Ohio is nicknamed the "Buckeye State." The capital of
Ohio is Columbus. The state bird is a cardinal. The state flower is
a scarlet carnation and the state tree is the Buckeye Tree. Ohio became a
state on March 1, 1803. Ohio means "beautiful river" and it is an Iroquois
My brother, sisters and I were all
born in Ohio and so was my nephew Caleb. Ohio is sometimes called the "Mother of Presidents" because
seven (so far!) US presidents have been born here. They were:
Ulysses S. Grant (18), Rutherford B. Hayes (19), James Garfield (20), Benjamin
Henry Harrison (23), William McKinley (25), William Howard Taft (27) and Warren
G. Harding (29). Some other cool people born in Ohio (besides me!)
include: Toni Morrison (a writer), Thomas Edison (the inventor), Steven
Spielberg (the director), Annie Oakley (a sharpshooter who was part of Buffalo
Bill's Wild West Show), Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, Jr. (famous astronauts)
and Judy Resnick (one of the first female astronauts, who died when the
Challenger Shuttle exploded).
Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio was the first US College to
enroll both men and women. The Cincinnati Reds were the first professional
baseball team and Akron was the first city to use police cars! You can
visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Pro Football Hall of Fame
in Canton, the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Canton, and the Air and Space
Museum in Wapakoneta. You can also visit the Maritime Museum in Vermillion
right on Lake Erie, the house where Thomas Edison was born in Milan, and the
Adena State Memorial in Chillicothe or the Gardens of Zoar, an 1817 settlement
where men and women had equal rights long before the rest of the country!
So far, I have been to these states:
- dark orange -
- pink -
- dark blue -
- fuschia -
nicknamed the "Hoosier State." It is sometimes called the "Mother
of Vice Presidents" because five of our Vice Presidents have come from
Indiana. Indiana's capital city is Indianapolis, and their state
flower is the peony. Their state bird is the cardinal and their
state tree is the tulip poplar. Indiana became a state on December
11, 1816. The name "Indiana" means "Land of the Indians."
Jeannie and both of her brothers and my Dad were all born in IN. Indiana is where they have the Indianapolis
500, which is a really big race. You can also go to the Auto
Racing Hall of Fame in Indianapolis. Or you can go to a town
called Twelve Mile and see an Annual 500 Riding Lawn Mowers Race!
The College Football Hall of Fame is in South Bend. The very first
major league baseball game was played at Fort Wayne, Indiana. The
first goldfish farm in the country was opened in Martinsville in 1899.
A lady who lived in Indianapolis created the original Raggedy Ann doll!
Michigan is nicknamed the
"Wolverine State" or the "Great Lakes State." Michigan borders
four of the five great Lakes and contains more than 11,000 other lakes.
The capital of Michigan is Lansing. The state bird is a robin and
the state tree is a white pine. Michigan became a state on January
26, 1837. The name "Michigan" comes from the word "Majigan" which
is a Chippewa Indian word meaning "clearing."
A cool place to visit in Michigan is "Greenfield Village" in Dearborn.
You can find a model of Thomas Edison's lab there and the Wright
brothers' bicycle shop. You can also go to the "Motown Museum" in
Motor City. In Marshall, there's the American Museum of Magic. The
world's largest manufacturers of magic supplies is located in Colon.
Michigan is called the Wolverine State but there aren't any more
wolverines in the state! There is also a place in Michigan, called
Mackinac Island, where you can't have any cars! There is also the
remains of a famous fort there on Mackinac Island.
Kentucky is the "BlueGrass State" and also the "Hemp State," "Tobacco
State" and the "Dark and Bloody Ground." Frankfort is the capital
of Kentucky. The state bird is the cardinal and the coffee tree is
the state tree. "Kentucky" is derived from the Cherokee word for
"land of tomorrow" according to one theory.
Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky and you can see his home in
Bardstown. You can go to the Kentucky Derby. Muhammad Ali
was born in Kentucky, and so were the Hill sisters, who wrote the song
"Happy Birthday to You." There's a place in Cumberland Falls where
you can see a "moonbow" which is a kind of rainbow that you can only see
at night. There's also the Daniel Boone Museum. And in
Corbin is the very first KFC ever! Fort Knox is in Kentucky and
there's a cave called "Mammoth Cave" that's made up of more
than 350 miles of
underground passageways, full of underground lakes, rivers and even
Tennessee is the "Volunteer State" because
so many soldiers volunteered during the War of 1812. Nashville is
the capital. The state tree is the tulip poplar, the flower is the
iris and the bird is the mockingbird. It became a state on June 1,
1796. Tennessee got it's name from the Cherokee Indian word "Tanasi" but
no one is sure what that word means.
Davy Crockett was born in Tennessee in 1786
and Elvis Presley's home and grave are in Memphis. Nashville is
the heart of country music and you can find the world's largest
underground lake - The Lost Sea - in Craighead Cavern. There are
more than 3,800 *known* caves in Tennessee. The National Civil
Rights Museum in Memphis memorializes Martin Luther King, Jr. who was
assassinated there. There is a monument in Greeneville that honors
both the Union and Confederate armies. Its the only monument of
its kind in the country.
Nashville is where the Grand Ole Opry is
and that is where a lot of country singers live. I love country
- teal blue -
- dark rose -
- bright yellow -
- light yellow -
North Carolina is the "Tar Heel State."
The capital is Raleigh and the state tree is a long leafed pine (Southern
Pine). The state flower is the dogwood and the state bird is a
cardinal. North Carolina became a state on November 21, 1789.
It was the twelfth state. The state was originally named in honor of
King Charles IX of France, and then later for King Charles I and II of
(and my Grandpa!) were born here, the 11th
president, James Polk (you can see his birthplace in Pineville) and
Andrew Johnson, the 17th president, who's birthplace is in Raleigh. You
can go to Spivey's Corner for the National Hollerin' Contest, or visit
the PGA/World Golf Hall of Fame in Pinehurst. NC also has the
world's tallest lighthouse at Cape Hatteras. It used to be illegal
to sing out of tune in NC! NC's official nickname, Tar Heel State,
was originally actually an insult. During the Civil War, when NC Confederate
troops were chased from their position by Union troops, the
Mississippi Confederate soldiers said it was because the NC troops had
forgotten to "tar their heels" so they would stick to the ground!
The NC troops didn't get mad, they just turned it into something to be
proud of and told the other troops that someone should tar their heels
so that they would not run away from the NC troops! Today everyone
in NC is proud to be called a tar heel.
NC is also where many of the Cherokee Indians hid out when they were
being forced to go on the Trail of Tears.
South Carolina has a whole bunch of
nicknames, including the "Swamp State," the "Keystone of the South
Atlantic Seaboard," the "Iodine State" and the "Palmetto State."
South Carolina's capital is Columbia and the tree is the palmetto.
The flower is a yellow jessamine and the bird is a Carolina wren.
South Carolina became a state on May 23, 1788 and was named in honor of
King Charles IX of France, and then later for King Charles I and II of
England, just like North Carolina.
One president was born in South Carolina,
Andrew Jackson, the 7th. There is a state park near Lancaster
where he was born. It is the state with the first public museum
and also the oldest minor league stadium in the nation, Duncan Park in
Spartanburg. SC also has an official state amphibian (salamander)
and dance (the shag). The nickname, Palmetto State, is because the
first battle of the Revolutionary War was won by SC soldiers from a fort
built with palmetto logs -- Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island.
Georgia is known as the "Peach State" and
its capital is Atlanta. The state tree is the live oak, the flower
is the Cherokee rose. The state bird is a brown thrasher.
Georgia became a state on January 2, 1788. It's name was to honor
King George II of England.
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president, was born
in Georgia and so were all of my sister Anna's little boys who are my
nephews. The lady who founded Girl Scouts is from Savannah.
The Okefenokee Swamp is the world's largest freshwater swamp (and it has
the coolest name!). It
covers over 700 square miles, and is filled with 54 species of reptiles,
49 types of mammals and 234 kinds of birds. There is the
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the site of the
bloodiest battle in American history, the Battle of Chickamauga.
Georgia is not only known for its peaches, it is also the leading
producer of peanuts and pecans and the only state that grows the sweet
Vidalia onion. Georgia was the birthplace of Martin Luther King,
Jr. and Wesleyan College in Macon was the first college in the world to
give a woman a degree. Georgia is the home to Coca-Cola and Turner
Broadcasting (which owns CNN).
West Virginia is named after Queen
Elizabeth the first of England, who was called the "Virgin Queen."
It used to be a part of Virginia, but President Lincoln made it its own
state on June 20, 1863 after it tried to secede from Virginia without
its permission. West Virginia didn't want to fight for the
Confederacy in the Civil War. The state capital is Charleston and
the tree is the sugar maple. The flower is a big rhododendron and
the bird is the cardinal. West Virginia is sometimes called the
Panhandle State or the Mountain State.
In West Virginia you can visit lots of
sites and museums, like Watters Smith Memorial Park (a 200 year old
pioneer farm) and Harper's Ferry National Historic Park where they tried
to end slavery by raiding an armory to steal weapons in 1859. You
can also visit the West Virginia State Farm Museum in Point Pleasant.
Point Pleasant is also where the Mothman is supposed to have first
appeared and it was spooky driving across that bridge! Grafton is
where the first Mother's Day was celebrated in 1908. The first
radio observatory built in the country (The Green Bank National Radio
Astronomy Observatory) is in WV. And if you go to Parkersburg,
thats where they make most of the glass marbles!
- light aqua -
- bright lime green -
- light purple -
Known as the "Keystone State" and the
"Quaker State," Pennsylvania got its name because William Penn, the
founder, wanted to name it Sylvania (Latin for "woods") but King Charles
II wanted to name it after Penn himself. They compromised, and
Pennsylvania means "Penn's Woods." It became a state on December
12, 1787 and it's capital is Harrisburg. The state tree is a
Hemlock and the state flower is the mountain laurel. They have the
ruffled grouse as their state bird.
PA is where my
Grandma was born. PA is also where the Declaration of Independence
and the US Constitution were written. The Liberty Bell was first
rung in Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776 after they
read the Declaration of Independence in public for the first time.
The 15th president, James Buchanan was born here. Valley Forge National
Historical Park and Gettysburg National Military Park are here.
You can also see the famous Betsy Ross House and the first presidential
mansion. You can also go to Hershey Park -- the chocolate people!
PA also has the first fire department and the first hospital.
America's first magazine (called American Magazine!) was published here
in 1741. It only lasted for 3 months. PA is one of the
largest growers of Christmas trees and Louisa May Alcott was born here.
The famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, lives here too!
Nicknamed the "Land of Lincoln" and the
"Prairie State," Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818. The
capital is Springfield -- not Chicago! -- and their tree is the white
oak. Their flower is a violet and the bird is a cardinal.
The name Illinois comes from a Peoria Indian word, "ilini" which means
man or warrior.
One president (Ronald Reagan, 40th) was
born here, and one lived here from the time he was 21 until he became
president -- Abraham Lincoln. Ulysses S. Grant lived in Illinois
for a long time too. The world's busiest airport - O'Hare - is
here and so is the famous ball park, Wrigley Field. The famous
Sears Tower is in Chicago -- 110 stories and 1454 feet high. The
Monadnock Building is the tallest building made entirely of masonry.
Chicago was also the home of the very first skyscraper, the 10-story
Home Insurance Building built in 1885. The first McDonald's ever
was opened in Des Plaines in 1955. Illinois was the first state to
ratify the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, in 1865. The
first ferris wheel ever was built in Chicago in 1893 by (who else?!)
George Ferris. The first aquarium opened in Chicago in 1893 and
John Dillinger was shot by the FBI at the Biograph Theater, where you
can still see movies.
Known for its production of cheese,
Wisconsin is known as the "Badger State." It became a state on May
29, 1848 and it's capital is Madison. Their tree is the sugar
maple, wood violet is the flower and the robin is their bird. The
name is believed to have come from a Chippewa word that means "grassy
place" but this isn't for certain.
Wisconsin provides 40% of the nation's
cheese and 20% of the butter. They also are the home to the
country's original kindergarten, founded in 1865. They also had
the first minimum wage requirement, and were first to have workers comp,
pensions, sate income taxes and unemployment insurance. They have
a water park named "Noah's Ark" in Wisconsin Dells, and the Galloway
House and Village in Fond du Lac. They have Cave of the Mounds
near Blue Mounds and Stonefield Village near Cassville. The
Historical Society Log Village and Museum is in Reedsburg and the Circus
World Museum is in Baraboo was built to honor where the Ringling
Brothers Circus began in 1882. Laura Ingalls Wilder was born here
and so was Frank Lloyd Wright. Golda Meir, the woman who later
became the prime minister of Israel at the age of 70, grew up in
Milwaukee. The first typewriter was designed in Milwaukee in 1867.
Seymour, Wisconsin is the home to the Hamburger Hall of Fame; Milwaukee
is the home of Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
named for Queen Elizabeth I of England, who was called the Virgin Queen.
Virginia is called the "Mother of Presidents" because eight different
presidents were born there! Also, there were six presidents' wives born
there and seven presidents are buried there. Virginia became a
state on June 25, 1788, but they do not call themselves a state they
call themselves a commonwealth. Virginia's capital is Richmond and
the state tree and state flower are both dogwood. Their state bird
is the cardinal.
My Uncle David
was born in VA. You can visit
George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon, and Monticello, which is the house
that Thomas Jefferson designed for himself. In the capitol
building in Richmond, you can see a full size statue of George
Washington. There is a cemetery in Virginia called Arlington
Cemetery. It is where soldiers are buried. There is a tomb
there called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. This tomb has some
soldiers buried there who nobody knows who they are. They stand for all
the soldiers who have died for this country. Virginia is where the
American Revolution was fought. That is the war that made the US
free from England. There is a place in Virginia called Colonial
Williamsburg and that is a place where everything is just exactly the
same as it was back in the 1700's!! The first peanuts ever grown
in the US were grown in Virginia but their biggest crop is actually
- deep green -
- teal blue -
Maryland's capital is
Annapolis and at one time that was the capital of the United States!
Maryland is called the "Old Line State" because Maryland soldiers "held
the line" against the British forces. The song "The Star Spangled
Banner" which is our national anthem, was written by Francis Scott Key
during the war of 1812 when he was a prisoner on a British warship off
the coast of Maryland. Maryland became a state on April 28, 1788.
The state tree is a white oak, the flower is a black-eyed susan and the
bird is the Oriole. Maryland got named by Lord Baltimore who named
it that in honor of Queen Mary, who was the wife of King Charles I of
My Aunt Cindy was born in
Maryland. There is a ship called the
US Frigate Constellation and it is docked in Baltimore's inner harbor.
This is the oldest ship still afloat! Maryland is where two famous
baseball players were born (Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken, Jr.) First things
in Maryland are the country's first railroad station for passengers
which was built in Baltimore in 1830, and the National Aquarium, which
is the largest in the US. A woman named Harriet Tubman, who was
born as a slave in Maryland founded the Underground Railroad. The
Underground Railroad led a lot of slaves to freedom. In
1696, the first school in the whole United States was opened in
Maryland! Sixteen of the 23
Maryland counties border on tidal water. The combined length of tidal
shoreline, including islands, is 4,431 miles.
Washington DC is the
capital of the United States. It is very tiny, it is less than 70 square
miles total! Virginia and Maryland each gave up a little bit of land for
DC to be made. It is not a state, it is just a district, but it is
the most important district in the US. It is called the District
of Columbia and it is nicknamed Nation's Capital. The District of
Columbia only has one city: Washington City!
a bird, the wood thrush and a flower, the
American Beauty Rose. It is named for Christopher Columbus and
George Washington, our first president.
Almost all of our
government buildings, including the White House, are in Washington DC.
There are a lot of monuments there and they even have their own flag!
This is what it looks like:
That is all I know about
the capital Washington DC right now. But I will learn more so come back
The capital of Missouri is
Jefferson City. Missouri is called the "Ozark State" and it's also the
"Show Me State." Other names for Missouri are the "Cave" state and
the "Lead" state. Originally, they named the sate after the
Missouri River. That river got its name from an Indian word for "canoe
possessor" which is a funny way to say somebody who owns a canoe!
Missouri became a state on August 10, 1821. Its state tree is the
flowering dogwood and flower is a hawthorn. They have the bluebird for
their state bird.
President Harry S. Truman,
who was the 33rd president of the US, was born in Missouri.
Missouri is where the
first World's Fair was held, in 1904. They say that iced tea was
invented there and ice cream cones too. St. Louis has the St. Louis Arch
which is 630 feet high. I stood under it! They also have two
halls of fame, the National Bowling Hall of Fame and the St. Louis
Sports Hall of Fame. The very first presidential radio broadcast
was made from St. Louis University in 1921 by President Warren Harding.
St. Joseph, Missouri, is
the place where the old pony express started in 1860. It took ten
days to get to San Francisco from St. Joseph back then.
Hallmark Cards is in
Kansas City, Missouri. There is a Kansas City, Kansas too!
Mark Twain was born in
Hannibal Missouri in 1835. He wrote Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
I have also been to Canada:
Windsor, Ontario - Canada.
- Canada is the grey
area above the US - Windsor is located on the part with the
Here is some of what I know about Windsor and Canada:
Windsor is a city in the
province of Ontario. Think of the provinces like states, only
they're a whole lot bigger!
Canada has these provinces:
Prince Edward Island
Here's what I learned about the history of Windsor, so far:
The first European
settlement in the Detroit-Windsor area occurred in the year 1701
when approximately 100 military and civilian personnel arrived to
found Fort Pontchartrain on the Detroit side of the river. Settlement
remained mostly on the Detroit side of the river until 1748 when the
Jesuit mission to the Huron Indians was established on the south
(Windsor) shore near the present Huron Church Road and the
Ambassador Bridge. From 1748 to 1760, a French settlement developed
along the Windsor side of the river, a similar settlement developed
on the Detroit side.
Although Fort Pontchartrain
officially surrendered to the British in 1760 and the Detroit side
of the river was again officially surrendered to the United States
in 1783, both sides of the river remained under British control
until 1796, when U.S. forces took over occupation of Detroit. During
this time, the Windsor settlement continued to grow but remained
predominantly French, and until 1791 French civil law remained in
When we were there, it was kind of
strange because all of the signs, measurements, money and everything
is in metrics and Canadian -- but sometimes it's French-based and
sometimes it's British! It was funny to see American places
like McDonald's there, and they even have things on their menus that
we don't have! Some things were just the same as at home,
other things were different and sometimes weird. We saw a
place called the "Roadkill Cafe" but we didn't eat there.
Mommy said she couldn't quite get past the concept, even if it was
just a joke! Later on we learned that this is an actual chain
of restaurants and they even have places in the United States.
Mommy says she's still not eating there. I brought home a
bunch of Canadian money, even though I can't spend it here, just
because it was so neat looking. I also learned that the
American dollar is worth a lot more than the Canadian dollar.
Sometimes things seemed really expensive until you remembered to
convert it to American money and then it was much less. I had
a lot of fun in Canada but really couldn't learn a whole lot about
the history of the city of Windsor. The information in the
previous paragraph came from stuff on their
At the Windsor "Rose City" Feis, they
gave everyone who danced a little pin with the city seal on it.
That's kind of neat and I have it with my medals and trophies.
Next year I want to spend more time there and maybe try to find a
museum of history or the chamber of commerce where we can learn more
about the city and about Canada too. I also want to go see
The dark grey areas between the US and Canada are the Great
The five Great Lakes are: Lake Michigan,
Lake Superior, Lake
Huron, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie.
If you want to learn more about the
Great Lakes, you can do that at this site.
You can learn more about
United States History: State Trivia here.
More about US Presidents
And all kinds of trivia in general (including geography, history and politics)
Some of the things I learned about Washington DC I found at the