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Know Your Stuff



American States, Territories and Possessions
Detailed List

Alabama  - "Heart of Dixie"   Capital:  Montgomery
Admitted:  12/14/1819  2010 Population:  4,802,982 (23rd)
Electoral Votes:  9  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Spanish explored in early 1500's; French establish first permanent colony at Mobile in 1711. Ceded to Britain in 1763, then to U.S. in 1783.
Quick fact:  Montgomery was the first capital of the Confederacy.

Alaska   Capital:  Juneau
Admitted:  1/3/1959  2010 Population:  721,523 (48th)
Electoral Votes:  3  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Claimed by Russia 18th century; purchased by U.S.in 1867.
Quick fact:  The purchase of Alaska was originally referred to as Seward's Folly, and viewed as a waste of money.

Arizona  - "The Grand Canyon State"   Capital:  Phoenix
Admitted:  2/14/1912  2010 Population:  6,412,700 (20th)
Electoral Votes:  11  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Explored by Cabeza da Vaca in 1536, ceded to U.S. after Mexican War.

Arkansas  - "Land of Opportunity"   Capital:  Little Rock
Admitted:  6/15/1836  2010 Population:  2,926,229 (33rd)
Electoral Votes:  6  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Explored by de Soto in 1541; came to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase.
Quick fact:  Joined the Confederacy in 1861; readmitted in 1868.

California  - "The Golden State"   Capital:  Sacramento
Admitted:  9/9/1850  2010 Population:  37,341,989 (1st)
Electoral Votes:  55  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Spanish from the 16th century; ceded to the U.S. after the Mexican War.
Quick fact:  Previously sleepy California's phenomenal growth was spurred by the 1849 Gold Rush, and again by the relocation of the movie industry from the East Coast in the 1920's.

Colorado  - "The Centennial State"   Capital:  Denver
Admitted:  8/1/1876  2010 Population:  5,044,930 (24th)
Electoral Votes:  9  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Claimed by France in 1763; came to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase.
Quick fact:  Colorado Springs, south of Denver and at the foot of Pike's Peak, is home to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Connecticut  - "The Constitution State"   Capital:  Hartford
Admitted:  1/9/1788  2010 Population:  3,581,628 (29th)
Electoral Votes:  7  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Claimed by the Dutch in 1614; English settlements came in 1633. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  When King James II tried to revoke the colony's charter in 1687, it was hidden in a tree ... which became famous as the Charter Oak. The colony's Fundamental Orders are considered to be the first constitution embodying the principles of democracy

Delaware  - "The First State"   Capital:  Dover
Admitted:  12/7/1787  2010 Population:  900,877 (45th)
Electoral Votes:  3  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Swedes established the first permanent settlements in 1638; annexed by Dutch in 1655, by English in 1664. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  As the motto implies, Delaware was the first to ratify the Constitution in 1787. A slave state that sided with the Union, Delaware was the last state to use the whipping post (in 1952), which it abolished only in 1972. Drug dealers ... there's an id

District of Columbia   (Federal District)   Capital:  Washington
Created:  1790  2010 Population:  601,723
Electoral Votes:  3  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  In 1787, Congress authorized the separation of an area not to exceed ten square miles from Virginia and Maryland, to be used as the new nation's capital. It became so on 12/1/1800.
Quick fact:  While DC has only a non-voting member of the U.S. House, it does have three Electors. The District was granted the right to vote for president by the 23rd Amendment in 1961. It has petitioned for statehood on occasion.

Florida  - "The Sunshine State"   Capital:  Tallahassee
Admitted:  3/3/1845  2010 Population:  18,900,773 (4th)
Electoral Votes:  29  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Ponce de León claimed for Spain in 1513; de Avilés founded first permanent European settlement in U.S. (St. Augustine) in 1565. Ceded to U.S. after the First Seminole War, in 1819.
Quick fact:  Joined the Confederacy in 1861; readmitted in 1868.

Georgia  - "The Peach State"   Capital:  Atlanta
Admitted:  1/2/1788  2010 Population:  9,727,566 (10th)
Electoral Votes:  16  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  De Soto explored in 1540, but Spain made no permanent settlements. Cherokees were expelled in 1832-8, embarking on the Trail of Tears. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  Joined the Confederacy in 1860. Birthplace of Coca-Cola (1886). Explosive growth in the last few decades prompted a new nickname: "the Empire State of the South".

Hawaii  - "The Aloha State"   Capital:  Honolulu
Admitted:  8/21/1959  2010 Population:  1,366,862 (42nd)
Electoral Votes:  4  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Native Polynesians arrived in the 6th-10th centuries, evolving by the nineteenth into an independent kingdom. Missionaries and sugar industry arrived in 1830's. Annexed by U.S. in 1898.
Quick fact:  Comprising five major islands and several minor ones 2,000 miles out in the Pacific, Hawaii was a pretty quiet place until the invention of the jet airliner. World War II started for us when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor on Oahu.

Idaho  - "The Gem State"   Capital:  Boise
Admitted:  7/3/1890  2010 Population:  1,573,499 (39th)
Electoral Votes:  4  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Largely unexplored until Lewis and Clark ventured out, Idaho was part of British Columbia until ceded to the U.S. in 1846.

Illinois  - "The Prairie State"   Capital:  Springfield
Admitted:  12/3/1818  2010 Population:  12,864,380 (5th)
Electoral Votes:  20  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Marquette and Jolliet explored for France in 1673; ceded to Britain after the French and Indian War in 1763, and to the U.S. after the Revolution.
Quick fact:  Chicago was founded by a French trader in 1779. It burned in 1871. The first successful controlled nuclear reaction also took place in Chicago, in 1942. Infamous home of Al Capone et al.

Indiana  - "The Hoosier State"   Capital:  Indianapolis
Admitted:  12/11/1816  2010 Population:  6,501,582 (14th)
Electoral Votes:  11  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  LaSalle explored for the French in 1679-87; ceded to Britain after the French and Indian War, 1763, and to the U.S. after the Revolution.
Quick fact:  General -- and future president -- William Henry Harrison defeated Tecumseh's Indian Confederation at Tippecanoe in 1811. In 1840, his election slogan was "Tippecanoe ... and Tyler too!"

Iowa  - "The Hawkeye State"   Capital:  Des Moines
Admitted:  12/28/1846  2010 Population:  3,053,787 (30th)
Electoral Votes:  6  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Explorers Marquette and Jolliet claimed for France in 1673; came to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase.

Kansas  - "The Sunflower State"   Capital:  Topeka
Admitted:  1/29/1861  2010 Population:  2,863,813 (32nd)
Electoral Votes:  6  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Coronado explored in 1540-41; claimed for France by LaSalle in 1682. Came to U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase.
Quick fact:  Known as "Bleeding Kansas" in the years prior to the Civil War because of violence between abolitionists and slavery supporters.

Kentucky  - "The Bluegrass State"   Capital:  Frankfort
Admitted:  6/1/1792  2010 Population:  4,350,606 (25th)
Electoral Votes:  8  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Part of the territory ceded by France to Britain after the French and Indian War, 1763; explored and settled by Daniel Boone beginning in 1769. Ceded to the U.S. after the Revolution.
Quick fact:  During the Civil War, the state remained neutral, its citizens split in their loyalties. The famous Kentucky Derby was first run at Louisville in 1875.

Louisiana  - "The Pelican State"   Capital:  Baton Rouge
Admitted:  4/30/1812  2010 Population:  4,553,962 (22nd)
Electoral Votes:  8  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  First explored by Avarez de Piñeda in 1519; claimed for France by LaSalle in 1682 and became French Crown Colony in 1711. Ceded to U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Quick fact:  When General Andrew Jackson fought the famous Battle of New Orleans in January, 1815, the War of 1812 had already ended a month before. Neither he nor the British had gotten the word.

Maine  - "The Pine Tree State"   Capital:  Augusta
Admitted:  3/15/1820  2010 Population:  1,333,074 (40th)
Electoral Votes:  4  Voted in 2016 Election: Elector Split
History:  Maine's coast was first explored by Vikings ca. 1000; French settlers arrived 1604. Ceded to the Plymouth Company, 1622, and annexed to Massachusetts Bay, 1652.
Quick fact:  In 1972, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indians sued the state for land seized in violation of 1790 Indian Non-Intercourse Act. They collected $81.5 million in 1980.

Maryland  - "The Free State"   Capital:  Annapolis
Admitted:  4/28/1788  2010 Population:  5,789,929 (19th)
Electoral Votes:  10  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Explored by John Smith in 1608; chartered to Cecilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore, in 1632. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  A slave state held under federal military control during the Civil War. Home of the Star Spangled Banner, and of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Massachusetts  - "The Bay State"   Capital:  Boston
Admitted:  2/6/1788  2010 Population:  6,559,644 (13th)
Electoral Votes:  11  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Easy one ... English Pilgrims landed in 1620 and founded a colony at Plymouth. It grew quickly into the Massachusetts Bay colony, the center of early America. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  The cradle of the American Revolution and of our quest for liberty, the state has since become known as "Taxachusetts" for its heavy-handed government.

Michigan  - "The Wolverine State"   Capital:  Lansing
Admitted:  1/26/1837  2010 Population:  9,911,626 (8th)
Electoral Votes:  16  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  French explorers arrived 1634; Detroit founded as French military post, 1701. Ceded to Britain after the French and Indian War, 1763, then to U.S. after the Revolution.

Minnesota  - "The North Star State"   Capital:  St. Paul
Admitted:  5/11/1858  2010 Population:  5,314,879 (21st)
Electoral Votes:  10  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Explored by French, including La Salle, in 1600's; claimed for France by Duluth in 1679. Eastern portion ceded to Britain in 1763, U.S. in 1783. Western portion came to U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase.

Mississippi  - "The Magnolia State"   Capital:  Jackson
Admitted:  12/10/1817  2010 Population:  2,978,240 (31st)
Electoral Votes:  6  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  DeSoto explored in 1540-1; LaSalle claimed for France in 1682. Ceded to Britain after French and Indian War, 1763; to U.S. following Revolution.
Quick fact:  Joined the Confederacy in 1861. Site of the famous Siege of Vicksburg in 1863, and also of some of the most contentious struggles of the Civil Rights era.

Missouri  - "The Show-Me State"   Capital:  Jefferson City
Admitted:  8/10/1821  2010 Population:  6,011,478 (17th)
Electoral Votes:  10  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Settled by French miners and hunters in the 1700's. Ceded to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Quick fact:  Joined the Confederacy in 1861, though the state's major political party remained loyal to the Union. Winston Churchill warned of a communist "Iron Curtain" here in a 1952 speech.

Montana  - "Big Sky Country"   Capital:  Helena
Admitted:  11/8/1889  2010 Population:  994,416 (44th)
Electoral Votes:  3  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  French explorers arrived in the 1740's. Most of the state was ceded to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the balance with the Washington Territory deal with Britain in 1853 and 59.

Nebraska  - "The Cornhusker State"   Capital:  Lincoln
Admitted:  3/1/1867  2010 Population:  1,831,825 (38th)
Electoral Votes:  5  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Came to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Quick fact:  First state to observe Arbor Day, in 1872.

Nevada  - "The Silver State"   Capital:  Carson City
Admitted:  10/31/1864  2010 Population:  2,709,432 (35th)
Electoral Votes:  6  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Garcés explored in 1775-6 for Spain, and Fremont for the U.S. in 1843-5. Ceded to the U.S. after the Mexican War, 1849, finally prompting the first settlement.
Quick fact:  About the most sparsely populated state, a few major cities account for its population ranking. The fabulously wealthy Comstock Lode of gold and silver was discovered in 1859. Las Vegas appeared as a dusty whistle-stop for in-transit GI's during WWI

New Hampshire  - "The Granite State"   Capital:  Concord
Admitted:  6/21/1788  2010 Population:  1,321,445 (41st)
Electoral Votes:  4  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Explored by Champlain in 1604; chartered to John Mason and Ferdinando Gorges in 1622. Royal province under Massachusetts, 1699. One of the 13 original states.
Quick fact:  As the ninth state to ratify it, New Hampshire caused the United States Constitution to become the law of the land. First state to adopt an education-supporting lottery, 1963.

New Jersey  - "The Garden State"   Capital:  Trenton
Admitted:  12/18/1787  2010 Population:  8,807,501 (9th)
Electoral Votes:  14  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Explored by Verrazano in 1524; settled by Dutch in 1623. Ceded to Britain in 1665 and organized as a colony under George Carteret. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  New Jersey saw some of the most famous battles of the Revolution, and boasts more "Washington slept here" spots than most. In 1990, it enacted the strictest gun legislation in the U.S., rolling back what Washington fought for.

New Mexico  - "Land of Enchantment"   Capital:  Santa Fe
Admitted:  1/6/1912  2010 Population:  2,067,273 (36th)
Electoral Votes:  5  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Settled in the 1500's by the Spanish, becoming an early province of Mexico. Incursions by the Republic of Texas defeated in 1841. Ceded to U.S. after Mexican War, 1848.
Quick fact:  Well known for both Billy the Kid and the territorial governor who opposed him -- General Lew Wallace, author of Ben Hur. Invaded by Pancho Villa, 1911. First A-bomb test at Alamogordo in 1945.

New York  - "The Empire State"   Capital:  Albany
Admitted:  7/26/1788  2010 Population:  19,421,055 (3rd)
Electoral Votes:  29  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Explored by Verrazano (New York Bay) in 1524, Champlain (the St. Lawrence) in 1603 and Hudson (up the Hudson River) in 1609. Settled by Dutch in 1614. Ceded to Britain in 1664. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  In 1624, Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island from the Manhattan Indians for $24 worth of trinkets. Can we give it back for a refund?? New York is home to West Point, the U.S. Military Academy.

North Carolina  - "The Tarheel State"   Capital:  Raleigh
Admitted:  11/21/1789  2010 Population:  9,565,781 (11th)
Electoral Votes:  15  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Chartered by Charles II in 1663. One of the 13 original states.
Quick fact:  Issued the Mecklenburg Declaration in 1775, a forerunner of the Declaration of Independence which it was the first to support. Kitty Hawk was the birthplace of aviation in 1903.

North Dakota  - "The Sioux State"   Capital:  Bismarck
Admitted:  11/2/1889  2010 Population:  675,905 (47th)
Electoral Votes:  3  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  First visited by the French in 1738; half the territory was ceded to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Quick fact:  First state to hold a presidential primary (1912).

Ohio  - "The Buckeye State"   Capital:  Columbus
Admitted:  3/1/1803  2010 Population:  11,568,495 (7th)
Electoral Votes:  18  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  LaSalle explored in 1669-70; conflicting claims by France, Virginia, Connecticut and New York. Ceded to Britain after French and Indian War, 1763, and to U.S. after Revolution.
Quick fact:  Ohio, with Indiana and Illinois, were part of America's original "Northwest territory", which was wrenched from the native Indians a piece at a time beginning with Ohio's Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794.

Oklahoma  - "The Sooner State"   Capital:  Oklahoma City
Admitted:  11/16/1907  2010 Population:  3,764,882 (27th)
Electoral Votes:  7  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Coronado explored in 1541 but, except for the panhandle, became a French possession, which was ceded to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Quick fact:  Oklahoma became the final home of many resettled Indian tribes, beginning with the Cherokee, who arrived on the Trail of Tears from Georgia in the 1830's. It was then thrown open to settlers in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889.

Oregon  - "The Beaver State"   Capital:  Salem
Admitted:  2/14/1859  2010 Population:  3,848,606 (28th)
Electoral Votes:  7  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Sir Francis Drake approached the coast in 1578, but was turned away by fog. Captain Cook visited in 1778. American explorers claimed for U.S. in 1792. Conflicting claims resolved with Britain in 1846.
Quick fact:  At last look, the Christmas Tree capital of the U.S., even though it's notably progressive population has one of the lowest religious affiliation rates in the country. Leaders in the environmental movement.

Pennsylvania  - "The Keystone State"   Capital:  Harrisburg
Admitted:  12/12/1787  2010 Population:  12,734,905 (6th)
Electoral Votes:  20  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Chartered to William Penn by King Charles II in 1681. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  As the meeting place for the Continental Congress, Philadelphia was the birthplace of all of our key founding documents. The Pennsylvania Turnpike, built during the Depression, was America's first superhighway.

Rhode Island  - "The Ocean State"   Capital:  Providence
Admitted:  5/29/1790  2010 Population:  1,055,247 (43rd)
Electoral Votes:  4  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Naragansett Bay explored by Verrazano in 1524. Settled by Roger Williams, who was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1636 for religious disagreement. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  Rhode Island was the first colony to renounce allegiance to the British Crown, but the last to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Newport is the home of the annual Americas Cup yacht race, first held in 1930.

South Carolina  - "The Palmetto State"   Capital:  Columbia
Admitted:  5/13/1788  2010 Population:  4,645,975 (26th)
Electoral Votes:  9  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Spanish visited in 1521, French in 1562. Chartered in 1663 by Charles II, and became a Royal Province in 1729. One of the original 13 states.
Quick fact:  First state to secede, and to join the Confederacy in 1860; readmitted in 1868. The Civil War began with the 1861 firing on Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor, and ended after Sherman marched through the state in 1865.

South Dakota  - "The Coyote State"   Capital:  Pierre
Admitted:  11/2/1889  2010 Population:  819,761 (46th)
Electoral Votes:  3  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Visited by the French in 1742-3. Ceded to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Quick fact:  The 1874 discovery of gold in the Black Hills -- an area sacred to and promised to the Indian -- resulted in war with the Sioux nation, and the eventual slaughter at Little Big Horn (Montana) in 1876. Home of Mt. Rushmore National Monument.

Tennessee  - "The Volunteer State"   Capital:  Nashville
Admitted:  6/1/1796  2010 Population:  6,375,431 (16th)
Electoral Votes:  11  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Explored in part by De Soto in 1540. Both the French and British claimed, but Britain gained it after the French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to the U.S. in 1783.
Quick fact:  Joined the Confederacy in 1861, readmitted in 1866. Famous for the battles of Shiloh (1862) and Chattanooga (1863), as well as the birth of Davy Crockett (1786). Eastern Tennessee was originally organized as the state of Franklin (after Ben) in 1784.

Texas  - "The Lone Star State"   Capital:  Austin
Admitted:  12/29/1845  2010 Population:  25,268,418 (2nd)
Electoral Votes:  38  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Originally explored by Pi´┐Żeda and Estevanico in the 1500's. The eastern portion claimed for France by La Salle in 1685, but Spanish hegemony prevailed. Became an independent republic in 1836 after defeating Mexico at San Jacinto.
Quick fact:  Joined the Confederacy in 1861, readmitted in 1870. Famed for the Alamo, its frontier days, its longhorn cattle and cattle drives ... and for the Houston Space Center, opened in 1962. Also for Texas-sized everything!

Utah  - "The Mormon State"   Capital:  Salt Lake City
Admitted:  1/4/1896  2010 Population:  2,770,765 (34th)
Electoral Votes:  6  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Probably visited by Coronado in 1540; by Escalante and Dominguez for Spain in 1776. Ceded to the U.S. after the Mexican War, 1848.
Quick fact:  Frontier scout Jim Bridger discovered the Great Salt Lake in 1824; the Mormons arrived in 1847 and formed the first permanent settlements. Transcontinental railway link-up occured at Promontory Point in 1869.

Vermont  - "The Green Mountain State"   Capital:  Montpelier
Admitted:  3/4/1791  2010 Population:  630,337 (49th)
Electoral Votes:  3  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Champlain explored for France in 1609; first settlement in 1666. English settlers arrived 1724 and built a fort at Brattleboro.
Quick fact:  Vermont was carved from the claims of three original states -- Massachusetts, New Hamphire and New York -- to become the first post-Colonial state. Famed for Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys, who captured Ft. Ticonderoga in 1775.

Virginia  - "Old Dominion"   Capital:  Richmond
Admitted:  1/25/1788  2010 Population:  8,037,736 (12th)
Electoral Votes:  13  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Claimed for Britain when John Smith founded Jamestown Colony in 1607 -- first permanent settlement in North America.
Quick fact:  As Massachusetts was the cradle of the Revolution, Virginia gave us our Founders. The Revolution ended at Yorktown in 1781. Virginia joined the Confederacy in 1861; the Civil War ended at Appomatox in 1865. Richmond was the main Confederate capital.

Washington  - "The Evergreen State"   Capital:  Olympia
Admitted:  11/11/1889  2010 Population:  6,753,369 (15th)
Electoral Votes:  12  Voted in 2016 Election: Democratic
History:  Forays by Spanish and English explorers along the coast in both the 1500's and 1700's. Vancouver claims for Britain in 1792. Ceded to the U.S. in 1853.
Quick fact:  Grand Coulee Dam is the largest concrete hydroelectric dam in the U.S. In 1980, Mt. Saint Helens erupted, killing 60 and spreading ash over a wide area.

West Virginia  - "The Mountain State"   Capital:  Charleston
Admitted:  6/20/1863  2010 Population:  1,859,815 (37th)
Electoral Votes:  5  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Originally part of Virginia, the area was first settled in 1731.
Quick fact:  The area that became West Virginia refused to secede from the Union in 1861, split from Virginia, and formed the new state of Kanahwa.

Wisconsin  - "The Badger State"   Capital:  Madison
Admitted:  5/29/1848  2010 Population:  5,698,230 (18th)
Electoral Votes:  10  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Nicolet lands at Green Bay, 1634, claiming for France. Ceded to Britain after the French and Indian War, 1763, and to the U.S. in 1787. British remain in control until 1812.
Quick fact:  First hydroelectric plant at Appleton, 1882. Ringling Brothers circus formed at Baraboo, 1884. First state income tax, 1911.

Wyoming  - "The Equality State"   Capital:  Cheyenne
Admitted:  7/10/1890  2010 Population:  568,300 (50th)
Electoral Votes:  3  Voted in 2016 Election: Republican
History:  Claimed for France in 1682; explored by Vérendrye in 1743. Came to the U.S. with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Quick fact:  The first state to adopt women's suffrage. Also the home of the first National Park -- Yellowstone, so designated in 1872, and of the first ICBM base, opened in 1951 near Cheyenne.

American Samoa   (Territory)   Capital:  Pago Pago
Annexed:  1900  2010 Population:  55,519
History:  Shared with Britain and Germany from 1889 to 1900, then ceded in parts to U.S.
Quick fact:  American Samoa is comprised of seven islands in the Central Pacific, about 2,300 miles SW of Hawaii. The population is 89% Samoan, most of whom are bilingual (Samoan/English).

Baker and Howland Islands   (Territory)   Capital:  [None]
Annexed:  1935  2010 Population:  N/A
History:  Originally claimed by Britain in 1889.
Quick fact:  About one square mile each laying 1,600 miles SW of Hawaii, both are now uninhabited and had been mined for guano (bird poop). Amelia Earhart was trying to reach Howland when her plane disappeared.

Guam   (Territory)   Capital:  Agaña
Annexed:  1899  2010 Population:  159,358
History:  Ceded to the U.S. after the Spanish-American War.
Quick fact:  About half of Guamanians are Chamorros -- having Spanish blood -- and virtually all are Roman Catholic. Guam is the largest of the Marianas, lying about 3,300 miles SW of Hawaii. It was occupied by Japan from 1941 to 1944.

Jarvis Island   (Territory)   Capital:  [None]
Annexed:  1935  2010 Population:  N/A
History:  Claimed by the U.S. in 1857, annexed by Britain in 1889.
Quick fact:  A lonely 1.8 sq. mi., about 1,300 miles south of Hawaii. Another source of guano.

Johnston Atoll   (Territory)   Capital:  [None]
Annexed:  1858  2010 Population:  1,400
History:  Originally claimed by U.S.
Quick fact:  Three islands totaling 1.1 sq. mi., about 825 miles SW of Hawaii.

Kingman Reef   (Territory)   Capital:  [None]
Annexed:  1922  2010 Population:  N/A
History:  Discovered in 1798; not claimed.
Quick fact:  A mere 0.4 sq. mi., about 1,000 SW of Hawaii.

Midway Island   (Territory)   Capital:  [None]
Annexed:  1867  2010 Population:  450
History:  Discovered by an American seaman in 1859.
Quick fact:  Midway is part of the Leeward Islands -- technically the tip of the Hawaiian chain. It was the site of one of World War II's greatest naval battles, the turning point of the Pacific war.

Navassa   (Territory)   Capital:  [None]
Annexed:  1856  2010 Population:  N/A
Quick fact:  Navassa comprises about 2 sq. mi. and lies in the Caribbean between Haiti and Jamaica. It is inhabited only by a lighthouse under U.S. Coast Guard control.

Northern Marianas Islands (Autonomous Commonwealth)   Capital:  Saipan
Annexed:  1947  2010 Population:  53,883
History:  Spanish until 1898, then German until WWI, then mandated to Japan. Entrusted to U.S after WWII.
Quick fact:  In the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, the government is the largest employer. The U.S. heavily subsidizes its operation.

Palmyra Atoll   (Territory)   Capital:  [None]
Annexed:  1912  2010 Population:  N/A
History:  Annexed by Hawaii in 1852, then by Britain in 1889.
Quick fact:  About four sq. mi. spread over 50 islets, 1,000 miles SW of Hawaii and near Kingman Reef. Currently privately owned and administered by the Navy.

Puerto Rico (Autonomous Commonwealth)   Capital:  San Juan
Annexed:  1899  2010 Population:  3,725,789
History:  One of Spain's earliest possessions in the New World; ceded to us after the Spanish-American War.
Quick fact:  Puerto Ricans remain equally divided between desiring statehood, and accepting the status quo. A small faction pushes for full independence.

U.S. Virgin Islands   (Territory)   Capital:  Charlotte Amalie
Annexed:  1917  2010 Population:  106,405
History:  Named by Columbus, variously French and Danish, U.S. bought from Denmark for $25 million.
Quick fact:  USVI comprises the main islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, along with about 50 others, mostly uninhabited (sound tempting?) The original inhabitants were driven out by the Spanish in 1555.

Wake Island   (Territory)   Capital:  [None]
Annexed:  1898  2010 Population:  300
Quick fact:  Comprises about 2.5 sq. mi., 2,300 miles west of Hawaii. Held by the Japanese from 1941 until 1944. Now mainly a military base.



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