In this roundup, we're looking at some of America's dumbest and shocking screw-ups and scandals. After reading this list, you'll be left wondering how this nation is able to function at all.
Without further ado, here are 50 not so flattering facts and faux-pas for each state. Buckle up, kids — this is going to be a tough one to get through.
I believe in you.
People love to make fun of Sarah Palin. Her most well-known quote is actually one she never uttered. Tina Fey's impersonation on SNL quotes her as saying, "I can see Russia from my house."
The real quote is actually, "You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska." Still, it doesn't help that the original question being asked of her was how being closer to Russia was supposed to help her understand the country better.
We're not sure who decided on this fashion faux-pas, but the official state neckwear in Arizona is the bola-tie. Side note: Why the hell is there such a thing as an "official state neckwear?"
Not sure how this one slipped through the cracks, but for a few months between 2007 and 2008 it was legal for toddlers to get married in Arkansas. Lawmakers had to revise a law they wrote that said marriage was fine for any age so long as parental consent was given. Nice save, Arkansas. You're really steppin' up in the world.
Calexit is California’s movement to break from the U.S. Now in its second attempt, the state originally tried to separate in 2017 following the 2016 presidential election. However, that attempt failed when the leader was discovered to be living in Russia. Not really the look you were going for there, Cali? Didn't think that'd go over too well?
Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana. Because of that, they've developed a certain stigma. The stoners of the States had to replace all 420 mile markers in Colorado with 419.99 for fear of thieving potheads.
Connecticut's secrets lie in some of their hilarious laws. For example, it's illegal to dispose of used razor blades.
There are 200 times more chickens in Delaware than people. One of the smallest states in the U.S., it sort of makes you wonder how they could possibly fit them all in there. Especially since there are just under 1 million people living in the state. That's a hell of a lot of chickens.
There's a reason the Florida Man memes exist: The Sunshine State is basically the drunk uncle of the U.S. One of Florida's horrible claims to fame is that it has the highest rate of public masturbation in the country. Come on, guys! Control yourselves!
Someone seriously wasn't thinking when picking the street names in the Peach State's capital. There are at least 50 streets in Atlanta all named "Peachtree." Good luck explaining that one to visitors, Georgia: Oh you're lost? Just hang a left on Peachtree and head up to Peachtree and take a right.
Listen, nothing bad has ever come from Hawaii. We may be splitting hairs to find fault in this island paradise, but in the Aloha state, it's illegal to own a hamster or a hummingbird. This might seem strangely specific, but it actually has some sound reasoning behind it. If either of these animals got loose, they could wreak havoc on the island's ecosystem. Hard to believe something so tiny could do so much damage.
Apparently, the ball drop in New York on New Year's Eve isn't good enough for the Gem State. Idaho drops a giant potato instead of a ball on NYE.
Remember the Great Chicago Fire we all learned about in elementary school? Turns out, Illinois is totally fine with turning that tragedy into the inspiration behind the White Castle logo. The White Castle logo is based on one of the only building to survive the fire.
If you're wondering which state was crowned the meth capital of the United States, the answer is Indiana. In 2013, the state earned this title after 1,800 meth busts took place that year. Good job, guys.
Instead of putting any energy towards oh I don't know, finding these people actual homes??? Iowa thinks a hobo convention is a better solution. After all, everyone knows the real root of the homelessness problem is a lack of community. Somehow the National Hobo Convention manages to stay alive and well. Though I really couldn't tell you why.
You see that picture? That's Kansas. That's Kansas when you first enter the state and that's Kansas when you're waving goodbye in the rearview. That being said, lawmakers still found it necessary to author a law making it illegal to hunt whales.
In a study to see what each state's most awkward search terms were on Google, Kentucky’s were definitely among the strangest to surface. The state's top Google searches are “scabies,” “Creed,” and “Billy Ray Cyrus.” I have so many questions, I don't even know where to start.
In the rest of the U.S., it’s completely illegal to carry an open container of alcohol, let alone head to the drive-thru to pick one up. In Louisiana, that’s sadly not the case. At Daiquiris & Creams, you can order a daiquiri to-go. And then drive off with it. And drink it? Am I saying this right? Where are the adults?
If you're the kind of person to leave your Christmas lights up year-round, Maine will be the first to let you know that you need to stop this madness. You can be charged a fine for leaving your Christmas decorations up after January 14 in this state.
You'll never be singing in the rain if you're in Maryland. This state has a tax on citizens in nine of its counties because they just happen to live in an area that rains more. They claim it's to ensure environmental safety. But if that's the case, Florida should owe the government some serious cash.
The work day is over and you're ready to hit the bar with your coworkers for some much-needed down time after a long day. You can go lookin' all you want for those happy hour deals in Massachusetts, but you won't find them. This state was the first to officially ban happy hour. Thanks for literally sucking the happiness out of the work day, guys.
Michigan has been the center of a heated debate in the U.S. about environmental safety issues. One of the biggest screwups in American history came out of this state when the townspeople of Flint, Michigan were poisoned by their water supply.
Minnesota hates vegetables so much they don't even put them in their salads. That's right: When someone asks for a salad here, they mean Jell-O salad. If there's anything remotely vegetable-related in there, you better have a good explanation for your madness. Get that hippy food out of here. This is 'Murica.
Speaking of state who hate their veggies, Mississippi is seriously lacking in the health department. The state has the highest obesity rate in the nation. You may want to bring your own produce when you visit this state. It's probably not available. Or if it is, it's slowly decaying in the supermarket's forgotten produce section.
According to Fodor's travel guide, Missouri ranks seventh out of the ten top places in the WORLD to avoid altogether. It's also the only U.S. location included on this list.
The 1980s were a weird time: neon leg warmers, Madonna's metal bra, religious cults falsely predicting nuclear warfare to fool followers. The Church Universal and Triumphant was a cult that told their followers there was going to be a nuclear fallout. Panicked and none the wiser, they started preparing for the destruction while the leaders used the fake news as a distraction to purchase illegal firearms. After the nukes never showed, followers caught on pretty quickly to what was really going on and left.
Nebraska is basically one giant corn field. Why, then, was it necessary for a law to be made cautioning drivers on mountains to drive near the right-hand edge of the highway for better safety. There are no mountains here, guys. Mounds of corn husks don't count.
Nevada gave cancer to John Wayne and 90 other people during the shooting of The Conqueror because of their dumb nuclear testing. It's believed that the actor and others working on the movie were right in the area where upwinds from A-bomb testing near by were headed, which was likely the cause of their illness. Here's a thought: Maybe don't do nuclear testing close to a movie shoot. Or a heavily populated area. Or anywhere at all because it's terrible.
In 2012 a man named Vermin Supreme finished in sixth place with 833 votes for New Hampshire’s Democratic Primary ballot for president. The heart of his campaign was the promise of "free ponies and mandatory tooth brushing." Considering the current state of American politics, many are calling for him to run again in 2020. I honestly don't know which would be worse.
New Jersey is nicknamed the "Armpit of America," which you'll understand the minute you cross over the border between NJ and NY. The area smells like ass due to all the refineries and factories that surround it. You'll have to travel a good hour until that nausea-inducing smell fades from your nostrils.
If you hated high school English, you weren't the only one. New Mexico's vendetta extended a bit further than most when officials ordered the removal of around 400 words from Romeo & Juliet due to their "explicit nature."
Most people don't actually know this, but six out of the nine cast members on The Jersey Shore are actually from New York.
It's too easy to poke fun at the backwards political landscape here, so we'll go for something a bit more pleasant. This North Carolina native messed up big time when he threw his victory by mispronouncing “flamenco,” instead, saying “flamingo" on Wheel of Fortune this past April. It was literally spelled out for him. And yet...
A.J. Clemente had the most short-lived career in broadcast TV when he muttered the words “fucking shit” mere seconds into his first broadcast on his first day on the job. Obviously, he wasn't invited back to give any further colorful commentary on local news.
Police officers in Ohio once mistook a real bomb for a fake. Instead of trying to disarm the bomb or dispose of it properly, they casually brought it back to the precinct, poked around at it with their buds, and proceeded to detonate it. It probably would have been considered more tragic if this exact same scenario didn't already happen in Milwaukee around the same time.
Ohio's police have nothing on Oklahoma's faulty system. In this state, police falsely accused and imprisoned a man for eight months of a crime he did not commit. How do we know he didn't commit the crime? He was already in jail at the time it happened. But that didn't seem to matter to these cops. He could've teleported there! Yeah, that's it!
This year, Oregon flipped when they learned they had to start pumping their own gas. The internet lit up with ridiculous claims of nearly dying having pumped gas once in another state and being afraid of getting abducted by hoboes while attempting to pump their own gas. Welcome to official statehood, Oregon. Now if only we can get New Jersey on board.
While this is definitely a screwup of epic proportions, some good actually came out of it in the end. In 1971, a group in Pennsylvania wanted to break into the FBI. The group strolled right in and got all the files they were after, including shocking evidence of illegal surveillance. The group was never caught and waited until the statute of limitations lifted the possibility of being convicted for their crimes to reveal their identities in a press conference. #Shook
In an effort to drive tourism and refresh the state's brand, Rhode Island created a new logo for the state with the slogan "Cooler and Warmer." It makes absolutely no sense, confused everyone, and was hastily removed by the Rhode Island Commerce Association. You saw nothing.
You can't forget Miss South Carolina Teen USA 2007 and her incredibly ridiculous tangent about the U.S. education system. Or was it South Africa? South America? We'll just let the video speak for itself here.
Speaking of horrible campaigns, South Dakota’s “Don’t Jerk and Drive” campaign was hastily pulled (pun intended) as residents couldn't get their minds out of the gutter. But I mean come on. How can you not look at that and laugh? If anything, they're adding to the problem making people crack up at the wheel like t hat.
It wasn't the proudest moment in Tennessee history when President Andrew Johnson became the first president to be impeached. Don't hold his terrible politics against the rest of Tennessee presidential hopefuls.
Don't worry, y'all: If you're in Austin, Texas and you see Bigfoot, it's completely legal to shoot and kill him. Just, you know, maybe give a holler first to make sure it's not someone who lost a bet in a costume.
According to GQ, Utah residents are some of the worst dressed in the nation. There's an overwhelming amount of plaid to be seen here and a strange t-shirt-under-your-sundress trend that resurfaces every spring we're thinking is responsible for this sad superlative.
In an attempt to make a stand against the Bush Administration in the early 2000s, Vermont issued a warrant for the arrest of Dick Cheney (then VP) and George W. Bush (former president).
America really loves finding problems with standard curriculum novels. A school board in Hanover, Virginia, banned To Kill A Mockingbird in 1966 for being “immoral.” In response, Harper Lee set up a fund to educate the school board as she believed them to be illiterate. That one kind of backfired on ya, there, didn't it, Virginia?
In really disturbing news, up until 2005, you could have all the sex you wanted with animals.
In a secession battle not unlike the one between the U.S. and California, West Virginia parted from its mother state of basically the same name and earned its own statehood... maybe. Some argue that due to the fact that Virginia never officially agreed to the secession, West Virginia isn't a legitimate state. That's a pretty huge clerical oversight, y'all.
If you graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1988, chances are you have one of the four thousand diplomas with the name "Wisconson" typed at the top. The best part about this proofreading error? No one even noticed it — not even the grads! It wasn't discovered until six months later. The class of '88 was clearly very bright.
Probably the strangest item on the list, Wyoming is the only state with the constitutional right to egg Colorado. Yes, you read that correctly: Egg, as in throw raw eggs at Colorado like high school kids do to strangers' cars. Not sure if that’s a screw up in governmental priorities or in Wyoming citizens’ moral fiber, but something is very wrong with the fact that this is a constitutional right.