If you are a history buff or would just like to know more about your country, the History Channel’s How The States Got Their Shape is a must see. The two-hour program covers facts and information that I never knew such as where was Davey Crockett born? Do you think you know the answer?

Some of you may recall the song about Davey Crockett, ‘born on a mountain top in Tennessee,’ but he was actually born in the State of Franklin. Here is what one article states about the State of Franklin:

The State of Franklin was set up in 1784 out of the westerly portion of the colonial state of North Carolina. Shortly after the War of Independence the original colonies were asked to pay for the war efforts and create a country with a sound financial policy. Since the taxing the population was difficult and cash was in short supply North Carolina ceded the western portion of the state to the federal coffers. Before the Congress could accept the offer North Carolina withdrew the offer. The citizens of the region decided that federal rule in the meantime was probably a good idea since North Carolina as a state had given this remote region little support in its fight with the Indians or protection from criminal refugees. They saw other benefits as an independent state in terms of taxation, representation and an understanding attitude toward local problems. Representatives of the North Carolina counties of Sullivan, Washington, Greene, and Davidson accepted the offer of cessation to federal territory. The state of Franklin existed for only four years to finally merge with the new state of Tennessee.

This was only one of many interesting facts about how the states were shaped, including facts about two other attempts to create more states. It was even considered at one time to divide up Texas into five separate states, which obviously failed.

The story of how the land between Canada and the U.S. was originally surveyed also was of interest. It took over 100 people some five years to draw the boundary lines between the two countries. But in one area a mistake was made. The U.S. built a fort along the border, only to discover that they were 3/4 of a mile inside of Canada. I won’t spoil how they resolved this issue but it was a novel approach.

The program provides information that is presented to the viewer in an entertaining manner.

Overall it is a great history lesson.

Comments welcome.

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