New Hampshire facts for kids
|State of New Hampshire|
|Nickname(s): The Granite State|
|Motto(s): Live Free or Die|
|State anthem: Old New Hampshire|
(French allowed for official business with Quebec)
|Demonym||Granite Stater, New Hampshirite|
|Largest metro||Greater Manchester|
|- Total||9,349 sq mi
|- Width||68 miles (110 km)|
|- Length||190 miles (305 km)|
|- % water||4.2|
|- Latitude||42° 42′ N to 45° 18′ N|
|- Longitude||70° 36′ W to 72° 33′ W|
|Number of people||Ranked 41st|
|- Total||1,334,795 (2016 est)|
|- Density||147/sq mi (56.8/km2)
|- Average income||$75,675 (1st)|
|Height above sea level|
|- Highest point||Mount Washington
6,288 ft (1916.66 m)
|- Average||1,000 ft (300 m)|
|- Lowest point||Atlantic Ocean
|Before statehood||Province of New Hampshire|
|Became part of the U.S.||June 21, 1788 (9th)|
|Governor||Chris Sununu (R)|
|Time zone||Eastern: UTC -5/-4|
|Abbreviations||NH, N.H. US-NH|
|The Flag of New Hampshire.|
|The Seal of New Hampshire.|
Lycaeides melissa samuelis
|Fish||Freshwater: Brook trout
Saltwater: Striped bass
Vegetable: White Potato
|Song(s)||"Old New Hampshire"|
|Tartan||New Hampshire State Tartan|
|Released in 2000|
|Lists of United States state insignia|
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hampshire is the 5th smallest by land area and the 9th least populous of the 50 United States.
In January 1776, it became the first of the British North American colonies to establish a government independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain's authority, and it was the first to establish its own state constitution. Six months later, it became one of the original 13 states that founded the United States of America, and in June 1788 it was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, bringing that document into effect.
The state's nickname, "The Granite State", refers to its extensive granite formations and quarries.
With some of the largest ski mountains on the East Coast, New Hampshire's major recreational attractions include skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter sports, hiking and mountaineering, observing the fall foliage, summer cottages along many lakes and the seacoast, motor sports at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Motorcycle Week, a popular motorcycle rally held in Weirs Beach near Laconia in June. The White Mountain National Forest links the Vermont and Maine portions of the Appalachian Trail, and boasts the Mount Washington Auto Road, where visitors may drive to the top of 6,288-foot (1,917 m) Mount Washington.
- See also: List of counties in New Hampshire, List of mountains in New Hampshire, List of lakes in New Hampshire, and List of rivers in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is part of the New England region. It is bounded by Quebec, Canada, to the north and northwest; Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east; Massachusetts to the south; and Vermont to the west. New Hampshire's major regions are the Great North Woods, the White Mountains, the Lakes Region, the Seacoast, the Merrimack Valley, the Monadnock Region, and the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee area. New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any U.S. coastal state, with a length of 18 miles (29 km), sometimes measured as only 13 miles (21 km). New Hampshire was home to the rock formation called the Old Man of the Mountain, a face-like profile in Franconia Notch, until the formation disintegrated in May 2003.
The White Mountains range in New Hampshire spans the north-central portion of the state, with Mount Washington the tallest in the northeastern U.S. – site of the second-highest wind speed ever recorded – and other mountains like Mount Madison and Mount Adams surrounding it. With hurricane-force winds every third day on average, over 100 recorded deaths among visitors, and conspicuous krumholtz (dwarf, matted trees much like a carpet of bonsai trees), the climate on the upper reaches of Mount Washington has inspired the weather observatory on the peak to claim that the area has the "World's Worst Weather".
In the flatter southwest corner of New Hampshire, the landmark Mount Monadnock has given its name to a class of earth-forms – a monadnock – signifying, in geomorphology, any isolated resistant peak rising from a less resistant eroded plain.
Major rivers include the 110-mile (177 km) Merrimack River, which bisects the lower half of the state north–south and ends up in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Its tributaries include the Contoocook River, Pemigewasset River, and Winnipesaukee River. The 410-mile (660 km) Connecticut River, which starts at New Hampshire's Connecticut Lakes and flows south to Connecticut, defines the western border with Vermont. The state border is not in the center of that river, as is usually the case, but at the low-water mark on the Vermont side; meaning that the entire river along the Vermont border (save for areas where the water level has been raised by a dam) lies within New Hampshire. Only one town – Pittsburg – shares a land border with the state of Vermont. The "northwesternmost headwaters" of the Connecticut also define the Canada–U.S. border.
The Piscataqua River and its several tributaries form the state's only significant ocean port where they flow into the Atlantic at Portsmouth. The Salmon Falls River and the Piscataqua define the southern portion of the border with Maine. The Piscataqua River boundary was the subject of a border dispute between New Hampshire and Maine in 2001, with New Hampshire claiming dominion over several islands (primarily Seavey's Island) that include the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case in 2002, leaving ownership of the island with Maine. New Hampshire still claims sovereignty of the base, however.
The largest of New Hampshire's lakes is Lake Winnipesaukee, which covers 71 square miles (184 km2) in the east-central part of New Hampshire. Umbagog Lake along the Maine border, approximately 12.3 square miles (31.9 km2), is a distant second. Squam Lake is the second largest lake entirely in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has the shortest ocean coastline of any state in the United States, approximately 18 miles (29 km) long. Hampton Beach is a popular local summer destination. About 7 miles (11 km) offshore are the Isles of Shoals, nine small islands (four of which are in New Hampshire) known as the site of a 19th-century art colony founded by poet Celia Thaxter, and the alleged location of one of the buried treasures of the pirate Blackbeard.
It is the state with the highest percentage of timberland area in the country. New Hampshire is in the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome. Much of the state, in particular the White Mountains, is covered by the conifers and northern hardwoods of the New England-Acadian forests. The southeast corner of the state and parts of the Connecticut River along the Vermont border are covered by the mixed oaks of the Northeastern coastal forests.
The northern third of the state is locally referred to as the "north country" or "north of the notches," in reference to White Mountain passes that channel traffic. It contains less than 5% of the state's population, suffers relatively high poverty, and is steadily losing population as the logging and paper industries decline. However, the tourist industry, in particular visitors who go to northern New Hampshire to ski, snowboard, hike and mountain bike, has helped offset economic losses from mill closures.
New Hampshire experiences a humid continental climate, with warm, humid summers, cold, wet winters, and uniform precipitation all year.
The climate of the southeastern portion is moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and averages relatively milder and wetter weather, while the northern and interior portions experience cooler temperatures and lower humidity. Winters are cold and snowy throughout the state, and especially severe in the northern and mountainous areas. Average annual snowfall ranges from 60 inches (150 cm) to over 100 inches (250 cm) across the state.
Extreme snow is often associated with a nor'easter, such as the Blizzard of '78 and the Blizzard of 1993, when several feet accumulated across portions of the state over 24 to 48 hours. Lighter snowfalls of several inches occur frequently throughout winter, often associated with an Alberta Clipper.
New Hampshire, on occasion, is affected by hurricanes and tropical storms although by the time they reach the state they are often extratropical, with most storms striking the southern New England coastline and moving inland or passing by offshore in the Gulf of Maine. Most of New Hampshire averages fewer than 20 days of thunderstorms per year and an average of two tornadoes occur annually statewide.
- See also: List of cities in New Hampshire
Metropolitan areas in the New England region are defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as New England City and Town Areas (NECTAs). The following is a list of NECTAs in New Hampshire:
- Lebanon – Hartford, VT
- Nashua Metropolitan Division (part of Boston metropolitan area)
- Rochester – Dover
Various Algonquian (Abenaki and Pennacook) tribes inhabited the area before European settlement. English and French explorers visited New Hampshire in 1600–1605, and English fishermen settled at Odiorne's Point in present-day Rye in 1623. The first permanent settlement was at Hilton's Point (present-day Dover). By 1631, the Upper Plantation comprised modern-day Dover, Durham and Stratham; in 1679, it became the "Royal Province". Father Rale's War was fought between the colonists and the Wabanaki Confederacy throughout New Hampshire.
New Hampshire was one of the thirteen colonies that rebelled against British rule during the American Revolution. By the time of the American Revolution, New Hampshire was a divided province. The economic and social life of the Seacoast region revolved around sawmills, shipyards, merchants' warehouses, and established village and town centers. Wealthy merchants built substantial homes, furnished them with the finest luxuries, and invested their capital in trade and land speculation. At the other end of the social scale, there developed a permanent class of day laborers, mariners, indentured servants and even slaves.
The only battle fought in New Hampshire was the raid on Fort William and Mary, December 14, 1774, in Portsmouth Harbor, which netted the rebellion sizable quantities of gunpowder, small arms and cannon. (General Sullivan, leader of the raid, described it as, "remainder of the powder, the small arms, bayonets, and cartouche-boxes, together with the cannon and ordnance stores") over the course of two nights. This raid was preceded by a warning to local patriots the previous day, by Paul Revere on December 13, 1774, that the fort was to be reinforced by troops sailing from Boston. According to unverified accounts, the gunpowder was later used at the Battle of Bunker Hill, transported there by Major Demerit, who was one of several New Hampshire patriots who stored the powder in their homes until it was transported elsewhere for use in revolutionary activities. During the raid, the British soldiers fired upon the rebels with cannon and muskets. Although there were apparently no casualties, these were among the first shots in the American Revolutionary period, occurring approximately five months before the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
The United States Constitution was ratified by New Hampshire on June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire became the ninth state to do so.
New Hampshire was a Jacksonian stronghold; the state sent Franklin Pierce to the White House in the election of 1852. Industrialization took the form of numerous textile mills, which in turn attracted large flows of immigrants from Quebec (the "French Canadians") and Ireland. The northern parts of the state produced lumber, and the mountains provided tourist attractions. After 1960, the textile industry collapsed, but the economy rebounded as a center of high technology and as a service provider.
Starting in 1952, New Hampshire gained national and international attention for its presidential primary held early in every presidential election year. It immediately became the most important testing grounds for candidates for the Republican and Democratic nominations. The media gave New Hampshire (and Iowa) about half of all the attention paid to all states in the primary process, magnifying the state's decision powers (and spurring repeated efforts by out-of-state politicians to change the rules.)
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of New Hampshire was 1,334,795 on July 1, 2016.
Race and ancestry
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the racial makeup of New Hampshire was:
- 93.9% White American (92.3% Non-Hispanic White, 1.6% White Hispanic)
- 2.2% Asian American
- 1.1% Black or African American
- 0.2% Native American/American Indian
- 1.6% Two or more races
- 1.0% Some other race
Hispanic and Latino Americans of any race made up 2.8% of the population in 2010.
The large Irish American and French-Canadian populations are descended largely from mill workers, and many still live in the former mill towns, like Manchester. New Hampshire has one of the highest percentages (23.3% of the population) of residents of French/French-Canadian/Acadian ancestry of any U.S. state. (As of 2013[update] estimates, Maine had a slightly higher percentage.)
In Coös County, 16% of the population speaks French at home.
New Hampshire's agricultural outputs are dairy products, nursery stock, cattle, apples and eggs.
Its industrial outputs are machinery, electric equipment, rubber and plastic products and tourism.
New Hampshire experienced a significant shift in its economic base during the last century. Historically, the base was composed of the traditional New England manufactures of textiles, shoe making, and small machining shops drawing upon low-wage labor from nearby small farms and from parts of Quebec. Today, these sectors contribute only 2% for textiles, 2% for leather goods, and 9% for machining of the state's total manufacturing dollar value. They experienced a sharp decline due to obsolete plants and the lure of cheaper wages in the South.
New Hampshire has a well-maintained, well-signed network of Interstate highways, U.S. highways, and state highways. State highway markers still depict the Old Man of the Mountain despite that rock formation's demise in 2003.
New Hampshire has 25 public-use airports, three with some scheduled commercial passenger service. The busiest airport by number of passengers handled is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester and Londonderry, which serves the Greater Boston metropolitan area.
Long-distance intercity passenger rail service is provided by Amtrak's Vermonter and Downeaster lines.
Greyhound, Concord Coach, Vermont Translines and Dartmouth Coach all provide intercity bus connections to and from points in New Hampshire and to long-distance points beyond and in between.
Eleven public transit authorities operate local and regional bus services around the state, and eight private carriers operate express bus services which link with the national intercity bus network. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation operates a statewide ride-sharing match service, in addition to independent ride matching and guaranteed ride home programs.
Tourist railroads include the Conway Scenic Railroad, Hobo-Winnipesaukee Railroad, and the Mount Washington Cog Railway.
Freight railways in New Hampshire include Claremont & Concord Railroad (CCRR), Pan Am Railways via subsidiary Springfield Terminal Railway (ST), the New England Central Railroad (NHCR), the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad (SLR), and New Hampshire Northcoast Corporation (NHN).
In the spring, New Hampshire's many sap houses hold sugaring-off open houses. In summer and early autumn, New Hampshire is home to many county fairs, the largest being the Hopkinton State Fair, in Contoocook. New Hampshire's Lakes Region is home to many summer camps, especially around Lake Winnipesaukee, and is a popular tourist destination. The Peterborough Players have performed every summer in Peterborough, New Hampshire since 1933. The Barnstormers Theatre in Tamworth, New Hampshire, founded in 1931, is one of the longest-running professional summer theaters in the United States. In the fall New Hampshire is host to the New Hampshire Highland Games. New Hampshire has also registered an official tartan with the proper authorities in Scotland, used to make kilts worn by the Lincoln Police Department while its officers serve during the games. The fall foliage peaks in mid-October. In the winter, New Hampshire's ski areas and snowmobile trails attract visitors from a wide area. After the lakes freeze over they become dotted with ice fishing ice houses, known locally as bobhouses. Funspot, the world's largest video arcade (now termed a museum), is located in Laconia.
- Bob Montana, the original artist for Archie Comics, attended Manchester Central High School for a year, and may have based Riverdale High School in part on Central.
- Al Capp, creator of the comic strip Li'l Abner, used to joke that Dogpatch, the setting for the strip, was based on Seabrook, where he would vacation with his wife.
- A Separate Peace (1972) was filmed in Exeter at Phillips Exeter Academy, alma mater of author John Knowles.
- Animal House (1978) is said to be inspired by Dartmouth College, alma mater of one of the scriptwriters, Chris Miller.
- On Golden Pond (1981) was filmed and takes place at Squam Lake.
- The World According to Garp (1982), although filmed elsewhere, is set in a thinly disguised Phillips Exeter, alma mater of author John Irving.
- What About Bob? (1991) takes place primarily at Lake Winnipesaukee but was actually filmed in Virginia.
- Jumanji (1995) was filmed in Keene.
- In Dreams (1999) had location shots filmed in New Castle, showing a ghostly Wentworth-by-the-Sea Hotel before its restoration.
- Live Free or Die (2006) was filmed in Claremont.
- In Your Eyes (2014) was primarily shot in New Hampshire and partially takes place in Exeter and Hooksett.
Many novels, plays and screenplays have been set in New Hampshire. The state has played other roles in fiction, including:
- New Hampshire born Daniel Webster is a prominent figure in Stephen Vincent Benét's short story entitled "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1937), about a New Hampshire farmer who sells his soul to the devil and is defended by Daniel Webster.
- Peterborough is the inspiration for the town of Grover's Corners, in Thornton Wilder's play Our Town (1938).
- The novel Peyton Place (1956) was inspired by the town of Gilmanton.
- John Knowles based the Devon School in A Separate Peace (1959) on Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter.
- The prep school in John Irving's The World According to Garp (1978) was also based on Phillips Exeter Academy. Irving's stepfather was a faculty member at the school, and Irving is an alumnus; New Hampshire settings are common in his works, including The Hotel New Hampshire (1981).
New Hampshire firsts
- On January 5, 1776 at Exeter, the Provincial Congress of New Hampshire ratified the first independent constitution in the Americas, free of British rule.
- On June 12, 1800, Fernald's Island in the Piscataqua River became the first government-sanctioned US Navy shipyard.
- Started in 1822, Dublin's Juvenile Library was the first free public library.
- In 1828, the first women's strike in the nation took place at Dover's Cocheco Mills.
- Founded in 1833, the Peterborough Town Library was the first public library, supported with public funds, in the world.
- On August 3, 1852, Center Harbor was the site of the first intercollegiate athletic event. Harvard defeated Yale in a 2-mile (3.2 km) rowing race on Lake Winnipesaukee, the first meeting in a rivalry that continues to this day.
- Finished on June 27, 1874, the first trans-Atlantic telecommunications cable between Europe and America stretched from Balinskelligs Bay, Ireland, to Rye, New Hampshire.
- On February 6, 1901, a group of nine conservationists founded the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the first forest-conservation advocacy group in the US.
- In 1908, Monsignor Pierre Hevey organized the nation's first credit union, "La Caisse Populaire, Ste-Marie" (The People's Bank) in Manchester, to help mill workers save and borrow money, which is now St. Mary's Bank.
- In 1933 the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen held the first crafts fair in the nation.
- In July 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreement, the first fully negotiated system intended to govern monetary relations among independent nation-states, was signed at the Mount Washington Hotel.
- On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard of Derry rode a Mercury spacecraft and became the first American in space.
- In 1963, New Hampshire's legislature approved the nation's first modern state lottery, which began play in 1964.
- In 1966, Ralph Baer of Sanders Associates, Inc., Nashua, recruited engineers to develop the first home video game.
- Christa McAuliffe of Concord became the first private citizen selected to venture into space. She perished with her six space shuttle Challenger crewmates on January 28, 1986.
- On May 17, 1996 New Hampshire became the first state in the country to install a green LED traffic light. New Hampshire was selected because it was the first state to install the red and yellow variety statewide.
- On May 31, 2007, New Hampshire became "...the first state to recognize same-sex unions without a court order or the threat of one."
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Dartmouth College's Baker Library
New Hampshire Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.