How can you travel across Alaska’s miles of snow?

By dog sled, of course! The native people of Alaska’s icy terrain have been traveling by dog sled for hundreds of years. Dog racing is such a part of the state’s history that Alaskans hold an annual event, the Iditarod (dubbed “The Last Great Race on Earth”), a competitive dog-sled race over 1,150 miles (1,850 kilometers) of sub zero terrain. From Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast, each team of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher cover over more than 1,000 miles (1,609 kilometers) in 10 to 17 days.

Augustine. La Florida had a lavish landscape, abundant flowers, and beautiful beaches, so the state name embodies both aspect of de Leon’s discovery.

Similarly, the people give nicknames to their states to further establish their identities. Alaska is called “Land of the Midnight Sun,” because the Sun shines almost all night long during Alaskan summers; Colorado is nicknamed the “Centennial State” because it became a state in the year 1876, 100 years after the signing of our nation’s Declaration of Independence; Georgia is called the “Peach State” because of the growers’ reputation for producing delicious peaches; and Wyoming is known as the “Equality State” because of the civil rights women have traditionally enjoyed there.

In addition to naming their states, founders design a flag, using colors and symbols that have special meaning. They also choose mottoes (words or phrases), often in Latin, that help express the state’s character. For example, New York’s motto is Excelsior, Latin for “Ever upward!” Oklahoma’s motto, Labor omnia vincit, means “Labor conquers all things.” Another important emblem is the state seal, which is placed on all official documents and usually bears the state motto.