When the word “history” comes to mind, you probably think of
dusty antiques and boring lectures on dead guys. But there are tons of nifty
facts about our country that ya might actually wanna know, so here are a few
that you can use to impress your fam while you’re celebrating America’s
birthday this year.
Nicknames for That
Big White House
Before 1901, the White House was fondly known as “The
President’s Palace,” just “The President’s House,” or “The Executive Mansion.”
It took us 26 presidents to settle on a name, and you can thank Theodore
Roosevelt for finally making that exec decision.
Signing Your John
Most people assume that the Declaration of Independence was all
signed and ready to go on July 4th, 1776, but the truth is that the
main signing action took place on August 2nd of that year. And even
then, some congressmen didn’t sign it ‘til later, and others never signed at
A Lack of Law in the
The funny thing about our Constitution is that it has some
gaps in it. For example, Supreme Court Justices have no real requirements for
age, education, or even citizenship. They don’t have to have gone to law
school. Check out James Byrnes, a Justice from the 1940s—he didn’t even finish
Traveling in Style
During his presidency, Franklin D. Roosevelt got around in a
black Lincoln convertible with steel armor plating. It was the first
presidential vehicle to be decked out Secret Service-style, and its nickname
was the “Sunshine Special.” Another cool set of wheels owned by President
Roosevelt was an armored Cadillac that once belonged to the gangster Al Capone.
Let There Be Light
New York City was among the first three cities in the world
to sport electric lights. The other two were Paris, France, and San Jose, Costa
A Proper Burial
In the 1700s, lots of people were afraid that they might get
buried alive by accident because medicine back then wasn’t advanced enough to
know for sure that someone was dead. George Washington shared this fear, so
with one of his dying breaths, he instructed his subordinates not to bury him
until he had been “dead” for three days.
Mad Public Speaking
In order to postpone (and possibly stop) the movement of the
1957 Civil Rights Act through the Senate, Senator Strom Thurmond spoke for 24
hours and 18 minutes in what’s called a “filibuster.” He also ended up being
the longest-serving senator in history and lived to be 100 years old. Talk
about not giving up.
Everybody uses “okay,” even in foreign countries. But did
you know that the expression originated right here in the United States? When
Martin Van Buren was trying to get elected President, people made O.K. clubs to
show their support of him. O.K. stood for “Old Kinderhook,” which was his
hometown in New York. And evidently, those clubs worked as a campaign strategy
because he ended up becoming our eighth president.
So babes, who’s been
paying attention in history class? Do you have a fun fact about our lovely
country that ya wanna share?
BY CARRIE RUPPERT ON 7/4/2012 12:00:00 AM
POSTED IN fun stuff, fourth of july, 4th of July fun, school