"After the World's Fair, states began adopting floral emblems. Some states acted quickly, and others took their time."
May 1, 1893
On this day, the Chicago World's Fair opened and drew more than 27 million visitors.
The 1893 Chicago World's Fair developed the concept of the state flower.
At the World's Fair, each state was asked to choose a symbolic flower for a national garland.
The 1893 World's Fair is remembered as the floweriest Fair the world had ever seen.
After the Fair, states began adopting floral emblems.
Some states acted quickly, and others took their time.
Some picked flowers that other states had already adopted.
Other states insisted on something unique.
Seldom were the selections made without some controversy.
May 1st marks the adoption of State Flowers es: Illinois and Massachusetts.
In 1908, Illinois adopted the Purple Violet as the State Flower.
Ten years later, Massachusetts adopted the Mayflower (Epigaea repens), also commonly known as the trailing arbutus or the ground laurel.
And, here's a quick final thought about the trailing arbutus.
It is often mentioned as a sweet harbinger of spring.
Longfellow referred to the arbute in his lines "To a Child" from 1846.
He tells how an Indian peasant discovered silver during a fall.
As he fell, the peasant accidentally grabbed the trailing arbutus to break his fall:
In falling, clutched the frail arbute,
The fibers of whose shallow root,
Uplifted from the soil, betrayed
The silver veins beneath it laid.