May 22, 2019
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States That Almost Happened
There have been a few states that never managed to make the cut and become incorporated into the United States we know today. Some of these state names were quite inventive and the dedicated residents who petitioned for them were very frustrated when the states never manifested.
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Today's Random Fact:
It was named after the Absaroka Range of the Rocky Mountains, which claimed parts of South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Residents of this area attempted to secede in 1939.
Although you might assume as much, it was not named for the desert. It was actually named after a Mormon word meaning honeybee. Parts of modern day Nevada, Utah, Southern California, most of Arizona, and a portion of New Mexico were claimed by Mormon settlers escaping religious persecution in New York.
This region was comprised of eight counties that originally belonged to North Carolina but are now eastern Tennessee. In fact, Franklin almost became the 14th State, only needing two more votes to reach the 2/3 majority vote needed for statehood. The larger state of Tennessee was formed instead.
This region later became the largest portion of the state of West Virginia, and included some of the far northwestern counties of Virginia. It came about during the crazy tensions of the Civil War. They voted to secede when Virginia joined the Confederate States of America.
Another name used in multiple requests for a state. The original request was in Texas and would have consumed almost half of the state. The second came about in the early 1900s and included the Idaho Panhandle. Believe it or not, the idea was proposed again in 2005.
The region grew weary of the 'Boss' political system in New York and wanted to seek its freedom in 1869. This idea was revisited in the 1990s, but New York is unwilling to give up this diverse and economically sound portion of the state.
The name Sequoyah was requested by Native Americans and encompassed the majority of Oklahoma. This included a tract of land where the U.S. Government had relocated them.
The Upper Peninsula, part of the state of Michigan, is only connected to the rest of the state by the Mackinac Bridge. It lies between Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan, hence the name. This one raises its head on a regular basis, especially when debating Michigan tax laws. Interestingly, the land area was originally part of the Wisconsin territory, but awarded to Michigan when the city of Toledo was absorbed by Ohio.
Early in the 20th century, rural areas had terrible roads and cars were popular, making for dangerous driving. Since the politicians in the capitals were not listening to their complaints, forty-six counties in Texas and twenty-three in Oklahoma planned to secede and combine into a new state.
The region included parts of Northern Tennessee and Southwestern Kentucky. It was originally purchased by the Transylvania Company from the Cherokee Indians, hence the unusual name.
This was the second name for the failed Vandalia colony attempting to become the 14th state, in 1776. Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Kentucky made up this area. Pennsylvania, having the most land to lose, made a law stating talk of secession to be an act of treason punishable by death. That dream quickly and quietly went away.