It’s amazing how many random facts you can learn about a state.
Our “Did you know?” series will take you state by state and educate you on random facts, some of which are well known (to some) and others are obscure.
Take a moment to read through the state facts listed below. They are in alphabetical order. If you find something interesting feel free to share it on a social network such as Pinterest or Facebook.
Alabama workers built the first rocket to put humans on the moon.
Alaska is the largest state and is over twice the size of Texas. North to south it’s 1,400 miles long and east to west it’s 2,700 miles wide. Rhode Island could fit in Alaska 425 times.
The amount of copper on the roof of the Arizona Capital building is equivalent to 4,800,000 pennies.
Arkansas contains over 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of streams and rivers.
Demonstrations on making toothpaste from orange by-products were popular attractions at the Los Angles County Fair in 1922.
Colorado is the only state in history to turn down the Olympics. In 1976, 62% of voters choose not to host the Olympics, because of the cost, pollution and population boom it would have on the state and Denver.
The first telephone book ever issued contained only fifty names. The New Haven District Telephone Company published it in New Haven, Connecticut on February 1878.
The 87-foot Fenwick Island Lighthouse was painted in 1880 for a total cost of about $5.
Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where the drink was developed.
Six Flags Over Georgia was actually named for six flags that flew over Georgia. England, Spain, Liberty, Georgia, Confederate States of America and the United States.
Hawaii is the most isolated population center on the face of the earth. Hawaii is 2,390 miles from California; 3,850 miles from Japan; 4,900 miles from China; and 5,280 miles from the Philippines.
There’s a law in Idaho that forbids a citizen to give another citizen a box of candy that weighs more than 50 pounds.
The Illinois state dance is square dancing.
Deep below the earth in Southern Indiana is a sea of limestone. It’s the richest deposits of top-quality limestone found anywhere on earth. New York City’s Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center were built by it.
Cornell College is the only school in the nation to have its entire campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
At one time it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.
Cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 at Kaolin’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky.
In Louisiana, biting someone with your natural teeth is considered a simple assault, but biting someone with your false teeth is considered an aggravated assault.
Maine is the only state that shares its border with only one other state.
On June 24, 1784, in Baltimore, 13-year old Edward Warren went airborne in the first successful manned balloon launch in the United States.
The Fig Newton was named after Newton, Massachusetts.
The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in America to feature cageless open exhibits that allowed the animals more freedom to roam.
Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined.
In 1884 the concept of selling shoes in boxes in pairs occurred in Vicksburg, Mississippi at Phil Gilbert’s Shoe Parlor on Washington Street.
The first successful parachute jump to be made from a moving airplane was made by Captain Berry at St. Louis in 1912.
In Montana, the elk, deer and antelope populations outnumber the humans.
Nebraska is the birthplace of the Reuben sandwich.
Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other place on earth.
The first potato planed in the United States was at Londonderry Common Field in 1719.
New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the diner capital of the world.
Each October, Albuquerque, New Mexico hosts the world’s largest international hot air balloon fiesta.
New York City has 722 miles of subway track.
Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Fayetteville, NC on March 7, 1914.
Milk is the official state beverage of North Dakota.
Cleveland boasts America’s first traffic light. It began on August 5, 1914.
The National Cowboy Hall of Fame is located in Oklahoma City.
Oregon and New Jersey are the only states without self-serve gas stations.
Benjamin Franklin founded the Philadelphia Zoo, the first public zoo in the United States.
The first circus in the United States was in Newport, Rhode Island in 1774.
Stretching 60 miles from Little River to Georgetown, South Carolina’s Grand Strand is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States.
Clark is the Potato Capital of South Dakota. It’s home to the world famous Mashed Potato Wrestling contest.
The name “Tennessee” originated from the old Yuchi Indian word, “Tana-see,” meaning “the meeting place.”
A coastal live oak located near Fulton is the oldest tree in Texas. It has an estimated age of more than 1,500 years.
Utah state symbol: The Beehive symbolizes thrift and industry.
Until 1996, Vermont was the only state without a Wal-Mart.
The first peanuts grown in the United States were grown in Virginia.
Washington is the only state to be named after a United States president.
West Virginia was the first state to have a sales tax. It became effective July 1, 1921.
The first practical typewriter was designed in Milwaukee in 1867.
Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote.
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In 2011, Beth Donaldson, mother of two and wife of a police SWAT officer, was busy with work and the day-to-day life of raising two children. But when she was diagnosed with MS at 40, she dedicated herself to making a difference. Now she and her husband Mike run Living MS and are launching a charity bike ride to benefit MS awareness and research.