May 2, 2016
Minnesota became the 32nd US State on May 11, 1858. Before then, the Eastern part of the state was owned by Great Britain and the West was owned by France. The United States gained the East from Britain after the Revolutionary War and the West was also included in the Louisiana Purchase from France.
Minnesota’s official state flag was adopted in 1893 but was not made the official state flag until 1957. Minnesota’s flag is royal blue with a gold fringe. Placed on the center of the flag is the state’s seal and encircled around it is a wreath featuring the state’s flower, the pink and white lady slippers along with a red ribbon. On that red ribbon are printed the years 1819 (the establishment of Fort Snelling, a significant historical landmark run by the Minnesota Historical Society), and 1893, the year in which the state’s flag had been unofficially adopted. In a separate gold ribbon inside the state’s seal reads the state’s motto, L’etoile du Nord, meaning Star of the North in French. There are five pointed star groups made up outside the circle to make a star, totalling to 19. While Minnesota is the 32nd state, they are the 19th post thirteen-territories state. Finally, the word Minnesota is written in red letters in the lower white circle.
St. Paul, Minnesota is the state capital and Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the state’s most populated city. However, due to the fact that they are just about next to each other, this area is otherwise known as the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities area is home to about sixty percent of Minnesotans.
Where did the name Minnesota come from? Minnesota’s name is derived from a Native American word meaning “clouded water” or “sky-tinted water”.
Home of 10,000 lakes: The state is known for having a vast amount of lakes and proudly has it written on their license plates. However, there are actually over 11,000 lakes! These lakes are enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Many go camping, swimming, fishing, and go on boat rides.
April 14, 2016
California is the 31st state in the United States. It became a state after the Mexican-American war ended in 1848 when the Treaty of Guadalupe was signed. This treaty meant that Mexico had to relinquish its ownership of California along with several other terms to the United States. California officially entered the Union on September 9, 1850 after the Californians sought statehood. California was able to become a state as a result of the Compromise of 1850.
Right before California became a state, gold had been discovered in 1848 by James Wilson Marshall while he was building a saw mill along the American River near Sacramento. His find sparked The California Gold Rush, causing a large rise in population. People from far and wide came to seek out riches by digging for gold in the state’s soil.
California’s state flag was first used in 1846 but was not officially adopted until 1911. In 1846, the flag was originally raised at Sonoma by American settlers. The settlers made this flag impromptu because they wanted to replace the Mexican banner immediately capturing the town from Mexico. California’s state flag was designed by William Todd (who was the nephew of Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of Abraham Lincoln). The flag has a grizzly bear on it (which happens to be the official state animal), with the words “California Republic” underneath it. The red star in the left hand corner is based from the Lone Star of Texas.
Food and Drink: In present day California, it is well known for its wine country, producing over 17 million gallons each year. California is also the raisin and artichoke capital of the world, while they are the date capital of the United States.
Movies and TV: California is also known for its sunny weather and Hollywood. The reason Hollywood had been picked to film movies was because the weather had been pleasant year round compared to other states where the weather grew snowy and cold.
Trees: California is home to the famous Redwood tree, which are known for being giant in size. They are the tallest and largest living organisms in the world. The tallest tree in the world is 369 feet!
March 23, 2016
Wisconsin, the 30th state in the Union, was founded by Frenchman Jean Nicolet in 1634. Great Britain later obtained the territory from the French in the French and Indian Wars in 1763. They owned the land for twenty years until the United States gained ownership of it after the Revolutionary War but Britain regained the territory in the War of 1812. Wisconsin later gained its statehood on May 29, 1848.
Wisconsin’s state flag was adopted in 1913 but this flag had been flown even earlier. Civil war regiments were asking for an official banner to fly. On March 25, 1863, a flag was adopted for Wisconsin which was blue and bore the state’s coat of arms and this flag was eventually re-adopted in 1913. The state flew its flag with just its coat of arms until 1980, when many Wisconsin residents were unhappy with how they were unable to tell their state flag apart from other state flags (which were also had coats of arms). After that, the word “Wisconsin” in white letters were placed above the coat of arms and “1848” was added below the coat of arms.
Dairy and Cheese: Wisconsin is well known for its dairy, many coming for their amazing milk, cheese, and other dairy products. There are over 600 cheese varieties alone in the state of Wisconsin, and has a high amount of cheese consumption in the state.
Here’s some cheese trivia:
Limburger*: The cheese known for its pungent aroma that originated in Europe is produced only in Monroe, Wisconsin for the United States.
Colby Cheese: Like colby cheese? It was invented in Colby, Wisconsin!
Brick Cheese: Invented in Dodge County in 1877. It got its name due to the fact that cheesemakers used to use bricks to press moisture from the cheese.
In addition, 99 percent of farms in the state of Wisconsin are family owned.
January 28, 2016
Texas became the 28th state to enter the union on December 29, 1845. Texas was first founded by Spanish explorers, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, settling at Ysleta near El Paso in 1862. Robert Cavalier Sieur de la Salle later established a French colony at Matagorda Bay in 1685. In 1821, Stephen F. Austin led Americans to settle along the Brazos River when Texas was originally controlled by Mexico who gained their independence from Spain.
In 1835, the Texas Revolution began due to tensions between the settlers of Texas and Mexico. The first battle was the Battle of Gonzales in 1835, which was caused by a cannon. From 1836 to 1845, Texas was its own independent nation until it entered the union by treaty, the Treaties of Velasco (and the only state to do so).
Texas adopted their state flag before it became a state. The flag of Texas is known as the Lone Star flag, as it only has one star on their state flag and it was first used on their flag during the battles between Texas and Mexico in the 1830s. The star is located on a vertical blue stripe on the left hand side (taking up ⅓ of the flag) while a horizontal red and white stripe take up the remaining right side of the flag. Red symbolizes courage, white means liberty, and blue is for loyalty.
Texas Flag vs. Flag of Chile: The flags of Texas and the South American country of Chile are very similar and can sometimes be confused with one another. The only differences between the flags are that there is only a blue square on the left hand corner of the Chilean flag, the star inside the square is smaller, and the red horizontal stripe on the bottom is longer. Chile’s flag was adopted on October 18, 1817.
Texas is the second largest state in the US along with being the most populous.
December 28, 2015
Michigan became the 26th state in the US on January 26, 1837. Michigan is on the border of four of the five great lakes and is divided into the Upper and Lower Peninsulas by the Straits of Mackinac, linking together lakes Huron and and Michigan. They are connected by the Mackinac Bridge, which is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges!
Michigan’s state flag has a dark blue background, featuring an elk and a moose each having one hoof on a blue shield. The shield says “Tuebor” (meaning “I defend) above a picture of a man standing on a peninsula, raising one hand in friendship while his other hand is on a rifle. Above the shield is a bald eagle grasping onto an olive branch and arrows in its talons. A red ribbon above the eagle says E Pluribus Unum (“From one, many”). Below the shield is another motto, “Si Quaeris Peninsulam Amoenam Circumspice” which means “If you seek amenable (pleasant) peninsula, look about you”. The bald eagle symbolizes the United States while the Elk and Moose represent the state of Michigan. This flag was adopted as the state flag of Michigan in 1911.
While Detroit is a major city in Michigan, many have often thought of it as being the capital of the state. It’s actually Lansing! Detroit is, however, the largest city in Michigan. Detroit is known as Motor City, the automotive capital of the world due to large amounts of cars that are manufactured there. The Big Three car companies, General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, are headquartered in Detroit.
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 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.