Louisiana is the only state named for a king of France. French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, claimed the area for France in 1682. La Salle named it for his king, Louis XIV.
A FRENCH PAST—AND PRESENT
French settlers slowly colonized Louisiana. In 1803, the United States bought the Louisiana Territory from France. It was a lot bigger than what is now Louisiana. The territory doubled the size of the United States. A small part of that territory, called Louisiana, became the 18th state on April 30, 1812.
Where would you go to find rocky cliffs pounded by waves, sandy beaches, snug harbors, old lighthouses, lobster boats, and picturesque fishing villages? For all of these, you would head to Maine.
BIGGEST NEW ENGLAND STATE
Maine is the easternmost state in the United States. It’s one of the six New England states, along with Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Maine covers nearly as big an area as the other five New England states put together. But Maine doesn’t have many more people than the smallest state, Rhode Island.
In 1620, a ship called the Mayflower sailed from England. It carried about 100 people who wanted to settle in Virginia, a colony in the New World. The ship went off course and reached a rocky shore far north of Virginia. The settlers, who were later called Pilgrims, decided to stay. They founded Massachusetts.
Massachusetts was named after a group of Native Americans. The Massachuset people lived around Massachusetts Bay when the Pilgrims first arrived.
The heart of Maryland is Chesapeake Bay. Most of the state is within about 50 miles (80 kilometers) of the bay. The bay is famous for shellfish, such as oysters, clams, and crabs. People all over the country eat shellfish from Chesapeake Bay every day!
Maryland lies on the East Coast of the United States. It was one of the original 13 British colonies. On April 28, 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to join the United States.
Only eight U.S. states are smaller than Maryland. At its narrowest point, Maryland is only about two miles wide!
“If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you,” reads the Michigan State motto. A peninsula is a strip of land that reaches out into water.
Michigan is made up of two peninsulas that are completely separated by water. They make Michigan one of the most unique states in the nation.
Michigan is located in the Great Lakes region of the United States.