American cities reach for that special distinguishing ID

Looking to solidify an identity, many communities create mottos or nicknames for themselves, and Huntington Beach and Santa Cruz, Calif., are no different. Both have wanted to use the designation "Surf City USA." Huntington Beach, however, can now stake legal claim to the title because the US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded it the right to use the title on beach bags, hats, and other beachwear. Dean Torrence, who co-wrote the lyrics to the 1963 hit song "Surf City," lives in Huntington Beach, home to the International Surfing Museum.

Other cities may not have gotten trademark rights to their slogans and titles, but they have come up with some intriguing identifiers, such as:

Bluefield, W.Va.: Nature's Air-Conditioned City

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Venice of America

Reno, Nev.: The Neon Babylon

Rockwell City, Iowa: Golden Buckle on the Cornbelt

Delphos, Ohio: America's Friendliest City

Roswell, N.M.: "The Aliens aren't the only reason to visit"

St. Louis, Mich.: Middle of the Mitten

Austin, Minn.: Spamtown USA

Springfield, Mo.: "Everywhere should be like this"

Sources: Associated Press and Key to the City

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