The United States has an incredibly rich and interesting past full of quirky people and strange happenings. We’ll take a look at all 50 states and point out one interesting, or sometimes one weird, fact about each.
Alabama– The Store That Sells Lost Luggage
Have you ever wondered what happens to your lost luggage? The luggage you never got back. As it turns out, there is a lost luggage store in Alabama that sells the nation’s lost luggage. It has a 4,000 foot store that is stocked with 7,000 new items daily and operates similar to a thrift store.
Alaska– The Official Sport Of — Is Dog Mushing
It’s no misconception; dog mushing is the state sport of Alaska. One of the longest sled dog races, the Iditarod, is held yearly in Alaska and takes participants 938 miles within Alaska from Anchorage to Nome.
Arizona– The “Stupid Motorist Law“
Arizona has a “Stupid Motorist Law” that allows the state to fine individuals who get their cars get stuck in flooded streets after driving around or ignoring barricades and danger signs.
Arkansas– The Only State With A Diamond Field
Opting for Arkansas over Florida for your next vacation may sound bizarre, but you may strike it rich! Arkansas is home to Crater Of Diamonds State Park, the only diamond field in the US. Visitors have found over 33,100 diamonds since it was designated as a state park in 1972.
California– Most Rehabilitation Centers Of Any State In The US
It’s true; despite the beautiful weather and rich culture, California has the most along with some of the best drug rehab facilities in the US.
Colorado– Home Of The Cheeseburger
Humpty Dumpty, a restaurant in downtown Denver, trademarked the name “cheeseburger” in 1935. Humpty Dumpty is now a bank, and America has long since made do with the non-trademarked versions of cheeseburgers.
Connecticut – There Is A Whole Town Underwater
Current-day Candlewood Lake is a reservoir that sits atop a town that is still, other than water damage, largely intact. The lake serves as a popular scuba destination where divers find farm equipment, personal items and much more.
Delaware – America’s First State
In 1787, Delaware became the first US state to ratify the Constitution, effectively becoming the first state in the Union.
Georgia – America’s Australia
Georgia was initially founded as a felon colony in 1732 by British Parliament member James Oglethrope. Oglethorpe saw that many prisoners could not pay their debts, and thus established Georgia in hopes of giving these prisoners a “second chance”.
Florida – Home Of The Annual Mullet Toss
Every year, thousands of Floridians take part in the “Mullet Toss”, hosted by Flora-Bama Beach Bar in Pensacola. It involves Floridians throwing thousands of dead fish across the state line and into their neighbor’s yard: Alabama.
Hawaii – Where You Can Really Get Off The Grid
Hawaii is home to the most isolated population center on Earth, as it is 2,390 miles from California, 3,850 miles from Japan and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.
Idaho – More Than Just Potatoes
While it is famous for potatoes, Idaho was initially dubbed “The Gem State” thanks to the 72 various precious and semi-precious stones found there.
Illinois – The First State To Champion Equality
Home to Abraham Lincoln, it is no coincidence that Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery.
Indiana – Home To The Richest Building Stone In The US
Southern Indiana is home to some of the highest quality limestone on Earth and was used in the construction of iconic buildings such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, The Pentagon and more.
Iowa – Home Of Sliced Bread
You can thank Iowa for the invention of sliced bread, providing two perfect landing pads to house your lunch masterpiece.
Kansas – Home Of The Real Windy City
While Chicago is known throughout the US as the “windy city”, the windiest city in the US is actually found in Dodge City, Kansas with an average wind speed of 14mph.
Kentucky – Home To More Bourbon Barrels Than People
Kentucky houses roughly 6.7 million bourbon barrels significantly higher than its human population of only 4.4 million.
Louisiana – Crawfish Capital Of The World
Crawfish is almost synonymous with Louisiana in the United States; “Cajun Foodways” named Breaux Bridge the crawfish capital of the world.
Maine – America’s Source Of Lobster
Maine is known around the US for its lobster, and rightfully so; 90% of the lobster in the United States comes from Maine.
Maryland – Some Of America’s Biggest Booze Enthusiasts
Many up in Maryland enjoy a good beer, but few know that Maryland stood up to the US government in the 1920s; it was the only US state not to embrace Prohibition and continued to sell alcohol in defiance of the 18th Amendment.
Massachusetts – Birthplace Of Basketball And Volleyball
In 1891, James Naismith invented basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts, which is where the current NBA Hall Of Fame sits. William Morgan of Holyoke, Massachusetts invented volleyball four years later in 1895.
Michigan – The Only Floating Post Office On Earth
The J.W. Wescott II is the only boat in the world that delivers mail to ships while their voyage is still underway. The J.W. Wescott II has operated for over 125 years.
Minnesota – The Land Of Over 10,000 Recreational Boats
The “Land Of 10,000 Lakes” actually has 11,842 lakes 10 acres or larger. All this water means it has the most recreational boats in the United States at one boat for every six people.
Mississippi – Home Of The Blues
Blues music traces its beginnings to the Mississippi Delta, and famous blues musicians from Mississippi include B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and Mississippi John Hurt.
Missouri – Ground Zero For Tasty Fair Treats
The 1904 World Fair was held in St. Louis and introduced the world to the waffle cone, cotton candy, iced tea and Dr. Pepper.
Montana – Open Skies And Sparse Counties
46 of Montana’s 56 counties are known as “frontier counties”, which signifies counties where there are six people or fewer per square mile.
Nebraska – America’s Largest Indoor Rainforest
Nebraska’s Henry Doorly Zoo is home to America’s largest indoor rainforest. The Lied Jungle is an eight-story building where you’ll find everything from pygmy hippos to capuchin monkeys.
Nevada – The Real Golden State
Despite California’s name as the “Golden State”, more US gold comes from Nevada than any other state.
New Hampshire – First Recorded Alien Abduction
New Hampshire residents Betty and Barney Hill were the first ever Americans to report being abducted by aliens in 1961.
New Jersey – The Least Elbow Room Of Any US State
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country.
New Mexico – America’s Wine Country In The 19th Century
At one time in the US, New Mexico was the capital of US wine production. While production has since shifted north, New Mexico still has over 50 wineries and produces award-winning wines year after year.
New York – More Languages Than Any Other US City
There are roughly 800 languages spoken in New York City, from Quechua to Garifuna to everything in between.
North Carolina – Craft Beer Capital Of The US
North Carolina has more breweries per capita than any other US state.
North Dakota – Higher Rent Than New York City
Due to the explosion in mining and fracking in North Dakota, some of its cities are home to many rich industry men and women. This drove up the average price of a one-bedroom apartment to $2,400/month, compared to $1,500 in New York City.
Ohio – The River That Caught On Fire
Due to industrial pollution in the Cuyahoga River, it is said to have caught fire 13 times in its history. The highly-publicized 1969 fire is one of the things that pressured congress to create the EPA in the first place.
Oklahoma – Home Of The Bigfoot Festival
Due to frequent sightings, every year eastern Oklahoma holds a Big Foot Festival.
Oregon – Only Leprechaun Colony Outside Ireland
Mills End Park, a two square foot park in Portland, is said to be home to a group of invisible leprechauns led by Patrick O’Toole.
Pennsylvania – The Keystone State
Pennsylvania’s nickname the “Keystone State” comes from the central role it played in America’s colonial times (America’s initial capital was in Philadelphia). “Keystone” refers to a critical or central part of a policy or system on which all else depends.
Rhode Island – The Longest Official State Name In The US
Rhode Island is actually shortened from “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”.
South Carolina – The Holy City
Charleston, one of South Carolina’s most famous cities, is home to over 400 sites of worship for a wide variety of religions.
South Dakota – How Mount Rushmore Got Its Name
New York City lawyer Charles E. Rushmore visited Mount Rushmore in 1884 to check the legal title on the property. After visiting the mountain, and on his way back to Pine Camp north of the granite peak, Rushmore asked his guide the name of the peak. His guide, William W. Challis, replied, “Never had a name but from now on, we’ll call it Rushmore”. And they did.
Tennessee – Mountain Dew And Moonshine
Mountain Dew was originally invented in Tennessee to cut the harsh taste of moonshine.
Texas – Home Of The World’s Biggest Bat Colony
San Antonio’s Bracken Cave houses millions of Mexican free-tailed bats, making it the world’s largest bat colony from March through September every year.
Utah – Home To A 80,000 Year Old Organism
The Trembling Giant, or Pando, located in Utah’s Fishlake National Forest, is an organism made up of 47,000 genetically identical trees that has been around for 80,000 years.
Vermont – One Of The Sweetest US States
Vermont produces 500,000 gallons of maple syrup every year, the most of any US state.
Virginia – Many Folks Speak Olde English On Virginia’s Tangier Island
While mass media and the internet is slowly changing this, there are still many individuals on Virginia’s Tangier Island who speak a dialect similar to that used in the Restoration Period of America.
Washington – The Raspberry State
Although Washington is dubbed “The Evergreen State”, it is the source of 90% of America’s raspberries and 60% of America’s apples.
West Virginia – Home To New River, One Of America’s Oldest
The New River, which runs through West Virginia, is arguably the second oldest river in the world. It is so old that unlike most rivers it runs south to north, because it predates the mountains around it.
Wisconsin – The Troll Capital Of The World
Mount Horeb, Wisconsin is affectionately known as the troll capital of the world. There you will find trolls on street signs and large troll stone statues scattered throughout Mount Horeb’s main street, also known as “the Trollway”.
Wyoming – Not Many Cowboys Or Anyone, For That Matter
Despite being the 10th largest state by area in the US, Wyoming is the least populated state in the Untied States.