Special Report

How Your State Was Founded

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11. Hawaii
> Founding date: August 21, 1959 (50th state to join)
> First capital city: Honolulu
> First governor: William Francis Quinn

For much of American history, Hawaii was a kingdom. All of its islands were brought together by King Kamehameha in 1810. In the late 19th century, the monarchy was overthrown by the increasingly large number of white businessmen. With the monarchy out of power, the U.S. annexed the island in 1898. Hawaii remained a territory for over 60 years before it was granted statehood.

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12. Idaho
> Founding date: July 3, 1890 (43rd state to join)
> First capital city: Boise
> First governor: George Laird Shoup

Idaho was the last of the 50 states to be explored and one of the last admitted to the Union. Lewis and Clark made it to the state in 1805, but Idaho was largely forgotten until 1860, when gold was discovered. The Idaho Territory was established in 1863, and Idaho was admitted as a state in 1890.

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13. Illinois
> Founding date: December 3, 1818 (21st state to join)
> First capital city: Kaskaskia
> First governor: Shadrack Bond

From 1816 to 1821, the U.S. added one new state each year. These new states were tenuously balanced: three were admitted as slave states and three as free states. Illinois joined the Union as a free state in 1818, a year before Alabama and a year after Mississippi, both slave states.

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14. Indiana
> Founding date: December 11, 1816 (19th state to join)
> First capital city: Corydon
> First governor: Jonathan Jennings

The land that is now known as Indiana was previously called the Northwest Territory starting in 1787. In 1800, the Indiana Territory was split from that land. Sixteen years later, Indiana was admitted as the 19th state.

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15. Iowa
> Founding date: December 28, 1846 (29th state to join)
> First capital city: Iowa City
> First governor: Ansel Briggs

Originally part of the Louisiana Purchase, Iowa grew in population thanks to its reputation for good farmland. Iowa was first established as a territory in 1838. By 1860 its population was more than 25 times higher. It became a state in 1846 later as a way to maintain the balance between slave and free states.

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