Which star is your state?

New York

Admitted to the union: July 26, 1788
Capital: Albany
Population: 19,490,297 (2008 estimate - 3rd in U.S.)

State bird: Red-breasted bluebird.

Nickname: The Empire State

State flower: Since 1955 the Rose, wild or cultivated and in all its varieties, has been the official state flower.

Hisotrical notes:

  • New York City was the first capital of the United States
  • George Washington was inaugurated President in New York City on April 30, 1789.
  • "Uncle Sam" was Troy, New York meatpacker Sam Wilson. During the War of 1812, Wilson stamped "U.S. Beef" on his products and soldiers interpreted that as Uncle Sam. His caricature later came to personify the United States.

North Carolina

Admitted to the union: November 21, 1789
Capital: Raleigh
Population: 9,222,414 (2008 estimate - 28th in U.S.)

State bird: Cardinal

Nickname: The Tarheel State - believed to have evolved from the fact that in Colonial America, North Carolina's primary exported products were tar, pitch and turpentine

State flower: Dogwood

Historical notes:North Carolina was the site of many historic firsts, including:

  • The first silver mine in the United States was the Silver Hill Mine in 1833
  • The first known miniature golf course was built in Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville - March 7, 1914

Rhode Island

Admitted to the union: May 29, 1790
Capital: Providence
Population: 1,050,788 (2008 estimate - 43rd in U.S.)

State bird: Rhode Island Red hen

Nickname: The Ocean State

State flower: Violet

Historical notes: Surely you've heard of the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington and Concord. But did you know these facts about Rhode Island?

  • July 9, 1864 - Residents of Newport fought with sailors from H.M.S. Squirrel fought; by the end of the day the Newporters had seized Fort Washington and succesfully landed cannonfire upon the Squirrel
  • Newporters again proved inhospitable to the British when, in 1769, they burned the longboats from the British sloop-of-war Liberty.
  • Residents of Providence destroyed British tea before the Boston Tea Party occurred.

Vermont

Admitted to the union: March 4, 1791
Capital: Montpelier
Population: 621,270 (2008 estimate - 49th in the U.S.)

State bird: Hermit Thrush

Nickname: The Green Mountain State

State flower: Red Clover

Historical notes: Vermont is the birthplace of two United States Presidents (Calvin Collidge and Chester A. Arthur) and one almost-President (Stephen A. Douglas, who ran against and famously debated Abraham Lincoln). Also:

  • the first globe made in the U.S. was made in Bradford (1810)
  • the electric motor was invented in Brandon (1837)
  • Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream company is in Vermont

Kentucky

Admitted to the union: June 1, 1792
Capital: Frankfort

Population: 4,268,245 (2008 estimate - 26th in U.S.)

State bird: Cardinal

Nickname: The Bluegrass State - Kentucky Bluegrass isn't really blu, but in the springtime bluegrass produces blueish-purple buds which give large fields a blueish tint when viewed from a distance

State flower: Goldenrod

Historical notes: Kentucky's sons and daughters are a veritable who's who of American history:

  • Daniel Boone - was not born in Kentucky though he did explore the state from 1767 - 1774, he cleared the Wilderness road and he founded Fort Boonsboro
  • James Bowie - inventor of the Bowie knife, died at The Alamo
  • Kit Carson
  • "Hanging judge" Roy Bean
  • Jefferson Davis - the only President of the Confederate States of America, 1861 - 1865
  • Abraham Lincoln - President of the United States of America, 1861 - 18865
  • The McCoys - of the famous Hatfield - McCoy feud (the feud was settled in 1888)
  • Carry Nation - leader of the Temperance Movement in the early twentieth century
  • John Luther "Casey" Jones - railroad engineer immortalized in a folksong
  • Garrett A. Morgan - invented the first automaic, tri-color traffic light
  • John T. Thompson - the Roaring Twenties wouldn't have been the same without him: he invented the Thompson submachine gun - the "tommygun"
  • Home of the Kentucky Derby - the first jewel in thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown - which is run at Churchill Downs the first Saturday every May


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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 Friday, May 1, 2009