Which star is your state?

Delaware

Admitted to the union: December 7, 1787
Capital: Dover
Population: 873,092 (2008 estimate - 45th in U.S.)

State bird: In honor of the Delawarians who took these famous fighting fowl into the battlefield during the American Revolution, the state adopted the Delaware Blue Hen as the official state bird on April 14, 1939.

Nickname: The First State

State flower: Owing to the vast abundance of peach orchards, the state adopted the peach blossom as its state flower on May 9, 1895.

Historical notes:

  • Home to the Unami Lenape , Nanticoke and iriquois tribes prior to British settlement
  • In Colonial times, Delaware and Pennsylvania shared a Governor - until June 15, 1776, when the Colonial Assembly was convinced by Thomas McKean and Casear Rodney to declare independenc from British - and Pennsylvania - rule
  • Also in Colonial times, the state provided one of the premier regiments in the Continental Army, said regiment known as the "Delaware Blues and nicknamed the "Blue Hen Chickens"
  • The Battle of Cooch's Bridge - the only real engagement on Delaware soil during the American Revolution - was the first time the Stars and Stripes was flown in battle
  • Following the American Revolution, local Methodists and Quakers convinced many slaveholders to free their slaves; by 1810 three quarters of all blacks in Delaware were free.  By 1860, 91.7 percent of the black population (roughly 20,000 people) were free.

Pennsylvania

Admitted to the union: December 12, 1787
Capital:Harrisburg
Population: 12,448,279 (2008 estimate - 6th in U.S.)

State bird: The Ruffled Grouse, also known as the Partidge, was adpoted as the official state game bird on June 22, 1931.

Nickname: The Keystone State

State flower: Profuse blossoms throughout the Pennsylvania woodlads in mid-June inspired the state to adopt the mountain laurel as its state flower on May 5, 1933.

Historical notes:

  • The Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of the United States were written in Pennsylvania (the former in York, to where the First Continental Congress fled after the British captured Philadelphia, and the latter in, of couse, Philadelphia)
  • Dickenson College was the first college founded in the United States; the oldest college in the country is St. John's college in Annapolis, Maryland, which was chartered by King Wiliam in 1696
  • From July 1 to July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought

Pennsylvania state seal

New Jersey

Admitted to the union: December 18, 1787
Capital: Trenton
Population: 8,682,661 (2008 estimate - 11th in U.S.)

State bird: Eastern Goldfinch, January 29, 1935.

Nickname: The Garden State - although this nickname almost wasn't adopted as the official state nickname due to strenuous objection by Governor Robert B. Meyner.

The good governor objected to the name bein imprinted upon New Jersey's automobile license plates because 1) the plates were official documents and he saw no reason to detract from that puprpose by emblazoning theplates with slogans, and 2) there was no official reference to the state as "the Garden State". The nickname was adopted, over the Governor's objections, in 1954.

Note: The origin of the name is attributed to the Honorable Abraham Browning of Camden during the New Jersey Day - August 24, 1876 - celebration at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia; the gentleman is purported to have uttered " our Garden State is like an immense barrel, filled with good things to eat and open at both ends, with Pennsylvanians grabbing from one end and New Yorkers from the other."

State flower: The violet - another New Jersey symbol that almost wasn't. Originally resolved as the state flower in 1913, the resolution expired with the seating of the next session of the legislature in 1914. An attempt to officially recognize the flower failed in 1963; it wasn't until a push by New Jersy's garden clubs that the legislation was passed in 1971 to officially recognize the humble violet as the New Jersey state flower.

Historical notes:

  • Morristown, twice the winter quarters of General George Washington's army duringthe American Revolution was known as the military capital of the revolution
  • Trenton was the site of the Continental Army's battle against Hessian troops following Washington's famous crossing of the Delaware River.
  • In presidential elections, new Jersey twice rejected Abraham lincoln in favor of Stephen Douglas and george B. McClellan, the latter whom later became Governor
  • The location of Thomas Edison's famous work site, Menlo Park

Georgia

Admitted to the union: January 2, 1788
Capital: Atlanta
Population: 9,685,744 (2008 estimate - 9th in U.S.)

State bird: Brown Thrasher

Nickname: The Peach State

State flower: Cherokee rose

Historical notes:

  • Georgia has had 10 state constitutions - 1777, 1788, 1799, 1861 (secession), 1865 (repatriation), 1868, 1877, 1945, 1976 and 1983 - one shy of the record of 11, held by Louisiana
  • Joined the Confederate States of America on January 18, 1861 and the site of several famous Civil War battles, including Chicamauga, Kennesaw Mountain, and William Tecumseh Sherman's infamous March to the Sea
  • Last Confederate state to be reseated in Congress and readmitted to the Union

Connecticut

Admitted to the union: January 9, 1788
Capital: Hartford

Population: 3,501,352 (2008 estimate - 29th in U.S.)

State bird: American Robin - adopted by the general assembly in 1943.

Nickname: The Constitution State - so named because Connecticut's Fundamental Orders of 1639, a democratic principle of gvernment based upon the will of the people, are said to have been the first written Constitution of a democratic government.

State flower: Popular with travellers through the state since as early as 1624, the mountain laurel was adopted as the official state flower in 1907.

Historical notes: 21-year-old Nathan Hale, immortal for his last words - "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country" - before being hanged as a spy by the British during the American Revolution, was from Connecticut.

Another son of Connecticut, whose words are equally as famous as those of Mr. Hale, is Captain Israel Putnam, who - at the Battle of Bunker Hill - cried "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!"


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Black-and-white line art obtained from www.ist.net
and colored by Michael Calo using Paint Shop Pro 4.12 State-sepcific graphics obtained from state information sites

Last updated Wednesday, May 20, 2009