Learn what year your state
joined the Union and became part of the "United States of
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Or read about the U.S. Territories
The 50 States
Alabama entered the Union on December 14, 1819. In January 1861, Alabama seceded
from the Union, and on February 4, delegates from six states met at Montgomery and
formed the Confederate States of America, with Montgomery as the capital. After the
Civil War, Alabama reentered the Union.
Alaska became the 49th State on January 3, 1959; it was the first new state in the Union
Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912.
Despite opposition in Congress to a new slave state, Arkansas became a state on June
15, 1836. Arkansas Governor Henry M. Rector seized Fort Smith and Arkansas joined
the Confederacy in 1861 reentering the Union at War's end.
Congress hesitated to welcome a new free state, but because of its booming population
and the discovery of gold, California was admitted in September , 1850.
After three tries Colorado was made a state on August 1, 1876.
Connecticut, one of the thirteen colonies, became the fifth state on January 9, 1788.
Delaware, one of the thirteen colonies, gained its distinction as the "First State" when it
was the first to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787.
Florida became a state on March 3, 1845, a move delayed by the reluctance of Congress
to admit another slave state, and it joined the Confederacy on January 10, 1861,
re-entering the Union at war's end.
Georgia, one of the thirteen colonies, ratified the U.S. Constitution on January 2, 1788,
becoming the fourth state to do so; it joined the Confederacy on January 19, 1861, and
reentered the Union after the Civil War.
Hawaii became the Fiftieth state on August 21, 1959
Idaho became a state on July 3, 1890.
Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818.
Indiana became the 19th state on December 11, 1816.
On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the first free state in the old Louisiana Territory.
Kansas became a free state on January 29, 1861, after seven years of bloody feuding
between residents over whether to be admitted as a slave or free state.
Kentucky became the first state to be carved from the great western wilderness.
Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30, 1812. It joined the Confederacy on January
26, 1861 and reentered the Union after the Civil War.
Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820. Its admission to the Union balanced
the simultaneous admission of Missouri as a slave state.
Maryland became the seventh state on April 28, 1788. During the Civil War, President
Abraham Lincoln placed Maryland under military control.
Originally part of the thirteen colonies, Massachusetts became a state on February 6,
Michigan became the 26th state on January 26, 1837.
On May 11, 1858 Minnesota became the 32 state.
On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state.
Missouri was admitted as a slave state on August 10, 1821, after an agreement known as
the Missouri Compromise in which Maine was admitted as a free state.
Montana achieved statehood on November 8, 1889.
President Andrew Jackson vetoed the Nebraska statehood bill of 1866, but Congress
overrode his veto, and Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867.
On October 31, 1864, at the urging of President Abraham Lincoln, Nevada became a
state. Only a short four years earlier, it had been a wilderness.
In a sense, New Hampshire, originally one of the thirteen colonies, "created" the new
nation by becoming the ninth state on June 21, 1788, meeting the requirement for nine
states to ratify the Constitution.
New Jersey, one of the thirteen colonies, became the third state on December 18, 1787.
On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state.
On July 26, 1788, New York, one of the thirteen colonies, became the 11th state.
North Carolina, one of the thirteen colonies, became the 12th state on November 21,
1789. North Carolina troops suffered the greatest losses of all the states during the Civil
War while fighting for the Confederacy. North Carolina reentered the Union after the fighting ceased.
Both North and South Dakota became states on November 2, 1889.
In 1803, Ohio became the first state west of the Alleghenies.
Oklahoma became a state on November 6, 1907, with a population of 1,414,177,
including residents in Indian Territory.
On February 14, 1859, Oregon gained statehood.
In September 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed in Philadelphia and on December
12, 1787, Pennsylvania, one of the thirteen colonies, became the second state.
Rhode Island was the last of the thirteen colonies to join the Union on May 29, 1790.
South Carolina, one of the thirteen colonies, became the eighth state on May 23, 1788.
On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the first state to secede form the Union.
It reentered after the Civil War.
Both Dakotas became states on November 2, 1889.
Tennessee became a state on June 1, 1796. On June 8, 1861, it joined the Confederacy
and became a major battleground for the Civil War, reentering the Union after war's
After ten years of independence, Texas became a state on December 29, 1845.
Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896.
Vermont became the first state added to the Union following the 13 colonies on March 1,
One of the original thirteen colonies, Virginia became the 10th state on June 25, 1788. Richmond
became the capital of the Confederacy on May 29, 1861, but reentered the Union after
Residents of Washington were given the right to vote for president and vice president with
the ratification of the 23rd Amendment in 1961. But the District of Columbia does not
On November 11, 1889, Washington became a state.
On June 20, 1863, the wartime state of West Virginia was born by acceptance of the
Wisconsin became the 30th state on May 29, 1848.
Although the Wyoming population was not enough to qualify for statehood, it became one
anyway on July 10, 1890.
Puerto Ricans received U.S. citizenship in 1917, and the island became an internally self-
governing commonwealth in 1952. The people of Puerto Rico are represented in the U.S.
House of Representatives by a nonvoting delegate.
U.S. Virgin Islands
In 1927, the people of the U.S.. Virgin Islands became American nationals and in 1936,
they achieved limited self-government. Today the Virgin Islands has a limited form of
self-government, with an elected governor and lieutenant, and a nonvoting delegate to the
U.S. House of Representatives.
The United States, Britain, and France claimed trade and other privileges in the islands,
and the United States established a naval station at Pago Pago in 1878. An agreement of
1899 gave the U.S. the right to govern present American Samoa. In 1978, a
governor was popularly elected for the first time.
After the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain ceded the island to the United States.
Guam is represented by a nonvoting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives, and
its residents are citizensbut do not vote for the President.
Several Pacific Island groups, collectively known as Micronesia, were placed under U.S.
trusteeship after WorldWar II. The trusteeship has since been dissolved. The Northern
Mariana Islands is a U.S.commonwealth; the other island groups are now independent
states with close ties to the U.S.
The information for this listing was provided by:
The World Almanac of theU.S.A.
Edited by Allan Carpentarand Carl Provorse
World Almanac Books, 1996
An Imprint of K-III ReferenceCorporation
One International Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07497-0017