Delicious fresh pecans; photo by Judy Baxter on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike).
Official State Nut of Arkansas
Arkansas designated the pecan as the official state nut in 2009. In 2008, approximately one million pounds of nuts were produced in Arkansas pecan groves! The pecan is also a state symbol of Alabama and Texas. All State Foods
There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans - many are named for native American tribes such as Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee. Astronauts took pecans to the moon on two Apollo space missions. The pecan, because of its pure American heritage, is honored by having the month of April declared as National Pecan Month.
Condensed from "Pecans - The True Blue-Blooded Americans" (Vegetarians in Paradise): Thomas Jefferson transplanted pecan trees from the Mississippi Valley to his home in Monticello. He also gave some of the trees to George Washington, who planted them in 1775 at his Mount Vernon home (three of those original trees still thrive at Mount Vernon). The pecan was a favorite nut of both presidents; George Washington was said to carry pecans in his pocket frequently.