In Which U.S. State Did This Historical Event Take Place?

By: Beth Hendricks

In Which U.S. State Did This Historical Event Take Place?
Image: U.S. Forest Service- Pacific Northwest Region via WikiMedia

About This Quiz

​In the nearly 250 years since the United States became a country, some pretty remarkable things have happened here. Wars have been waged, immigrants have been welcomed, monuments have been erected and the U.S. people have done some pretty remarkable things. We sent a man to the moon. We eradicated slavery. We empowered women to vote. We legalized gambling, marijuana and same-sex marriage. And that's just the tip of the iceberg ... which is no small feat for what is still a relatively young country in the history of the world!

Each state in the union has contributed to the America we know today through a series of historical events — some good, some bad. The bombing that happened in Hawaii in 1941 had a profound impact on not only the United States, but also the rest of the world. The signing of some pretty important documents in Pennsylvania laid the groundwork for the laws we still follow. A series of events throughout the south sparked – and then halted – a war that separated this country for a period of time.

Conflict, groundbreaking court decisions, natural disasters, successes, failures, inventions, trials, tribulations and economic events have all played their part in making each of our 50 states — and our country — great. But, how much do you know about where these monumental moments went down? Test your geographic history smarts by pinpointing where the historical events in this quiz happened. Tour the U.S. through the lens of history. Let's go!

Gold Rush In which state did the population grow three times almost overnight, thanks to the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s?
California
"The 49ers" is more than just the name of an NFL team. It actually represents a name given to the nearly 300,000 people who migrated to California during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s (1849, to be exact).
Montana
Washington
Idaho

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Attack on Pearl Harbor The attack launched on this state's Pearl Harbor was dubbed by then-President Franklin Roosevelt as a day that would live in infamy. Where did it happen?
New York
Hawaii
The attack at Pearl Harbor initiated by the Japanese took the island state (and the nation) by surprise, killing more than 2,400 people. It prompted the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
Oregon
Florida

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2 Apollo 11 1969 Which of these states put the U.S. on the map by putting men into space on Apollo 11?
New York
Florida
Apollo 11, carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in July 1969. It was an important mission and a statement in the "Space Race" with the USSR.
California
Michigan

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The John F. Kennedy Quiz 1 In which state was U.S. President John F. Kennedy assassinated while riding in a motorcade?
Virginia
Texas
Dallas, Texas, was the unfortunate historical site of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy as he rode in the backseat of a car during a motorcade. He was pronounced dead at Parkland Memorial Hospital.
Ohio
Georgia

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Exxon Valdez oil spill The Exxon Valdez oil spill that took place in this state polluted much of its coastline. Where did this happen?
Texas
Louisiana
Alabama
Alaska
After an oil tanker crashed in Alaska's Prince William Sound, it created an environmental crisis that polluted much of the state's coastline and killed thousands of wildlife.

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Which Mount Rushmore president are you? The 60-foot-tall faces of some of America's founding fathers were completed at this state's Mount Rushmore in 1941. Where is this landmark?
Wisconsin
South Dakota
Mount Rushmore, where the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are carved in stone took roughly 14 years to complete. Today, approximately three million tourists each year travel to the South Dakota landmark.
Montana
Wyoming

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Model-T The development of the Model T in this state paved the way for car ownership for everyone. Where did it happen?
Arizona
Michigan
Henry Ford's base of operation in Michigan was where the Model T got its start. With it, Ford offered the hope of car ownership for regular Americans and not just the wealthy. Today, most of us own a vehicle to get us from point A to point B.
South Carolina
New York

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Wright Brothers The first manned flight happened in this state and lasted a mere 12 seconds. Where was it?
Utah
Indiana
Vermont
North Carolina
The Wright brothers are to thank for putting North Carolina in the midst of the flight history conversation when they selected Kitty Hawk as the place to attempt the first human-crewed flight.

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Boston Tea Party It wasn't so much a tea party as it was a protest about taxes. Where did this tea party of 1773 happen?
Massachusetts
The Boston Tea Party, as it is historically known, was much more of a protest than a party (although party sounds a lot better). Those who participated did so to protest taxation without representation.
Nevada
Pennsylvania
Florida

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US Declaration of Independence In which state was the U.S. birthed with the signing of the Declaration of Independence?
Ohio
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
It's fitting that the Declaration of Independence was "penned" and approved in Pennsylvania — Philadelphia, to be exact. Philadelphia is also where the U.S. Constitution was adopted.
New York

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The Smoking Crater of Mount St. Helens, Washington Which state was the site of the largest volcanic eruption to ever happen in the United States?
Nevada
Colorado
Washington
When Mount Saint Helens erupted in 1980 in Washington, its effects could be seen as far away as Spokane (a 250-mile difference). The eruption also caused landslides in the area.
Utah

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Gambling This state was the first to legalize gambling, which makes (dollars and) sense if you think about it. Where is it?
New Jersey
California
Nevada
Nevada became the first state, but certainly not the last, to legalize gambling, which is a big part of the state's economy even today. More than 400,000 in Nevada alone are employed in the gaming industry, according to the American Gaming Association.
Texas

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Hurricane Hurricane Katrina devastated this state in 2005, causing widespread flooding and the deaths of nearly 2,000 people. Where did it happen?
Texas
Louisiana
New Orleans bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina's 127-mile-per-hour winds and torrential rains that caused widespread flooding and billions of dollars in damages throughout the city.
Florida
Mississippi

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The First Atomic Bombs In which of these states was the first atomic bomb detonated at an isolated test site?
Hawaii
Montana
New Mexico
The first detonation of an atomic bomb (code name Trinity) left a crater more than a half-mile wide at the test site in the Jornada del Muerto desert when it was tested in 1945. The test came about two weeks before the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.
Ohio

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Ellis Island In which state would you find Ellis Island, the one-time immigrant processing center for those who came to the United States?
California
Florida
New York
Ellis Island welcomed more than 12 million immigrants to the United States during its period of operation from the late 1800s to the mid-1900s. Ellis Island is a literal island in New York Harbor that can be viewed by tourists today.
Massachusetts

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Robert E. Lee In which state did Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrender his remaining troops, leading to the end of the U.S. Civil War?
Kentucky
Georgia
North Carolina
Virginia
General Robert E. Lee surrendered the last of the Confederate troops to Union leader Ulysses S. Grant near the steps of a courthouse in Virginia in April 1865, marking the end of the U.S. Civil War.

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Little Rock Nine Which state was the site of the students known as the "Little Rock Nine" who attempted to enter a racially-segregated school?
Arkansas
The Little Rock Nine were initially prohibited from entering the school by Arkansas' then-Governor Orval Faubus, who called on the National Guard to keep it from happening. Three weeks later, they were allowed into the school with a military escort.
Missouri
Iowa
Kansas

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Civil War Which of these states was the only one to be formed due to the Civil War?
Alabama
West Virginia
Formed in 1863, West Virginia is the only state become so as a result of the Civil War. West Virginia proclaimed its independence from Virginia when loyalties became divided between Union and Confederate ideals.
Kentucky
Tennessee

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Lincoln Fourscore and seven years ago: Which state was the site of the infamous Gettysburg Address delivered by President Abraham Lincoln?
Georgia
Pennsylvania
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania sits west of Philadelphia and is today a historic landmark for what occurred there in 1863: President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The speech is one of the most famous ever delivered in the United States.
Virginia
Texas

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Voting Rights Act A 54-mile march in this state led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Where did the march occur?
Virginia
Washington, D.C.
Alabama
The march, led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., took participants from Selma to Montgomery and was filled with protests and violence. It helped lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act by Congress a few months later.
Mississippi

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bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building The bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in this state was the most deadly terrorist attack in the U.S. until September 2001. Where did this bombing take place?
Nebraska
Oklahoma
Dubbed the Oklahoma City bombing, this terrorist attack committed by Timothy McVey took the lives of nearly 170 people. A memorial to those lost sits at the sit of the federal building in that city today.
Texas
Kansas

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grand canyon The opening of Grand Canyon National Park in this state was the start of a tourist attraction that now draws five million people annually. What state is it?
Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona is famous for its jaw-dropping landscapes and views, attracting millions of visitors annually. In 1919, it officially opened as a national park. It is one of the several natural wonders of the world.
Utah
Nevada
Colorado

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What's Your Civil War Military Job 3 The initial shots at Fort Sumter that marked the start of the Civil War took place in which state?
South Carolina
Fort Sumter off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, has a storied place in U.S. history as the site where the Civil War first started. Confederate troops opened fire on Union troops positioned there, starting the bloody four-year battle.
North Carolina
Georgia
Mississippi

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Delaware Which of these states made history as the first to officially become part of the United States?
Connecticut
New Jersey
Delaware
Delaware officially became the United States' first state in December 1787, when it led the way in ratifying the U.S. Constitution. They notate that designation on their license plates, which bear the phrase "The First State."
Virginia

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Political protest crowd The National Guard killed four Kent State University students protesting the Vietnam War in 1970. What state did it happen in?
Michigan
Kentucky
Ohio
Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, was the site of both a Vietnam War protest and a shooting that killed four and wounded nine. The tragic event prompted the temporary closure of higher education institutions around the country.
Montana

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Civil Rights Movement The lynching of a 14-year-old boy in this state sparked the civil rights movement. Where did it happen?
Kansas
Mississippi
The death of Emmett Till at the hands of white residents in Money, Mississippi, sparked outrage and proved fuel for the civil rights movement. Till's mother left her son's casket open at his funeral so that everyone could see what racism had done to her child.
Alabama
Kentucky

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Colorado Which of these states was the first to legalize recreational marijuana?
Washington
Colorado
In 2012, Colorado led the nation in the legalization of recreational marijuana for individuals age 21 and older. Washington was neck-and-neck with Colorado in this decision-making, but Coloradans' lawmakers were a bit quicker to make it official.
California
Tennessee

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Womens right to vote In which state did women first have the right to vote, 50 years before it was signed into law in the United States?
New York
Wyoming
Wyoming was ahead of the times when it awarded women the right to vote in 1869, five decades ahead of the passing of the 19th amendment nationwide in 1920. The states of Utah and Washington followed suit shortly after Wyoming led the way.
Vermont
California

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Caucuses The political caucuses in this state, first created in 1976, are still the forerunner in U.S. presidential elections today. What state hosts these?
Indiana
Iowa
Both the Democratic and Republican parties host their caucuses in Iowa at the same time at the outset of U.S. presidential primaries. Experts believe that these caucuses are a good indicator of how a candidate will fare moving forward.
Ohio
Florida

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Railroad Workers The Transcontinental Railroad that connected East Coast to West was completed in which of these states?
Nevada
Utah
Utah (specifically Ogden, Utah) was the site of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, a transportation system that linked the East and West for the first time. It was completed in May 1869.
Nebraska
Oklahoma

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in this state. Where did it happen?
Missouri
Tennessee
It was Memphis, Tennessee, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray as he stood on a balcony at the Lorraine Motel in 1968. It was particularly troubling circumstances given that King was in town to lead a peace march.
Alabama
Arkansas

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#6 National Anthem The beginnings of the U.S. National Anthem we know today started in which state?
Virginia
Maryland
Francis Scott Key was inspired to pen the poem that would become the U.S. National Anthem while watching Fort McHenry under attack by British troops. The poem was originally titled, "The Defense of Fort McHenry."
Ohio
North Carolina

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Cotton Gin Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, a device to separate the plant's fibers from its seeds, in which state?
Iowa
Massachusetts
Georgia
Though Eli Whitney was actually from Massachusetts, it was during his brief stay in Georgia that he came up with a machine to separate cotton fibers from the seeds. Many people believe its invention proliferated slavery in the south.
South Carolina

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Miranda Rights An incident in this state led to the creation of the "Miranda warning," advising suspects of their rights when taken into police custody. Where did it occur?
New York
Arizona
Named after Ernesto Miranda, the Supreme Court ruled that his first conviction be set aside because he was not properly informed of his rights when being interrogated by the police. The incident and court case took place in Arizona. Miranda was eventually convicted a second time, without the confession.
Texas
Oklahoma

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Bill of Rights Which of these states was the first to ratify the U.S. Bill of Rights?
New Jersey
New Jersey's acceptance of the U.S. Bill of Rights, a collection of 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, was the first toward making the amendments law in the United States.
Virginia
South Carolina
Ohio

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Brown v. Board of Education The landmark decision in this state, that came as a result of Brown v. Board of Education, ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Where did it happen?
Arizona
Minnesota
Kansas
Kansas was the site of Brown v. Board of Education, which combined several lawsuits regarding the constitutionality of racial segregation in public schools. The Supreme Court ultimately deemed that segregation was not constitutional.
Tennessee

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Battle of Tippecanoe A site in this state is where the Battle of Tippecanoe, a clash between U.S. troops and Shawnee fighters, happened. Where are we?
Wisconsin
Minnesota
Illinois
Indiana
The Battle of Tippecanoe pitted Tecumseh and his fighters against William Henry Harrison and his troops in central Indiana. Harrison's men won the battle, and their leader later went on to be elected as a U.S. president.

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same-sex marriage Which state was the first to legally recognize same-sex marriage?
New Jersey
New York
Massachusetts
Massachusetts was the first U.S. state to allow same-sex couples the right to marry. The court determined in 2003 that failing to allow same-sex couples to marry violated their constitutional rights.
California

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Bertha Knight Landes This state welcomed the first female mayor of a major U.S. city. in 1926. Which state was it?
Ohio
New York
Washington
Seattle, Washington, was the first major American city to elect a female mayor, Bertha Knight Landes. Landes famously took to an empty stage during her re-election campaign when her opponent, a man, failed to show up and accused him of being "afraid" of a woman.
Georgia

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Martin Cooper You have a researcher in this state to thank for the first handheld mobile phone. Where did it happen?
Maine
Arizona
Illinois
Martin Cooper, an engineer at Motorola, is credited with developing the first mobile phone. He also placed the first call from such a device, opting to phone his competitor at Bell Labs.
New York

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