By Torrance Grey on March 21, 2018
Ah, yes. We'll never forget those grammar-school days of being made to memorize all the U.S. state capitals! Not only was it something we weren't going to use in daily life (in comparison, algebra is a day-to-day essential), but why did it have to be so confusing? Few states have made their largest and best-known cities their capital. You mean Los Angeles *isn't* the capital of California? Other state capitals are downright obscure. (Montpelier? Really?)
In America's colonial days, capitals were often named after important European figures, like kings, or the discoverer of the New World itself, Christopher Columbus. As the young nation grew and expanded west, we began to see capital-city names with other inspirations, or from other languages. At least two states seemed to give up, naming their capitals after the state itself, as "_____ City" or "________polis." (We don't want to give you any spoilers here).
However, like knowing all Seven Dwarfs or being able to recite the entire preamble to the Constitution, rattling off all the state capitals can impress people in bars. And some people insist that knowing the state capitals as a sign of a good education. Want to know how well you'd do if put on the spot? Test your memory with our quiz!