Every state in the American union loves to boast its superlatives, from its most famous haunted houses to its most famous movie sets. The competition is great for tourism and trivia alike, and helps set each state apart from its 49 brethren.
When it comes to most notable historical figures from each state, though, the details may surprise you. After all, famous historical figures aren't always associated with the state of their birth. For example, the famous Illinois senator-turned-president Abraham Lincoln wasn't actually born in Illinois at all, but Kentucky! Which state has produced the most silver screen figures? It’s not California. And what about beloved New England poet Robert Frost? He's actually from California.
Where historical figures were born doesn’t predict where they ended up in the annals of history but each state can claim someone of historical significance... even Rhode Island! Read on to see which of America's states claim lauded historical people.
Rosa Parks - Leading civil rights activist who took a stand (by taking a seat) against racial segregation on public busses in the 1950s.
Zelda Fitzgerald - Novelist, painter, and socialite of the roaring 1920s; wife of The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Zora Neale Hurston - Harlem Renaissance author of Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Helen Keller - Activist, author, lecturer and champion of the blind and hard of hearing.
Archie Van Winkle - A US Marine during the Korean War and the only Alaskan to receive the Medal of Honor. He died in 1986.
Dick Wilmarth - a miner and trapper from Red Devil who was the very first winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1973.
Cesar Estrada Chavez - Civil rights activist and labor reformist; co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association.
Barry Goldwater - Multi-term senator and Republican presidential nominee; godfather of the libertarian movement.
Johnny Cash - Folk musician famous for his songs like "Walk the Line" and "Ring of Fire."
General Douglas MacArthur - Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in the Pacific during World War II who obtained Japanese surrender in 1945.
Sam Walton - Founder of Wal Mart and Sam's Club stores.
Paul "Bear" Bryant - One of the most celebrated college football coaches of all time with 323 victories and six national championships at the University of Alabama.