New York – The Empire State
The U.S. State of New York has been known by many nicknames, the most notable of which is The Empire State. Adopted as late as the 19th century, the nickname has been incorporated into the names of several state buildings and events. It is commonly believed to refer to the state’s wealth and resources; however, the true origin of the term is unclear.
Two possible stories involve America’s first president, George Washington.
The first refers to an April 10, 1785, letter to New York City Mayor James Duane. In it, Washington called New York “the Seat of the Empire”. Washington is also said to have used the phrase “Pathway to Empire” once, when referring to the state in conversation with Governor George Clinton in the 1790s; no documentation of this exchange exists however.