Should they be called Capitolists? The media are reporting today on Nita & Marcine Webb. This Texas couple brought closure to a lifelong dream last week when they went to Augusta, Maine, and visited the State Capitol. I don’t know how long they’ve been at this, but Marcine is 86 and Nita is 81, and they have now experienced all 50 U.S. Capitols.
I checked the archives and realized that I haven’t written about State Capitols as travel destinations since 2011. They are worthy stops, especially if you’re traveling with children who need a break and some painless history lessons. On 5/14/11 I wrote about a Salt Lake City to Tahoe trip Ruth & I took with Australians John and Trish during which the 4 of us discovered capitol fun in Utah and Nevada. At the time I had no idea that Aussies had an interest in U.S. Capitols. Perhaps it’s because there are only 6 states Down Under.
When Nevada was a 3-year-old territory, The Battle Born State had only 10,000 residents. Abraham Lincoln saw its gold and silver as possibly needed to win The Civil War and asked Nevadans to quickly write a constitution. In 1864 they sent it to Washington via the longest telegram in history. It took two days to transmit. We learned this in Carson City. If you like Capita(o)l Trivia like this, there are lots of websites with mind-expanding games where I just learned that there’s only U.S. capital city without a McDonalds–Montpelier, Vermont.
There’s one Capitol that Ruth has been to but I haven’t–Alaska. Since 5/14/11 Ruth and I have visited a few State capitols–Idaho, Kentucky, Washington. In 2 weeks we’ll add Dover, Delaware, and, perhaps, Trenton, New Jersey, to our “been there, done that” list that currently contains 49 State Capitals but only 20 State Capitols. After this trip, the only U.S. Capital City we won’t have been in will be Lansing, Michigan.
Ruth left California’s Capitol with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Christmas treat (details in “The Governor’s Holiday Train” blog). Sacramento was California’s 4th capital location. The one before it was Benicia. Never a territory like most other states, California’s gold wealth and mid-19th-century population explosion propelled it rapidly to statehood. It was admitted as the 31st in 1850.
If you didn’t know that Sacramento was California’s Capital with an impressive capitol (see above), perhaps it’s time for you to become a Capitolist.