Welcome to Fun Facts About the 50 States, where – week by week – I’ll be taking you on a tour around this great nation of ours, providing you with interesting, yet completely useless and probably untrue, information about each of the 50 states.
This week, it’s time to pass out on the floor of the Kennedy compound in Massachusetts, so let’s get started…
* Massachusetts became the 6th state on February 6th 1788, thereby stripping Pennsylvania of its coveted “hardest state name to spell correctly” title.
* The state motto of Massachusetts is “The Yankees Suck!”
* The state flower of Massachusetts is the gin blossom, which made Ted Kennedy’s face a protected state wilderness area.
* The highest point in Massachusetts is Mt. Greylock at 3500 feet. It was recently re-named “Mt. Whitelock” after it successfully defeated a Balrog.
* Massachusetts was nicknamed the Bay State because its large native population of werewolves spend a lot of time howling at the moon.
* The word Massachusetts is a Narraganset Indian word meaning “Tribal elders say ok. Squaw can marry squaw”.
* Massachusetts has a population of 6 million people, all of whom have a harder time pronouncing the letter “R” than a busload of Japanese tourists.
* The state song of Massachusetts is “The Theme From Brokeback Mountain”.
* Actor Jack Albertson was born in Malden, Massachusetts, and was best known for playing Grandpa Joe in the original version of “Teddy and the Whiskey Factory”.
* Salem, Massachusetts was the site of the infamous witch trials of 1692, where over 50 women were burned at the stake for weighing the same as a duck.
* The first subway system was built in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1897. The subway cars were originally propelled by lashing an Irishman to the front and dangling a potato in front of him.
* The town of Franklin, Massachusetts was NOT named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, as most people think, but rather for the token black kid in the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special.
* The city of Rockport, Massachusetts contains a house that’s built entirely out of old newspapers. Visitors are requested not to jump to any hasty conclusions regarding why the toilet is made out of the New York Times.
* The birth control pill was invented in Worcester, Massachusetts, and proved to be even more effective at preventing conception than attending a Star Trek Convention dressed as a Klingon.
* Boston, Massachusetts takes its name from an Irish word meaning “crime-ridden cesspool”.
* The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 after the sword Excalibur was pulled from Plymouth Rock by Arthur, King of the Pilgrims.
* Why, yes, I *was* watching “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” while reseaching these fun facts.
* All the Founding Fathers threw tea into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party on December 16th, 1773, except for John Hancock, who was busy writing his name in the snow in letters large enough for King George to read without his glasses.
* Massachusetts was originally settled by the cast of the British TV show, “Survivor: Plymouth”.
* Massachusetts is currently engulfed in a brutal civil war between Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme over which is the “One True Donut”.
* The Massachusetts tourism slogan is, “Man, woman, goat – whatever – if you can fit it into a wedding dress, you can marry it here.”
* On this day in 1985, Ted Kennedy successfully drove over a brige without killing anyone.
* Well, technically he ran over a homeless guy, but that doesn’t really count.
* Soldiers from Massachusetts are the most feared of all American fighting men, since – being true Patriots – they always defeat their enemies with a last-second field goal.
Well, that wraps up the Massachusetts edition of Fun Facts About the 50 States. Next week I’ll be taking a swing through the land of new cars and breakfast cereals as I visit Michigan.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to finish getting this goat into a wedding dress.
[The complete e-book version of “Fun Facts About the 50 States” is now available at Amazon.com. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download free Kindle apps for your web browser, smartphone, computer, or tablet from Amazon.com]