Not all states and capitals are obvious

April 11, 2013|Lisa Prejean

My daughter was studying for a test on states and their capitals, so I was trying to help her. As we drove along, I would say a state name, expecting her to say the capital.

She remembered many of the capitals because she had learned them in previous years, but there were a few elusive ones.

Kentucky always was a hard one for us to remember, but the events of the last two weeks just seem to point to Louisville as capital potential ... on the basketball court, anyway. But, alas, Louisville is not the state capital. Frankfort is. I told my daughter to think of another name for hot dogs, a likely concession stand food. The sports connection worked. (Hopefully, she will remember the "fort" part for the test and not simply write down "Franks.")

The problem is, many states do not have "obvious" cities for their capitals. Take Alaska, for example. That state's best-known city is perhaps Anchorage, but is Anchorage the state capital? No. That designation goes to Juneau, a city that typically is introduced to schoolchildren during reviews for states and capitals tests. We usually don't hear much about Juneau throughout the year except when Sarah Palin is there.

Then there is Louisiana. Its largest city is New Orleans, which people associate with Mardi Gras in the "Big Easy." The atmosphere there often is easy, and the city certainly is big, but it is not the state capital. Baton Rouge is. My daughter should be able to remember that one because my husband's family is from Louisiana. We'll see.

I've often shared with classes that my favorite state capital is the one belonging to Texas. No, it isn't Dallas or Fort Worth or Houston. Texas' capital city is Austin, which also happens to be my husband's name. "Awww ...," as the girls in my classes often say.

So, how would you do if you had to take a states and capitals test? Try your hand at these five by circling the correct answer:

1. Alabama

A. Tuskegee

B. Montgomery

C. Mobile

2. Arizona

A. Phoenix

B. Tucson

C. Yuma

3. Florida

A. Daytona

B. Orlando

C. Tallahassee

4. Massachusetts

A. Salem

B. Plymouth

C. Boston

5. Ohio

A. Columbus

B. Cleveland

C. Cincinnati

Answers: 1. B,  2. A,  3. C,  4. C,  5. A

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