A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
Arkansas: Wonder State (nickname) (2/13)
Arkansas: The Natural State (nickname) (2/13)
Arkansas: Land of Opportunity (nickname) (2/13)
Kansas: Sunflower State (nickname) (2/13)
Alaska: The Last Frontier (nickname) (2/13)
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Entry from February 13, 2016
Arkansas: Wonder State (nickname)

Entry in progress—B.P.

The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture
State Nicknames
aka: Official State Nickname

(...)
In the early 1940s, a group of Little Rock (Pulaski County) businessmen known as the Committee of 100 began vigorous efforts to promote economic development and, consequently, stem the tide of outmigration in search of good jobs. Changing the state’s image was central to the group’s efforts. Committee of 100 promotional material referred to Arkansas as “Land of Opportunity,” a phrase more dynamic and perhaps less quaint than the older cognomen. In 1941, the tag phrase appeared for the first time on Arkansas auto license plates. In 1953, the Arkansas General Assembly took note of the committee’s efforts: House Concurrent Resolution 26 explicitly jettisoned “Wonder State,” noting that it did not “command the popular appeal that it once had,” and adopted “The Land of Opportunity” as Arkansas’s new nickname, alluding to a bright outlook for the development of business, industry, and agriculture.

During the 1980s, Arkansas’s outreach to tourists became more aggressive than before, reflecting a maturing understanding of tourism as a growth industry. In the mid-1980s, the Arkansas parks system began promoting Arkansas as “the Natural State” and the nickname proved popular, largely eclipsing the older “Land of Opportunity” in public esteem and currency.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Wonder State n. U.S. a nickname for the state of Arkansas.
1923 Gen. Acts Arkansas 804 Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Arkansas… That hereafter Arkansas shall be known and styled ‘The Wonder State’.

OCLC WOrldCat record
Reliable information about Montana, the wonder state of the great northwest : an empire of minerals, cattle, sheep, grain, fruit : finest climate in the United States : unlimited opportunities for pushing people.
Publisher: St Paul, Minn. : Great Northern Pub. Co., [1902]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
“Visitin’ ‘round” in Minnesota : a collection of stories about men and places of major and minor importance in the wonder state of Minnesota
Author: Caryl B Storrs
Publisher: [Minneapolis? Minn.] : [publisher not identified], 1916.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
What can be done in Florida : the wonder state, and in West Florida, “the new empire,” its most substantial section, agriculturally, horticulturally, industrially.
Author: West Florida Development and Investment Co. (Pensacola, Fla.)
Publisher: Pensacola, Fla. : [publisher not identified], [192-?]
Series: SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-21089), SOL MN06355.12 FUG.
Edition/Format: Book Microform : Microfilm : Master microform : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Arkansas : (it is pronounced Ar-kan-saw) : the nation’s wonder state.
Author: Arkansas Advancement Association.
Publisher: Little Rock, Ark. : Arkansas Advancement Association, [1921?]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Arkansas, the Wonder State : the amazing story of a river of oil in Arkansas
Author: Cargile Oil Corporation.
Publisher: [El Dorado, Ark.?] : Cargile Oil Corporation, [approximately 1923]
Edition/Format: Print book : English
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
The Cargile Oil Corporation describes in glowing terms the riches to be found in the oil fields of the Smackover area. The publication contains photographs of oil fields, Smackover residents who have become new millionaires, and of Smackover itself.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Arkansas challenge : a bragging, roasting, swaggering, toasting handbook on the wonder state
Author: Avantus Green
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1966]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The jungles of Arkansas : a personal history of the Wonder State
Author: Bob Lancaster
Publisher: Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 1989.
Edition/Format: Print book : State or province government publication : English

Posted by Barry Popik
Other ExpressionsOther States • Saturday, February 13, 2016 • Permalink


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