification of the Constitution.

President Calvin Coolidge was born here, and he was the only US president born on the fourth of July.

Fun Fact

The state has the largest production of maple syrup in the entire country.

Resources:

State of Vermont: About Vermont

Travel Vermont: The Official Vermont tourism website

Virginia

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1788

Capital: Richmond

Nickname: The Old Dominion

Motto: Sic Semper Tyrannis (Thus Always to Tyrants)

State flower: Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)         

State tree: Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)

State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Historical Facts

Virginia was named for England's "Virgin Queen," Elizabeth I.

Jamestown was the first English settlement in the country.

Fun Fact

Virginia has the only full-length statue of George Washington.

Resources:

State of Virginia: Fun facts

Library of Virginia: Questions about Virginia

Washington

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1889

Capital: Olympia

Nickname: The Evergreen State

Motto: Al-ki (By and By)

State flower: Western Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum)               

State tree: Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)

State bird: Willow Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)

Historical Facts

This is only state to be named after a president.

King county was first named after William R. King and then later "renamed" after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fun Fact

The Lunar Rover was made by Boeing in Seattle.

Resources:

State of Washington: State facts

Washington State Parks: Things to do

West Virginia

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1863

Capital: Charleston

Nickname: The Mountain State

Motto: Montani Semper Liberi (Mountaineers are Always Free)

State flower: Big Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)                   

State tree: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)

State bird: Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Historical Facts

West Virginia gained its sovereignty by proclamation of the President of the United States.

Mother's Day was first observed in West Virginia in 1908.

Fun Fact

The New Rivers Gorge Bridge in West Virginia is the world's third largest arch bridge.

Resources:

State of West Virginia: Fun facts about West Virginia

National Archives: Celebrating West Virginia statehood

Wisconsin

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1848

Capital: Madison

Nickname: The Badger State

Motto: Forward

State flower: Wood Violet (Viola sororia)           

State tree: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)          

State bird: American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Historical Fact

The first hydroelectric plant in the country was built at Fox River in 1882.

Fun Fact

The National Mustard Museum in Horeb, Wisconsin has more than 5,300 types of mustard.

Resource:

State of Wisconsin: Wisconsin for kids

Wyoming

Basic Facts

Year it became a state: 1890

Capital: Cheyenne

Nickname: The Cowboy State

Motto: Equal Rights

State flower: Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja linariifolia)                  

State tree: Plains Cottonwood (Poplus deltoides; Subspecies: monilifera)

State bird: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta)

Historical Facts

This was the first state to give women the right to vote.

It is also home to the first official National Park – Yellowstone.

Fun Fact

The Register of the Desert can be found here. It is a a giant granite boulder with 5,000 early pioneer names carved into it.

Resource:

State of Wyoming: Facts and symbols

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