VERMONT

State Information

Nickname(s):                      The Green Mountain State

Motto(s):                                May the 14th Star Shine Bright

State song(s):                        These Green Mountains

 Capital                                     Montpelier

Largest City                          Burlington

Admitted to US                    3/4/1791                  14th State

Brief History

Here are a few interesting facts about Vermont:

  • It was home to two presidents: Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge. 

  • The Von Trapp family, portrayed in the Sound of Music movie, escaped from Austria and settled in Vermont. 

  • The first Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream opened in Burlington, in 1978. 

  • IBM is Vermont’s largest employer. 

  • Vermont has the second smallest population behind Wyoming.

  • It has the lowest unemployment in the Nation and the 2nd lowest crime rate, behind Maine.

Interesting Stories

Elisha Otis, was born in Halifax, VT.  Skyscrapers would not exist without him, at least not very tall ones.  He invented the elevator and the company that bears his name, the Otis Elevator Company.  While working in a sawmill, he wanted to move material to the upper levels.  The conventional hoisting platforms often broke and were dangerous, so he designed a “safety elevator” that would automatically stop when there was a power loss.  But when he started his company, there was no interest – not a single order.  So he entered the 1853 World’s Fair and had people ride the elevator.  He suddenly cut the lifting rope.  The crowd gasped and then applauded when the elevator only dropped an inch.  Advertising, coupled with shock and awe, became the key to his marketing success.

Maple Syrup.  Maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees.  This sap was first collected by Native Americans who later introduced European settlers the sweet taste.  About 1 gallon of syrup is made by boiling 30 to 50 gallons of sap taken from 30 to 40-year-old maple trees.  Care has to be taken to make sure the sap is only heated to 4.1°C above the boiling point.  If it is boiled too long, the syrup will crystallize. But if it is not boiled long enough, it will be watery.  Vermont produces the most maple syrup in the United States, amounting to around 47% of the country’s supply.

Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Vermont, in 1844.  He was the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Saints, also known as the Mormons.  He was challenged by conventional Christian churches and agnostics and was eventually run out of New York.  He and his followers moved around to various places, but each time they were spurned and rejected.  In Missouri, the Mormons were ordered to surrender their property and leave the state.  Joseph Smith was even accused of treason and sentenced to death.  The acting general refused to carry out the order, allowing Smith and his followers to flee to Nauvoo, Illinois.  But turmoil occurred there as well, and he was killed when a mob stormed a jail where he was being held.  Brigham Young, also born in Vermont, took over as the leader of the Mormons and headed west with about 70,000 followers. Today, this Christian church has a worldwide membership of about 17 million people.

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