Sunday, June 14, 2009

Interesting tidbits about some of the US State Capitols:

Montgomery, AL: In 1819, upon becoming a state, the Alabama legislature made Montgomery the state capitol by only three votes. In second place was the name, "Rusty's Tavern".

Phoenix, AZ: Named after the mythological bird that plunged into the flames and was reborn anew. The Founding Fathers hoped that when Phoenix rose from the ashes, it would be a bit cooler. 'Parently, they were wrong.

Little Rock, AR: Chosen because, "Great Flipping Lump of Rock" didn't look good on a letterhead.

Sacramento, CA: Located on the mighty Sacramento River, this First City of California was finally picked as the state capitol only because the previous legislative center of the state, Monterey, was just too dang laid back. All the politicians just wanted to spend the day surfing. Sacramento was far enough away from anything remotely interesting so as to hopefully keep distractions at bay. Right....

Tallahassee, FL: Ten times picked as the winner of the annual Capitol with the Coolest Spelling Award.

Atlanta, GA: After Gen. Sherman sacked Atlanta in 1864 during the War Between the States, the Georgia congress searched for a more defensible city. The only place that had more fortifications was, oddly enough, the garage of Rev. Otis Cahooty.

Honolulu, HI: In the native tongue, Honolulu means, "Land of the Great Waves and Killer Dinners Wherein a Pig Is Roasted in a Pit All Day Long". Obviously, Honolulu is easier to write out.

Indianapolis, IN: If you look closely, you'll see the name of the state in the name of the city, "Indianapolis". Clever. Really, really clever.

Des Moines, IA: A tip of the hat to a time when French trappers roamed the land, Des Moines is French for "The Hairy, Stinky Trapper Guy". Or something close to that.

Baton Rouge, LA: Again, another allusion to the the French influence of the region. Baton Rouge is French for, "Red Stick". Apparently the city was named by a previous Governor who was suffering from too much Mardi Gras. When he sobered up, he had no idea what it meant. From that point on, the governors of Louisiana had to prove their sobriety before signing anything into law.

Annapolis, MD: Keeping with the tradition of naming all the important places in the area after women, the Framers of Maryland changed the name of Squidtowne to Annapolis.

Saint Paul, MN: So named because the other saintly candidate, St. Bartholomew was just too long and complicated to write out.

Jackson, MS: The state capitol is not named after the President Andrew Jackson, as some would surmise, but after that famous statesman, Thibodeaux Jackson, champion of the Shrimping Fleet. Well, OK, he's popular down the Delta way.

Helena, MT: Named after the wife of Larry, a cowboy in the area. Who knew.

Carson City, NV: Upon statehood in 1864, Carsonville was upgraded to Carson City.

Santa Fe: Interestingly enough, Santa Fe was originally supposed to be called Santa Felipe Juan Hildago de Corazon del Agua Sancta. Unfortunately, the person in charge of making the sign at the first train station ran out of paint and never finished. Thankfully.

Bismarck, ND: Named after a really tasty doughnut.

Columbus, OH: Contrary to popular belief, Columbus never visited the region.

Oklahoma City, OK: Surely confusing to some, this major city was so named because it's a city, in Oklahoma. A lot of thought went into choosing the right name for this state. Fortunately, this tradition never really stuck otherwise there would be an Oklahoma City, part II, Oklahoma Town. Oklahoma Burg. Oklahoma Unincorporated City. Oklahoma Village.....

Salem, OR: Because it's a nice name.

Harrisburg, PA: Most people think that this city was named after a person named Harris. Not so. The town plat was written down by a man who was almost illiterate, as was so often the case back in 1787. The man's name was Bill Ganter, and he had a dog named, "Harry". Or, as Bill wrote it, Harri. The city is named after Mr. Ganter's dog.

Pierre, SD: For 38 years, a feckless trapper named Pierre Chamboleaux was the only inhabitant of the area that would be known as South Dakota. He never trapped a single animal, but, due to his addled mind, he did write his name on every large rock he could find.

Salt Lake City, UT: Obviously named because the city was built near this great Salt Pan. No one really knows why they built it there. It sounds better than, "City Built On A Great Flat Wasteland".

Montpelier, VT: The French Capitol Name Winner for the last 218 years.

Olympia, WA: The natives in the area say that the meaning of Olympia means, "Cheap Beer", which is odd because the natives weren't introduced to beer for 150 years AFTER the city was founded by the Pabst tribe.

Cheyenne, WY: The Sioux Tribe first named this area Cheyenne from their language meaning, "Geez, who would want to live here?"

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