“Live Free or Die” is the official motto of the U.S. state of New Hampshire, adopted by the state in 1945. The phrase comes from a toast written by General John Stark, New Hampshire’s most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War, on July 31, 1809. Poor health forced Stark to decline an invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington. Instead, he sent his toast by letter: Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.
In 1971, the New Hampshire state legislature mandated that the phrase appear on all non-commercial license plates, replacing “Scenic.”