State Post – Michigan

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 brasmi35n-indoor_-00_front_michigan-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringench 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.

 

State Post – Arkansas

sar35i_3x5_arkansasHalfway through the State Flag series and at the 25th state is Arkansas. Although founded by Spanish settlers (most famously Hernando De Soto), Robert LaSalle claimed the land for France in 1682. Henri DeTonti established the first European settlement in Arkansas in 1686 in the lower Mississippi River Valley, in which the settlement was known as Arkansas Post (Poste aux Arkansas in French). Arkansas was later obtained with the Louisiana Purchase through France in 1803.

The state flag of Arkansas is red with a diamond in the center. The diamond is white and outlined with a blue stripe along with twenty-five white stars, each representing the then-twenty five states in the nation. Written inside the white diamond is the word Arkansas and four separate stars, all blue. The three stars below the state’s name symbolize the three countries who once owned the state, Spain, France, and the US. The star above is their membership in the Confederacy. The reason for the diamond shape is because Arkansas is the only US state in which diamonds have been found. (Mount Ida is the Quartz Crystal capital of the world).

car35p_-00_university-of-arkansas-3x5-polyester-flag
University of Arkansas – NCAA

How did Arkansas get named? The name Arkansas means “South Wind” but it was also a named used to describe a local tribe, Quapaws. Several people had different pronunciations of the name, ranging from Oo-ka-na-sa to Arkensa. It was Arkansas at the time of its admission into the Union.

Presidential Births: William Jefferson Clinton aka Bill Clinton, who was the 42nd President of the United States, was born in Hope, AR on August 19, 1946. Before he was president from 1993-2001, he was previously the governor of Arkansas from 1979-1981 and again from 1983-1992.

State Post – Missouri

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

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

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

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

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.

Louisiana – The 18th State

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.

Ohio

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 soh35i_3x5_ohioWars. 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, Wilbpisoh_-02_red-white-blue_front-angled_large_ohio-flag-lapel-pin_1ur 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.

Tennessee

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.

stn35n-indoor_-00_front_tennessee-3x5ft-nylon-flag-with-indoor-pole-hem-and-fringeTennessee’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.