Every State in the US


This is “Every State in the US” by Wendover
Productions and made possible by The Great Courses Plus. We’ll start with Alabama, the first state
alphabetically. Magnolia Springs, Alabama is the only town
in America to have their mail delivered by boat, although the longest mail delivery route
in America is in rural Oklahoma where delivery drivers have to drive 187.6 miles each day
to delivery the mail to around 200 houses. Oklahoma’s state vegetable is the watermelon,
which happens to be a fruit, and Oklahoma is also home to Kansas, the town. The real Kansas, or more specifically this
point, is the geographic center of the contiguous United States. What Kansas is not home to is Kansas City
which counterintuitively is in Missouri where the population center of the US is—the average
location of every American. Missouri borders eight states, and is therefore
tied with Tennessee as the state that borders the most other states. Tennessee was a southern state that seceded
from the United States and joined the confederacy in the lead up to the Civil War except for
Scott County which seceded from Tennessee and formed an unrecognized independent state. Scott County didn’t actually officially
rejoin Tennessee until 1986. Tennessee’s western border was originally
defined by the course of the Mississippi River which has since changed course which has led
to all these enclaves and exclaves of the two states on the two sides of the river. The Arkansas River, a major tributary of the
Mississippi, begins all the way in Colorado, where nobody’s entirely sure which mountain
is the tallest, Mount Elbert or Mount Massive, since their heights are within 10 feet of
each other and people keep building piles of rocks on the summits to make one mountain
taller than the other. Colorado is also home to the America’s longest
continuous street —Colfax Avenue in Denver at 26 miles long, but the shortest individually
named street in America is reportedly McKinley street in Bellefontiane Ohio at a mere 28
feet long. Ohio’s northernmost point is actually south
of Canada’s southernmost point—Pelee island. Pelee island, Canada, in fact, is farther
south than parts of 27 states including California which as a state has a higher population than
the entire country of Canada. Los Angeles, California, despite being on
the Pacific ocean, is east of six state capitals including Reno, Nevada. Nevada has the point in the entire United
States where you’re farthest from a McDonalds—only 116 miles—although Nevada is not the state
with the fewest McDonalds. That title goes to the state with 29 McDonalds,
North Dakota, which according to some legal experts wasn’t technically a state until
2012 since their constitution was missing this sentence which meant it didn’t fulfill
the federal requirements for statehood. Despite having the fewest McDonalds, North
Dakota is not America’s least populated state. That’s Wyoming which has two sets of escalators
in the entire state. Wyoming is well known for hosting Yellowstone
National Park, although a bit of it spills over into Idaho, though in this section you
can get away with murder. You see, with the sixth amendment, if you’re
placed on trial its required that you are judged by a jury of your peers which means
individuals from the same state and federal district as where the crime was committed. Yellowstone is its own Federal district meaning
you’d need residents from Yellowstone to be on the jury although if you were in the
Idaho part you’d need Yellowstone residents from Idaho to be on the Jury… except this
50 square mile section is entirely uninhabited, so they wouldn’t be able to form a jury
which means you’d walk free. There’s also one single road connecting
the entire southern section of Idaho to the northern section. Idaho, with its fairly low population, has
one single telephone area code for the whole state, just like neighboring Montana. Montana is home to the least busy commercial
airport in the US—Dawson Community Airport—at 4,000 passengers per year or about 11 per
day. Missoula Montana is also home to the warehouse
of DFTBA where you can buy one of these—a Wendover Productions t-shirt—for only $20. The link is in the description. The busiest airport in America is Atlanta’s
at 49 million passengers per year or 135,000 per day. Peachtree, a suburb of Atlanta, is a community
that has 90 miles of golf-cart specific roads adjacent to its normal roads since 9,000 families
here have golf carts as their second cars. Kids are even encouraged to drive to school
from the age of 12 in their golf carts. Georgia, or more specifically Springer Mountain,
Georgia is the start of the 2,200 mile long Appalachian Trail which is a hiking trail
that terminates way up at Mount Katahdin, Maine. Maine is the only state in the United States
to only border one other state and its also the closest state to Africa—seriously, its
closer than Florida. The second closest state to Africa is Massachusetts
or more specifically Cape Cod, Massachusetts which is technically an island since a man-made
canal separates it from the mainland. Massachusetts is actually farther from Miami
than Panama City is, and Miami is closer to the country capitals of Nassau Bahamas and
Havana Cuba than to its own state capital—Tallahassee. Florida has the lowest highest point of any
state—312 feet—23 times lower than South Dakota’s highest point. South Dakota is home to the geographic center
of the entire United States including Alaska and Hawaii and it was made a state a mere
nine days before Washington, which was called Columbia before it became a state. Its name was changed as to not confuse it
with the District of Columbia but obviously that didn’t work out since DC’s city ended
up also being called Washington. Washington Place is the official residence
of Hawaii’s governor and Hawaii was given its own unique currency during WWII that was
its only legal tender so that, in case the Japanese successfully invaded Hawaii, the
federal government could declare all of Hawaii’s currency worthless to prevent the Japanese
from using it. The closest state to Hawaii is Alaska whose
capital, Juneau, has no roads connecting it with the rest of Alaska or North America meaning
you can’t drive in or out. Alaska is also one of the four states that
completely bans outdoor billboards along with Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont whose tallest building
is only 11 stories tall. That’s the shortest tallest building of
any state. The tallest building in the states is Freedom
Tower in New York. New York is home to Ellis Island, or at least
this part of it. Their territory is completely surrounded by
New Jersey, similar to Liberty Island—home to the Statue of Liberty—which is completely
surrounded by New Jersey Waters which means you need to travel through New Jersey to get
from New York to New York. Clinton Road in West Milford, New Jersey has
America’s longest red light—a full five minute wait. New Jersey actually goes surprisingly far
south[(still view of Kentucky’s —farther south than Kentucky’s northernmost point.] In its south-west corner, Kentucky has a rather
large piece of territory thats not actually connected to the rest of Kentucky. Kentucky was the birthplace of Lincoln who
was later elected to the Illinois House of Representatives and in Illinois is the original
burger king, but its not the burger king you’re thinking of. This burger king existed before this burger
king and therefore sued burger king when they came to Illinois for trademark infringement
and won, so now no burger king is allowed to operate within a 20 mile radius of this
original burger king. Chicago, Illinois, America’s 3rd largest
city, is just a tad larger than the forth largest city—Houston, Texas and Texas is
so enormous that El Paso, Texas is closer to Los Angeles than it is to Houston, Texas. Texas’ northernmost point is also closer
to Michigan than it is to its southernmost point. From Detroit, Michigan, you actually end up
in Canada if you travel due south and Michigan is also the only state to be made of two entirely
separated sections. Michigan’s Highway 185 is actually a bike
path making it the only official highway in America where cars are banned. Michigan’s upper peninsula is only connected
by land to Wisconsin which is home to the Green Bay Packers—a team so popular that
the waiting list for season tickets is 30 years long. It’s so long that its common for parents
to put their kids name on the list as soon as they’re born. In Watertown, Wisconsin is Utah street, but
the real Utah has the longest section of Interstate in the US with no gas stations—106 miles
on I-70. I-70 ends over 2,000 miles away in Baltimore,
Maryland and the entire state of Maryland has zero natural lakes. It also has this panhandle that reaches a
minimum width of 1.8 miles before expanding back out to 30 miles width out near West Virginia
which is definitively a southern state but also has a panhandle that reaches as far north
as New York City and Nebraska. Monowi, Nebraska is the only incorporated
municipality in the United States that have a population of one. The one resident, Elsie Eiler, is mayor and
runs the library and tavern which is granted a liquor license each year by Elsie herself. Tortilla Flat, Arizona is six times larger
than Monowi since it has six residents and Arizona also has 1/4 of the four corners monument—the
only point where four states meet in the US—Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico which as a
state, by law, still recognizes Pluto as a planet. New Mexico is typically the last state to
vote in presidential primaries whereas Iowa is usually the first. Iowa is the only state in the US whose eastern
and western borders are both water—in this case rivers. The eastern border is the Mississippi river,
which happens to be the namesake for Mississippi. The Mississippi river also flowed backwards
for a full 24 hours in 2012 during Hurricane Isaac but the Mississippi doesn’t actually
reach the ocean in Mississippi. It does so in Louisiana—home to the longest
bridge over water in the world at 24 miles. That’s so long that for eight of those miles,
you can’t even see land on either side. One of the other longest bridges in the US
is in North Carolina—the the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge which carries cars out to
Kitty Hawk where the Wright Brothers successfully flew a heavier than air aircraft for the first
time in history. It was a 12 second, 120 foot flight—thats
shorter than the wingspan of a Boeing 747. North Carolina’s southern neighbor is South
Carolina although South Carolina isn’t all that south since more than half of it is north
of North Carolina’s southernmost point and South Carolina also has a town called North
making it North, South Carolina. South Carolina was the site of the first civil
war battle and the civil war ended up having a total of one battle over in Indiana where
the Indy 500 speedway is which is so enormous that you could comfortably fit the entire
country of the vatican inside it. It can also fit 400,000 people which is the
highest capacity of any sports arena in the world. Indiana’s state beverage is water, while
Oregon’s is milk. Portland, Oregon is home to the world’s
smallest park according to the Guinness world records book—mill end park. Oregon is also one of the few states to not
have a sales tax along with New Hampshire—the only state to have no law requiring adults
to wear seat belts. Connecticut Lake, in New Hampshire, is the
source of the Connecticut River which is what Connecticut the state is named after. Hartford, Connecticut’s airport, at less than
3 million passengers per year, is the smallest airport in the US to have a direct flight
to Europe. Delaware, on the other hand, certainly doesn’t
have a direct flight to Europe since its the only state that you can’t fly to. There’s not one commercial flight in or
out of this tiny state. It’s the second smallest state behind Rhode
Island which is so small that the entire state grows by 3% during low tide. Rhode Island’s second largest city, Warwick,
shares its name with Warwick Pennsylvania and in Pennsylvania is Centralia where the
ground has been on fire since 1962 due to a coal mine fire and its expected to burn
for over 200 years. Pennsylvania borders Minnesota, well not really,
but Pennsylvania Avenue does intersect Minnesota Avenue in DC, and Minnesota is home to the
northernmost point in the lower 48. You see, most of the US-Canada border is defined
by the 49th parallel but a surveying error led to this. The couple hundred residents of this area,
called the Northwest angle, are completely cut off from the US and need to pass into
Canada then back into the United states to go to school. Also in northern Minnesota is Virginia, the
town, but Virginia, the state is massive. So massive that Ewing, Virigina, is closer
to eight other state capitals than it is to its own state capital, Richmond. Alexandria, Virginia is actually closer to
Toronto, Canada than it is to Ewing, Virginia. Virginia also happens to go farther west than
west Virginia. Virginia is also home to this place, the headquarters
of the Teaching Company who run the Great Courses Plus. And with that super smooth transition I do
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