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Vermont is a U.S. state located in New England. The state ranks 43rd in land area (9250 square miles), and its population (608,827) ranks as the second-smallest of the fifty states. As the only New England state with no coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, Vermont is notable for the Green Mountains in the west and Lake Champlain in the northwest. It borders Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Famous for its scenery, dairy products and maple syrup, Vermont has long been known for its liberal politics and staunchly independent political thinking. The state capital is Montpelier, while the largest city is Burlington.

Originally inhabited by Native American tribes (Iroquois, Algonquian and Abenaki), the territory that is now Vermont was claimed by France but became a British possession after France's defeat in the French and Indian War. For many years, rightful control of the area was disputed by the surrounding colonies. Settlers who held land titles granted by the Province of New Hampshire, through their Green Mountain Boys militia, eventually prevailed. Vermont became the 14th state to join the United States, following a 14-year period during and after the Revolutionary War as the independent Republic of Vermont.

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Phish was an American rock band started in the University of Vermont, running from 1983 to 2004. They were noted for their extended jam sessions and musical improvisation. It featured Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman from the start, and Page McConnell joining in 1985.Former members include Jeff Holdsworth (1983–1986) and Marc Daubert (1984–1985). The group performed a wide variety of genres, including rock, jazz, bluegrass, and funk.

Their first gig was a Halloween dance in the basement of the ROTC dormitory at UVM, but they performed as "Blackwood Convention". The first time they were billed under the name "Phish" was their second gig, a few days later in the basement of Slade Hall. For a senior project at Goddard College, Anastasio penned The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, a nine-song concept album. Since then, the band has been very earnest, sometimes locking themselves into rooms for hours playing. The band steadily increased in popularity, eventually starting to headline in amphitheaters by 1993. In 2000, the band took a hiatus, surprising people with no Halloween shows, nor a summer festival. Two years later, they started playing again, until their last concert on August 15, 2004 in Coventry, Vermont. (more)

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Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States, from 1923 to 1929. He was born in Plymouth, Vermont on July 4, 1872. He went to St. Johnsbury Academy for a year before attending Amherst College. After graduating, he followed the footsteps of a local law firm, and became active in politics. He worked his way up the ladder of Massachusetts state politics, eventually becoming governor of that state. He got placed into the national spotlight after the Boston Police Strike in 1919, and was elected Vice President shortly after. Upon the death of Warren G. Harding, Coolidge became president. He was then reelected in 1924. On January 5, 1933, he died of a heart attack in his home. (more)

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Rudyard Kipling

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The Hermit Thrush, Vermont's State Bird

Picture of the Hermit Thrush, Vermont's state bird.
Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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