Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word montaña, meaning “mountain.” Early explorers called it the Land of the Shining Mountains because its snowcapped peaks sparkled in the sunlight.
In spite of Montana’s name, mountains cover only the western third of the state. These mountains are part of the Rocky Mountains. Rolling hills, high plains, and valleys make up the central and eastern two-thirds of Montana.
THE TREASURE STATE
Montana is in the northwestern part of the United States. When Montana became a state in 1889, it was nicknamed the Treasure State because of its mineral wealth.
Nebraska is nicknamed the Cornhusker State. A cornhusker is someone who harvested, or husked, corn by hand. Corn is an important crop in Nebraska. Farmers had to harvest corn by hand before there was a machine to do this work.
The University of Nebraska football team was called the Cornhuskers before the state adopted the nickname in 1945. Lots of college teams use their state’s nickname for their sports teams. In Nebraska, however, the state took its nickname from the football team.
New Hampshire is known for its beautiful scenery. The rugged White Mountains in the north are especially scenic. Lakes dot the rolling countryside in central New Hampshire. Forests cover much of the state. In the fall, the leaves of maples and other trees turn shades of orange, red, and yellow. Many tourists visit the state in fall to enjoy the brilliant colors.
THE GRANITE STATE
New Hampshire is nicknamed the Granite State because of its large deposits of granite rock. The soil in New Hampshire isn’t very good for farming. It’s stony and lies over granite.
Nevada is nicknamed the Silver State because of its silver mines. Thousands of people came to Nevada to mine silver in the late 1800s. Boom towns grew up around every major mine. Many of these towns were abandoned after the mines closed. Today, Nevada’s abandoned mining towns, now known as ghost towns, are popular tourist attractions.
THE COMSTOCK LODE AND VIRGINIA CITY
The Comstock Lode was a rich deposit of silver and gold discovered in 1859 in central Nevada. Fortune seekers rushed in, and Virginia City grew up quickly near the mines. For a while, the town was fabulously wealthy, but most of the gold and silver had run out by the end of the 1800s.
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the United States. That means it has more people for every square mile of space than any other state. But even with so many people and cities, New Jersey also has great natural beauty. It has a beautiful countryside, with scenic hills, lakes, rivers, and farms. New Jersey’s nickname is the Garden State. Its ocean shore is a popular place to go for vacation.
THE PEOPLE OF NEW JERSEY
The majority of New Jersey’s people live in cities or towns. It’s only the 46th biggest state in area, but it’s the 9th most populated with about 8.6 million people.