America celebrates its birthday on the 4th of July, owing to the official adoption of the Declaration of Independence. However, the individual states might have justifiable cause for celebration on June 7th, too. This is the day on which the lesser-known Lee Resolution was passed, courtesy of Virginia Representative Richard Henry Lee. He proposed “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” John Adams called this decision “the greatest question ever decided.” This early forecast of the independent nature of the states indeed turned out to be a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy; the most frequently searched items within each state are different among all 50 states. Below are 10 of the most googled items across the nation, and the states that googled them most.
Some of the most idiosyncratic searches include Washington’s Leonard Nimoy (the late “Mr. Spock.”), Dusty Miller, who is a newspaper editor, an English fashion house, a singer, a British model and actress. If you read to the end, you’ll find out everything.
11. Volkswagen Emissions Scandal
According to Google, 13 million people googled this scandal. This also topped California’s search list. The country was shaken when the Environmental Protection agency announced that Volkswagen cars were equipped with a device that improved the performance when the car was being tested – a circumstance that the device’s software itself should detect. So what does this mean? The cars were able to pass emissions test despite emitting 40 times the level of pollution that is allowed in the United States. Several models were affected, and, in large part owing to Volkswagen’s popularity among the average people, the company has spent in excess of 18 billion in legal fees and internal investigations.
10. Pope Comes To America
When Pope Francis made his first official trip to the United States in September, people across the U.S. were eager to know the details. Over 14 million people googled “Pope comes to America” throughout the course of 2015. Unsurprisingly, it was googled most heavily in regions that the supreme pontiff visited, which included New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.; however, in Delaware, it was the second-highest search term in the state’s trending rank – surpassed only by “Amtrak” (which more popular appeal than the “Popemobile”).
9. Royal Baby
“Royal Baby” made the top of the charts in Pennsylvania among Google browsers. With popularity spiking in May, the Taurus-born Princess Charlotte received widespread media attention and piqued internet curiosity outside of her native land. Google reports that across America, over 105 million people wanted to know even the human details of Prince William and Kate’s pregnancy, including her severe morning sickness.
8. Same-Sex Marriage
We have all heard the conventional gay rights advocate’s plea: “If you don’t support same sex marriage, don’t get one.” In Alabama, it was the single most Googled term, beating out football players, politicians, and celebs alike. This widespread curiosity was not out of the blue; on June 26th, the Supreme Court issued a ruling with a 5-4 vote requiring the states to license marriages between people of the same sex. According to Google, over 108 million people researched the topic nationwide.
7. World Series
Professional sports seems to dwarf America’s overall interest in world. According to Google Trends, the World Series was googled by 144 million people in 2015. Between October 27 and November 1, the Kansas City Royals ousted the New York Mets in a five-game series. Unsurprisingly, the Royals home state googled “World Series” the most, and in fact, it was the most googled term across the state for an entire year.
6. Star Wars
Star Wars roused the curiosity of a force of its own: 155 million internet users across the country. Earning an 8.3 IMDB rating, the film premiered on December 14, and stars Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill. It broke records in the financial area, too, grossing over $2 billion worldwide – becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time (behind Avatar and Titanic). The state that googled it the most was Utah, for which it ranked fifth out of all total google searches (“transgender” earned the first spot).
5. Black Lives Matter
In Minnesota, the “Black Lives Matter” movement was googled more than any other search term, and more than any other state. The total count for this search is 189 million, indicating that the movement still enjoys nationwide support dating back to its founding dates in 2013. The incident that inspired the movement was when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, and was acquitted of the charge when the Supreme Court issued a “not guilty” verdict in Florida. Bloomington, Minnesota, however, saw the first large-scale congregation of protesters when 3,000-strong gathered at the Mall of America in December 2014 to protest the killing of unarmed black men by police.
4. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
On May 2, 2015, Floyd Mayweather Jr, the undefeated welterweight boxing champion, defeated the equally renowned Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather was the most googled person in Nevada in 2015, which served as the location of the highly anticipated fight. The venue was Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena, and it was televised on HBO and Showtime (viewers could have watched it for the modest price of $100). According to Google, searches for both fighters spiked surrounding the date of the fight, but Mayweather ousted Pacquiao with more independent searches. The nationwide count for searches of the overall match totalled 216 million.
3. Caitlyn Jenner
Uncoincidentally, Jenner earns double-fame. Befitting a collection of gender identities, “Bruce Jenner” was the second most searched term in the state of Hawaii in 2015, and “Caitlyn Jenner” was the third most searched person in Oklahoma. For those who have avoided all popular media (including the July 2015 cover of Vanity Fair, as well as ubiquitous internet blogs and popular jokes), Caitlyn Jenner is a television personality, whose former masculine counterpart, Bruce, was a lifetime track star and Olympic athlete. Over 366 million Google users across the country who searched this event followed Jenner through her public transition.
2. Oscars 2015
406 million people googled the 2015 Oscars over the course of the year. Synonymous with the 87th Academy Awards, this event took place on February 22 in Hollywood’s Dolby Theater. Neil Patrick Harris emceed the highly-anticipated event, which regaled Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore with Best Actor and Actress, respectively. As those 400 million who Googled it are likely to know, Birdman took Best Picture. This event was topped only by the Paris attacks. It, too, belongs on our list because it made waves in Vermont. Despite its modest size, Vermont, in this case, seems to be rather representative of nationwide interests.
1. Paris Under Attack
897 million people across the United States were interested to know the details of the tragic attacks on Paris. As these internet researchers discovered, the tragic events took place on November 13, 2015, and involved a series of three coordinated bombings. The bombs targeted a night club, and according to the BBC, the attacks hit a stadium, concert hall, restaurants and bars. The final death count was 130, with several others wounded. New Hampshire showed the most interest in the unfortunate occurrence, and it was the third most searched term in the state for the entire year (behind “heroin” and “Deflategate,” reflecting the states’ endemic drug and professional football problems, respectively.)