US Postal Codes

Postal codes, or postal abbreviations, are short hand ways to write the names of states when addressing letters.  But they are also used in advertising, legal information, on news weather reports and many other places.  Typically in the upper elementary years of school, 4th or 5th grade American kids are expected to memorize the postal codes of the United States. The US post office has decided on standard two letter abbreviations for each state so that when a letter is addressed the sender, the receiver, and the postal workers can all see at a glance where the letter is headed or where it came from. For example Maine is abbreviated ME.  The postal codes are always exactly two letters, always capitalized, and never with periods.  Most states are pretty easy to guess from their postal codes, but some might be confusing.  Is AK Alaska or Arkansas?  It is Alaska.  Arkansas … click to read more

South Dakota State Study

South Dakota was inhabited by the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikera, Sioux, and Chippewa tribes.  The area was explored by French trappers in the 1700’s, but not settled until long after Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase. Gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874 and American settlers moved in, creating the first permanent American settlements and displacing the Sioux, opening up hostilities again.  By 1898 the population in the Dakotas was sufficient to create two new states at the same time, North Dakota and South Dakota. The 1930’s droughts and economic depression were devastating to South Dakota.  Dust storms plagued the land and people exited the state in massive numbers.  With World War II and massive dam building projects the economy recovered and land that used to be subject to drought could now be irrigated.  Power and recreation were also provided with the dams. Today South Dakota is still largely agricultural and rural.  … click to read more