By Jim Clark, publisher Lee County Courier, Tupelo, MS
You probably have never heard of the state of Jefferson. It may not exist on paper but it certainly rests in the minds and hearts of many who no longer call themselves Northern Californians. In 1941, some counties in the area ceremonially seceded. What stopped the real movement was America's entry into World War II, but the notion has been rekindled in recent years.
That's just one of the many interesting topics covered
the recently released DVD set, How the States Got Their Shapes.
The television series that airs on the History channel and is based on Mark Stein's book, How the States Got Their Shapes. It's hosted by Brian Unger, who was an original correspondent and producer on The Daily Show, from 1996-99. Comedy and history actually go together.
One state border runs right through the middle of a business, a bar (where it's legal to sell alcohol) and a restaurant (where it's not).
A lot of states got their shapes from rivers, but all kinds of things determined borders from bar fights, to guns, to churches and from too much water, or not enough.
One segment follows accents which was particularly entertaining. It turns out that speech coaches are most frequently hired by actors who want to not have any kind of accent.
The show started as a single two-hour special which first aired in April 2010, but returned as a regular series of one-hour shows starting in May 2011.