Look at chicken! It cross road!
Yesterday. Remember yesterday? The day after two days ago? Two days before tomorrow? I made that dumb post about Idaho?
Yeah, you remember. You probably thought it was a pretty good joke to get a state named after a word you made up. And, it is a fairly good practical joke.
But, when it comes to naming things in America, it's not even close to first place. No, that honor goes to the capital of the state where I was born, Iowa. (hey...I escaped at an early age...)
Know what the best thing to come out of Iowa is? Interstate 35 North.
Minnesota is getting a new zoo. They're putting a fence around Iowa and charging admission.
They stopped selling Kool-Ade in Iowa. No one could figure out how to get two quarts of water into that small packet.
Anyway, I digress. I'm not here to tell Iowa jokes, I'm here to tell about the joke played on Iowa.
In 1673, a French priest, Fr. Jacques Marquette, joined an expedition led by Louis Jolliet. They travelled south through Green Bay, and then made a portage to the Wisconsin river. Shortly after, at Prairie Du Chien, they entered the Mississippi river. They sailed south for a few days, and camped at the mouth of a large river.
He attended a gathering of indians from the Peoria tribe, and being the scholar he was, he asked the Peoria what the name of their rival tribe that lived down the river was. He was told they were called the 'Moingoana'.
He dutifully recorded the name and location on the crude map he was making, and they continued on their voyage.
Eventually, other explorers came to the area. And it was Fr. Marquettes map and notes they used to guide their way. When they got to the mouth of the river where Fr. Marquette had met with the Peoria, they decided, as was a common custom of the time, to totally ignore the name the natives had given the river, and decided to call it the Des Moines river, after the Moingoana tribe.
Later, when a settlement was built on the river that grew into a town, and then into a city, was named after the river it sat on Thus, Des Moines was born.
Everything was dandy until the early 2000's. That's when a researcher at Indiana University, Michael McCafferty, was studying the now-extince Miami-Illinois language. This is the language the Peoria spoke back in Fr. Marquettes day.
He found that Moingoana wasn't the actual name of the tribe. It's just what they were called. So he researched the word further to see what it actually meant. He found the literal translation of Moingoana was "shit-faces".
It would seem the natives have been messing with the white man for as long as we've been here. And Iowa has the honor of being the only state that has a profane insult as it's name.
In 1919, the Volstead Act took effect, and prohibition was the law of the land in America. Except for one small detail.
Rhode Island never ratified the 18th amendment. Nor did they accept the conditions of prohibition.
It was a moot point as Article V of the Constitution say only 3/4 of the states need to ratify an amendment for it to become part of the constitution.
But you stand up for what you believe in, Rhode Island!