The United States has fifty state capitals and each has its own unique flavor, tradition and style. From small to large, these state capitals captivate the imagination, have historic achievements and will broaden your horizons. Think you know a ton about the U.S. capitals? Let's see how much you really know!
Do you know which state capital's residents are called Pierrites? Or, which state capital is located at the geographic center of its state? While every state capital is unique, some have popular local traditions that are only experienced in that state. For example, do you know which capital drops a giant lighted potato on New Years instead of a traditional lighted ball?
The capital of some states is often considered the biggest city with the best representation of the people, but history has something else to say about this. Do you know which state capitals are not the biggest cities in their states? Or can you name the five state capitals California has had in the past, before its current state capital? Yes, you read that right: California has had six different capitals throughout its history.
So, if you think your topic on Friday quiz night is State Capitals, then you need to take this quiz to see if you really have what it takes!
Denver's nickname, the Mile High City, is a reference to the city's elevation -- it's 5,280 feet, one mile, above sea level. And things are sunny Mile High, too, as Denver's known to have more than 300 days of sunshine (on average) in a year.
New Year's Eve celebrations in Boise, Idaho, include fireworks, live entertainment (including a "Tuber Luge"), and what all the "Spec-Taters" are really in from of the Statehouse for --- the 400-pound illuminated "GlowTato" drop at midnight. The tradition of the Idaho Potato instead of a ball drop isn't so strange -- Brasstown, North Carolina, for instance, has a Possum Drop, and in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania they drop a 200-pound lighted Peep.
It not be the biggest city by population -- Birmingham holds that title -- but size doesn't matter when it comes to capitals. Montgomery, the state capital of Alabama, is famous for its resident, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who, on December 1, 1955, refused to move to the back of the bus so a white passenger could have her seat.
Phoenix, Arizona, located in one of the greenest deserts in North America, the Sonoran Desert, is one of the few places in the U.S. not to follow daylight saving time -- that's right, no "spring forward" or "fall back." It's also one of about a dozen U.S. cities with franchises of NBA (Phoenix Suns), NFL (Arizona Cardinals), NHL (Arizona Coyotes), and MLB (Arizona Diamondbacks) major league teams.
If you're looking for more than sunshine or rain in Florida, the capital, Tallahassee, is an anomaly; the city experiences all four seasons, and although ice and snow accumulation is rare, it can and does happen.
Honolulu is on the island of Oahu, on the south shore. When there, some of the popular tourist attraction include Iolani Palace, Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach.
Briefly renamed to "Arkopolis," it's Little Rock that's located close to the geographic center of the state of Arkansas. Little Rock is home to the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park -- which contains the presidential library of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, and the offices of the Clinton Foundation.
Residents of Pierre, South Dakota, are known as Pierrites. With 14,000 people, Pierre, the city on the river, is the second smallest state capital in the U.S.
This river town got its start because of the California Gold Rush. Sacramento is actually the sixth capital of the state, since 1854 -- others included, Monterey, Vallejo, Benicia, San Francisco and San Jose.
The state capital of Georgia has more than 55 streets with the name "Peachtree" -- so relying on GPS in Atlanta can sometimes be tricky. Atlanta is also home to the Eastern Continental Divide, an invisible line where waters to the east are routed to the Atlantic Ocean and those to the west are routed to the Gulf of Mexico.
Hartford, once nicknamed "New England's Rising Star," is home to the oldest continuously operating newspaper: The Hartford Courant has been published since 1764. It began as a weekly publication, and became daily in 1837 (the weekly was discontinued in 1896).
The Dover International Speedway, in Dover, Delaware, opened in 1969, and has since held at least two NASCAR races every year since.
Topeka, Kansas, is home to the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which in 1954 effectively overturned the 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson decision of "separate but equal," and declared racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional.
More than 4 million people visit this Sailing Capital of the World every year, but every summer 1,200 "plebes" come to Annapolis to enter the United States Naval Academy. The USNA, often called just "Annapolis," was founded in October 1845, and has been educating Naval and Marine Corps officers since.
Illinois became a state in the Union in 1818, but its capital wasn't Springfield as it is now. First, it was Kaskaskia (today, population 14). Then, in 1819 the capital was moved to the town of Vandalia, which is less than 70 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri. Vandalia remained the capital until 1839, when it was moved to Springfield after "The Long Nine," made up of Abraham Lincoln and eight other Sangamon County representatives to the Illinois General Assembly, successfully lobbied for the change.
Philadelphia may be the largest city in the state, but it's Harrisburg that's the capital of Pennsylvania. Located in the South Central region of the state, the capital is within a four-hour drive of several metro areas including New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
With a population of 42,695, Concord is not just the capital but the third-largest city in the state of New Hampshire. But it just might be a meatball that makes it famous: Nonni's Italian Eatery put Concord, New Hampshire, on the map when they made the World's Largest Meatball -- 222 pounds.
Jackson, named after Andrew Jackson, lies on the western bank of the Pearl River. It's one of just four cities around the world to be sanctioned by The International Theater-Dance Committee to host the two-week long International Ballet Competition. The other cities? They're Moscow (Russia), Varna (Bulgaria), and Helsinki (Finland).
Santa Fe, short for "La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis" (which translates to "The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi"), tops all other state capitals in elevation. At 7,199 feet above sea level, the city recommends 48 hours to adjust to the thinner air.
As many as 50 percent of the U.S. population lives within a 600-mile radius of Columbus, Ohio. The city and Ohio state capital is named for the explorer, Christopher Columbus.
The size of the area Juneau, Alaska, is located is not only larger than the state of Delaware, it's also larger than the state of Rhode Island -- and the area is almost larger than the square footage of both states combined. There are no roads connecting Juneau to the rest of the state, though, but there is ferry service.
Basketball as it's played today began in Springfield, Massachusetts, in December 1891. But it wasn't until November 1896 that the first professional game was played -- between the Trenton YMCA and the Brooklyn YMCA at the Trenton Masonic Temple. Trenton won, 16-1.
Although it's the smaller of the Twin Cities, it's Saint Paul, not Minneapolis, that's the capital city of Minnesota. The city, known as the Most Livable City in America, lies on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River.
Actually, neither Portland is a state capital. Although Portland, Maine, was the first capital city of Maine, the seat was moved in the mid-19th century to a more centrally-located city, Augusta. And Portland, Oregon, which is named for Portland, Maine, is the "capital of karaoke," but not the state.
Originally named Great Salt Lake City, it dropped the "Great" in 1868. But Salt Lake City, Utah, is still the only U.S. capital with three words in its name. It's also the home to the leading manufacturer of rubber chickens in the U.S., Loftus Novelty.
If you lived in the Albany area prior to 1664, when the English named it for the Duke of Albany, you knew the settlement as "Beverwyck," named for the beaver fur trade that was booming at the time. In fact, Albany is the oldest continuous settlement from the original 13 colonies, having been established as a fort before 1614.
Austin, Texas isn't just the state capital of Texas; with more than 200 live music venues, it's also considered to be the Live Music Capital of the World. It's also home to America's only Formula 1 race, the United States Grand Prix, which takes place at the Circuit of the Americas course.
Richmond, which has been the capital of Virginia since 1780, also served as the capital of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Washington, D.C., where President Lincoln was leading the North, was just 100 miles away.
The Boston Red Sox didn't become the BoSox until 1907, reflecting the uniform change to red stockings in the 1908 season. Previously, the Massachusetts capital city's team had been known as the Americans, the Pilgrims, the Puritans, the Plymouth Rocks and Somersets.
With a population of fewer than 9,000, Montpelier, Vermont, is the smallest state capital in the country. But size doesn't always matter -- the Green Mountain City may be small, but it's the largest producer of maple syrup in the U.S.
Incorporated first as Fort Des Moines in 1851, Des Moines, as it became six years later, isn't just the state capital and site of the first caucuses of the U.S. presidential primary cycle. But what may be its best-attended event is the Iowa State Fair, with its 600-pound butter cow sculpture and fried foods on sticks.
According to the 2010 census, there were 51,400 residents of Charleston, making it the most populous city in the state of West Virginia -- and it's also the state's capital city.
Lincoln is the state capital, and the second most-populous city in Nebraska, behind Omaha. Originally named Lancaster, after Lancaster, Pennsylvania, it was renamed in honor of President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination.
Columbia, named for Christopher Columbus, was one of the first planned cities in the country. Incorporated as a city in 1854, Columbia is now the largest city in the state, with 131,686 residents, and known as "The Capital of Southern Hospitality."
Indianapolis wasn't the first capital city of Indiana. That was Corydon, which was the state capital for four years after Indiana became the 19th state in the Union in 1816. Its name, the story goes, was picked by an Indiana Supreme Court judge who added the Greek word, "polis," which means a city-state, to the state name.