California Facts and U.S. State Trivia


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This page features California Facts, including useful links to California Greyhound and Amtrak Train stations.


Scroll down for interesting facts about all U.S. states. Each state takes first-place in its own unique way. See how YOUR state leads the nation! To see more California fast facts, visit any link shown at the bottom of this page.


ALABAMA

The world's first Electric Trolley System was introduced in Montgomery in 1886.

Alabama workers built the first rocket to put humans on the moon.

In 2005, Alabama became the first state to enact protective laws against eminent domain (local government seizure of privately owned property for commercial use or development).


ALASKA

In 1965, Alaska was the first U.S. state to open a trade office in Japan.


ARIZONA

In 1996, Arizona became the first state to implement sweeping drug policy reform when its voters approved Proposition 200, which mandates that non-violent drug offenders arrested for simple possession or use of an illegal drug must receive drug treatment instead of jail time for their first and second offenses.


ARKANSAS

On March 3, 1937, Arkansas became the first state in the nation to authorize the formation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Arkansas was also the first U.S. state where diamonds were discovered in nature. 



California Facts

Three Fast Facts About California:

California was the first state to implement the concept of a "no-fault divorce." In effect, this means that if a married person wishes to terminate the marriage, he/she can do so, without giving a reason, even if the other person disagrees.

California was also the first U.S. state to designate a State Rock. Serpentine was named the official State Rock in 1965. It contains the state's principal deposits of chromite, magnesite, and cinnabar.

More California Facts: California is the only state with five Major League baseball teams.


COLORADO

In 1893, Colorado was the first state in which all registered voters voted on the rights of women to vote.


CONNECTICUT

In 1897, Connecticut became the first state to pass a law to study sewage treatment and disposal.

In 1982, Connecticut was also the first state in the country to open a materials recycling plant.


DELAWARE

Delaware was the first state.


FLORIDA

Florida was the first state to be named (long before it was a state). Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de León, named the area La Florida in 1513. The name honors Pasqua de Flores, the Spanish Feast of the Flowers at Eastertime.




GEORGIA

Georgia was the first state to charter a state university, the University of Georgia, founded in 1785.

In 1836, Wesleyan College (founded in Macon) became the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women.

Georgia was also the first state to create a state department of agriculture.


HAWAII

Hawaii was the first state to have an Asian American governor.


IDAHO

Idaho was the first state in the nation to elect a Jewish governor.


ILLINOIS

In 2006, Illinois became the first state in the nation to make all 3- and 4-year-olds eligible for state-funded preschool.

In 1990, Illinois became the first state to mandate the teaching of the Holocaust in public schools.

In Springfield during the 1940s, the first corn dog made its debut.

Tinkertoys were invented in Evanston in 1914.



INDIANA

Wabash became the world's first electrically lit city in 1856.

America's first train robbery happened in Seymour in 1866.

America's first professional baseball game was held in Fort Wayne in 1871.

Indiana was the first state to start a state-funded public school system.


IOWA

In 1868, Iowa became the first state outside of New England to allow African-Americans to vote.


KANSAS

During the Civil War, Kansas was the first state to officially recruit and train military units comprised of black soldiers.


KENTUCKY

In 1838, Kentucky became the first state to permit suffrage of any kind; property-owning widows and single women were given the right to vote in school elections.

Kentucky was also the first state in the Nation to be topographically and geologically mapped on a detailed scale (1:24,000).


LOUISIANA

Louisiana was the first state in the nation to produce a statewide architectural heritage education curriculum.


MAINE

In 1846, Maine became the first state to pass a law making alcoholic drinks illegal.

Maine was also the first state to equip students statewide with laptop computers.


MARYLAND

In 1993, Maryland became the first state to release a death row inmate because of genetic testing.


MASSACHUSETTS

In the 1850s, Massachusetts became the first state to require children to go to school.


MICHIGAN

In 1847, Michigan became the first State to abolish capital punishment.

Michigan hosted America's first state fair in 1849.

The first pedestrian mall was built in Kalamazoo in 1959.


MINNESOTA

In 1861, Minnesota became the first state to offer troops to the Union.


MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi was the first state in the Union to pass legislation protecting the property rights of married women.

It was also the first state to outlaw imprisonment for debtors.

Mississippi was the first state to be represented by an African-American senator.

Mississippi had the first PTA in the nation.


MISSOURI

In 1865, Missouri became the first slave state to free its slaves.

Missouri was the site of the first successful parachute jump made from a moving airplane.


MONTANA

Montana was the first state to elect a female Congressman (Jeannette Rankin).

In 1997, Montana was the first state to legalize offshore banking.


NEBRASKA

The world's first rodeo was held in North Platte on July 4, 1882. It's star was Buffalo Bill Cody.

Nebraska was the first state to research gasohol.

Nebraska was the first state to complete its mainline interstate system.


NEVADA

In 1956, Nevada became the first state to pass a law allowing home schooling.

Nevada was also, not surprisingly, the first state to legalize casino gambling.


NEW HAMPSHIRE

New Hampshire was the first state to have its own state constitution.

New Hampshire was also the first state to offer a state lottery.


NEW JERSEY

New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights in 1789.


NEW MEXICO

In 2002, New Mexico became the first state to grant prescription privileges to trained psychologists.


NEW YORK

On April 25, 1901, New York became the first state to require license plates on automobiles.

New York was also the first state to officially preserve a historic site (Washington's Headquarters at Newburgh), establish a state park (Niagara Reservation), and declare land "forever wild" (the Adirondack and Catskill forest preserves).


NORTH CAROLINA

The first successful airplane flight, piloted by the Wright brothers, took off from Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903.


NORTH DAKOTA

In 1851, the first U.S. post office was established in what is now North Dakota.


OHIO

In 1938, Ohio became the first state to set aside a day for honoring poets. State Poetry Day is the third Friday in October.


OKLAHOMA

Oklahoma was the site of the first automobile parking meter, the first grocery shopping cart, and the nation’s first community hospital.

Oklahoma was also the first state to build a flood control dam.


OREGON

On February 24, 1919, Oregon became the first state to tax gasoline.

In 1995, Oregon became the first state to conduct a federal primary election totally by mail.


PENNSYLVANIA

The first zoo in America was founded in Philadelphia in 1874.

Pennsylvania was the first state to put its webpage address on its license plates.


RHODE ISLAND

On May 4, 1776, Rhode Island became the first state to declare its independence from Great Britain.


SOUTH CAROLINA

On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union, precipitating the Civil War.


SOUTH DAKOTA

South Dakota was the first state to pass legislation protecting unborn babies from abortion.


TENNESSEE

On July 24, 1866, Tennessee became the first state readmitted to the Union following the Civil War.


TEXAS

Texas was the first state to have an appellate criminal court, with the creation of the Court of Appeals in the State Constitution of 1876.

Texas was also the first state in the nation to create wildlife viewing trails, an idea that resulted in similar projects throughout North America.


UTAH

Utah was the first state to ban cigarette vending machines.


VERMONT

On January 5, 1935, Vermont became the first state to form its own symphony orchestra.

In 1777, Vermont became the first state to outlaw slavery in its constitution.


VIRGINIA

In 1989, Virginia became the first state to elect a black Governor - Democrat Doug Wilder.


WASHINGTON

In 1982, Washington became the first state in the nation to create a separate agency of state government solely dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.


WEST VIRGINIA

On July 1, 1921, West Virginia became the first state to have a sales tax.


WISCONSIN

The first kindergarten was opened in Watertown in 1856.

America's first hamburger was served in Seymour in the 1880s.

The first Ringling Brothers Circus was staged in Baraboo in 1884.

In 1911, Wisconsin became the first state to have a workmen's compensation law, to provide monetary benefits for workers injured on the job.

Wisconsin was the first state to outlaw discrimination against women (1921).

In 1932, Wisconsin became the first state to pass a law authorizing unemployment benefits.

And in 1945, Wisconsin became the first state to provide monetary benefits to people with disabilities.


WYOMING

Wyoming was the first state to give women the right to vote.




Important Links


Hit this link for a printable Map of California.


Go here to view a colorful California Facts and Photo Gallery.


Here's a List of California Cities.


Click here for a Complete List of Amtrak Locations.


Go here for a Complete List of Greyhound Stations.


Check out these Bay Area Casinos.


Click here for California Whale Watching Cruises.



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For fun things to do anywhere in America, visit Fact and Photo Galleries for All 50 States.


See this page for Affordable Travel Deals in all 50 States and Washington DC.


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Visit this page to learn how to Work From Home Anywhere in America.


Go here to see a complete list of Universities and PhD Programs in All 50 States.


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