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« The Effect of Closing a Newspaper | Main | Legislative Service is in the Blood »

March 19, 2009


Ed Pawson

You left out Jackson, Mississippi.

I'm Dan's dad, and very proud.

Karl Kurtz

Wow, that's embarrassing. I've known that bit of trivia for years and don't know why I reduced the number of presidents with capitals named after them to three from four.

Thanks, Dan's dad, for the correction! I adjusted the original post to account for my error. Good luck to Dan tonight, although in my part of the country the president's press conference appears to have preempted Jeopardy! tonight, and I can't find in my TV guide.

Michael Adams

If you broaden the question, the trivia actually gets even harder: "What six American presidents have Capital cities named after them?" You've got the four above, and add Washington, which is fairly easy. The sixth, though, is not in the U.S. (We here have been round and round to make sure there aren't more, but could be mistaken, so suffice to say there is at LEAST a sixth which is outside North America).

Karl Kurtz

Good one, Michael! For those who need further hints, that would be the 5th president, and the continent would be Africa.

We could make the question even more complicated by saying "presidents who were former state or colonial legislators ( who have capital cities named after them." That would eliminate Jackson. (Maybe that's what I was thinking of when I forgot Jackson, MS in my original post! Don't believe that one? I don't either.)

Let's just say anonymous

It's sad that, looking at the list, so many state capitals were merely named for other cities (Dover, Hartford, Helena, Lansing, Montpelier, Richmond). That seems a rather bland way to choose them.

We've named capitals after Revolutionary War heroes (Montgomery, Nashville), Christopher Columbus (Columbia, Columbus), Christian Saints (Saint Paul, Santa Fe) and the fathers of the city founder (Charleston, Harrisburg).

We have only one capital named for a foreign head of state (Bismarck). The good people of Washington had a chance with Seattle, but aimed for leadership beyond mere mortals and chose Olympia.

Ed Pawson

Sorry I haven't read your site for a few days. It's too easy with the hints: Monrovia, Liberia.

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