It borders on the inexplicable. Some state capitals are easy for most people to remember, while others are challenging. Ask someone, for example, the capital of New York, and they probably will know it’s Albany. The capital of California? Sacramento, of course. But some states are real puzzlers. Here are what may be the most difficult to remember:
While many will guess Louisville or Lexington, the actual capital of Kentucky is Frankfort. Perhaps one of the reasons it is forgettable is that it has a population of just 28,000 people.
If you think Frankfort, KY is small for a capital city, consider Vermont’s capital of Montpelier. It has just about 7,250 residents as of 2020.
Part of the problem with remembering the capital of South Dakota is remembering the difference between North and South Dakota. While Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota, it is more difficult for many to recall that the capital of South Dakota is Pierre.
In the early 1900s, Sitka was the capital of Alaska. It was moved, however, but not to Anchorage, as many may believe. The capital of Alaska is Juneau. Which is also the only capital city to border another country, Canada.
It may be difficult enough to remember that Washington is both a state and the nation’s capital, let alone that the state capital of Washington State is Olympia.
For such a large state, the state capital of Pennsylvania can be difficult to remember. In fact, naming any other city other than Pittsburgh or Philadelphia may give many a challenge. The actual state capital is Harrisburg, located between the state’s major cities.
It would seem the odds would be Las Vegas or Reno would be the capital of Nevada, but the actual capital city is Carson City. The town has a population of less than 60,000 but still has gambling.
Certainly, a lot of people believe the capital of Missouri is either St. Louis or Kansas City. In reality, the capital city is Jefferson City.
So, if Kansas City isn’t the capital of Missouri, it certainly must be the state capital of Kansas, right? Nope. That distinction goes to Topeka, Kansas. The name, believed to be of Indian origin, is said to mean everything from “smoky hill” to “a good place to dig potatoes.”
For some reason, many people have trouble remembering that the capital of North Carolina is Raleigh. Maybe it’s all the hyphenated metros like Raleigh-Durham-Greensboro-Winston-Salem.
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