Although I’ve only visited a few times, I am a great admirer of the state of Vermont. Beautiful, sheep-strewn landscape; charming, funky old country towns; progressive politics; independent, interesting, self-employed people—it is both green and cool in all senses of those words.
Long ago home to Beluga whales when it was an inland sea, then to Algonquin-speaking Native American tribes, it was first spotted by Europeans when Samuel de Champlain sailed its eponymous lake in 1609, leading the way for French exploration and settlement. And for a while it was under French rule. Then British rule. But Vermont declared itself an independent republic in 1777, taking the name from its French heritage, and wrote itself a constitution abolishing slavery, setting up public schools, and granting the vote even to non-landowners. (Male ones, anyway. There are limits even to Vermont’s progressive ideas.)
Today is the anniversary of the day in 1791 when Vermont finally decided to join the Union as its 14th state, a decision some Vermonters probably regret as they see how the rest of us are lagging behind them.
For a laugh to start your day, check out this funny rap video parody made by the son of a Vermont friend, called “802” after the state’s single area code. You have to listen twice to catch some of the lines:
We like our Cabot cheddar extra sharp
Our roofs have leaks so we patch it with a tarp
Cellphone service questionable
Farmers Market is our biggest festival
Got creamiest milk in the fifty states
We go on picnics and dine off paper plates
Biggest piles of snow in the USA
Yeah we made it legal in this state to be gay
Happy Anniversary, Vermont! Stick with us—we’re coming along.