On this date in 1958, a bill designating Alaska as the 49th state in the Union was signed into law. Hawaii would follow the next summer -- Dwight Eisenhower was adamant that this happen before he left office -- and we've had no new states since.
I'm not old enough to remember those events, but as a boy it seemed to me that America had finally added all the states it could. This was a failure of imagination. Puerto Rico is a logical addition to the United States, although feelings on that question are mixed on the island itself. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is pushing for the District of Columbia to be admitted as the 51st state. There are strong arguments pro and con. Republicans suspect purely partisan motives, which is understandable. On the other hand, "No taxation without representation!" is a clarion call with a proud American provenance.
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.