Best of America

50 Astonishing Facts You Never Knew About the 50 States

Quick: Where are “idiots” not allowed to vote? Plus 49 other odd, outrageous, or revealing tidbits about America's 50 states.

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Alabama

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

The only state whose official drink is an alcoholic beverage (Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey, originally distilled by legendary moonshiner Clyde May).

Alaska

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

The state is known for fishing, mining, and oil, but its latest industry is peonies. Peony farms blossomed from zero in 2000 to more than 200 in 2014.

Arizona

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

The state that produces enough cotton each year to make two T-shirts for every American (that’s 599 million tees).

Arkansas

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

Site of the world’s most perfect diamond, the 3.03-carat Strawn-Wagner Diamond, and North America’s largest diamond, the 40.23-carat Uncle Sam Diamond, both unearthed at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro.

California

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

If it were a country, it would have the eighth-largest economy in the world, beating out Italy, Russia, and India.

Colorado

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

Although Congress intended the state to be a perfect rectangle, its surveyors wandered a bit off course. A tiny kink in the western border disqualified it from rectangle purity.

Connecticut

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

The first phone book was published in New Haven in February 1878, containing just 50 names.

Delaware

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

The state with the most generous laws regarding company ownership has been the model for Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens.

Florida

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

The remains of an 8,000-year-old human civilization were found buried in a peat bog here. The bodies were so well preserved that human brain tissue was found in a woman’s skull with her DNA still intact.

Georgia

Emma Kapotes/Rd.com

Just outside Atlanta, the picturesque community of Serenbe requires each of its 200-plus homes to include a porch.

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