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Official State Business

November 8, 2016

Every state has a motto, a nickname, and even a traditional dish. But many states also have a few more “official” items.
Map of United States
The official neckware of Arizona is the bolo tie.
The official possum of Georgia is Pogo, the possum from Walt Kelly’s long-running comic strip of the same name.
The official state beverage of Indiana is water. (In Nebraska, it’s Kool-Aid.)
The official state meal of Oklahoma is barbecue pork, chicken-fried steak, fried okra, squash, cornbread, biscuits, corn, sausage and gravy, grits, black-eyed peas, strawberries, and pecan pie.
The official exercise of Maryland is walking. (Maryland’s official sport: jousting.)
The official children’s book of Massachusetts is Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (1941). In 2003 a third-grade class from Canton pushed it through the state legislature as a class project. The official children’s book author of Massachusetts, however, is Dr. Seuss.
The official cartoon character of Oklahoma is Gusty, a raindrop-headed figure drawn nightly on the weather maps on a Tulsa news broadcast by weatherman Don Woods.
The official vehicle of Texas is the chuck wagon.
The state beverage of Alabama is Clyde May’s Conecuh Ridge Alabama Style Whiskey. (The state game bird of Alabama is the wild turkey, not to be confused with Wild Turkey, a beverage distilled in nearby Kentucky.)
The official state rock song of Washington is “Louie Louie.”
The official dinosaur of the District of Columbia is the Capitalsaurus. Paleontologists still aren’t sure it’s actually a separate species—it’s more likely some type of tyrannosaurus—but it’s okay if the Capitalsaurus isn’t real, because D.C. isn’t really a state.
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