Which star is your state?

Massachusetts

Admitted to the union: February 6, 1788
Capital: Boston
Population: 6,497,967 (2008 estimate - 15th in U.S.)

State bird: Black-capped Chickadee, by act of the Legislature on March 21, 1941

Nicknames:Bay State, Old Bay State (less common: Old Colony State, Puritan State, Baked Bean State)

State flower: Mayflower - also known as Ground Laurel or Trailing Arbutus, the flower was designated as the state flower by the General Court on May 1, 1918 but has been on the endangered species list since 1925.

Historical notes: Possibly the most Patriotic state in the Union, Massachusetts' historical notes include

  • The pilgrims'landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620
  • The Boston Tea Party
  • The Shot Heard 'round the World - the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775
  • Paul Revere's world-famous midnight ride, during which he cried the immortal words "The British are coming!"

Maryland

Admitted to the union: April 28, 1788
Capital: Annapolis
Population: 5,633,597 (2008 estimate - 19th in U.S.)

State bird: Baltimore Oriole

Nickname: The Old Line State

State flower: Black-eyed Susan - a wreath of these dasiy-like flowers is donned upon the winning horse in the annual running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico race course in Baltimore.

Historical notes: Maryland boasts a number of historical claims to fame, including

  • Ratification of the Treaty of Paris, ending the American Revolution, in Annapolis in 1783
  • George Washington resigned his commission as commander of the army in the Maryland statehouse in Annapolis
  • John Paul Jones, the Father of the American Navy, rests in a crypt beneath the Cathedral of the Navy - the chapel of the United States Naval Academy - in Annapolis

South Carolina

Admitted to the union: May 23, 1788
Capital: Columbia
Population: 4,479,800 (2008 estimate - 24th in U.S.)

State bird: Carolina Wren - unofficially the state bird until 1939, the Carolina Wren was not offically named the state bird until 1948 when the General Assembly made it offical; between 1939 and 1948 the official state bird was the Mockingbird.

Nickname:The Palmetto State

State flower: Yellow Jessamine - designated on February 1, 1924 because "it is it is indigenous to every nook and corner of the State; it is the first premonitor of coming Spring; its fragrance greets us first in the woodland and its delicate flower suggests the pureness of gold; its perpetual return out of the dead Winter suggests the lesson of constancy in, loyalty to and Patriotism in the service of the State".

Historical notes: One of the thirteen original colonies, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union - December 20, 1860; the Civil War began on April 12, 1861 when Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. The state was decimated during the War Between the States, culminated by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's infamous "March to the Sea".

New Hampshire

Admitted to the union: June 21, 1788
Capital: Concord
Population: 1,315,809 (2008 estimate - 41st in U.S.)

State bird: Purple Finch - Almost losing out to the New Hampshire hen because that bird was championed for the honor by the Honorable Representative Doris M. Spollett. The diminuitive wren, however, had the backing of the Audibon Society of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs, and the State federation of Womens' Clubs.

Nickname:The Granite State - in recognition of the state's extensive granite formations and quarries

State flower: Purple Lilac - dseignated as the official state flower because it "is symbolic of that hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State", the lilac faced stiff competition from the apple blossom, purple aster, wood lily, Mayflower, goldenrod, wild pasture rose, evening primrose and buttercup.

Historical notes: arguably the true birthplace of the United States, New Hampshire was

  • First state to declare independece from England, in 1774
  • First state to hold a Constitutional Convention, 1778
Another first in New Hampshire's history, without which we wouldn't have french fries or Tater TotsTM: The first potato planted in the U.S. was planted at Londonderry Common Field in 1719

Virginia

Admitted to the union: June 25, 1788
Capital: Richmond
Population: 7,769,089 (2008 estimate - 12th in U.S.)

State bird: Northern cardinal

Nickname: The Old Dominion (unofficial)

State flower: American dogwood

Historical notes and facts:

  • The "Emancipation Oak", an oak tree in Hampton, was the gathering place of slaves to hear a reading of President Abraham Lincoln's Emanicpation Proclamation
  • The first major land battle of the Civil War was in Manassas, where sightseers from Washington drove down in buggies to watch the action; they were scattered as the fighting became intense and encroached on their vantage point
  • Danville served as the last capital of the Confederate States of America


Return to Which Star Belongs to Your State?
Back to Mike's Home Page

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