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50 Things From 50 States That Will Make You Proud To Be American

The U.S. Army proudly protects all the things that make us proud.

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1. American Rockets Built in ALABAMA

The rocket that took Americans to the moon was built in Huntsville, AL. There's a replica of the rocket there that you can visit today.
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The rocket that took Americans to the moon was built in Huntsville, AL. There's a replica of the rocket there that you can visit today.

2. Kayaks From ALASKA

Kayaks were invented by the Inuit and Aleut tribes. The boats eventually showed up in Europe in the mid-1800s, but the origins of this genius watercraft are quintessentially American.

3. World's Oldest Rodeo in ARIZONA

Prescott, AZ, boasts hosting the world's oldest professional rodeo. Rodeos are so important in the state that some school districts even schedule time off for an official "rodeo vacation."

4. Diamonds Found in ARKANSAS

The largest diamonds discovered in the States were found in Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR. They also have some pretty great names.

5. The Wave From CALIFORNIA

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The origin of "The Wave" is generally attributed to a professional cheerleader at a 1981 baseball game in Oakland, CA.

6. Cheeseburgers From COLORADO

It's unknown precisely *who* first put a slice of delicious cheese on a hot patty, but the sandwich's origins have been attributed to a drive-in near western Denver.

7. Lobster Rolls From CONNECTICUT

This famous sandwich is enjoyed all over the country, but it may surprise you to learn it may not have been first enjoyed in Boston, but rather in The Constitution State.

8. Horseshoe Crabs in DELAWARE

The epic, prehistoric version of regular crabs can be seen all around the Delaware Bay. The crabs come up onto DE beaches in the spring and make everything, like, a little scary and a lot awesome.

9. Sunscreen From FLORIDA

It's no surprise that one of the first sunscreen formulas was invented in the Sunshine State. It was invented to protect soldiers from the sun during WWII.
Peter Cade / Getty Images

It's no surprise that one of the first sunscreen formulas was invented in the Sunshine State. It was invented to protect soldiers from the sun during WWII.

10. Peaches From GEORGIA

GA is the number-one producer of peaches in the country. Surprise, surprise!

11. Monk Seals Native to HAWAII

Probably the cutest species of seal is one of two mammals native to the Hawaiian Islands. It is also one of the only seals that prefers tropical waters.

12. Ski Lifts From IDAHO

The first ski lift was created in Sun Valley, ID, in the 1930s. The lifts did not become an industry standard until the 1970s.

13. Deep Dish Pizza from ILLINOIS

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Chicago's most famous pizza was invented in 1943 on the Near North Side. It was a major step away from the classic European-style pizza that immigrants brought over the century before.

14. Santa Claus in INDIANA

IN has a town called Santa Claus. Because of the town's name, this is where a good number of the nation's Christmas letters end up.

15. John Wayne Is From IOWA

When you think of cowboys, you'll have to think of IA from now on — Wayne was born in Winterset, IA, in 1907 (as Marion Robert Morrison).
Silver Screen Collection / Getty Images

When you think of cowboys, you'll have to think of IA from now on — Wayne was born in Winterset, IA, in 1907 (as Marion Robert Morrison).

16. American Buffalo in KANSAS

The buffalo (or North American bison) is the state's official animal. Kansas is home to a number of herds of bison, which can be visited at public and private reserves.

17. Horses From KENTUCKY

KY produces 30% of the country's Thoroughbred horses. That is the largest amount of any other state.

18. Pecan Pie From LOUISIANA

Pecan pie was invented by French settlers near New Orleans shortly after Native Americans introduced the nut to them. It's safe to say the States are better for it.

19. Earmuffs From MAINE

Chester Greenwood patented "Ear-Mufflers" in 1877 when he was just 19 years old...and the people of ME haven't had cold ears since!
Chad Latta / Getty Images

Chester Greenwood patented "Ear-Mufflers" in 1877 when he was just 19 years old...and the people of ME haven't had cold ears since!

20. Blue Crabs From MARYLAND

Blue crabs are fished out of the Chesapeake Bay. They're a much-appreciated addition (if not the most important part) of a good crab boil.

21. Chocolate Chip Cookies Invented in MASSACHUSETTS

The chocolate chip cookie will turn 77 this year; it was invented in Whitman, MA.

22. Ginger Ale From MICHIGAN

Vernors Ginger Ale was the first ginger ale beverage to be made and sold in the country. It was served by a pharmacist in Detroit in 1866.

23. The Toaster From MINNESOTA

The toaster was first patented in 1921 in Stillwater, MN. It's no wonder such a cold state would want its bread warmed up.

24. "Teddy Bear" From MISSISSIPPI

The first stuffed bear wasn't necessarily made in MS, but the real bear that inspired the teddy bear was set free by Theodore Roosevelt in the state...which is way cooler.
Adriana Varela Photography / Getty Images

The first stuffed bear wasn't necessarily made in MS, but the real bear that inspired the teddy bear was set free by Theodore Roosevelt in the state...which is way cooler.

25. First Parachute Jump in MISSOURI

The first successful parachute descent was made above Jefferson Barracks just south of St. Louis. It celebrated its 103rd anniversary this year.

26. Evel Knievel Is From MONTANA

Born in Butte, Knievel was raised by his grandparents. His birth name was Robert, but he acquired "Evel" at a young age.

27. Ranch Dressing From NEBRASKA

Ranch dressing was a recipe that was created by a native Nebraskan plumbing contractor working out of state in 1949...and we have partook in its glory ever since!

28. Extraterrestrials in NEVADA

The Extraterrestrial Highway has a number of locations in the Silver State where enthusiasts can try their hand at spotting aliens.
Thomas Winz / Getty Images

The Extraterrestrial Highway has a number of locations in the Silver State where enthusiasts can try their hand at spotting aliens.

29. Hitting the Slopes in NEW HAMPSHIRE

Put away your footballs — NH is the only state in the country that offers competitive ski jumping to high schoolers!

30. Drive-in Movies From NEW JERSEY

The first drive-in movie was held in 1933 in Camden, NJ. The attraction was originally called a "park-in theater."

31. Second-oldest City in NEW MEXICO

Santa Fe was founded in 1610, making it the second-oldest city in the country after St. Augustine!

32. Baseball From NEW YORK

Baseball's basic rules and terms were first established in NY in 1845 with the founding of the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club.
Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

Baseball's basic rules and terms were first established in NY in 1845 with the founding of the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club.

33. Pork Barbecue in NORTH CAROLINA

Southern barbecue has roots in a few states, but you can thank NC for the classic vinegar-based pork barbecue.

34. Enchanted Highway in NORTH DAKOTA

About 30 miles of road have been designated the Enchanted Highway because of elaborate metal sculptures that have been placed along the sides. They truly add a bit of magic to the landscape.

35. Airplanes From OHIO

The Wright Brothers were the first to perfect flight using their model airplane. Once they moved to Dayton, OH, they flew successfully for up to a half hour on the edge of town.

36. The Sound of an Electric Guitar From OKLAHOMA

Born in the OK state, Bob Dunn was the first musician to record sound from an electric guitar.

37. The Deepest Lake Is in OREGON

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the country. The lake is situated in the caldera of the volcano known as Mount Mazama.
R9_ronaldo / Getty Images

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the country. The lake is situated in the caldera of the volcano known as Mount Mazama.

38. Electricity Harnessed in PENNSYLVANIA

Benjamin Franklin conducted a number of experiments with electricity in PA. Without him, the country might be a very different (darker?) place.

39. Coffee Milk From RHODE ISLAND

This chocolatey beverage is the official state drink of RI. It is as delicious as it is rare outside of the state.

40. Golf in SOUTH CAROLINA

The first game of golf played in this country occurred in 1786, and the state has some of the best golf courses to this day.

41. Mount Rushmore in SOUTH DAKOTA

The monument sits in Black Hills National Forest. It took 14 years to complete and was finally finished in 1941.

42. Cotton Candy From TENNESSEE

The first electric cotton candy machine was invented in Nashville in 1897 by...wait for it...a dentist(!).
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The first electric cotton candy machine was invented in Nashville in 1897 by...wait for it...a dentist(!).

43. Queso From TEXAS

Tex-Mex is a regional favorite in the Lone Star state, and nothing is more celebrated than the infallible Chili con Queso.

44. Zion in UTAH

Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the country. It's the oldest national park in the state founded in 1919.

45. Maple Syrup From VERMONT

VT is basically the Canada of the States when it comes to syrup. It's the largest producer of maple syrup in the country.

46. Peanuts From VIRGINIA

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The first peanuts grown in the country were used as oil, livestock food, and cocoa substitutes.

47. Apples From WASHINGTON

The state produces 58% of the apples grown in the country. Those fruits are then exported to other states and countries.

48. Major "Ups" in WEST VIRGINIA

Georgeann Wells was the first woman to slam dunk a basketball in a college game. She is firmly placed in the West Virginia Athletic Hall of Fame.

49. Cheeseheads in WISCONSIN

The local nickname is a symbol of pride born out the state's affinity for cheese. Some sports fans in the state even wear a cheese hat to symbolize their appreciation of the name.

50. Cowboys in WYOMING

It isn't called the Cowboy State for nothing. The "dude" in Dude Ranch comes from one of WY's active ranches, and there's even a town named after Buffalo Bill.
Andrew Rich / Getty Images

It isn't called the Cowboy State for nothing. The "dude" in Dude Ranch comes from one of WY's active ranches, and there's even a town named after Buffalo Bill.