This Is How Your State Was Founded

Source: Thinkstock

31. New Mexico
> Founding date: January 6, 1912 (47th state to join)
> First capital city: Santa Fe
> First governor: William Calhoun McDonald

New Mexico was one of just five states added to the Union in the 20th century, and the penultimate member of the lower 48 states. The area that became New Mexico was ceded by Mexico after the Mexican-American War. Many people moved to the area after the Santa Fe Railroad opened in 1879. New Mexicans voted to become a joint state with Arizona in 1906, but Arizona voters rejected the proposal.

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32. New York
> Founding date: July 26, 1788 (11th state to join)
> First capital city: Kingston
> First governor: George Clinton

Because its representatives had some misgivings about ratifying the Constitution, New York was one of the last colonies to become a state. New York Governor George Clinton wrote anonymous critiques of the document in newspaper columns. However, New York’s representatives narrowly agreed to join the U.S. with a 30-27 vote.

Source: Thinkstock

33. North Carolina
> Founding date: November 21, 1789 (12th state to join)
> First capital city: New Bern
> First governor: Alexander Martin

North Carolina was one of the final holdouts against ratifying the U.S. Constitution. Eleven states had already agreed to form a new nation, but North Carolina remained unconvinced until the Bill of Rights was proposed.

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34. North Dakota
> Founding date: November 2, 1889 (39th state to join)
> First capital city: Bismarck
> First governor: John Miller

North Dakota’s statehood came about largely as a result of railroads. The Northern Pacific Railway, built in 1872, allowed people to move to places like Fargo and Bismarck, leading to a population boom in the area.

Source: Thinkstock

35. Ohio
> Founding date: March 1, 1803 (17th state to join)
> First capital city: Chillicothe
> First governor: Edward Tiffin

Ohio’s statehood was a hard-fought partisan issue in Congress in the early 1800s between the Democratic-Republican Party and the Federalist Party. The Federalists thought they could control what was then the Northwest Territory if it remained a territory, while their opponents thought Ohio becoming a state would work in their favor. President Thomas Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican, signed a bill to help his party members in 1802, and Ohio became a state shortly after.

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