Massachusetts has a state polka song called “Say Hello To Someone From Massachussets.”
Even though it’s a thoroughly landlocked state, Wyoming actually has 32 named islands in its state lines.
In Seattle, Washington there’s a mystery soda machine that is always somehow filled, and nobody knows who’s doing it. The machine appears to be from the seventies and has a “Mystery Button” that shoots out a random soda. The machine even has a Facebook fan page that says it’s “Always open.”
There is literally a bank called Tightwad Bank in Missouri, located in the town of… Tightwad. Customers come just for the joke.
A six-person group in New Hampshire called “Robin Hood and his Merry Men” were sued in 2013 by the city of Keene for paying random strangers’ expired parking meters and filming ticketing officers. The charges were dropped.
A Georgia tree located in Athens known as the “Jackson Tree” legally owns itself as well as the surround eight feet around its base. It’s previous owner, Colonel William H. Jackson, deeded the following (according to legend):
I, W. H. Jackson, of the county of Clarke, of the one part, and the oak tree… of the county of Clarke, of the other part: Witnesseth, That the said W. H. Jackson for and in consideration of the great affection which he bears said tree, and his great desire to see it protected has conveyed, and by these presents do convey unto the said oak tree entire possession of itself and of all land within eight feet of it on all sides.
The Burger King in the town of Mattoon, Illinois actually opened before the giant chain and registered as a statewide trademark in 1959. The Burger King chain isn’t allowed to operate within 20 miles of the original restaurant.
On April 1st, 1971, Texas state Rep Tom Moore decided to teach the state legislator a lesson. He proposed a bill to honor Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler who allegedly murdered 13 women. He wanted to prove a point that his colleagues didn’t actually read the bills they were passing, and he was proven correct when the state House actually approved the bill. He then, of course, retracted it later.
The entire Kansas terrain is LITERALLY flatter than a pancake. Scientists bought a pancake from IHOP and tested the topography against the flatness of the state. “Perfect flatness” was measured on a scale of 1, with the IHOP pancake testing as 0.957 and Kansas scoring a 0.997.
The term sideburns comes from the original “burnsides,” named after Rhode Island governor Ambrose Burnside. He was known for his strange facial hairstyle that connected his sideburns with his mustache, and kept his chin clean-shaven.
North Dakota was the only state to complete a state-specific version of the “Carmen Sandiego” games out of the 20 different states given the opportunity. It was, of course, called “Where in North Dakota is Carmen Sandiego,” and was played in school classrooms.
There’s a store in Alabama where you can buy unclaimed baggage from airports around the world.
In 1974, prankster Oliver Bickar climbed into Mt. Edgecumbe in Alaska, a volcano that had been dormant for 9,000 years, and burned tires inside of it to make it look active on April 1st. He then spray painted “April Fool” on the outside.
The town of Boring, Oregon joined forces with the Scottish town of Dull to increase tourism.
Kentucky has more barrels of bourbon (4.7 million) than people (4.3 million).
A total of 15 meteorites have been discovered in Arkansas.
During WWII there was a “Phantom Barber” in Mississippi that used to break into people’s homes and cut their hair (blond females in particular) in their sleep. He was never caught.
There’s a volcano near Flagstaff, Arizona that’s politely called S.P. Crater. What’s the real name? “Shit Pot.”
Famous author Washington Irving was the first to call New York City Gotham, and it was meant as an insult. It was intended as a reference to a medieval English story about a town with the same name, where it meant “Goat’s Town” and was populated by “simple-minded fools.”
Maryland was home to the teenager who ignited Beatlemania. 15-year-old Marsha Albert called a radio station in Washington DC and asked “Why can’t we have music like that here in America?” after seeing a news segment about the British band. He tracked down their music, and the rest is history.
The original film capital was Fort Lee, New Jersey, but Thomas Edison’s film business had so many patents that other film studios couldn’t even get a foot in the door. So, a lot of them moved out west where patent laws hopefully wouldn’t reach them. Paramount and Universal were both created in this move, and Hollywood, California was born.
The New Mexico Senate unanimously passed a bill that required psychologists and psychiatrists to wear wizard outfits and wave a wand when testifying in court because they didn’t like how heavily their testimonies were relied upon. The bill didn’t pass the state House.
Montana has replica of the shire from “Lord of the Rings,” and you can stay there for $295 a night.
Iowa hosts an annual National Hobo convention from August 8-11th.
The world’s fastest ever recorded change in temperature occurred in South Dakota when it got 49 degrees hotter in two minutes on January 22, 1943. The temperature went from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 45 degrees Fahreinheit, and then later in the day the temperature dropped back to -4 degrees, leading to cracked windows.
The entrance to Guinee- the Voodoo underworld, can be found in 7 spots throughout New Orleans, Louisiana.
In 1961, two nuclear bombs were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina. One of them even activated, but was defused by an emergency kill switch.
In Indiana you can visit a partial replica of the Pyramid of Giza and the Great Wall of China. Only partial, however, because the plan was shot down after controversy over the federal government’s grant of hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete the project.
There is an island off the coast of South Carolina that’s full of wild monkeys.
There was almost a giant dome over the town of Winooski, Vermont. City planners thought it would be a good way to fix the town’s winter energy conservation problem. The crazy idea even went far enough to attract political supports and worldwide attention.
West Virginia is allegedly home to the tall evil figure with wings called Mothman. In the late 1960s a couple claimed they had seen a man-bird hybrid with glowing red eyes, thus creating the legend.
In 1997 a woman was hit by space junk in Oklahoma. It was debris form the US Delta II rocket that launched the year before. She wasn’t injured, but she is the only known person to be hit by space junk.
Napoleon’s penis allegedly resides in New Jersey, kept by Professor John Lattimer until his death in 2007.
One town in Colorado celebrates a frozen dead guy for several days each year. The festival is literally called Frozen Dead Guy Days.
Technically Ohio wasn’t admitted into the Union until 1953 because the US Congress failed to go through the motions of recognizing it as an official state in 1803.
Tennessee used to be home to a supposed curse called the “Nashville Curse” that started in the early 1980s when a band called Jason & the Nashville Scorchers took “Nashville” out of their name for a record deal. Supposedly this cast a curse that prevented their mainstream success, and other rock bands from the city after that never achieved more than local fame. It supposedly ended when the band Paramore hit it big in 2008.
Connecticut never approved the 18th amendment, prohibition.
Former Utah senator and astronaut Jake Garn’s name is used for measuring motion sickness in space. He was on the Discovery mission, and his job was to get sick on purpose for research.
A Florida bog held remains of a human civilization as old as the ancient Egyptians. In 1982 they were found in the black peat bog of Windover. They were around 7,000 years old. The coolest part is that the black peat preserved the ancient bodies so well that human brain tissue was found in a woman’ skull with intact DNA.
Nevada is home to an Area-51 themed brothel called The Alien Cathouse.
In Michigan you can acquire a unicorn ‘questing’ license from Lake Superior State University.
Virginia has a small fishing island where the residents still talk in a dialect closely resembling “Restoration English,” which was spoken in a period just shortly after Shakespeare’s.
d’Armond Spears of Minnesota only spoke to his son in the Star Trek language Klingon for the first 3 years of the kid’s life. The language didn’t stick with him, however, on the account of the rest of his family still speaking English to him.
At the Yellowstone Park in Idaho, there’s a potential legal loophool that may make it impossible to convict people of any crime that happens within a 50-square-mile around around the Idaho parts of the park. Due to how the trial laws are written (they say that an accused culprit has the right to be tried by a jury from the district in which they’re arrested), the population of zero might mean that the trial has to be forfeited.
Maine has its own desert, which spans 40 acres outside the town of Freeport. Though its silt hills are now a popular tourist attraction, the desert originally developed as a result of over-farming in the area.
Pennsylvania is home to the world’s largest furry convention, Anthrocon, in Pittsburgh.
Madison, Wisconsin’s official bird is literally the plastic pink flamingo.
The landlocked state of Nebraska has its own navy, and the best part is that any resident can receive a nomination to becoming a Nebraska Admiral. The governor then decides if they’re worthy of an honorary certificate.
According to former DC comics editor Paul Kupperberg, “Superman” city Metropolis is actually located in Delaware, and not New York City.
Hawaii does not observe daylight savings time.