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 became 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.
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.
Indiana’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.
August 25, 2015
On 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.
August 21, 2015
Ohio is the seventeenth to become a state on March 1, 1803. Ohio was discovered by a French explorer and became British property after the French and Indian Wars. In 1783, the US obtained the land after the Revolutionary War. Ohio is one of the most industrious states, with major manufacturing plants located in or near major cities. Despite being the 34th biggest state in the US, Ohio is one of the the most populous states in the United States, placing in at the seventh most populous state as of 2013 with a population of 11,570,808 people.
Ohio’s state flag is the only state flag in all of the 50 states to not be rectangular. Instead, the flag is a shallowtail design, which was designed by John Eisemann in 1901 and adopted one year later. This symbolic state flag features a large blue triangle with seventeen white stars in it to represent the other seventeen states in the Union. There are three red and two horizontal stripes outside of the blue triangle which symbolize the hills and valleys of Ohio. Inside of the blue starred triangle is a red circle outlined in white, representing the buckeye nut that is native to Ohio (the tree which is comes from, the Buckeye Tree, is also the official state tree).
Ohio has been declared “the birthplace of aviation” due to the Wright Brothers, Wilbur and Orville. While their first flight took place in North Carolina, the brothers were residents of the state. The state has several aviation museums, all of which are beneficial to the tourism of Ohio. The aviation industry also provides jobs for millions of Ohio residents.
Many Ohio natives have become astronauts, including Neil Armstrong and John Glenn. Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon in 1969 and John Glenn, not only was he a senator for the state of Ohio, but he was also a U.S. Marine Corps aviator. While he was still a senator for Ohio, Glenn flew back into space on the Discovery Space Shuttle in 1998.
More places to visit: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland to view history about musical legends. Hopewell Culture National Historic Park located in Chillicothe is known for having earthworks in many geometric shapes and sizes.
August 17, 2015
Approximately four years after Kentucky became a state, nearby Tennessee joined the US on June 1, 1796. Before it was a state, Tennessee had been discovered by a Spanish explorer. After being owned by France and Great Britain, it was eventually under the legislature of South Carolina. In 1790, Congress organized this territory, which allowed for Tennessee to join the union.
Tennessee’s state flag was adopted on April 17, 1905 and it was designed by LeRoy Reeves of the Third Regiment of the Tennessee Infantry. Placed in the center of a predominantly red background is a blue circle outlined with white along with white stars inside. These stars represent the three geographical regions of Tennessee: The great smoky mountains, the Highlands, and the Lowlands. To the right hand side is a blue bar and a smaller white stripe. Note that these colors are the same as the US Flag. The white represents purity, blue symbolizes the love the people of Tennessee feel for their state, and the red shows that in trying times, the people of Tennessee feel a strong love their state as true Americans.
Tennessee has a large role in American music thanks to the popularization of bluegrass, rock and roll, country music. Not only is Nashville the state capital, but it is also known as Music City. The Grand Ole Opry was first broadcast in 1925, and continues to be the longest running live radio show (it runs every weekend). Tennessee is also home to Dollywood and Graceland, both famous by musicians. Graceland was once the home of singing legend Elvis Presley but is now a museum where millions visit every year, which Dollywood is a theme park owned by country singer Dolly Parton.
Bordering states: Tied with Missouri, Tennessee is bordered by the most states, which are eight. The states are Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri.
July 28, 2015
The fifteenth state to enter the United States is Kentucky on June 1, 1792. Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State. This is due to the large patches of grass growing on lawns, farms, and pastures in which blue-purple buds blooming help add a bluish tint during the spring.
Kentucky’s state flag was adopted in 1918, although the design was not finalized until 1928 and changed again in 1962. The state’s flag has a navy blue background with the Kentucky state seal emblazoned on the center. Inside the seal, a pioneer and a statesman are shaking hands with the words United We Stand on top and United We Fall below them. Outside the state seal in yellow letters reads Commonwealth of Kentucky and below are two goldenrod flowers.
Kentucky is actually the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, who was the 16th President of the United States from 1861-1865. He was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin. He lived here with his family until 1816 when the Lincolns picked up and moved to Indiana.
While one of Kentucky’s most well-known cities is Louisville, the state capital is actually Frankfort. It became the state capitol in 1792 after pledging more manpower of a statehouse than any other city. According to the Kentucky state website (2009), Frankfort’s population is slightly less than 30,000 while Louisville and the Louisville metro area’s population is reported to be 1,556,429.
Famous Races: Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby which is the oldest annual horse race in the US. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
State Name: The name Kentucky came from the Iroquois word “Ken-tah-hen” which translates to “land of tomorrow”.
July 22, 2015
The first thirteen colonies were complete after the admission of Rhode Island into the union. It had been less than one year when the next state, Vermont, became the first state after the formation of the thirteen colonies, also known as state number fourteen.
Vermont’s state flag was not adopted until 1923 although there was a previous state flag. This flag is a dark blue with the state’s coat of arms on it. In the coat of arms is a pine tree, a cow, some bales of hay, and sheaths of wheat. There are purple mountains in the background against a blue sk. On top of the coat of arms is a stag’s head, and on the bottom boughs of pine needles envelope the coat of arms. There is also a red ribbon which reads Vermont and the state’s motto Freedom and Unity.
Vermont’s name is French for “green mountain”, or mont vert due to the state being surrounded by green mountains. Vermont is also the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, producing over 500,000 gallons per year. While the state’s capitol is Montpelier, the population in the city is less than 10,000 people.
Cool Trivia: Vermont is the state where Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream was founded! The company also gives their ice cream waste to local farmers who then feed it to their hogs(unfortunately, mint Oreo is not their favorite flavor).
- Chester A. Arthur (serving 1881-1885) was also born in Fairfield, VT in 1830.
- Calvin Coolidge (serving 1923-1929) is the ONLY US president to have been born on the 4th of July in Plymouth, VT.