Capital Cities USA

What is Capital Cities USA?

Capital Cities USA is an organization focusing on the 50 capital cities of the United States.

Why capital cities?

Capital cities are awesome! Think about it – they are the center of government for every state, so that’s a pretty big thing right there. And they didn’t come out of a cookie-cutter mold; each one of the 50 has a unique personality and its own great stories to tell.

Capital cities are every size and shape you can think of. Bustling Phoenix has over a million and a half residents; cozy Montpelier fewer than ten thousand. They have every climate you can imagine, with endless-daylight summer hours in Juneau and winter ice festivals in St Paul.

Some are way up high, like Denver, and Cheyenne, and Santa Fe, and some are nestled right beside the ocean, or a river, or a lake (check your map). Which capital city is the oldest? The youngest? Do you know?

Capital Cities USA covers it all. From what you’ll find when you visit, to what you’ll find if you are doing historical research. What is it like to live there? How did the city evolve and grow? How does the history of the city fit into the history of the United States?

What opportunities are available in each city for helping kids learn and grow, for helping teachers with good lesson plans? What is it like to be a family living there? Is there something fun Grandma and little Sam can share when he comes over for a Saturday afternoon?

How is Capital Cities USA going to answer these questions?

We began with a magnificent adventure called the Journey Across America. There has never been anything like it!

We visited each city, and lived there for a while. Long enough to relax into the flow, to meet kids and moms and dads, to hear from teachers, community volunteers, civic and business leaders. We ate in the local restaurants, and shopped in the local businesses. Museums were perused, neighborhoods explored. And capitol buildings were intensely studied. How accessible was the building? How open to visitors, and school groups? Were tours available? A gift shop? Did the city promote the capitol as a heritage destination?

The information collected is being complied now; that’s the next phase. As this website is constructed, it will showcase each capital city, and each capitol building. There will be a Kids section too, with links to basic facts needed for homework, plus interesting stories and unusual facts that are just plain fun. With each new section that is developed and published, the site’s value will multiply. Bookmark it, and check in frequently, whatever your age, or specific interests.

Why do we need to know about our capital cities?

Despite all their differences, capital cities have one thing in common: each city represents the development of the state, and the 50 together outline the shaping of the United States, in all its vastness and diversity.

Mainstays of American history, culture, traditions and democracy, the 50 capital cities and their capitol buildings are a continuum of past to present to future and as such are invaluable resources. They help us understand and learn from the past. They enable all of us to be informed and involved. They encourage responsible citizenship and inspire young people just beginning to learn the democratic process. Remember – to make good old people you have to start them young!

Capital Cities USA will continue to assess the civic, community and historic resources in our 50 capital cities and their capitol buildings in order to keep current on the learning and participatory opportunities available there, and will provide this information in a consistent format for use by students, teachers, historians, researchers, and the general public.