Category Archives: State Names

Learn how each state in the United States got its name.

Michigan gets a name…from the Indians

                  The year was 1837 when Michigan joined the Union.  Prior to this time the area now known as Michigan was inhabited by, among others, an Algonquian-speaking tribe known as the Ojibwa.  The Ojibwa people had a word for … Continue reading

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Ohio: Home of the Buckeyes

              Before buckeyes made their mark on this area now known as Ohio it was populated largely by the Adena peoples in the early days of 1000 BC. More recently however, the Ohio region was populated … Continue reading

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Pennsylvania gets a name

                In the early days, the region now known as Pennsylvania was, not surprisingly, inhabited by many Native American tribesmen.  At least five Native American tribes lived in the area which included the … Continue reading

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How Illinois got its name

              The region now known as Illinois was previously occupied by Native Americans for thousands of years prior to European settlement –perhaps as long as 7,000 years.  In the 1600’s French explorers began to … Continue reading

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Don’t mess with Texas’…History

              Currently the second most populated and the second largest state in the United States  Texas was historically inhabited by a conglomeration of Native American tribes known as the Caddo.  The Spanish were one … Continue reading

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California: A land of mythical beasts and Amazon women

                Spain was one of the first to lay claim to an area of land that now encompasses the Baja, California, Nevada, Utah, as well as some areas of Wyoming, Arizona and New … Continue reading

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New York and the Big Apple

                The region that would become New York was previously inhabited by the Native American tribes of the Algonquin and Iroquois.  In the early 1600’s the Dutch explored and named much of the area but later gave … Continue reading

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Alabama and its Origins

                Having been settled by Native Americans for centuries before ever seeing Europeans the first non-native to see what is now Alabama was Hernando de Soto in his expedition of 1540. Later, in … Continue reading

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Wisconsin: History of the State’s Name

                While being led by two Miami Indians as guides, explorer Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet traveled down a river (in what is now Wisconsin) that led them to the Mississippi. This river, … Continue reading

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Minnesota: History of the State’s Name

              The first inhabitants of the area of the United States now known as Minnesota were the Dakota people of the Sioux Tribes. They named the area after the large river in the Southern … Continue reading

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