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February 16, 2011



Last time I checked, Frankfort was the capital of Kentucky, not Lexington!

Steve Miller

Very cool! And just down the road, at Rock City, you can see seven states!

Karl Kurtz

Oh my, Jennifer, how did I do that? I even used to live in Lexington, so I know full well that it is not the capital of Kentucky. I have (red-faced) corrected the text above to show the true capital of the Blue Grass State. Fortunately, it doesn't change the narrative. To make up for it, I will have to come up with a question to which Frankfort is the answer.

Drew in Texas

It's not the same, but El Paso, Texas is closer to the capitals of two U.S. states (AZ & NM) and two Mexican states (Sonora & Chihuahua) than it is to its own state's capital, Austin.


My first thought was that it would likely be in New England, and I guessed Pittsfield, Massachusetts. But, for starters, Pittsfield was just under 50,000 population in the 2000 census -- not over. Pittsfield is indeed closer to Hartford, CT (68 miles), Albany, NY (39 miles) and Providence, RI (132 miles) than to Boston (136.4 miles). But I was mistaken in thinking it was closer to Concord, NH (136.8 miles or less than 1/2 a mile further than Boston) and Montpelier, VT (156 miles). Can't win them all.

Karl Kurtz

Drew in Texas, I'm glad you brought up El Paso and the Mexican state capitals. I had thought about using that one, too. El Paso is also closer to Mexico City than it is to Washington, D.C. But there are lots of U.S. cities that are closer to Ottawa, Havana or Mexico City than they are to our nation's capital. Honolulu is even closer to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, than it is to Washington.

Karl Kurtz

Pittsfield definitely deserves honorable mention, Paul! Those distances are so close that we might have to get into measuring the distances from city hall to the capitol buildings.


"Tennessee, with its great east-west width, is the only state that borders on eight other states. . ."

Missouri also borders on eight states.


Texarkana, TX, picks up four states... Baton Rouge, Little Rock, Jackson, and Oklahoma City.

Karl Kurtz

Joe is right about Missouri also bordering eight states. I have fired my fact checker (me).

Texarkana joins Pittsfield as a second place finisher on distance but has the same problem of not meeting my qualification of 50,000 or more population. In the 2000 census, Texarkana's population was 34,782.


Only one county in these United States shares borders with counties in five states (including its own). Without checking a map or an internet search, what/where is that county? Hint: It's not in Hawai'i or Alaska.

Karl Kurtz

OK, David, I'll bite, but without looking at a map this is pretty difficult. I'll guess that it's the same county in eastern Tennessee where Johnson City is located (I don't know its name nor whether it covers that entire corner of the state). After all, as Steve points out, from Rock City you can see seven states.


Is it the boot that dips down from SE Missouri touching Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois? Boy, that'd be a big county.


Here's the answer to the Feb 22 question of the only U.S. county that borders counties in 5 states, including its own... The westernmost county in Oklahoma, Cimarron county, borders Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, and Colorado. The highest elevation point in Oklahoma, Black Mesa, is also in the nw corner of Cimarron county near the New Mexico border. Karl and Paul, thanks for "biting".


Murphy, NC. Closer to 6 other capitals than it is to Raleigh. But really whats the big deal if a city is closer to multiple state capitals than it is to its own? I mean the state has to begin and end somewhere! I mean look at states like Texas, or California. I mean El-Paso, TX is closer to Mexico's national capital. Does that make it not apart of america? I don't think so.

Michael Parmele

As my stepfather (from Bristol, Va, because there was no hospital on the Tn side at the time), was considering Canada instead of the Vietnam draft, he discovered that from Bristol, Tn, you could be to Canada before you could be to Memphis, Tn. In the end, he chose to serve.

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