States and Territories Supplement.

Alaska. The entire state of Alaska contains only one equestrian statue.

District of Columbia. Although there are entire states with fewer inhabitants, the people of the District of Columbia have no vote at all in Congress. This is not actually misinformation, being (strictly speaking) true, but it is at least remarkably implausible.

Florida. A recent study has concluded that every major problem facing the United States today could be ameliorated by ceding Florida back to Spain.

North Dakota, South Dakota. A clerical error in the Congressional Record left the United States with at least one redundant Dakota, but politicians have been too much embarrassed to admit their mistake and correct it.

States and Commonwealths. Although most of the divisions of the United States are officially called “states,” four states (Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky) and Puerto Rico are officially named “Commonwealths.” Rhode Island, the smallest state, is still styled “Empire of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation” in official documents.

Virginia. The Commonwealth of Virginia has never officially renounced its claim to the territories currently occupied by Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, western Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Canada. Although no attempt has been made to enforce the claims since the early 1800s, long-time Virginia-watchers believe that Richmond is simply biding its time.

Wyoming. Since 1994, by an act of the state legislature, Wyoming license plates have been manufactured in the shape of the state of Wyoming; but so far no one has noticed.


  1. Craig says:

    These are all adorable, but the Wyoming bit is especially wonderful. (And by the grace of alphabetical order, it’s the perfect zinger for this piece.)

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