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ORIGIN OF STATE NAME: Named for the English county of Hampshire. NICKNAME: The Granite State. CAPITAL: Concord. ENTERED UNION: 21 June 1788 (9th). SONG: "Old New Hampshire." MOTTO: Live Free or Die. FLAG: The state seal, surrounded by laurel leaves with nine stars interspersed, is centered on a blue field. OFFICIAL SEAL: In the center is a broadside view of the frigate Raleigh; in the left foreground is a granite boulder, in the background a rising sun. A laurel wreath and the words "Seal of the State of New Hampshire 1776" surround the whole. STATE EMBLEM: Within an elliptical panel appears a replica of the Old Man of the Mountains, with the state name above and motto below. ANIMAL: White-tailed deer. BIRD: Purple finch. BUTTERFLY: Karner blue. INSECT: Ladybug. FLOWER: Purple lilac. TREE: White birch. GEM: Smoky quartz. SPORT: Skiing. LEGAL HOLIDAYS: New Year's Day, 1 January; Civil Rights Day, 3rd Monday in January; Washington's Birthday, 3rd Monday in February; Memorial Day, 30 May; Independence Day, 4 July; Labor Day, 1st Monday in September; Columbus Day, 2nd Monday in October; Election Day, Tuesday following 1st Monday in November in even-numbered years; Veterans Day, 11 November; Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thursday in November; Christmas Day, 25 December. TIME: 7 AM EST = noon GMT.
Situated in New England in the northeastern US, New Hampshire ranks 44th in size among the 50 states. The total area of New Hampshire is 9,279 sq mi (24,033 sq km), comprising 8,993 sq mi (23,292 sq km) of land and 286 sq mi (741 sq km) of inland water. The state has a maximum extension of 93 mi (150 km) E-W and 180 mi (290 km) N-S. New Hampshire is shaped roughly like a right triangle, with the line from the far N to the extreme SW forming the hypotenuse.
New Hampshire has a changeable climate, with wide variations in daily and seasonal temperatures. Summers are short and cool, winters long and cold. Concord has a normal daily mean temperature of 46°F (8°C), ranging from 21°F (–6°C) in January to 70°F (21°C) in July. The record low temperature, –46°F (–43°C), was set at Pittsburg on 28 January 1925; the all-time high, 106°F (41°C) at Nashua, 4 July 1911. Annual precipitation at Concord (1971–2000) averaged 37.6 in (95.5 cm); the average snowfall in Concord is 65 in (165 cm) a year, with more than 100 in (254 cm) yearly in the mountains. The strongest wind ever recorded, other than during a tornado—231 mph (372 kph)—occurred on Mt. Washington on 12 April 1934.
New Hampshire had 4,818,000 acres (1,950,000 hectares) of forestland in 2002, of which 4,503,000 acres (1,822,000 hectares) were considered suitable for commercial use. Of that total, 83% was privately owned. Forests cover about 86% of New Hampshire. Lumber production in 2002 was 287 million board feet.
In 2002, there were 561,178 housing units in New Hampshire, 485,903 of which were occupied; 71.7% were owner-occupied. About 63.5% of all units were single-family, detached homes. Fuel oil and kerosene were the most common heating energy sources. It was estimated that 7,163 units lacked telephone service, 2,398 lacked complete plumbing facilities, and 1,648 lacked complete kitchen facilities. The average household size was 2.55 people.
In 2002, 8,708 new privately owned units were authorized for construction. The median home value was $173,699. The median monthly cost for mortgage owners was $1,377. Renters paid a median of $732. During 2002, New Hampshire received over $20.8 million in community planning and development aid from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
There are no major league professional sports teams in New Hampshire. Major national and international skiing events are frequently held in the state, as are such other winter competitions as snowmobile races and the Annual World Championship Sled Dog Derby in Laconia. Thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound racing are the warm-weather spectator sports. The annual Whaleback Yacht Race is held in early August.
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