When did your State Join the Union? Statehood by Names
Statehood: When did your State Join the Union? - Find a directory of dates that states were
admitted into the union. Or read about the
This is a list of US states by name of statehood, that is, the date when each
joined the Union. Although the first 13 states can be considered to have been members of the
United States from the date of the Declaration of Independence – Thursday, July 4, 1776 –
they are presented here as being "admitted" on the date each ratified the present
United States Constitution; most other such lists, including the 50 State Quarters program,
do the same. The admission dates for later states were set by either the act of admission or
a later resolution issued under that act, except for Ohio, whose date of admission was determined
by act of Congress in 1953
Alabama entered the Union on December 14, 1819. In January
1861, Alabama seceded from the Union, and on February 4, delegates from six states met at Montgomery
and formed the Confederate States of America, with Montgomery as the capital. After the Civil
War, Alabama re-entered the Union. Territory by Act of March 3, 1817, effective Aug. 15, 1817.
Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959; it was the
first new state in the Union since 1912. A district from Oct. 18, 1867, until it became an
organized territory Aug. 24, 1912.
Arizona became the 48th state on February 14, 1912. This region
was sometimes called Arizona before 1863, although it was still in the Territory of New Mexico
Despite opposition in Congress to a new slave state, Arkansas became a state on
June 15, 1836. Arkansas Governor Henry M. Rector seized Fort Smith
and Arkansas joined the Confederacy in 1861 re-entering the Union at War's end. The territory
was larger than the state. After statehood the leftover area to the west had post offices that
continued for some years to use an Arkansas abbreviation in the postmarks, although they were
really in the "Indian Country."
Congress hesitated to welcome a new free state, but because of its booming population and the
discovery of gold California was admitted in September 9, 1850.
Ceded by Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, concluded Feb. 2, 1848, and proclaimed
July 4, 1848. From then until statehood, California had a military government until Dec. 20,
1849, and then a local civil government. It never had a territorial form of government.
After three tries Colorado was made a state on August 1, 1876.
Connecticut, one of the thirteen colonies, became the fifth state on January
Delaware, one of the thirteen colonies, gained its distinction as the "First State" when it
was the first to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787.
Florida became a state on March 3, 1845, a move delayed by
the reluctance of Congress to admit another slave state, and it joined the Confederacy on January
10, 1861, re-entering the Union at war's end.
Georgia, one of the thirteen colonies, ratified the US Constitution on
January 2, 1788, becoming the fourth state to do so; it joined
the Confederacy on January 19, 1861, and re-entered the Union after the Civil War.
Hawaii became the Fiftieth state on August 21, 1959 The territorial
date Aug. 12, 1898 is that of the formal transfer to the United States, with Sanford B. Dole
as first Governor.
Idaho became a state on July 3, 1890.
Illinois became the 21st state on December 3, 1818.
Indiana became the 19th state on December 11, 1816. There was
a residue of Indiana Territory that continued to exist under that name until Dec. 3, 1818,
when it was attached to Michigan Territory
On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the first free state in the
old Louisiana Territory.
Kansas became a free state on January 29, 1861, after seven
years of bloody feuding between residents over whether to be admitted as a slave or free state.
Kentucky became the first state to be carved from the great western wilderness on
June 1, 1792. Never a territory, it was part of Virginia until
Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30, 1812. It joined
the Confederacy on January 26, 1861 and re-entered the Union after the Civil War. With certain
boundary changes, had been the Territory of Orleans.
Maine became the 23rd state on March 15, 1820. Its admission
to the Union balanced the simultaneous admission of Missouri as a slave state. What is now
the state of Maine was, before statehood, called the District of Maine and belonged to Massachusetts.
Maryland became the seventh state on April 28, 1788. During
the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln placed Maryland under military control.
Originally part of the thirteen colonies, Massachusetts became a state on
February 6, 1788
Michigan became the 26th state on January 26, 1837.
On May 11, 1858 Minnesota became the 32 state.
On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th
state. Territory by Act of April 7, 1798, effective May 7, 1798.
Missouri was admitted as a slave state on August 10, 1821,
after an agreement known as the Missouri Compromise in which Maine was admitted as a free state.
The state was much smaller than the territory. The area to the west and northwest of the state,
which had been in the territory, was commonly known as the "Missouri Country" until
May 30, 1854, and certain of the post offices in this area show a Missouri abbreviation in
Montana achieved statehood on November 8, 1889.
President Andrew Johnson vetoed the Nebraska statehood bill of 1866, but Congress overrode
his veto, and Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867.
On October 31, 1864, at the urging of President Abraham Lincoln,
Nevada became a state. Only a short four years earlier, it had been a wilderness.
In a sense, New Hampshire, originally one of the thirteen colonies, "created" the new nation
by becoming the ninth state on June 21, 1788, meeting the requirement
for nine states to ratify the Constitution.
New Jersey, one of the thirteen colonies, became the third state on December
On January 6, 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state.
On July 26, 1788, New York , one of the thirteen colonies,
became the 11th state.
North Carolina, one of the thirteen colonies, became the 12th state on
November 21, 1789. North Carolina troops suffered the greatest
losses of all the states during the Civil War while fighting for the Confederacy, re-entered
the Union after the fighting ceased.
Both North and South Dakota became states on November 2, 1889.
Was part of Dakota Territory before statehood. Admitted on same day as South Dakota
Ohio became the first state west of the Alleghenies on March 1, 1803.
Was part of the Northwest Territory until statehood.
Oklahoma became a state on November 6, 1907, with a population
of 1,414,177, including residents in Indian Territory. The state was formed from Oklahoma Territory
and Indian Territory.
On February 14, 1859, Oregon became the 33rd state to be admitted
into the Union.
In September 1787, the US Constitution was signed in Philadelphia and on
December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania, one of the thirteen colonies,
became the second state.
Rhode Island was the last of the thirteen colonies to join the Union on
May 29, 1790.
South Carolina, one of the thirteen colonies, became the eighth state on
May 23, 1788. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina became the
first state to secede form the Union. It re- entered after the Civil War.
Both Dakotas became states on November 2, 1889. Was part of
Dakota Territory before statehood. Admitted on same day as North Dakota
Tennessee became a state on June 1, 1796. On June 8, 1861,
it joined the Confederacy and became a major battleground for the Civil War, re-entering the
Union after war's end. Was Southwest Territory before statehood.
After ten years of independence, Texas became a state on December 29,
1845. Was an independent republic before statehood.
Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896, becoming our
Nation's 45th state.
Vermont became the first state added to the Union following the 13 colonies on
March 1, 1791. Until statehood, had been a region claimed by both
New York and New Hampshire
Virginia one of the thirteen colonies, became the 10th state on June 25,
1788. Richmond became the capital of the Confederacy on May 29, 1861, but re-entered
the Union after the war.
Residents of Washington were given the right to vote for president and vice president with
the ratification of the 23rd Amendment in 1961. But the District of Columbia does not have
On November 11, 1889, Washington was admitted into the Union,
becoming our Nation's 42nd state
On June 20, 1863, the wartime state of West Virginia was born
by acceptance of the federal government. Was part of Virginia until statehood.
Wisconsin became the 30th state on May 29, 1848. The state
is smaller than the territory and the leftover area continued to be called the Territory of
Wisconsin until March 3, 1849.
Although the Wyoming population was not enough to qualify for statehood, it became one anyway
on July 10, 1890.
Puerto Ricans received US citizenship in 1917, and the island became an internally self- governing
commonwealth in 1952. The people of Puerto Rico are represented in the US House of Representatives
by a nonvoting delegate.
US Virgin Islands
In 1927, the people of the US Virgin Islands became American nationals and in 1936, they achieved
limited self-government. Today the Virgin Islands has a limited form of self-government, with
an elected governor and lieutenant, and a nonvoting delegate to the US House of Representatives.
The United States, Britain, and France claimed trade and other privileges in the islands, and
the United States established a naval station at Pago Pago in 1878. An agreement of 1899 recognized
in the US right to govern present American Samoa. In 1978, a governor was popularly elected
for the first time.
After the Spanish-American War of 1898, Spain ceded the island to the United States. Guam is
represented by a nonvoting delegate in the US House of Representatives, and its residents are
citizens but do not vote for the President.
Several Pacific Island groups, collectively known as Micronesia, were placed under US trusteeship
after World War II. The trusteeship has since been dissolved. The Northern Mariana Islands
is a US commonwealth; the other island groups are now independent states with close ties to
The information for this listing was provided by:
The World Almanac of the USA.
EWorld Almanac Books, 1996
An Imprint of K-III Reference Corporation
One International Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07497-0017