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Fun and Amazing Facts...Concerning the **United States**
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Some of Ghandi's ashes are at the Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades near Los Angeles.
These were the only ashes allowed outside of India when he died.

In 1919, Boston had a molasses disaster. 2 million gallons of crude molasses burst from a tank and pushed its way through the neighborhood and city. It killed at least 21 people and took weeks to clean up.

The "largest" city in the United States is Juneau, Alaska. It covers about 3,000 square miles. That's larger than the state of Delaware. In case you are wondering, Jacksonville, Florida is the largest in the lower 48 at just over 800 square miles.

The California grizzly bear is the state's official animal. However, in 1953 when it was named, it had already become extinct. The last known California grizzly to have been seen was killed in 1922.

Venus Fly Traps only live in the wild in the Carolinas and nowhere else in the world.

Not only was Ronald Reagan the oldest person ever elected president at age of 69, he has lived longer than any former president ever has, and has died at the age of 93. We will love you dearly, Mr. President!

Francis Scott Key, who penned the Star Spangled Banner, was a practicing lawyer. His sister, Anne Key, married Roger Brooke Taney, who later would be the Chief Justice that gave the decision in the Dred Scott case.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was originally named Michael, like his father. When Jr. was 5, dad
changed both their names to Martin.

Amelia Earhart designed her own line of clothes that were sold all over the United States.

Degas, the great French painter, lived in New Orleans for one year, 1872-1873.

Calvin Coolidge had 2 pet racoons.

There are no poisonous snakes in Maine.

President James Garfield devised an original proof of the Pythagorean Theorem and
piblished it in 1876. He once taught math at Hiram College.

87. Jimmy Carter was the first president born in a hospital.

President William H. Taft had quite a second career. 9 years after his presidency, he was
appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President Harding. Taft was also the
first president to submit a national budget and set a precedent by doing so.

Gen. Robert E. Lee married a relative of George Washington, Mary Ann Randolph Custis.
She owned a plantation called "Arlington." They lived there 30 years until Gen. Lee resigned his
commission to avoid fighting against his home state. The Lees vacated the property in 1861.
Union troops occupied it and 200 acres were set aside to bury fallen Union soldiers. Today over
250,000 war dead are buried there. Now of course, it is known as Arlington National Cemetery.

In the middle of the Mojave Desert in California, sits a lone telephone booth, 50 miles from
Interstate 15, and basically in the middle of nowhere. Nobody seems to remember when
and why it was built. Years ago miners who worked nearby used it. Today you can get to
it on dirt roads. It has a world-wide cult following now, with people from all over the
world calling and visiting it. Nicknamed the Mojave Desert Phone Booth, it's number is:
(760)733-9969. Kiddies, get your parent's permission! (*Note: This telephone apparently has been torn down.)

A mechanical engineer invented a device in the 1870's to oil train wheels while
the train kept running. It was called a lubricator. He made several others for various machines.
His name was Elijah McCoy, and imitators followed. These imitations did not work as
well, and people coined the phrase, "The Real McCoy" to denote the originals. What
is so amazing about this fact? He was born to a runaway slave family. That's right,
The Real McCoy was an African-American!

Immigrants being awed by the Statute of Liberty is a tale that has been
romanticized over the years.  This was a view of richer passengers.
The truth is, most immigrants who came here by ship near the turn of the century were
very poor. As a result, they traveled below deck with hardly any view at all. The first
thing most of them remember is being herded like cattle onto Ellis Island.

A town called Terminus was founded in Georgia in 1837 because it was the end
of a railroad line. This town was made into Marthasville in 1843. What is this
"town" called today? Since 1845 it has been called Atlanta, of course.

The original bell, now referred to as the Liberty bell, was cast in London and came to this
shore in 1752.  It cracked a month later and was recast twice.  The time and place of the
current crack is actually unknown.

Contrary to many people, no star on the flag is specifically representing any one state.
In fact, no law exists as to how they are even to be arranged.

A redwood tree in California has been dubbed the Tallest Living Thing.
It is about 367 feet high and resides in Montgomery Woods State Reserve.
It is now taller than the previous "Tallest" tree because it was damaged in
a storm and is now about 10 feet shorter.

July 4, 1776, is the "official" date when our country was born, but
actually was not one country until 1788. (I'll let you find out why!)

Martin Van Buren was the first president born in America after
it declared its independence from England. So, he was actually the first
president born in the United States, the country.

Edgar Allan Poe was once an army cadet at West Point.

The first American poet to achieve any notoriety was an African female slave named
Phillus Wheatly. One of her poems was first published when she was 13. She wrote a poem
about George Washington and later met him. She died tragically at the age of 30 in 1784.

Ben Franklin composed his own epitaph when he was 22 years old.

Charles Lindbergh was not the first person to fly across the Atlantic. He was the
first to make it alone. 2 Britains did it in 1919, and 2 weeks later U.S. Navy pilots did
the same thing! What is amazing is that nobody remembers them!

Amelia Earhart was the first female to fly across the Atlantic, once as a passenger,
and once as a solo pilot. She was the first to fly solo from California to Hawaii, and
the first to fly solo from Mexico City to New Jersey.

Harry S. Truman was the only president in this century who didn't have a
college education.

During the Civil War, more soldiers died of disease than they did from
gunshots and fighting.

Maine is the only state in the lower 48 that touches only one other state.

Long before the island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay became a prison,
it was used as a military fort. Shortly prior to this, the first light house located on the
West Coast was built here in 1854.

In 1924, 14 buffalo were taken to Catalina Island off the coast of California.
They were used in a movie, "The Vanishing American." The buffalo were
left behind, the herd grew larger, and today about 250 still roam free on the island.
During later years, the population has been "controlled".

In 1940, Maurice and Richard McDonald opened a barbecue car-hop type
restaurant located in San Bernardino, Ca. Shortly after W.W.II, they paired
the menu down to offer burgers, fries, and shakes.  Ray Croc, a restaurant
appliance salesman, was baffled as to why they needed so many milk shake
makers.  He found out soon enough. Franchise rights were sold in 1955, and
Ray Croc opened one up in Des Plaines, Ill. This was his first, but actually the
9th McDonalds. And the rest, as they say, is history. A museum has recently
opened up at the original location-14th and E streets in San Bernardino.

Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator, had visited Hawaii and became
aware of its beauty. He lived most of his life on the East Coast, however.
When he was ill and weeks away from dying, he checked himself out of
a New York hospital and  traveled to Hawaii. He made plans for his burial,
and when he died he was buried at a site on Maui. (Yes he is still there

Los Angeles was not as "tall" as other large cites, and sprawls for miles. One reason is that
before 1957, there was a law against any building having more than 13 stories. They
were afraid of earthquakes.  City Hall, built in 1927, was the lone exception.  This is
the building that dominates the skyline in the old Dragnet and Superman TV series.
Today, it seems quite hidden.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are 140 towns and cities in the U.S.
that have the word "Christmas" in their names.

General Motors, in 1954, became the first corporation in the U.S. to have $1 billion
in net income.

The Poinsettia  plant was named after Joel Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to
Mexico in the early 1800's. He "discovered" them in Mexico in 1825.

In 1971, cigarette ads were banned from television in the U.S.

The largest free-swinging bell will be located in Kentucky. It is being cast in France and
will weigh 33 tons. It is for a monument to the new millennium.

The first two navel orange trees in the U.S. were from Brazil and planted in Riverside,
California, about 1875. Virtually all navel oranges grown in the U.S. are offspring
from these trees. One of the original trees was replanted by Teddy Roosevelt in
in 1903 but died. The other is still alive today in a park in Riverside!

The first holiday celebrated nation wide in the U.S. was the 100th anniversary of
George Washington's inauguration, April 30,1889.

You don't need to travel out of the country to see one of  Egypt's ancient ruins.
A 3,000 year old obelisk, named Cleopatra's Needle is located in New York's
Central Park. Stands about 66 feet tall, weighs somewhere near 220 tons. It
was given as a gift of friendship in 1879. Its "sister" is in London. It was a
"monumental" task to bring it here!

John F. Kennedy is the only president to have died before his parents.

The largest oil-producing field in the lower 48 states is in Taft, California.

The spillway over Shasta Dam in Redding, California creates the world's
largest man-made waterfall at 438 feet.

The crookedest street in the world is Snake Alley, located in Burlington, Iowa.

The first motel was built in San Luis Obispo, California during the 1920's
when the Motor Inn merged the two words, motor and hotel. It is still there

Japan sent bombs aboard balloons to the United States during World War II.
Dozens of them actually landed, doing some damage.  A family in Oregon was
actually killed by one in 1944. There might be more just laying around undiscovered!
This story is perhaps  the most amazing here!

The largest man-made lake in the U.S. is Lake Mead, created by Hoover Dam.

Boulder City, Nevada, is the only place left in the state where gambling is
illegal. The government did not want workers on the Hoover Dam to
gamble their money away.

All banks in the U.S. were closed during the week of March 5th - 12th, 1933.
This was to keep scared people from taking all their money out.

The deadliest hurricane in the U.S. hit Galveston, Texas, on
September 8, 1900. There is no exact count , but estimates are between
6,000 and 10,000 people were killed.

The 30's gangster Machine Gun Kelly gave the FBI the nickname "G-Men."

The first gold rush in the United States happened in Dahlonega, Georgia, 1828.

Before 1913, the U.S. had no income tax. The 16th Amendment was needed
so the government could do what they wanted to with the money.

Iced tea was first served at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.  A British
businessman wanted to increase tea sales in America.

The first coast-to-coast telephone line was established in 1914.

Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary, was the first
known carrier of typhoid fever in the U.S.  She was confined to a hospital
the last 20 years of her life because she refused to stop working
as a cook. She died in 1938.

President John Tyler was aboard the USS Princeton when a gun
exploded. It killed 8 people including the man who would have
been his future father-in-law. John Tyler was also the first president
to get  married while in office.

The London Bridge, built about 160 years ago in London, was transplanted in
1968 to Lake Havasu, Arizona.

In 1850, the U.S. wanted to build a canal through Nicaragua, not
Panama.  The French started the Panama Canal, gave up, and
sold the rights to the U.S.

150 residences in New York City got the first televisions in 1936.
The first program NBC broadcast to them was a cartoon of
Felix The Cat!

More Civil War battles were fought in Virginia than in any other state.

The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, is the world's only reproduction
of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.

Hernando de Soto became the first European to reach the Mississippi
River in 1581.

More than one-fourth of the entire population of Memphis, Tennessee,
was wiped out by yellow fever in 1878.

Cathedral Caverns in Alabama, has what is believed to be the
largest stalagmite, named Goliath, as well as the largest cave
opening and cavern room in the world.

In the 1930's, the U.S. government sent farmers from the midwest
to "colonize" the Matanusk Valley in Alaska.  It proved a success
and today that region is perhaps the only important agricultural
area in the state.

The largest meteorite crater in the world is in Winslow, Arizona.
4,150 feet across and 150 feet deep.

General Ulysses S. Grant's real name was Hiram.

Virginia was once one state. People in the  western half
did not want to secede. So, West Virginia was "admitted"
to the union in 1863.  The other half, still named Virginia
became a member of the confederate states.

US Highway 550, near Durango and Silverton, Colorado, is
called the Million Dollar Highway because it was paved
with  low grade gold ore in the road bed.

The oldest capital city in the U.S. is Santa Fe, New Mexico,
founded in 1610.

Grand Canyon of the Snake River, Idaho, is deeper than
the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Blackbeard, the infamous pirate, was killed in an inlet near Ocracoke
Island, North Carolina, in 1718.

George Washington was in command of the first U.S. "navy,"
created in 1775.  It started with 4 ships.  The ships were sold
after the war and the "real" navy began in 1798.

The 33rd president was Harry S. Truman. What is his
middle name? His parents were going to give him the name
Shippe or Solomon, the names of his grandfathers. They
could not agree, so they gave him just an initial, "S."

In 1918 a flu epidemic killed 548,000 people in the U.S.

The tallest point  in Florida is only 345 feet.

Ever hear of the American Girl Guides ? Probably not. They
are now known as the Girl Scouts.

Ford Motor Company paid its auto workers $5 per day
in 1914.

American Indians were not made citizens of the U.S.
until congress acted in 1924.

Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon, everyone knows that.
But did you know that he was almost the first man "lost" in space ?
He was aboard Gemini 8 when it began spinning out of control while
attempting a docking maneuver.  Armstrong almost blacked out
before correcting the problem.

The last known passenger pigeon, Martha, died in 1914 at a Cincinnati
zoo.  They were then extinct.

Peanut butter was invented by the brilliant African-American
scientist George Washington Carver. (1864-1943)

Zamboni machines, the ice rink resurfacers, were invented and
still being manufactured near Los Angeles, California.  Sonja
Henie had one made for her.

Skylab, the first American space station, fell to the earth in
thousands of pieces in 1979. Thankfully most over the ocean.

1816 has been called the "Year Without Summer."
Canada and the northeastern U.S. experienced cold and snow
throughout the summer months.  An erupting volcano in the
Dutch East Indies was to blame.

The tomato was put "on trial" on September 25, 1820 in Salem,
New Jersey. In front of a courthouse, Robert Johnson ate
a basket of tomatoes to prove they were not poisonous.
The crowd waited for him to keel over dead. He never did.

The streets in Virginia City, Nevada, were once unknowingly
paved with silver ore.  When the locals found out what it was,
they tore up the streets in a frenzy in less than 2 days.

The first rockets in America were deployed by the British
against Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.  This attack was
witnessed by Francis Scott Key who immortalized them in what
is now our national anthem.

President Clinton is listed as our 41st president, but only 40 men
have held the office.  Why? Grover Cleveland held office during 2
nonconsecutive terms.  He was our 22nd and 24th president.
Incidentally, his full name is Stephen Grover Cleveland.

The Missouri River is 2,466 miles long and the Mississippi River
is 2,348 miles.  Why is the Mississippi called our longest river?
The Missouri is not continuous.  More correctly, the Mississippi
should be referred to as the longest continuous river.

In 1811, earthquakes hit an area near Tiptonville, Tennessee, and
created what was to become Reelfoot Lake. It is 14 miles long.

The United States captured Mexico City in 1847.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826.
This was 50 years to the day after the signing of the
Declaration of Independence.

Roger Sherman, was the only shoemaker to sign the Declaration
of Independence.

The Rolling Stones gave their first official concert in the United States in my
hometown of San Bernardino, California, June 1964.

Please feel free to print this page. Don't believe the facts ? Look them up!

This page was not really created as a trivia page. It was made to pique the
interests of people in learning more about our country!

If you know of any more little known, fun, and amazing facts about the
US, please send them to me. Please make them readily provable. The
newest "facts" will always be listed on top. Come back often to see
any new entries.
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