New Hampshire residents — present, past and wannabes — are passionate about their state.
We know that, but we need to know more.
The state motto, Live Free or Die, embodies that passion. In fact, one of the things people love about New Hampshire is that fierce sense of independence, the less government interference the better attitude.
Wear a helmet on a motorcycle? Your choice. Buckle up? You decide. Carry car insurance? Entirely up to you.
But there’s a whole lot more to the Granite State. You can shop and earn free of state taxes. You can enjoy the beach and the mountains in one day.
New Hampshire residents take justifiable pride in its first-in-the-nation presidential primary status. That brings nearly all White House contenders to tiny New Hampshire, ranked 45th in area and 41st or 42nd in population.
What other state’s residents can be almost guaranteed to meet the new president, without even trying very hard? Where else would the world’s eye turn on Election Day to find out what the dozen or fewer voters in Dixville Notch decide?
The state can claim Josiah Bartlett, Franklin Pierce, John Stark and Matthew Thornton among so many others.
In the world of literature, Robert Frost, J.D. Salinger, Horace Greeley and others all called New Hampshire home at one time.
Even in space, Christa McAuliffe and Alan Shepard Jr. put New Hampshire on the map.
Granite Staters changed the world with their inventions — Earl Tupper, Dean Kamen, James Wilson.
Comedy, music, sports — so many New Hampshire residents have left their mark in those worlds, too.
And then there are the less measurable attributes — a guaranteed change in seasons at least four times a year, close proximity to rural and urban lifestyles from almost every point, a sense of being rooted in history that matters and is remembered.