State Post – Missouri

November 30, 2015

Missouri became the 24th state in the United States on August 10, 1821. The state (or territory) was first obtained as a part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It was later admitted as a state during the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

The Missouri Compromise was an attempt to preserve the balance of power of Congress between slave and free states. When the Compromise was passed in 1820, Maine became a free state and Missouri became a slave state as a result. Later on, the Compromise was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, ruling that Congress did not have the power to change law regarding slavery in the territories.smo35n-indoor_-00_front_missouri-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringe

Missouri’s state flag was designed by Marie Elizabeth Watkins Oliver in 1913. The flag is rectangular with three horizontal stripes, which are red, white, and blue. They represent the state’s French heritage as they were part of the Louisiana Purchase, bought from France. The stripes also represent valor, justice, purity, and vigilance. In the center is a blue-banded circle surrounded by 24 stars, symbolizing the 24 states in the Union. Inside the circle are two grizzly bears, who represent bravery and strength. The bears are holding a shield which has a gold knight’s helmet sitting atop of it and 24 more stars. Inside the shield is the Missouri Coat of Arms, which is divided by three images. On the right side is a bald eagle grasping olive branches and arrows in its talons (these mean war and peace). On the left side is a grizzly bear on a red background and a crescent moon on a blue background.

Underneath the bears is a white belt which reads, United We Stand, United We Fall. Notice that the grizzly bears holding the shield are standing on top of a ribbon which reads, Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto (Let the Welfare of the People Be The Supreme Law). Finally, underneath the motto is the Roman numeral for 1820, the year which Missouri became a state.

Missouri is also known for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Meriwether Lewis  and William Clark were asked by Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase to explore the land beyond the West of the great rock mountains. The two gentlemen started their journey in St. Louis, journeying to the Pacific and returning in 1806. They made diplomatic relations with Native Americans and maps were drawn by Clark, who also named many of the places he drew.

Trivia: Iced Tea was first served at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis!

State Post – Maine

October 28, 2015

Maine became the 32rd US state on March 15, 1820. Although first visited by Italian explorers John and Sebastian Cabot in 1498, the first English settlers did not arrive until the 1600s. Maine used to be governed by the state of Massachusetts until the Missouri Compromise in 1820, allowing Maine to become a state.

maine-printed-polyMaine’s state flag was adopted in 1909, 89 years after being admitted to the union. The flag is dark blue with a coat of arms in the center. The coat of arms has two men on opposite sides of aa shield. The men are a farmer and a seaman, who represent the agricultural and maritime industries of Maine. Pictured inside the shield is a moose (the official state animal of Maine because the state has more moose per mile than any other state), a pine tree, grass, a light blue sky, and  dark blue water. A yellow star stands atop of the shield which symbolizes the North Star since it was the northernmost state at the time of its entry into the Union, and a red ribbon underneath it reading “Dirigo”, which is Latin for “I direct”. Below the shield and the gentlemen is a blue ribbon reading “Maine”.

Maine is the only state with one syllable in its name and despite being a small state, it has a large amount of coastline (3,478 miles). They also house a large amount of lighthouses in the state (about 67). The capital of Maine was originally Portland but was later changed to Augusta in 1832 but the population of the current capital is still smaller than the population of Portland.

Food Trivia: Maine produces about 90% of the US’ supply of blueberries.

Animals: In addition to the moose being the state’s official animal, the Maine Coon (or Wild Coon) cat is also the state’s official cat!


State Post – Alabama

October 9, 2015

Before Alabama became the 22nd state on December 1, 1819, it had been populated with Native American tribes such as the Alibamu (Alabama), Chocktaw, and Mobile. Spanish explorers were believed to have arrived around 1540. It was later in the 1600s that the English were given the land by King Charles II. In 1702, the first European settlement was established on the Mobile river by the French at Fort Louis de la Mobile. The British later regained control of the land through the Treaty of Paris but were forced to relinquish the land to the US after the American Revolution.

Alabama’s state flag is white with a crimson red St. Andrew’s Cross. This flag’s pattern was based from the Confederate battle flag. The flag can either be square or rectangle but the cross must be exactly six inches wide. This flag was approved in 1895 by the Alabama legislature.

Alabama is where major historical events took place. Alabama is where the Confederacy was founded in February 1861 (Montgomery being the capital), the Confederate flag was designed in this state. This state is also where many Civil Rights actions took place, such as Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat on December 1, 1955 in Montgomery. The event led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Alabama’s name means “Tribal Town” in the language spoken by the Creek Indians. The state is the only state with all the natural resources to make iron and steel. As a result, Alabama is the largest supplier of steel pipe and cast iron products.

Helen Keller is among many of the famous residents of Alabama, born in Tuscombia. She was born both blind and deaf from an illness. Keller was a student of Anne Sullivan, visually impaired herself, who taught her how to communicate with Braille and sign language. Sullivan’s inspiration led to Keller succeeding and graduating from Radcliffe College in 1904. Keller later became a lecturer and an author along with being Sullivan’s companion. Anne Sullivan passed away in 1936 and Helen Keller passed in 1968.

State Post – Illinois

September 29, 2015

Illinois became the 21st US state on December 3rd, 1818. Illinois was founded by two French explorers, Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet in 1673. In 1679, French settlers arrived and established the first settlement of Cahokia. Great Britain later gained the area during the French and Indian Wars in 1763.

Illinois originally had a state flag in 1913 which chose Lucy Derwent’s submission of the Great Seal of the State of Illinois, which had been created in 1868, on a white background. The flag depicts a bald eagle, symbolizing the United States, perching itself on a rock while carrying a shield in its talons. The shield is of the original 13 stars and stripes. In its beak is also a red ribbon, reading State, Sovereignty, National, and Union. However, Sovereignty is upside down. The dates on the rock, 1818 and 1868 are the years Illinois became a state and when the current Great Seal was ptsil_-00_front_illinois-embroidered-patchpicked up. The flag was eventually redesigned in 1970 by a Mrs. Sanford Hutchinson. In the newer version, the name Illinois now reads underneath the eagle in blue. There is also ground around the rock the eagle sits on alongside a sea and a sun in the background. The ground by the rock represents the soil of Illinois.

Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln, for Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Although Lincoln was born in Kentucky and spent his childhood in Indiana, he moved to Springfield, Illinois (which eventually became Illinois’ capital) in 1830 where he eventually became a lawyer. He gained fame during his campaign for Senator of Illinois thanks to his debates with his Democratic opponent Stephen A. Douglas. Although Lincoln lost the election, it helped pave the way for his presidential nomination just a few years later.

Lincoln, as President, helped abolish slavery during his term. He created the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 that freed the slaves within the Confederacy. He also delivered his most famous speech, the Gettysburg Address, that same year. He delivered it at the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in which he began with the famous, “Four score and seven years ago”.

Tragically, Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, who was an actor. He was there with his wife to see a play called “Our American Cousin”. Booth’s motive for the assassination was that he believed he was helping the South. Lincoln is interred just outside Springfield at the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site.

State Post – Mississippi

September 25, 2015

I feel a lot of the history has been controversial since it had seceded from the Union during the Civil War and all that. Here’s what I could come up with:

Mississippi becamsms35n-indoor_-00_front_mississippi-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringee the 20th state on December 10, 1817. Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, founded the land as early as 1540 and the first settlement was established around sixty years later by Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville. Control of the state had been changed several times from Spain, France, and Great Britain until 1798 when the land was organized to create the Mississippi Territory. It later became a state in 1817.

Mississippi has flown many state flags in its history, dating all the way back to 1682 when they flew the Bourbon Flag of France. The current flag of Mississippi was adopted in February 1894, replacing the previous Magnolia Flag that had been flown after Mississippi seceded from the union. The current flag of Mississippi has the Confederate Battle Flag, a blue cross with 13 stars representing the Confederate States, edged in white on a red background, in the upper left hand corner. The three colorful bars, blue, white, and red, are horizontal on the rest of the flag. There is much debate on changing the state flag as it has the Confederate Flag on it. Citizens and legislators have tried for years to adopt a new state flag for Mississippi. However, many voted against changing the flag because they still value its historic significance. As of this writing, Mississippi is the only state flag with any part of the Confederate Flag on it.

Mississippi got its name from the Chippewa words mici zibi, which means “great river” due to the Mississippi River that runs along that state, or the Algonquian word Messipi.

State Post – Indiana

September 16, 2015

Indiana is the 19th state to enter the union on December 11, 1816. Indiana was originally part of the Indiana Territory, formed in 1800. This territory included surrounding states Illinois, Wisconsin, and some areas of Michigan and Minnesota. While Indiana was part of the Indiana Territory, the capital was Vicennes from 1805 until 1813, when it was changed to Corydon. By 1825, it had again changed to Indianapolis and has remained ever since. A constitution was later reached in 1916, thus giving Indiana its statehood.

sin35i_3x5_indianaIndiana’s state flag was designed by Paul Hadley of Mooresville, Indiana and adopted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1917. His design was chosen as the winner in a design contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Indiana state centennial in 1916. The flag is blue with 19 gold stars emblazoned on it. The first five stars connected to the torch in a semi-circle symbolize the states admitted to the United States before Indiana but after the original 13 colonies. The star above the torch is the Indiana star along with the words Indiana written in yellow.

Although Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, he moved to Indiana at the age of 7 with his parents and grew up in Indiana. His childhood home in Spencer County, Indiana, is now a museum.

Hoosiers: Indiana is known as “The Hoosier State”. People from the state of Indiana are known as Hoosiers but no one knows for sure where the term originated from. Some believe it’s a term people used to describe the early settlers of Indiana, others believe it is shortened from “Who’s your relative?” These are just two of the rumored origins of the term Hoosier.

Name Origin: Indiana means, “Land of the Indians”, named in 1800.

Memorial Day Tradition: The Indianapolis 500, also known as the Indy 500 race, is held each Memorial Day weekend. It has been held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1911.

Louisiana – The 18th State

August 25, 2015

louisiana-printed-poly_1On April 30, 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state in the United States. Louisiana was originally a French in 1731 but was relinquished to Spain after the French and Indian Wars. Louisiana was eventually returned back to France in about 1800. The famous French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte sold Louisiana to the United States just two years later in 1803 in what was known as the Louisiana Purchase.

Louisiana did not adopt a state flag until 100 years after it became a state in 1912. The background of the flag is blue which represents truth and placed in the center of the flag is the state bird, The Eastern Brown Pelican, feeding her three young chicks inside a nest. There is a legend saying that the mother pelican is tearing flesh from herself at the chest to feed her own young. And underneath the birds is a ribbon stating the state’s motto, Union, Justice, and Confidence.

Louisiana is home to New Orleans, famous for Mardi Gras, which is always celebrated 46 days before Easter. The city hosted its first Mardi Gras parade in 1837 and the floats did not start coming until twenty years later. The celebration generates a revenue of over $840 million annually thanks to tourists and regulars who come to celebrate.

How Louisiana Got Named: Louisiana was named after Louis XIV of France.

No Counties? Louisiana is one of two U.S. states that do not have counties. Instead, Louisiana is divided into 64 parishes. The only other state without counties is Alaska and they are divided by boroughs.


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