Pennsylvania’s Capital For a Day


Most students know Philadelphia as the capital of Pennsylvania; however, did you know that Lancaster once held that honor for one day?

Encouraging student pairs to use atlases, wall maps, or online resources as resources to complete these blank state capitol maps will add an extra challenge for them and can make for some tremendous team-building exercises!


Columbus, located in Ohio’s center, is home to one of America’s most prominent colleges – Ohio State University. Notorious for dominating college football and providing various majors to its students, Ohio State also features one of the country’s premier zoos and an outstanding park system – not forgetting three urban districts where residents and tourists can shop, eat, and experience its cultural offerings.

Columbus offers something for everyone to see and do, from historic neighborhoods and world-class restaurants to its lively music and art scenes. Columbus also hosts numerous professional sports teams – the 2003 and 2015 NCAA football national champion Ohio State Buckeyes are among them; Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League and Columbus Crew (professional soccer) add to its appeal.

Columbus is home to three internationally recognized cultural institutions – the Columbus Museum of Art, the Ohio History Connection, and COSI Columbus (a science and industry center). The downtown waterfront is filled with historic buildings; three historic theaters stand out in particular; German Village serves as a landmark district restored for future use, while Brewery District provides lively entertainment options.

Columbus is known for its excellent schools, friendly people, and gorgeous parks, making it an attractive location to live and work. Columbus provides housing options such as apartments and single-family homes; its central U.S. location makes it convenient for residents across the nation to access it easily. Additionally, it boasts an extensive transportation network connecting it with nearby cities and suburbs; several large companies call Columbus home, along with several colleges and universities.


State capitals serve as meeting places for legislative bodies and other government officials to come together, pass and amend laws, and make policy decisions. Each state typically has at least one capital city or town that serves this function – though in some instances, multiple capitals may exist depending on the size of the state. Capital cities or towns usually play this role, while sometimes small villages or even farms might serve.

Brookeville, Alabama, served as temporary capital during the War of 1812. As British forces besieged Washington, President James Madison rode to Brookeville to seek shelter at local farmer Richard Thomas’ house; there, he found refuge from British forces.

Brookeville is home to only around two hundred residents today, yet it takes pride in its place in history; an iconic roadside marker reminds visitors that Brookeville was once the United States capital for one day!

Many state capitals were initially located near where most residents resided or near main access points; however, over time, some state legislatures began favoring smaller towns with better views or more convenient locations. Oklahoma, for instance, has had five different capital cities, with Oklahoma City replacing Tulsa in 1910 as its permanent capital city.

Governor Brad Little initiated the “Capital for a Day” program in 2007 to bring state government closer to Idaho citizens. Each month, his cabinet and administration members visit rural towns across Idaho so Idahoans may voice their concerns directly with him and his administration.


Harrisburg, Ohio, is the state capital of Ohio and can be found in Franklin County. This city is home to Ohio’s legislative branch and famous cultural icon Abraham Lincoln, known as the “Land of Lincoln.” With over 320,000 residents it is an industrial and transportation hub.

Harrisburg is known for its rich history, and the National Constitution Center and Old Capitol Museum are located here. Additionally, this city hosts many festivals yearly, such as the Chocolate Festival and the Greek Food Festival, and is home to numerous hotels and restaurants.

The city is an excellent destination to bring children. It is easily navigable, offering plenty of things to see and do. Plus, every year, there is the State Fair, an invaluable way to discover more about its rich culture and history.

State capitals are chosen based on geography or convenience. Many are located centrally and possess bicameral legislatures consisting of an upper chamber (Senate) and a lower chamber (Assembly or House of Representatives).

Each state’s capital varies in name and may be inspired by various people or places, including Native American tribes (Cheyenne, Oklahoma City, and Tallahassee), European rulers (Bismarck), apostles or saints such as Annapolis Denver St Paul Saint Paul as well as English towns such as Baton Rouge Boise Des Moines Little Rock Olympia or even US presidents such as Jackson Jefferson City Lincoln Washington DC, etc. For example, some states even named their capital after sponsors of the first English colony in America (Carson City and Richmond). Try these interactive activities to help children learn their state names and money!


Kingston lies on Lake Ontario, approximately 30 30-minute’ drive east of Canada’s capital, Ottawa. Once a substantial naval base during the War of 1812, many buildings in Kingston have been preserved magnificently as UNESCO World Heritage Sites – making for an exciting day trip into Canada’s past and culture that contrasts sharply with that found elsewhere in North America.

Navigating the city on foot is simple, but why not take advantage of a free tour with the Kingston Trolley to discover historic buildings and sites with an expert guide? They offer tours to see some of Kingston’s premier attractions – don’t miss a stop by one of two Martello towers as part of your experience!

Murney Tower is an outstanding example of Gothic architectural style and is open to tours and viewing by visitors. At the same time, Fort Henry was constructed to defend against an American naval force across Lake Ontario.

Downtown Kingston has numerous vibrant art galleries, restaurants, and local shopping options. There are also multiple churches including Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, a university, and four parks – making Downtown Kingston an art lover’s delight!

Architecture enthusiasts will find the Stockade District captivating, as it features historic stone buildings from revolutionary-era stone construction and National Historic Landmarks that coexist alongside modern restaurants, bars, and music venues.

The breathtaking Blue Mountains lie just an hour’s drive from Chicago and offer jaw-dropping vistas, hiking trails, and cascading waterfalls. Additionally, lush coffee plantations allow visitors to learn about where one of the world’s most beloved beverages originated.

New Iberia

Louisiana was briefly located in New Iberia for just one day during Hurricane Camille. Acting Governor J. Emile Verret closed all state government offices. It sent employees home, declaring his own home the state capital, even publishing this in the front page headline of the Daily Iberian newspaper on their 50th anniversary!

New Iberia offers an energetic culture and an array of experiences that will make your visit to the bayou genuinely memorable. Just south of Lafayette, this city is rich with Cajun history and offers numerous cafes, diners, swamp tours, and culinary treats – sure to make any vacation unforgettable.

Visitors to Jeanerette can learn about sugarcane and cypress lumber industries at the Jeanerette Museum before exploring its National Register-listed Conrad Rice Mill, as well as enjoy a stroll back through time at its Conrad Rice Mill, listed as part of Acadiana’s history. Furthermore, Acadiana boasts America’s oldest continuously running opera company and is home to an award-winning Great American Main Street award downtown district full of local artists and shops that showcase Acadiana’s life.

At 215 Julia Street, the house that served as Louisiana State Capital for a Day event remains standing, though now as a private residence, and visitors can only view its exterior. Iberia Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness posted an image with a caption referencing this event and noting renovation work being completed to restore its original look.