A worker installs the sign for the Alaska delegation on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Over the past week, state delegations have taken the microphone at the conventions and proudly spouted glowing trivia and superlatives about their home. Here’s a recap of those boasts, and suggestions for how to make this process more memorable (and more brutally accurate) in four years — using real facts!

ALABAMA

DNC 2016: “We have champions!”

Better: We have the Unclaimed Baggage Center, which sells lost luggage from airlines, in the great city of Scottsboro!

ALASKA

DNC 2016: “The state that is on the front line of climate change!”

Better: The state where it is illegal to give alcohol to moose!

ARIZONA

DNC 2016: “The natural state!”

Better: The state where a Flagstaff woman saw the face of Jesus in an X-ray of one of her left molars!

ARKANSAS

DNC 2016: “Where we first learned to believe in a place called Hope!”

Better: Where we race toads at an annual festival in Conway!

CALIFORNIA

DNC 2016: “The state that defies Donald Trump!”

Better: The state where, according to Joan Didion, a “boom mentality” meets “a sense of Chekhovian loss”!


The California delegation casts its votes during the roll call at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

COLORADO

RNC 2016: “The most gorgeous piece of real estate in America!”

Better: Over which the ashes of Hunter S. Thompson were packed into fireworks and exploded in front of a crowd that included John Kerry!

CONNECTICUT

DNC 2016: “The home of the pizza and the hamburger!”

Better: Where a stripper committed arson and was arrested after her DNA was found on a potato stuffed into the tailpipe of a truck!

DELAWARE

DNC 2016: “The state that brought you Kevlar and Nylon and Gore-Tex!”

Better: The state that brought you your credit-card debt!

[Meryl Streep? Eva Longoria? Chasing celebrities at the DNC]

FLORIDA

RNC 2016: “The state that gave LeBron his first two championships!”

Better: Where last month a man was arrested for punching a swan near Lake Eola!

GEORGIA

DNC 2016: “The epicenter of civil and human rights!”

Better: The epicenter of collectible lunch boxes!

HAWAII

DNC 2016: “The prettiest place in the world!”

Better: The place where a young Barack Obama experimented with marijuana, or so he brags in his memoir!


A woman in the Hawaii delegation weeps as Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks Monday at the Democratic convention. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

IDAHO

DNC 2016: “The deepest gorge in North America!”

Better: The largest concentration of horse fossils!

ILLINOIS

RNC 2016: “We have the finest governor in our nation!”

Better: The birthplace of the original Aunt Viv from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”!

INDIANA

RNC 2016: “A $2 billion surplus!”

Better: A deceased, taxidermied bulldog named Stiffy Green that guards his master’s mausoleum in Terre Haute!

IOWA

DNC 2016: “The first state university to accept women into its degree program!”

Better: The first state west of the Mississippi in which a moving train was robbed!

[Why Michelle Obama had a prime spot at the Democratic National Convention]

KANSAS

DNC 2016: “Home to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius!”

Better: Home to Paul Rudd!

KENTUCKY

RNC 2016: “Where citizens still respect God and the Constitution.”

Better: Where citizens attack one another with bras and defend themselves with ceramic chickens!

LOUISIANA

RNC 2016: “The sportsman’s paradise!”

Better: Paradise for adulterous senators who praise family values!

MAINE

DNC 2016: “Known for our rugged independence and our relentless Yankee work ethic!”

Better: Known for being the only monosyllabic state!

MARYLAND

DNC 2016: “The largest estuary in the United States!”

Better: The longest chain of human dominoes!

MASSACHUSETTS

DNC 2016: “First in the nation to pass equal marriage rights for all!”

Better: First in the nation to cheat at pro football by deflating pigskin and videotaping opposing teams’ signals!

MICHIGAN

DNC 2016: “Created the middle class in this country!”

Better: Created Madonna!

MINNESOTA

RNC 2016: “Home of Spam!”

Better: [Actually, we can’t beat “Home of Spam!"]

MISSISSIPPI

DNC 2016: “Home of the blues!”

Better: Home of Oprah!

MISSOURI

RNC 2016: “The birthplace of talk radio!”

Better: The birthplace of Scott Bakula!

[We were promised a riot in Cleveland; we got a block party instead]

MONTANA

DNC 2016: “The home of the only farmer in the United States Senate!”

Better: The home of the only U.S. senator with seven fingers!

NEBRASKA

RNC 2016: “The No. 1 beef-producing state in the union!”

Better: The No. 2 state in binge drinking!

NEVADA

DNC 2016: “A spirit as wild and free as our mustangs!”

Better: A spirit as wild and free as our Mustang Ranch brothel!

NEW HAMPSHIRE

RNC 2016: “A state that has no sales or income tax!”

Better: A state that doesn’t subsidize any of its housing, meaning the wait for a Section 8 voucher is six years!

NEW JERSEY

RNC 2016: “The greatest state in the union!”

Better: The greatest state in the union for stand-up comedy fodder!


Andrew Christie takes a photo of his father, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, with a delegate on the first day of the Republican event. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

NEW MEXICO

DNC 2016: “Home of ‘Breaking Bad,’ the show!”

Better: Home of the Alien Light Parade, the marquee event of the Roswell UFO Festival!

NEW YORK

RNC 2016: “We have as one of our delegates Donald J. Trump Jr.!”

Better: The birthplace of the second Aunt Viv from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”!

NORTH CAROLINA

DNC 2016: “Home of the largest military base in the world!”

Better: Home of the largest gathering of Elvis impersonators in the world!

[Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the ultimate Washington survivor. Until she wasn’t.]

NORTH DAKOTA

RNC 2016: “The only state in the United States last year to actually grow younger!”

Better: The only state in the United States last year not to see a drop in the number of delinquent juveniles sent to group homes or correctional facilities!

OHIO

DNC 2016: “The heart of it all!”

Better: Where it is illegal to give alcohol to fish!

OKLAHOMA

RNC 2016: “The reddest state in the union!”

Better: The reddest state in the union on a map showing man-made earthquakes!

OREGON

RNC 2016: Home of “the great American pinot noir” and “hazelnuts”!

Better: Home of the tallest barbershop pole in America!


Nathan Dahlin, an alternate delegate from Oregon, prays during the invocation on the second day of the RNC. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

PENNSYLVANIA

RNC 2016: “Home of the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins!”

Better: Home of Charles Grodin!

RHODE ISLAND

DNC 2016: “Home of outstanding beaches and coastline!”

Better: Home of Mr. Potato Head!

SOUTH CAROLINA

RNC 2016: “Home of the No. 1 city in the world, according to Travel and Leisure!”

Better: Home of the highest rate of deadly violence against women, according to the Violence Policy Center!

SOUTH DAKOTA

DNC 2016: “Land that brought us George McGovern!”

Better: Land that raised Bob Barker!

TENNESSEE

RNC 2016: “Top five in jobs growth!”

Better: Top five in diabetes!

TEXAS

RNC 2016: “A state where no Democrat has won statewide office since 1992!”

Better: A state where there are more obese adults than there are people living in Minnesota!

UTAH

DNC 2016: “The greatest snow on Earth!”

Better: The greatest Romney on Earth! (That would be Josh. Just kidding, it’s Mitt! Just kidding, it’s Ann.)

VERMONT

RNC 2016: “Home of Calvin Coolidge!”

Better: Home of Ted Bundy!


Bernie Sanders receives a kiss from a well-wisher after the Vermont delegation cast its roll call vote on the second day of the DNC. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

VIRGINIA

RNC 2016: “The cradle of freedom!”

Better: The cradle of Oasis Winery, the foreclosed-upon 102 acres of vineyard once owned by White House gate crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi!

WASHINGTON

RNC 2016: “Vast wheat fields!”

Better: Really smart and kind billionaires!

WEST VIRGINIA

DNC 2016: Home to “the most compassionate people in the world when disaster strikes!”

Better: Home to the world’s largest teapot!

WISCONSIN

DNC 2016: “Where people still make things!”

Better: Where people claim that having sex with a goat is their constitutional right!

WYOMING

RNC 2016: “We are an energy titan!”

Better: We have only two escalators!

Monica Hesse and Ben Terris contributed to this list. Sources: the Bismarck Tribune, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, the New Hampshire Business Review, NPR, the Orlando Sentinel, Slate, Thrillist, WKYT-TV.