It has been a fun, long and interesting trip and we are not even at the end yet! We have some more stops to make!
Our next stop will be Ohio. The birthplace of two astronauts several presidents and inventors. It provided us with the first professional baseball team, the automobile, the traffic light, full-time automobile service station, ambulance service, pop-top can and the cash register. Fifty percent of the US population lives within a 500-mile radius from the capital city of Ohio. it is the home of aviation, rock and roll hall of fame, football hall of fame, the hot dog, and the largest basket in the world. Teflon, chewing gum, and the first self-starting automobile. It is also the home of two African-American Olympic gold award winning Athletes. Ohio is known for its corn, soybean, wheat crops. It is also the nation’s second-largest producer of eggs and number one producer of Swiss cheese!
We are now on our way to Oklahoma! The state with the most man-made lakes. It is the only state in the US that produces iodine and the US is the third largest producer in the world! The first shopping cart, electric guitar, and the first traffic yield sign were invented there.It is the home of the world’s first parking meter and the world’s longest multiple arch dam. It provided the first tornado warning system. Oklahoma is the only state capital with an oil well underneath it! Oklahoma is known for growing wheat, hay, soybean, corn for grain, pecans, watermelons, peanuts, peaches, and oats.They also supply the nation with cattle and hogs for meat.
We are headed to Oregon. The state has the deepest lake in the United States. It has more ghost towns than any other state, the shortest river in the US, the deepest river gorge in North America and the largest sea cave in America. Oregon is the home of “The Simpsons” and its co-creator. It has the first city to have one-way streets, and it is the first state to conduct all elections by mail. Oregon is number one in the nation for its blackberries, black raspberries, boysenberries, Christmas trees, grass seeds, hay, hazelnuts, and storage onions.
We must be headed to our next stop, Pennsylvania! It is the first state to list its website URL on a license plate. It is where the first gas station in the nation was operated. It is home to the oldest continuously operating bookstore, the liberty bell, the only museum dedicated only to Harry Houdini and the first zoo in America. Pennsylvania was also home to the first electronic general-purpose computer, the first hospital and medical library, the first medical school, the first stock exchange, the first mint, and the first professional baseball park in the nation. It had the first successful oil well, the first theater, the first passenger train, and received the first telegraph message in the USA. The state also is home to the chocolate capital of the USA! Pennsylvania is known for its dairy products, eggs, beef, chicken, corn for animal feed, soybeans, hay,and flowers.
We must not forget about Rhode Island. The state’s true name is State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and it is the longest name of any of the states. It has no county governments. It is the smallest state in size in the US. It was the first colony to declare independence from Britain and the last colony to become a state. It is home to the Tennis Hall of Fame. The Industrial Revolution started in Rhode Island with the first successful water-powered cotton mill. It is also the home of Hasbro toys, the first Baptist Church, the oldest synagogue with the oldest Torah in North America. It also hosted the first circus. Rhode Island is known for its dairy, sweet corn, potatoes, and oysters.
Next, we will move along to South Carolina. The first opera in the US was performed in the state. It was the first state to leave the Union and fired the first shots during the Civil War. South Carolina is the nation’s largest peach producer and is home to the tobacco capital of the state.
It is also home to the only working tea plantation in the United States and the world’s hottest chili pepper according to Guinness Book of World Records!
Our next stop is South Dakota. It is the home of Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. The second largest cave in the US and the third largest in the world is located in South Dakota. The largest and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil and Colombian and Wooly Mammoth bones in the world was found in South Dakota. It also is home to the largest petrified wood park in the world. It is also home to the largest drug store, the corn palace, and the cave with the world’s largest display of a rare formation called boxwork. It is home to Badland’s Park, which contains the richest fossil beds in the world and the largest protected grasslands in the US. The state also is home to the most endangered land mammal in North America. The largest underground gold mine is in South Dakota! It is known for its wheat, oats, alfalfa, rye, corn, potatoes, soybeans, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.
We are now going down to Tennessee, the country music capital of the world! “Grand Ole Opry” is the longest continuously running live radio program in the world. It was home to the first female US senator. The largest earthquake in US history formed a lake that is now the turtle capital of the world. Tennessee is also the mule capital of the world. It is the home of the largest freshwater aquarium in the world, the only replica of the Greek Parthenon. Tennessee is also the home of the facilities that built the first atomic bomb and is now known as the energy capital of the world. It is also home to Jack Daniel’s, the world’s best-selling whiskey, Mountain Dew, Maxwell House Coffee, Cotton Candy, and Graceland, the second most visited private home in the United States. It is also the home of the first male African-American millionaire of the South, the first state-owned historic site devoted to African-Americans in the state, the oldest African-American architectural firm, and the oldest African-American financial institution in the nation. It is also known for its cotton, wheat, dairy, corn, beef, timber, and tomatoes.
We’re headed to Texas! The Lone Star State! It is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the USA and the home of the first enclosed sports stadium and NASA headquarters. Texas is the Helium Capital of the World. It also has the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in the US. Texas is the only state to serve under six countries. It has the largest herd of white deer in the nation. It has the fastest highway with the speed limit of 85 miles per hour in the nation. The first suspension bridge built in the US is still being used in Texas. It is home to the soda Dr. Pepper. It has the highest number of airports and the second largest by area with the largest public parking area in the United States. Texas has only one natural lake. It has the most farmland in the US and the largest rose garden in the USA. Texas is the birthplace of the integrated circuit that is now used in all computers and electronic technology. The state is known as the “Silicon Valley of the South”.The only president sworn into office on a plane was performed in Texas. It also is home to the tallest masonry column in the world. It is known for its sheep and wool production, citrus fruit, vegetable, pecan, cotton, rice, corn, horses, and wheat.
It is the winter home of the only remaining flock of whooping cranes and has more species of birds and bats than anywhere in North America. Texas has the largest inland port in the world. The first rodeo was held in Texas. It is also considered the Capital of Live Music.
Next stop is Utah. It is the only state in the union that the majority of the people are of one single religion. It is the only state with a national forest in every county. The federal government owns 65% of the state’s land. It has the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. It has the largest city to ever host the Winter Olympic Games. It is the site where the Transcontinental Railroad connected the United States Eastern Coast with the Western Coast. Utah has the highest literacy rate in the USA. It is home to the Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world. Utah and its borders with Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico form four corners, the only states to do this in the US. Utah has the highest birthrate and the youngest population in the United States. It is home to the nation’s first department store! The Mormon Temple took 40 years to complete. Utah is the birthplace of the inventor of the television and a famous outlaw. Utah is known for its meat-beef, pork, mutton as well as its cherries, apples, apricots and mink production.
Now we will travel across the country to Vermont. It has the least populous state capital in the United States. Its capital is the only one in the US that does not have a McDonald’s Restaurant. It is one of four states that were once independent nations. The state’s capital is the smallest one in the United States. Vermont was the first state after the original 13 colonies to join the United States. It is the largest producing state of maple syrup in the US. It is the largest producer of marble in the USA. Vermont is the most rural of all the states in the nation. It was the first state to outlaw adult slavery. Vermont does not have any skyscrapers! It is home to IBM and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream!
We are headed to Virginia! It is known as the birthplace of the nation! It is home to the first permanent English settlement in America and the American revolution ended there. Virginia is also the re-birthplace since the Civil War ended there. It produced more presidents than any other state. Virginia is home to the largest office building in the world. It had the first theater in America in 1716. The state was the first to elect an African-American governor in the US. Fort Monroe and the Casemate Museum of Virginia is the largest stone fort ever built in the US and the only moat-encircled fort still in active use. Virginia is known for its tobacco, tomatoes, meat, turkeys, Christmas trees, lumber, furniture and apple production. Its largest private employer is also the world’s largest shipbuilding yard. The first Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated in Virginia. It is also known as the “Internet Capital of the world”. Virginia has the largest bridge-tunnel complex in the world. It’s home to the world’s only oyster museum. Virginia has been home to an island of wild ponies for centuries.
Our next stop will be Washington. It is the only state named after a president. Washington is the largest producer of apples, pears, sweet cherries, red raspberries and hops in the United States.
It is home to the first revolving restaurant in the continental US. Its capital is the last state capital in the USA to be built with a rotunda. It is home to the world’s largest building and the United States’ wealthiest man. It is home to the longest floating bridge in the world, the oldest operating gas station, and the first soft ice cream machine in the USA. Washington was the birthplace of guitarist Jimi Hendrix and entertainer Bing Crosby. It is also the home of Boeing Airplane Company, Amazon.com, Whitepages.com, Classmates.com and Microsoft. Popular games Pictionary, Pickle-ball and Cranium were invented there!
We are winding down our trip with a stop in West Virginia. It has the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere. It is the first of two states that joined the Union during the Civil War. Two apple varieties originated in West Virginia: the Grimes Golden apple and the Golden Delicious apple. It also had the oldest governor elected in the nation at the age of 84. It was the first state to establish a state sales tax in the US. Coal House is the only residence in the world built entirely of coal is located in West Virginia. The first brick street in the world was built in West Virginia. It has the only city in the US that extends from one state border to another. The first commercial electric railroad in the world was constructed in West Virginia. The longest city block in the world is in the state. It is the site of North America’s largest cone-shaped prehistoric burial mound. It is home to the youngest elected lawmaker in the United States. She was 17 years old when she was elected to the state House of Delegates.Mother’s Day was first celebrated in West Virginia! It is home to the only woman in the US who was daughter, wife, and mother to United States Senators! Her father, husband, and son all served as Senators, the first African-American woman to become a member of a legislative body in the United States, and to the man who piloted the world’s first supersonic flight in the Bell X-1! It has the oldest population of any of the states in the nation. It is home to the largest Sycamore Tree in the world. The first rural free mail delivery started in West Virginia.
The next to the last stop is Wisconsin. The state is known as the largest cheese producing state in the United States. It is known as the Jump Rope Capital of the world, the Inner Tubing Capital of the world, Spelling Capital of the world, and the Snowmobile Capital of the world. It is the home of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, the largest mustard collection in the world, the Republican Political Party, the Morel Mushroom Capital, the Bratwurst Capital and the Toilet Paper Capital of the world. The Ringling Brothers gave their first circus show in Wisconsin. The first commercially successful typewriter was created in Wisconsin. It also is home to the first American kindergarten.The state has a county with the most continuous shoreline and the most state parks than any other in the USA! Wisconsin has the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes, including endangered Whooping Cranes. It has the largest water park in the United States. The first hydroelectric plant in the US was built there by inventor Thomas Edison. The state is also home to the Hamburger Hall of Fame!
Our final stop, but not our least important stop is in Wyoming! Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote. It has the first official National Park and the first National Monument. It leads the country in mining coal and has the largest coal mine in the country! JC Penney stores were started in Wyoming. The Red Desert in south central Wyoming drains neither to the east nor the west. The Continental Divide splits and goes around the desert on all sides and leaves the basin without normal drainage. The first National Forest was established in Wyoming. It elected the first woman governor of a state and she was the only female governor to serve Wyoming. It is home to the pronghorn, the fastest mammal in the Western Hemisphere!. It has the largest hot spring in the United States.
We must remember that most of our states and rivers in the United States were named by the Native Americans who were the first to inhabit this land. We should give them respect and thank them for what they have done for the country, because without their knowledge and skills, we would not be here today!
Now that we are pulling into the station, because our trip has come to the end of the tracks, I would like to encourage you all to meet with your families, take a map and plan a vacation to some of these great places that we saw and learned about. Use pennies to mark some of your favorite places as you plan!