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26 November 2012

10 Fun Facts about America and its History

Did you know how America became Uncle Sam? How the Democrats became donkeys and the Republicans elephant? Let us walk you through the weirdest fun facts you never knew about history of America.

The first American President

John Hanson

Most people believe that the first American president was George Washington. This is what we've been taught at school. But the truth is completely different. George Washington was not the the first American President. Instead, it was John Hanson.
The Article of Confederation is known to be the first American attempt at self governance. John Hanson was the first president under this article. The Article of Confederation was replaced by the U.S Constitution in 1789, under which Washington became the first president.

The birth of the Democratic Donkey and Republican Elephant

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the Democratic donkey and Republican elephant? Well, it was Andrew Jackson who was first associated with the Donkey.
It all started in the presidential elections of 1828 when politics got too personal. The Democrat candidate Andrew Jackson was called a Jackass (Donkey) by his opponents. Jackson, instead of taking the statement humiliating, adopted the image of the strong willed animal in his campaign posters.
The Republican elephant was also born out of ridicule. The cartoonist, Thomas Nast, published a cartoon in an 1874 edition of the Harper's Weekly in which he labeled an elephant as the Republican vote. Thus, giving the Republicans their strong and dignified image.

"Teddy" Bears and Roosevelt

“Teddy Bears” were so named when Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt (1858-1919) refused to shoot a small bear cub one day. The incident was reported in the news, which inspired a toy manufacture to come out with the cute stuffed animals.

The Bush Thing

After President Bush Sr. vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister, a new word entered the Japanese language. Bushusuru means “to do the Bush thing,” or to publicly vomit.

First American Flag

The first American flag was a little different from the one you see today. It contained 13 stars instead of today's 50. The stars were designed in a circle in the corner section. The circular arrangement declares the equality of each state and that no state has any power over the other.
It was designed by Betsy Ross during the American Revolution.

The undiscovered Japanese bombs

During World War II, Japan bombed the United States using balloons. Although, many of them never reached USA, some actually did damage including one incident in 1944 in which a family in Oregon was killed.
According to some people, there are many such bombs in the US which are yet undiscovered. Be prepared, as you may come face-to-face with one of them some day.

Marijuana legal in the US

Marijuana haven't always been an illegal crop. Instead, marijuana was Kentucky's major crop in the 1800's. Marijuana was not used for smoking then, rather for it was valued for its fiber, called hemp, which was used in ships' sails, rope, twine, paper and canvas. Even George Washington personally grew the crop.

How America became "Uncle Sam"

Did you ever know who actually was "Uncle Sam"? Uncle Sam, or Samuel Wilson, was a butcher in New York who shipped pork to the Army during the war of 1812.
He never looked like the "Uncle Sam" we see in posters. The man who posed in posters was actually Dan Rice, a professional clown. Dan Rice even fought the election for the presidency, but lost.

Smiths VS Vietnam

American soldiers with the surname "Smith" suffered the most casualties during the Vietnam war with 667 deaths. Johnson was the second with 557 and William stood third with 406. A total of 58,152 soldiers were killed in the war.

Why Tuesday, Why November...

The US presidential election is always held on a Tuesday, in November. It all comes down to weather, harvest and worship.
Back when voters traveled to the polls by horse, Tuesday was an ideal day because it allowed people to worship on Sunday, ride to their county seat on Monday and vote on Tuesday - all before market day, Wednesday.
Enhanced by ZemantaAnd the month of November fit nicely between harvest time and brutal winter weather - which can be especially bad when you're trudging along by horse and buggy.

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