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Purely American Fun Facts

I’ve always been a collector of trivia and otherwise little known facts. Here is an assortment of totally unrelated yet interesting facts about all things American.

  • The number “172’” can be found on the back of the U.S. $5 dollar bill in the bushes at the base of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • President Kennedy was the fastest random speaker in the world with upwards of 350 words per minute.
  • In the early days of the telephone, operators would pick up a call and use the phrase, “Well, are you there?” It wasn’t until 1895 that someone suggested answering the phone with the phrase “number please?”
  • The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.
  • Rhode Island is the smallest state with the longest name. The official name, used on all state documents, is “Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.”
  • There are two credit cards for every person in the United States.
  • Isaac Asimov is the only author to have a book in every Dewey-decimal category.
  • The newspaper serving Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, the home of Rocky and Bullwinkle, is the Picayune Intellegence.
  • The first person selected as the Time Magazine Man of the Year – Charles Lindbergh in 1927.
  • The most money ever paid for a cow in an auction was $1.3 million.
  • On the new hundred dollar bill the time on the clock tower of Independence Hall is 4:10.
  • The names of the two stone lions in front of the New York Public Library are Patience and Fortitude. They were named by then-mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.
  • The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.
  • Henry Ford produced the model T only in black because the black paint available at the time was the fastest to dry.
  • Mario, of Super Mario Bros. fame, appeared in the 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. His original name was Jumpman, but was changed to Mario to honor the Nintendo of America’s landlord, Mario Segali.
  • The three best-known western names in China: Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon, and Elvis Presley.
  • Diet Coke was invented in 1982.
  • American car horns beep in the tone of F.
  • The average person makes about 1,140 telephone calls each year.
  • Charlie Brown’s father was a barber.
  • The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; “7” was selected because the original containers were 7 ounces. “UP” indicated the direction of the bubbles.
  • Canadian researchers have found that Einstein’s brain was 15 percent wider than normal.
  • The average person spends about 2 years on the phone in a lifetime.
  • The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley’s gum.
  • The word “nerd” was first coined by Dr. Seuss in “If I Ran the Zoo.”
  • Liberace Museum has a mirror-plated Rolls Royce; jewel-encrusted capes; and the largest rhinestone in the world, weighing fifty-nine pounds and almost a foot in diameter.
  • The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.
  • The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used.
  • Children grow faster in the springtime.
  • On average, there are 178 sesame seeds on each McDonalds Big Mac bun.
  • Paul Revere rode on a horse that belonged to Deacon Larkin.
  • The Baby Ruth candy bar was actually named after Grover Cleveland’s baby daughter, Ruth.
  • Jane Barbie was the woman who did the voice recordings for the Bell System.
  • The first drive-in service station in the United States was opened by Gulf Oil Company – on December 1, 1913, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Kansas state law requires pedestrians crossing the highways at night to wear tail lights.

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