Today in 1980, six counties in southern New Jersey voted on whether they should strike out on their own and become a separate state of South Jersey. And five of those counties actually voted yes!
On this day in 1943, an interesting headline in the New York Times: “Sicily Vying With Hawaii To Become 49th U.S. State.” Of course, neither Sicily nor Hawaii became the 49th state; Alaska did. But there really was an effort to bring Sicily into the Union.
Today in 1863, West Virginia became a state - though back in the 18th Century, there were several efforts to meld this land with parts of Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Maryland and create an entirely different entity called Vandalia or Westsylvania.
It's a complicated story, but part of what is now eastern Tennessee was once part of western North Carolina - and today in 1784, they tried to break away and form their own state, called Franklin. Plus: a visit to a unique art museum off the coast of Cyprus.
In 1939 some ranchers in the West proposed taking parts out of Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana and creating a new state, called Absaroka. It never won approval from Congress but it did have its own license plates and beauty pageant. Plus: how come a spot in Tulsa is known as the center of the universe?