Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts

Nov 11, 2016

Splitting States

The United States is strange for many reasons, not the least of which is separating states into two. For Instance, North and South Carolina's evolution from the colony to two separate colonies and then two states occurred back in the 1700s and was caused partly by messy beginnings of governance and poor leadership, and partly by the fact that the original land grant was too large.

West Virginia split from the eastern portion of Virginia in 1861, because the latter voted to secede from the United States in the lead-up to the Civil War.

North and South Dakota had at least two reasons to split. From the creation of the Dakota Territory in 1861 until 1883, Yankton was the capital, in the southeastern corner of the territory. It was a steamboat landing along the Missouri River. However, the landing was crushed by the breaking of an ice dam, in 1881, and the entire riverfront and downtown area were flooded.

Two years later, the northern region of the Dakota Territory declared Bismarck as the capital of the territory. The people living in the southern region planned to become a separate state from the northern territory, so that they could have their own capital. The government balked and said there were not enough people for two states. When North Dakota was finally populated enough to become a state, in 1889, there was a rivalry about which state would be admitted first.

Another, perhaps more important, reason for two separate states instead of one large state was four senators, instead of two, and more representatives. Since Dakotans from the north and the south routinely voted Republican, the admission of two Dakotas gave the Republicans a majority in Congress. I am surprised the residents of the various Hawaiian Islands have not thought of that tactic.

Mar 16, 2013

Forty Six States of America

Although it is a technicality, there are actually just forty six states. Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are all officially Commonwealths. This grants them no special constitutional powers; they simply chose the word to describe themselves at the end of the war of independence. Virginia, named after the ‘Virgin’ Queen Elizabeth I, was one of the original 13 states (hence the 13 stripes on the flag) and the first of the states to declare itself a Commonwealth, in 1776. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts followed suit shortly afterwards, and Kentucky, which was formally a county of Virginia, became a Commonwealth in 1792.

Aug 3, 2012

Free Museum Maps

Visitors at the Smithsonian Institution can use a smartphone to find their way through 17 museums, the National Zoo in Washington and locations in northern Virginia and New York City.

The interior maps totaling 2.7 million square feet can be accessed by visitors with Google Maps for Android. They include maps of the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History, which draw millions of visitors.

Maps also have been completed for the National Portrait Gallery and six other art museums.