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Archive for July, 2010

July is the month we celebrate America, and while you may think you know all about our 234-year history, you probably don’t know these thirty tidbits.  Read on to discover some little-known fun facts.

Our Presidents…  Our Country…  Our Flag…

  1. George Washington’s teeth were never made of wood. Human and animal teeth, even ivory, but never wood.
  2. Theodore Roosevelt was a speed reader with a photographic memory. He could read an entire page in the time it took someone else to read a sentence.
  3. Gerald Ford was the only President whose two assassination attempts were made by women and the only one who modeled for Cosmopolitan.
  4. As a young man, Andrew Johnson was indentured to a tailor. He also made all his own clothes.
  5. Lyndon Johnson started out as was a teacher at a small school in Texas.
  6. James Garfield was the only president who was a minister.
  7. Harry S. Truman’s middle initial isn’t short for anything. His parents could not decide which grandfather to name him after ? Shippe or Solomon ? so the initial honors them both.
  8. Among Thomas Jefferson’s many inventions were the pedometer, the lazy susan, and the swivel chair.
  9. At a mere five-foot-four and weighing just one hundred pounds, James Madison was our most diminutive President.
  10. Andrew Jackson fought in over one hundred duels and married his wife Rachel before she was divorced from her first husband. (They legally married later.)
  11. Zachary Taylor’s wife taught him to read and write.
  12. James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other… at the same time.
  13. Jimmy Carter was the first President to be born in a hospital.
  14. Herbert Hoover made “The Star Spangled Banner” our national anthem.
  15. The “largest” city in the U.S. is not L.A. or New York. It’s Juneau, Alaska which covers about 3,000 square miles, roughly the size of Delaware.
  16. Martin Luther King Jr’s name was originally Michael, like his father’s. Dad changed both their names when young “Martin” was five.
  17. Maine is the only state in the lower 48 to have no poisonous snakes and to border only one other state.
  18. While many movies romanticize immigrants standing on the ship deck awestruck by the Statue of Liberty, the reality is most were below deck with little or no view.
  19. Los Angeles is not known for its skyscrapers for a reason. Before 1957 there was a law against building more than 13 stories due to fear of earthquakes.
  20. We have 140 towns and cities with the word Christmas in their names.
  21. The crookedest street in the world is not in San Francisco but is actually found in the Midwest. “Snake Alley” is in Burlington, Iowa.
  22. In an attempt to increase tea sales in the U.S., a British businessman was the first to serve iced tea in the U.S. at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
  23. Virginia has more Civil War battlegrounds than any other state.
  24. Despite what we all learned in school, our longest river is not the Mississippi at 2,348 miles, but the Missouri at 2,466 miles. The Mississippi is considered the longest because it is the longest continuous river whereas the Missouri is not continuous.
  25. Roger Sherman was the only shoemaker to sign the Declaration of Independence.
  26. The current version of our flag was designed by an 18-year old high school student who only received a B- for his efforts.
  27. Six U.S. flags are on the moon put up by Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17.
  28. When folded properly, the U.S. flag is shaped like a triangle with only the stars showing. For those who are precise, it usually takes 13 folds, the same number of original colonies.
  29. Early American flags tell the story of their struggles with the environment. That’s why they put beavers, pine trees, and snakes on many of them.
  30. While the most common form of a star is the six-point, Betsy Ross objected to it because it was often used in England and she wanted something different for our new nation. She insisted on the five-point, which she could also make with a single scissor snip.

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