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Moosylvania is a fictional island and micronation located in the Lake of the Woods along the Canada–United States border that served as a plot device in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.[1]

The island has no permanent population, and conditions are said to be harsh and unpleasant. The island is in a state of terra nullius, since neither Canada nor the United States wants to claim the land and each country says it belongs to the other. (See Bir Tawil for a similar real-life example of this.) Bullwinkle J. Moose serves as Moosylvania's presumed namesake and its governor but only stays two weeks at a time, since (according to Bullwinkle) "after two weeks here, anyplace else feels like Heaven."

In the series-ending story arc "Moosylvania Saved," Fearless Leader, the head of state of the Eastern European state of Pottsylvania, attempts to destroy Moosylvania. The plot is foiled when Bullwinkle, who was going to go down with his sinking country, asked Rocky for a stick of gum, which inspired Rocky the Flying Squirrel to raise up Moosylvania with bubble gum balloons. The plan worked and Moosylvania was saved, giving the series a happy ending.

In the fall of 1962, Jay Ward, producer of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, decided to campaign for statehood for Moosylvania. Ward sent Skip Craig to Minnesota to buy an island in the Lake of the Woods. Craig wasn't able to find one for sale on the U.S. side of the lake (most of the islands in that lake are claimed by Canada), but managed to lease one for three years.[2]:195 Ward and publicist Howard Brandy conducted a west-to-east cross-country tour in a decorated van,[3] gathering signatures on a petition for statehood for Moosylvania. While in Washington, D.C., they sought an audience with President John F. Kennedy.[2]:199 However, they arrived at the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Ward were escorted off the grounds.[4]

A national anthem for Moosylvania was included on the mini-album A Salute to Moosylvania!! Recorded Live at the Moosylvania Jazz Festival, self-released by Jay Ward in 1962.[5]


  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (July 2005). Television cartoon shows: an illustrated encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003. McFarland & Co. p. 684. ISBN 978-0-7864-2256-2. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Scott, Keith (23 October 2001). The Moose That Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose. Macmillan. pp. 194–204. ISBN 978-0-312-28383-4. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Thomas, Helen (5 March 2003). Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House. Simon and Schuster. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7432-4233-2. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Trachtenberg, Robert (November 1989). Olly Olly Oxen Free!. Spy. p. 91. ISSN 0890-1759. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Listen to the entire album of The Moosylvania Jazz Festival (a Jay Ward production)