(13) Rhode Island || (14) Vermont || (15) Kentucky || (16) Tennessee || (17) Ohio || (18) Louisiana || (19) Indiana || (20) Mississippi || (21) Illinois || (22) Alabama || (23) Maine || (24) Missouri || (25) Arkansas || (26) Michigan ||
intended as a supplement to u.s. history 101.2, a textbook
Georgia (1788, #4)
ACHILLES HEEL: First Continental Congress
HOMETOWN HERO: John Stith Pemberton, because he was a war veteran who converted his post-traumatic stress and morphine addiction into the most famous bottled beverage ever created, even if desperation forced him to sell rights to the delicious drink, just prior to his tragic early demise.
Hawaii (1959, #50)
ACHILLES HEEL: Asian-America
HOMETOWN HERO: Patsy Mink, because she carried out the “all-American immigrant story” to perfection, up to and including a groundbreaking (if otherwise forgettable) run for the presidency.
Idaho (1890, #43)
ACHILLES HEEL: irregular shapes
HOMETOWN HERO: Little Joe Monahan, because he didn’t let nineteenth century social strictures prevent him from discarding his birth name and gender, saddling up, and fulfilling himself as a fledged cowboy, his secret kept until the very day he died.
Illinois (1818, #21)
ACHILLES HEEL: mobster mentality
HOMETOWN HERO: Jane Addams, because the early death of her mother, an outward “ugliness” and persisting interior turmoil (tuberculosis) wouldn’t stop her from making a profound difference, as founder of the nation’s premier urban settlement house for women and children, an accomplishment later recognized by a Nobel Peace Prize.
Indiana (1816, #19)
ACHILLES HEEL: Hoosier, undefined
HOMETOWN HERO: John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, because he was “special” in many ways, and impressed those he encountered by his disarming, simple acts of kindness and deep respect for the earth with all her glorious provisions, especially the beatific apple tree; and because his popular depictions wearing an old pot as armored protection, bare of feet, beaming an enormous smile, tells us all we need to know about the fortunate chap’s ultimate fate (he lived to a ripe old age).
Iowa (1846, #29)
ACHILLES HEEL: the middle child
HOMETOWN HERO: Amelia Bloomer, because she was a social reformer who wanted to see women enhance their overall “usefulness,” by their donning of more practical, less restrictive garments, such as the converted, ample pant-like leg coverings that bear her name — fitting tribute for her sincere, level-headed advocacy for equality enhancements.
Kansas (1861, #34)
ACHILLES HEEL: Dorothy Gale
HOMETOWN HERO: C. W. Parker, because he used his lowly beginnings (janitorial services) as a launchpad for an extraordinary new business proposition: manufacture of amusement park rides to delight any young child or childish adult.
Kentucky (1792, #15)
ACHILLES HEEL: bleeding
HOMETOWN HERO: Jacob Beam, because he kept his business afloat through Prohibition, overcoming the visual of a German immigrant family concocting whiskey magic within a vessel as uninspiring as an “ol’ tub,” which on the contrary became merely an additional enticement for the adoring American public to embrace their potent brand.
Louisiana (1812, #18)
ACHILLES HEEL: Creole culture
HOMETOWN HERO: Marie Thérèse Metoyer, because she used every last shred of limited means at her disposal in service of freedom for her children, having been born into a slavery that was effectively consummated in her “purchase” by the man who then became her husband.