With the current debate taking place over whether to split California into three separate states, Rebecca Worby tells us about other secession movements in American history. Here is a taste of her piece at Pacific Standard:
No, this was not a land dedicated to Big Macs. This short-lived extralegal territory, created in 1961, was McDonald County in Missouri’s way of thumbing its nose at the state for omitting local resort towns and “other significant historical and scenic points of interest” in the county from its annual Family Vacationland map. Citizens from the town of Noel, which relied heavily on tourism, led the secession effort. The movement quickly lost steam, but the flurry of news coverage it generated—along with a mock battle staged in Noel—gave local tourism the boost it needed.
In 1939, a movement based in Sheridan, Wyoming, proposed a new state that would include parts of Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota. The proposed state’s name, Absaroka, was borrowed from the Crow Nation’s name for itself, Absaroke, which means “children of the large-beaked bird.” A former baseball player and street commissioner declared himself governor of the state-to-be, and he presided over a one-time-only Miss Absaroka beauty contest. Historians still debate whether Absaroka was an earnest secessionist movement or not.
Read the entire piece here.