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USA FACT FILE


This is a collection of unrelated facts about the USA. Anyone who has facts about our great country is welcome to submit them to KEY TO THE CITY and we will try to include them all in the USA Fact File. Although we believe these facts to be as accurate as possible, there may be errors. KEY TO THE CITY is not responsible for errors these facts may contain.

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USA FACTS

As of 2009, six of the 25 tallest buildings in the world are in the United States. (12-2009)

As of 2009, the tallest building in the United States was the Sears Tower, also the 4th highest in the world. (12-2009)

The Mustard Museum in the United States in in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. (4-12-2007)

$12 was the cost of General Electric’s first set of 24 Christmas lights (equaled the average paycheck of one work week in 1903).

The average number of lights on a Christmas tree is 200 lights.

In 1882, Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees.

There are 50,000 lights on the tallest lighted living Christmas tree, located in Blue River, Oregon.

There are approximately 300,000 Christmas lights on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah

The first train robbery in the United States was committed by the Reno brothers in 1866. They hopped the Ohio and Minnesota train as it pulled out of the Seymour, Indiana depot. Their take was $15,000.

The Greene County (Indiana) viaduct was completed in 1906. Locally known as "Tulip Trestle", it is 180 feet high and 2,295 feet long making it the longest train trestle in the U. S.

In 1862, Richard Gatling of Indianapolis, Indiana invented the rapid-fire machine gun.

The tallest person in modern history was Robert Pershing Wadlow, born in Alton, IL. He was 8 feet & 11 inches tall. He was born in 1918. He died in 1940. Submitted by Emily R, Illinois, age 12 (8-20-03)

America eats approximately 100 acres of pizza every day!! (7-29-03)

The Lincoln Highway, U.S. Route 30 sparked a country's imagination as the nation's first coast-to-coast highway, running from New York to San Francisco and igniting a wave of automobile tourism in the early 20th century. (5-2001)

The only time you may fly the U.S. flag upside down is when signaling for distress. (Submitted by April)

The United States is the most obese society in the world with fully 33% of our population overweight -- over 30% fat by body weight, for women, 25% for men. Compare this fact to the 3% overweight in France!!

In the early 1800's, a man named John Chapman crossed over and around the state of Ohio planting Apple seeds. We know him better as Johnny Appleseed.  He was born and raised in Leominster, Massachusetts and finally settled in Mansfield, OH after his days of traveling were over

RAINBOWS & MOONBOWS

A spectacular phenomenon known as a blanket of fire/rainbow was seen on Saturday, 8 June 2006 on the Washington-Idaho border around midday, covering hundreds of square miles.  A spokesman for the US National Weather Service in Spokane, Washington said, “It was even more spectacular than the Northern Lights. I feel lucky to have seen it because it only forms in very rare situations. This is the first one I've ever seen. It was a breathtaking sight and it hung around for about an hour. See a picture of this rainbow (6-27-2006)

Moonbows appear to be more common than our first submitters thought!

Moon bows are not uncommon on Kauai, Hawaii. They are reflections of moonlight off of evening showers, usually, just after full moon rise. They can be viewed at this time by looking west at a shower when the moon is unobstructed to the east. Submitted by Jack

The only moonbow in the western hemisphere occurs at Cumberland Falls, Kentucky during the full moon. This is also the largest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains and south of Niagara Falls

My friends and I saw a moonbow on the beach of Nags Head North Carolina in the Summer of 1996. It was very late in the evening, shortly after the moon rose high in the sky. It began to rain briefly and then suddenly stopped. Very soon after, a moonbow appeared, stretching the length of our view of the Atlantic ocean -- Extremely beautiful and majestic. It was very pale white, gray, blue & darker blue. So they do happen almost anywhere if the conditions are right. They just don't occur regularly. It is a very special thing. (9-01)

A Moonbow has been seen on more than one occasion formed by a nearly full moon on Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park.

Moonbows can be seen anywhere a full moon is rising and precipitation is opposite.  They can be seen WITH FAINT COLOR as we witnessed one in southern Saskatchewan in Aug 2000.  This has to do with the "largeness" of the precipitation.  Since it was a rain with huge drops, we could see faint color.  (1-03)

AIRPORTS & TRAVEL RELATED FACTS

The New York City Transit Authority says that, “The city’s first regular elevated railway service began on 14 February 1870.  The El ran along Greenwich Street and Ninth Avenue in Manhattan.  Elevated train service expanded and dominated rapid transit for the next few decades.”  (http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/facts/ffhist.htm) This elevated train system emerged in the 1870s as an efficient means of transporting commuter, avoiding Manhattan’s congested streets. (2-2006)

Much is made of Chicago's famous elevated trains in the Loop. There they are called the "L". Their theretofore elevated trains were electrified in 1895. For which they are touted as being the first elevated electrified trains in the USA. The 1886 Louisville Ky elevated trains of the Kentucky & Indiana Bridge co. Initially these were steam powered trains, but in 1893....a full two years earlier than Chicago. Louisville Ky had a 5.5 mile elevated system with multiple car electric trains running from 5:45 am till 2:30 am. Thousands commuted by these trains. This commuter train was enormously popular a popularity which grew exponentially from day one. By 1907 over 1500 commuted on a daily basis, over 1,500,000 passengers per annum. YES !!! Louisville Kentuckys electric elevateds were up and running before Chicago's. (10-16-08)

Denver International Airport is the largest in the USA and second largest in the world in terms of size over 53 square miles… Also has the longest commerical runway at 16,000 feet!  (12-05)

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's busiest airport. Locatedjust 10 miles south of downtown Atlanta, Georgia's capital city. Atlanta also had the first air passenger terminal in the world. (submitted 5-2008)

The City Of Kinston, NC is home to the world's first Global Transpark, The North Carolina Global Transpark.  Adjacent to the park is the Kinston Regional Airport, the largest airport in Coastal North Carolina, has a landing strip of 17,000 feet, the longest in the United States. Also the jetport is one of the only airports to originally be an air force base. (Originally Stallings Air Force Base, Kinston)
Submitted by Collin Patrick Nethercutt, original Kinstonian  (1-2003)

College Park Maryland has the oldest functioning airport in the USA. The Wright Brothers tested airplanes at this airport! (submitted by Amanda)

Passenger traffic at the Portland International Airport (Oregon) has more than doubled in the past decade to over 13 million people a year

The Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport is larger than New York City's Manhattan Island!

GEOGRAPHY & RELATED FACTS

Tallest mountain in the world if you account for the entire mountain is located in Hawaii Mauna Kea is 33,480 feet tall however only 13,796 is above sea level (12-05)

Reno and Carson City, Nevada are west of a north-south longitude line running through Los Angeles, California. (4-11-2007)

Louisville Kentucky is closer to Windsor Canada than it is to Memphis TN. (10-16-08)

Mount Rushmore used to be called Slaughterhouse Rock. It had also been called Cougar Mountain. (3-2002)

The tallest waterfall east of the Rockies is Whitewater Falls in North Carolina at 411 feet
This fact has been disputed:

Amicalola, a Cherokee Indian word meaning "tumbling waters," is an appropriate name for these 729-foot falls - the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Amicalola Falls is located in Amicalola Falls State Park (5-2008)

Niagara Falls, on the New York-Canadian border and fed by the waters of Lake Erie, goes down 193 feet (59 meters) to feed into Lake Ontario. Enough water plunges over the edge to fill approximately 4,000 bathtubs every second!!

The deepest gorge in the USA and the world is at Hells Canyon, on the Snake River, in Idaho. This gorge is 7,900 feet deep (2,408 meters).

Point Roberts, Washington cannot be entered or exited without going through Canada. It is a mini Alaska surrounded by water on 3 sides and the Canadian boarder to the North. Both nations have Customs and Immigration points of entry despite a population of less than 1,000. (2-27-02)

Another isolated area is located in Minnesota, where you need to travel up and through Canada (Road 308) and then turn right at Road 525 (very small sign) to reach a piece of U.S. land along the western shores of the Lake of the Woods called Oak Island, most of land occupied by the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

Another distinction for this tiny area is while it lies surrounded on its north, south and east by (a line extended within) the Province of Ontario, to reach it on land, a person must pass through the Province of Manitoba.

Additionally, at the western right-handed turn of the U.S. border out in the Lake of the Woods that creates this "blip" turns out to be the eastern terminus of more than 1,200 miles of straight-line border land between Canada and the U.S. running along the 49th parallel, involving four provinces and four states and part of another (Minnesota)

Ironically, the western most end of parallel, runs through Point Roberts and ends 10 miles west of there out in the middle of the sound.

Prior to the admission of Alaska as a state, this outcropping of Minnesota has the distinction of being the most northern piece of land in the U.S. (most people wrongly guess Maine, which at its most northern border is just barely north of the 46th). (Submitted by Gary Mortenson  1-1-05)

Isle Royal in Michigan is farther north than the northern tip of Maine (4-14-07)

Even though the state of Rhode Island isn't really an island, it consists of many islands in the state.

Across the bay from San Francisco, California, is a mountain called Mount Diablo, located near Walnut Creek, California. While it is not a very tall (3848 feet / 1733 meters) mountain, it holds the distinction of allowing those at its top an unparalleled, unobstructed view. You may even be able to see Mount Lassen or Mount Shasta on a very clear day. Even the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest, has a view obstructed by all the other, but not as high, mountains surrounding it. (4-2001)

Zebulon Pike once asserted that Pikes Peak couldn't be climbed to its summit. It's been climbed untold thousands of times since. But most people prefer to drive up.

The State of Alabama has more navigable waterways (7) than any other state in the USA. They are the Alabama, Black Warrior, Chattahoochee, Coosa, Mobile, Tennessee, and Tombigbee Rivers, altogether a total of 1,445 navigable miles of inland waterway is available in this state. - Submitted by: Mr. Sam Johnson, San Antonio, Texas

Bonne Terre, Missouri, is home to the World's Largest Underground Lake. The Bonne Terre Lead Mine (1867-1962) is the actual home to the lake. The Mine lies 365 feet below the town, and it's tunnels, caverns, and yes, the lake snake it's way under most of the small town itself. The Underground Lake is remarkably clear, with 100 feet plus visibility, and remains a constant 58 degrees, while the mine stays at 62 degrees. There is approximately 80 sq. miles for the 5 levels of the mine, and 17 miles of underground shoreline. The Underground Lake is a popular attraction to scuba divers who say it is "truly a remarkable and unusual place to dive, offering new experiences even for the been there done that diver."     Submitted by "A Loyal Citizen of the Small Town of Bonne Terre" (10-2002)

The alpine mountain range of the Rockies and Continental Divide within the State of Colorado gives birth to three major US river systems--the Arkansas, Colorado, and Rio Grande Rivers. It also is home to the headwater streams that form the Missouri Rivers' two largest tributaries --the Kansas River (formed by the Republican & Smoky Hill Rivers ) and the Platte River (formed by the North and South Platte Rivers). - Submitted by: Mr. Sam Johnson, San Antonio, Texas

ReelFoot Lake in Tiptonville, Tennessee is the largest lake formed by earthquake

Deep below the earth in Southern Indiana is a sea of limestone that is one of the richest deposits of top-quality limestone found anywhere on earth. New York City’s Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, the Pentagon, the U.S. Treasury, and a dozen other government buildings in Washington, D.C., as well as 14 state capitols around the nation are built from this sturdy, beautiful Indiana limestone.

All of Florida is south of California.

Wisconsin has more lakes than Minnesota (10-16-08)

New York is the only state that touches both the Great Lakes and the Atlantic.
Here is another  version of this fact:
ACTUALLY,: Pennsylvania touches both, since the estuary of the Delaware River is part of the Atlantic.  Submitted by Kenn Morris (7-2004)

Reno, Nevada is farther West than Los Angeles, California. (submitted by Clarence)

There are over 3 million lakes in the state of Alaska.

Lake Michigan is the largest lake entirely in the United States. It is also the only one of the Great Lakes so designated. Half of Lake Superior is in Canada......

Now, here's another fact: Western Maryland is only three miles wide at its skinniest point This point is located halfway between Cumberland, Maryland and Baltimore, Maryland (Submitted by Nancy)

The shortest river is the D River in Lincoln City, Oregon. It flows 120 feet from Devil's Lake to the Pacific Ocean.
D River State Recreation Site

The Pacific Crest Trail is 4,300 Km, or 2666 miles long.

California also has the highest and lowest point in the contiguous United States -- Mt Whitney and Death Valley, respectively.

The Great Lakes hold one-fourth of all the fresh water in the world. There is enough to cover the whole United States 12 feet deep.

Note from a viewer: This figure of holding 25% of the worlds fresh water is correct only if you don't include the frozen fresh water masses at the poles.

The lowest point in the USA is Death Valley, California. It is 282 feet below sea level
added 6-6-06: This would be the lowest point on dry land. Lake Superior is 601 feet above sea level, but it's deepest point is -1,333 ft.  near the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan waters.  That puts it's lowest point at 732 feet below sea level.

The distinction of having the most rainfall of any spot in the USA and in the world goes to Mt. Waialeale, Hawaii. It receives 460 inches (11,684 millimeters) of rainfall each year !!

The highest point in the USA is Mount McKinley in Alaska. The mountain is 20,320 feet high (6,194 meters).
Note from a viewer: this fact applies to all of North America, not just the USA.

Lake Superior, one of the Great Lakes, is the largest body of fresh water in the world . It is 1,333 feet deep (406 meters).

Addendum: One of your "facts" states that Lake Superior is the largest body of fresh water in the world. As a native Michigander, I would love for this to be true, but it's only half right. Superior is the largest in surface area, but the honor of largest freshwater lake in the world by volume belongs to Lake Baikal in Siberia. It alone holds almost as much water as all the Great Lakes combined. Submitted by Chris Moore (6-2008)

Okefenokee Swamp, in southeast Georgia and northern Florida covers 681 square miles (1,764 square kilometers).

Hells Canyon, in Oregon is the deepest river-carved gorge in North America.

The Appalachian mountain chain stretches all the way from northern Alabama up to northern Canada, though it is known by different names along the way.
The Appalachians were created by the collision of what is now North America, Europe, and Africa, about 350 million years ago, to form the super continent Pangea. This collision of three mammoth continental plates resulted in the formation of an enormous mountain chain, the Appalachians. The Appalachians actually span from Alabama to England and Norway, since as recently as 225 million years ago they were part of the same land mass. The same type of mountain building is taking place right now as India collides with Asia, creating the Himalayas. (A side note: India is still moving into Asia today at nearly 2 inches (5 centimeters) per year.) (5-8-01)

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the quantity of water in the upper 2600 feet of the continental crust is about 3000 times greater than the volume of water in all rivers at any one time, and nearly 20 times greater than the combined volume in all lakes and rivers (i.e., over 95% of the fresh water is underground). In the United States, subsurface water supplies about 20% of our country's freshwater requirements. (Essentials of Geology, Lutgens and Tarbuck, 1986) By itself, California's economy would rank as the 15th largest in the world. (5-2001)

The longest stone arch bridge in the world is the Rockville Bridge in Marysville, PA
Submitted by Samantha age 9

The New River, located in North Carolina and West Virginia, is unusual in several regards. It flows north, like the Tennessee and a handful of other rivers in North America, AND it is one of the oldest rivers in the world, approximately 1 billion years old (the Nile River is older). It is called the "New River" because it came as a shock when it was first brought to the attention of mapmakers. Locals had known about it forever of course, but it didn't appear on maps until well after areas much further west were already mapped.

The Tennessee River flows to the north into the Ohio River.

The Willamette River in Oregon runs north.

Another river that runs north is the St. Johns River in Florida.

The Fox River in Wisconsin runs from south to north between Appleton (Lake Winnebago) and Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Lake George and Lake Champlain connected by the Lachute River in upstate New York all flow North to the St. Lawrence Sea Way.

The Green River and the Kentucky River, both in Kentucky, run north

The highest waterfall in the USA is in California's Yosemite National Park. It is 2,425 feet high (739 meters).

Feather Falls, in Butte County, California, is the sixth highest waterfall in the United States

Where is the geographic center of the USA?
These figures may be off by as much as ten miles in any direction.

The geographic center of the forty-eight contiguous states was determined by the Coast & Geodetic Survey in 1918.  This geographic center is approximately at latitude 39 degrees 50'N, longitude 98 degrees 35'W, near Lebanon, Kansas.

When Alaska was admitted to the Union, the geographic center of the forty-nine states shifted about 439 miles northwest to a point at approximately latitude 44 degrees 59'N, longitude 103 degrees 38'W, about eleven miles west of Castle Rock, Butte County, South Dakota.

With the addition of Hawaii as the 50th state, the geographic center of the fifty states, then shifted about six miles west-southwest to latitude 44 degrees 58'N, longitude 103 degrees 46'W, which is approximately 17 miles west of Castle Rock, Butte County, South Dakota. (2006)
from website: Geographic Center of the Nation

The geographic center of the North American continent is located at 48°10' North, 100°10' West about 6 miles west of Balta, Pierce County, North Dakota

Belle Fourche, South Dakota, is the nearest town (about 20 miles away) to the  geographical center of the United States of America, designated in 1959 and noted by an official marker and sheepherder's monument in Belle Fourche called a "Stone Johnnie". Come visit the Tri State Museum and the Visitors Center when you arrive. (2002)

Where is the mean population center of the USA?
According to the website, the mean population center of the United States was:

In 2000: 37°41'49" North, 91°48'34" West - 2.8 miles east of Edgar Springs, Phelps County, Missouri.
In 1990: 37°52' North, 91°13' West - 10 miles southeast of Steelville, Crawford County, Missouri.
(2006)

STATES, CITIES AND FACTS

A list of U.S. places with "Independence" in the name: Independence, Iowa, Independence, Kansas, Independence, Kentucky, Independence, Louisiana, Independence, Minnesota, Independence, Missouri, Independence, Ohio, Independence, Oregon, Independence, Virginia and Independence, Wisconsin. The most populous of these is Independence, Missouri, with 113,027 residents. (2009)

The number of U.S. places with "America" in their names: American Canyon, California, American Falls, Idaho, American Fork, Utah, Young America, Minnesota. The most populous of these is American Fork, Utah, population 22,501 (2000): (2009)

The number of U.S. places that the word "Freedom in their name: Other cities with Freedom in the name are Freedom, California, Freedom, Oklahoma, Freedom, Pennsylvania, New Freedom, Pennsylvania, North Freedom, Wisconsin ,Freedom, Wisconsin. Freedom, California, with 6,000 (2000) residents, has the largest population among these. (2009)

New York City is home to the Empire State Building. It is the 14th tallest building in the world (2009) and the 1st building in the world to contain over 100 floors. It has 102 floors and rises up 1,250 feet. It was built in 1931. (2009)

The Crysler building in New York City is the 32nd tallest building in the world (2009). It was the 1st man-made structure in the world to rise highter than 1,000 ft and stood as the tallest building in the world from 1930 until 1931 and surpassed the Eiffel Tower to become the world's tallest structure. It is the tallest all-brick building in the world. (2009)

World's first skyscraper was in Chicago. It was the 10 story Insurance building built in 1885 with a new steel loadbearing frame (2009)

Austin, Texas is the most southerly state capital in the contiguous US (5-09)

The Everglades in Florida is between 6 inches and 2 feet deep (5-09)

Salt Lake City has a law against carrying an unwrapped ukulele on the street. (6-05)

There is not a single billboard ad in the state of Vermont. This makes for the most beautiful state to drive in!

There are only 46 states in the USA and then there are the Commonwealth of Virginia, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (5-2007)

The first city to have a center divider (median) in the road was Redlands, California (1-05)

In the early 1950s, Denver architect Temple H. Buell, often called the "Father of the Mall,"
conceived and built one of the first shopping malls in the United States: the Cherry Creek Mall (12-04)

the first indoor shopping mall in America was built in 1828. It's a National Historic Landmark.
It's called The Arcade and it's located in Providence, Rhode Island.
Cleveland, Ohio's Old Arcade (1894), Seattle, Washington's Northgate Mall (1950), Appleton, Wisconsin's Valley Fair shopping mall (1954), and Edina, Minnesota's Southdale Center (1958) all claim to be the country's oldest/first indoor/enclosed shopping mall.(1-08)

Indiana has earned the nickname "Mother of Vice-Presidents". There have been five men from Indiana elected as vice-presidents: Schuyler Colfax, Thomas A. Hendricks, Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall and Dan Quayle.

Indiana was the first state to provide for a free public school system in its constitution.

It was once illegal to take a bath in the wintertime in Indiana.

Indianapolis, Indiana was laid out on a wheel pattern following the design of Washington, D.C

The first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne, Indiana on May 4, 1871.
The Kekiongas beat the Forest Citys of Cleveland 2-0 before a crowd of 200.  (more information)

Crawfordsville, Indiana is the home of the only known working rotary jail in the United States. The jail, with its rotating cellblock, was built in 1882 and served as the Montgomery County jail until 1972. It is now a museum.

Historic Parke County, Indiana has 32 covered bridges and is the Covered Bridge Capital of the world.

The Saturday Evening Post is published in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Courthouse in Greensburg, Indiana has a tree growing from it.

Tomato juice was first served at a French Lick, Indiana Hotel in 1925.

An average of 400 funnel clouds are sighted each year in Indiana.

Infamous bank robber, John Dillinger, declared he would never rob any banks in Anderson, Indiana because there were railroad tracks over every exit road.

Crown Hill Cemetery (Indianapolis) is the largest cemetery in the U.S.

Pendleton, Indiana was the site of the first hanging of a white man for killing Indians.

Indianapolis has the most Interstate legs in the U.S. earning it the title of "Crossroads of America".

The world's first transistor radio was made in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Elkhart, Indiana is the band instrument capitol of the World.

LaPorte County (Indiana) is the only county in America having 2 functioning Courthouses.

California Trivia:
More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state.

Fallbrook California is the avocado capital of the WORLD.

Located in Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is the largest of it's kind in North America.

Totaling 20,105 square miles, San Bernardino County has the largest land area of any county in the country.

San Bernardino County, California, is so large at 20,105 square miles, it could hold two Rhode Islands, @ 1,045 sq miles each, the 50th state in size, three Delawares, @ 1,954 sq miles each, the 49th state in size, Connecticut, (@ 4,845 sq miles, the 48th state in size, and Hawaii, (@ 6,423 sq miles 47th state in size, and have 885 square miles left over. (12-2002, amended 6-2009)

San Bernardino County in California at 20,105 square miles, has the largest land area of any county in the country. . It is larger than each of the six smallest states. Four boroughs of Alaska are each larger, but, of course, they are not "counties". (6-2009)

The Hollywood Bowl is the world's largest amphitheater

The hottest and driest place is Death Valley, summer temperatures reach around 115 on average.

The first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles on April 2, 1902.

San Francisco Bay is considered the world’s largest landlocked harbor.

California state is the first state to reach over a trillion dollar economy in gross state product.

If California's economic size by itself to other countries, it would rank the 7th largest rank in the world.

There are approximately 500,000 detectable seismic tremors in California annually.

300,000 tons of grapes are grown in California. Which means California produces 17 million gallons of wine each year.

Fresno, California is the raisin capital of the world.

Castroville California is the artichoke capital of the world. (6-2004)

Los Angeles County, California is the most populated county in the country in 2000 at 9,519,338 people. (6-2009)

New Amsterdam, Indiana is the smallest city in the U.S., they have a population of 1. (6-04)
Deals Gap, North Carolina has the small population of 6 people (10-06 - Submitted by Darrell)
Dellview, NC is the smallest town in the United States.  Population is 10 people. (Submitted by Patrick Nethercutt (1-2003)
Rendville is now the smallest city in Ohio, pop. 29 people. (6-04)
Vermont is the only state in the U.S. that does not have a city with a population of at least 50,000. (2-2003)
Smallest Incorporated town in Ohio is Jacksonburg, Ohio.  Population 37
submitted by James Adorno, Centerville,Ohio (10-2002)

The City of OCONOMOWOC Wisconsin west of Milwaukee has the letter O before every other letter in its name.
Submitted by John and his granddaughter, Kayla.  (2-04)

Oldest State park in the USA, Indian Springs State Park in Georgia

Located off I-75 in the middle of Georgia, Indian Springs is thought to be the oldest state park in the nation. It was ceded to the state in 1825 and became an official "State Forest Park" in 1927. The Creek Indians used the springs for centuries to heal the sick and impart extra vigor to the well. During the 1800s, the area was a bustling resort town. (9-22-03)

First Negro State Park in Georgia was George Washington Carver State Park. (9-10-03)

The electric Trolley Car was first used in the city of Richmond, Virginia.  It was later that San Francisco’s identity became associated with the Trolley Cars.
Submitted by Ken Wilbourne, Jr. (5-15-03)

I've read that Detroit, Michigan is the only city in the continental US directly north of Canada.  (Windsor, Ontario, Canada)
Submitted by David J. Michnal (May 2003), Gary Mortenson  (Jan 2005)

The only city that I know of in Georgia that has a river, and a road named after it is Willacoochee. (The Willacoochee River, Willacoochee City, and Willacoochee Road) (4-2003)

Boston, Massachusetts, has the world's smallest suspension bridge.  It is in the public garden. (4-2003)

Texas is the first state to have 5 straight Miss USA winners 1985, 86. 87, 88 ,89.  Texas also has the most Miss USA winners (8).  Submitted by John Paul Duran, Albuquerque New Mexico (2-2003)

Kinston, NC was the North Carolina State Capital during the Revolutionary War.
Submitted by Patrick Nethercutt (1-2003)

According to the AWS Weatherbug, Holt MO holds the US and World record for accumulating one FOOT of water in only 42 minutes! (22 June 1947) That's a record I'm sure they don't want to beat!
(1-2003)

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas is a full-service gated community, developed in 1970 by Cooper Communities, Inc. Its 26,000 acres of woodlands and lakes are set in a rural, scenic environment, surrounded by the beauty of the Ouachita Mountains.  It is the largest gated community in the USA  (1-2003)

Tallahassee,FL was the only Confederate state capital that did not fall to the Union Army. (12-2002)

Centerville, Ohio has the largest collection of early stone buildings in Ohio.
submitted by James Adorno, Centerville,Ohio (10-2002)

Dayton, Ohio was where the first NFL touchdown was scored.
submitted by James Adorno, Centerville,Ohio (10-2002)

Octa, Ohio is the only town I know that has more shops than people. 
Population of Octa is 78.
submitted by James Adorno, Centerville,Ohio (10-2002)

Ohio is the Largest state not to have a National Park.
submitted by James Adorno, Centerville,Ohio (10-2002)
Correction: There in fact are several National Parks in Ohio including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, David Berger National Memorial, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, First Ladies National Historic Site, Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial, William Howard Taft National Historic Site.(8-2007)

I-80 is the longest road in the United States, from Oakland, CA to NYC, NY.
submitted by James Adorno, Centerville,Ohio (10-2002)
Correction:  Interstate 90 is 3,112 miles long. Interstate 80 is only 2,909 miles. 
Submitted by George Oosterhous (8-2003)

The first female governor was Nellie Ross (D) in Wyoming. She succeeded her dead husband in January 1925. Also in January 1925 Miriam Amanda Ferguson (D) became the governor of Texas. She succeeded her husband, who was impeached and removed. Both Ross and Ferguson were elected on November 9, 1924, but Ross is considered the first female governor because she was inaugurated on January 5, 1925, fifteen days before Ferguson's inauguration. The first woman to be elected on her own right was Ella Grasso, a democrat, who became governor of Connecticut in 1975.  (10-2002)

Chesterton, Indiana is the only town named Chesterton in the United States.  It exists in the only county named Porter in the United States. (10-2002)

Coeur D'Alene Idaho is the only city in the United States with an apostrophe. (10-2002)
We received a note that there is another one!! - D'Iberville, Mississippi can also be included (10-2002)
Here comes another - D'Lo, Mississippi (5-2003)
It appears there are quite a few of these – another: L'Anse, Michigan in the upper peninsula (9-2003)
Still another Lee's Summit, Missouri named since 1865 (7-2009)
Here is another short list:
Morgan’s Point, O'Brien, O’Donnell and Port O'Connor, all in Texas
Also Prince’s Lake, Indiana (1-2005)

Petoskey, Michigan is the only city to have the official state stone named after it.  The Petoskey area is also the only area in the world to find the "Petoskey stone." (4-2002)

There are more horses in Oakland County, Michigan than in any other county in the U.S.A. (at least c1990) - (4-2002)

Watertown, Wisconsin had the first kindergarten in the US (3-2002)

The first electric traffic light to control the different streams of traffic was set up at the crossroads formed by Euclid Avenue and 105th Street, Cleveland, Ohio, on August 14, 1914.  They were red and green lights with a buzzer. The first red, green and amber traffic lights were installed in New York City in 1918. (7-2002)

Did you know the first newspaper crossword puzzle was published in a Sunday supplement to the New York World in 1913. (3-2002)

There are more cows in Montana than people.  (2-2002)

Montana is the 4th largest state in USA. (2-2002)

Rhode island is the smallest state but it has the longest official name "State of Rhode Island and Providence plantations

There are 3,066 counties in the United States which vary greatly in size and population. They range in area from 67 square kilometers (Arlington County, Va.) to 227,559 square kilometers (North Slope Borough, Alaska). Forty-eight of the 50 states have operational county governments. Connecticut and Rhode Island are divided into geographic regions called counties, but they do not have functioning governments. Alaska calls its counties boroughs and Louisiana calls them parishes.

California is home to the largest tree (the Giant Sequoia), the tallest tree (the Coastal redwood which is even taller than the Statue of Liberty), the oldest tree (the Bristlecone Pine) and the only indigenous palm in North America (the California Palm).

Montpelier, Vermont is the only U.S. capitol to not have a McDonald's in it. (7-2001)

A city name with one word with 17 letters was found! Kleinfeltersville, Pennsylvania (1-2002)
A city name with one word with 16 letters was found!  Chancellorsville, Virginia! (12-2001)
Runners-up were a number of communities with 15 letters. The communities are:
Correctionville, Iowa
Carpentersville, Illinois
Connoquenessing, Pennsylvania
Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania
Trumbauersville, Pennsylvania
Washingtonville, Pennsylvania
Charlottesville, Virginia

We also looked for city names with more than one word. Spaces don't count as letters.  We found many, but the one with the most was in New Jersey.  Parsippany Troy Hills Township in Morris County in the north-central region of New Jersey has 27 letters! (2-2002)

 Nether Providence Township, Pennsylvania is a second runner-up now. It has 24 letters. There were just two with 23 letters - North Brunswick Township, New Jersey and North Attleborough Center, Massachusetts. 

Here is an interesting fact: The City of Los Angeles, California is known simply as Los Angeles at the present time, but in the past, it had a much longer name. We're including it here for information's sake as a city with 12 words and 55 words!
El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola)
submitted by David Carr (7-2008)

The largest we found with two words were 17 letters:

Wiederkehr Village, Arkansas.. (6-2001)
Schooleys Mountain, New Jersey (8-2002)
Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey (8-2002)

Cedar Rapids, Iowa is one of only two cities in the world whose city hall & courthouse are built upon an island. The other is Paris, France. (6-2001)
Submitted by: Mike Sherrill
Correction: A third city is Osaka, Japan (7-2004)
Submitted by: Steve Lavrenz

Haleyville, Alabama is the originator of the 911 emergency telephone number in the U.S (4-2001)
Correction: The originator of the 9-1-1 emergency telephone number in the U.S. was a committee within AT&T, which published its recommendation on January 12, 1968. Haleyville, Alabama was the location of the first 9-1-1 call on February 16, 1968. (Submitted by Russ, 7-2002)

Nappanee, Indiana is the only town in the USA that uses all the letters twice!
Submitted by Jena, age 14, Kendallville Indiana (4-2001)
While it's not technically a town, there is a Lolo, Montana (4-2004)

The largest city in the United States in land area is Sitka, Alaska at 2,881.5 square miles. At the time of its incorporation, it replaced Juneau as the largest city.

Jacksonville, Florida is the largest city in the lower 48 states with 758.7 square miles of land area. Jacksonville is the largest city in size in Florida, but also the most populated with more than twice the number of people than the city of Miami. (3-2001)

Bellefontaine, Ohio is the home of the first concrete street in the U.S.

US President, George W. Bush, is not originally from Texas. He was born in New Haven, CT, the same hometown of the former Dem. VP candidate Joseph Lieberman.

Weirton, West Virginia is the only place in the country where a state is only one city wide. We are bordered on the West by Ohio and on the East by Pennsylvania.....Submitted by Kathy Fodor, Weirton WV

York, Maine is America's first chartered town - 1641. (to go along with Albany, New York - the first chartered city)

Aroostook county in northern Maine is larger in land area than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined - 6543 square miles.
added in 2009 - the county has 6829 square miles. It is the largest county in land area in the state of Maine.

Maine raises 98% of the nations blueberries.

Miami is the biggest melting pot in the continental U.S.

Did you know that Spring Byington was the real name of the famous movie actress who stared in December Bride. Her mom was in Pennsylvania and met a tourist named Spring Harbaugh. Her mom took a fancy to the name and on October 17th, 1893 Spring Byington was born.

Though Alaska has no counties, only boroughs, they are larger in land area than any other county-type area in the USA. The largest county, San Bernardino County in California in sixth behind the Alaska areas.
1 Unorganized Borough, Alaska 330,074.96 square miles
2 North Slope Borough, Alaska 88,817.12 square miles
3 Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska 35,898.34 square miles
4 Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska 24,681.54 square miles
5 Lake and Peninsula Borough, Alaska 23,781.96 square miles
6 San Bernardino County, California 20,105.50 square miles
(6-2009)

Davy, West Virginia had the longest flower box in the United States

Broadway, the famous avenue in New York City, was originally an Indian trail.

In the continental 48 states, the largest UNINCORPORATED County Seat is located in Towson (Baltimore County), MD (just north of Baltimore) (2000 population 51,793).

Kannapolis, NC (home of Cannon towels) is the largest unincorporated city in the US, at around 36,910 people (2002)

Kentucky had 2 people who were president. Lincoln was from Kentucky
and so was Jefferson Davis, The President of the Confederate States

Bird's Landing, near Montezuma Slough, in the Central California Delta area, is the smallest town in the U.S.A. with a post office. The ghost town of Collinsville is a neighbor.

Minnesota has more miles of paved trails than any other state.

Lenapah, Oklahoma is the world's only site of a Drive-in Rodeo

Syracuse, New York is the only place in the United States with a traffic sign that has the green on top.
North Wilkesboro, NC (home of Lowe's) used to have upside down traffic lights when I was a kid in the 1960's and 1970's

In 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first city in the United States to put fluoride in its water

Eight out of the ten fastest growing cities in the United States are WEST of the Mississippi River. The other two are in Florida. The top ten are: Henderson, Nevada; Chandler, Arizona; Pembroke Pines, FL; Plano, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Scottsdale, Arizona; Corona, California, Laredo, Texas, Coral Springs, Florida, and Palmdale, California. (1999)

Also, nine out of the ten fastest shrinking cities in the United States are EAST of the Mississippi River. The top ten shrinking cities are: Norfolk, Virginia; Saint Louis, Missouri; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Buffalo, New York; Dayton, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Cincinnati, Ohio. (1999)

Largest cities in the United States by population according to 2000 census

1 - 8,008,278 - New York City, New York
2 - 3,694,820 - Los Angeles, California
3 - 2,896,016 - Chicago, Illinois
4 - 1,953,631 - Houston, Texas
5.- 1,517,550 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
6 - 1,321,045 - Phoenix, Arizona
7 - 1,223,400 - San Diego, California
8 - 1,188,580 - Dallas, Texas
9 - 1,144,646 - San Antonio, Texas
10 - 951,270 - Detroit, MI

Did you know Mt. Carmel, Pa. was one of the first cities in the WORLD to have electric street lamps?

Wabash, Indiana was the first electrically lighted city in the world

Dublin Texas is the home of the first Dr. Pepper bottling company.

Oregon grows the only Myrtlewood trees...they have Myrtlewood bushes in the Holy Land.

98% of the worlds hazelnuts grow in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

The Columbia River Gorge is the country's only National Scenic Area.

Louisiana is America's second largest producer of natural gas. It supplies one-third of the total U.S. production.

Louisiana has 2,482 islands, covering nearly 1.3 million acres.

The "Boston Tea Party" was copied from a tea party in the harbor of Charleston, SC! This party occurred a month earlier.

Texas has more miles of paved streets than the former Soviet Union!

Volleyball was invented in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895.
Come check out the Volleyball Hall of Fame

Ohio is the only state to win the Miss America Pageant two years in a row by the same contestant - Mary Campbell, from Columbus, in 1922 and 1923. She also was first-runner-up in 1924. After that, the Miss America Pageant changed their rules so that any contestant could only compete once in the pageant at the national level.

The first dedicated highway across America, coast-to-coast, was the famous Lincoln Highway, in 1915. Organized by Carl Fisher, the Lincoln Highway was dedicated to the memory of President Lincoln. Charted from existing roads, it started at Times Square in New York City, proceeded down 42nd Street, and then traveled across the country, ending as California Street in San Francisco and terminating at the Palace of Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park in San Francisco at the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, the road was realigned and improved, and by 1926 was given route numbers - it is primarily US Route 30 from Philadelphia to central Wyoming, at which point it becomes US Route 40, then US Route 50 across Nevada, south of Lake Tahoe it goes through the Sierra Nevadas, and into California. Interstate 80 is today's "coast-to-coast" highway that most closely follows the Lincoln Highway. The Lincoln Highway is older, longer, and was much more widely traveled than its nearest competitor, Route 66, which traveled from Chicago to Los Angeles. (fact amended 17 Nov 2004)


The highest bridge towers in the world are still the art-deco towers of the Golden Gate Bridge at 750 feet, completed in 1937. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge across San Francisco Bay and completed in 1936 still holds three world records: 1) the largest diameter bore tunnel which is the double-decker vehicle tunnel through Yerba Buena Island in the Bay connecting the two halves of the bridge; 2) the world's largest toll booth - 18 lanes; and 3) still the world's longest and highest bridge over ocean-navigable waters - the San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco is the most popular city in the world for tourists, and has held that record for the last 25 years. Paris is second.

The largest wine producing region in the world, in both quantity and revenue, is now Sonoma County around the city of Santa Rosa, in the Northern California Wine County north of San Francisco. Sonoma County has recently surpassed its neighbor, the famous Napa Valley in adjacent Napa County, California.

Due to its geographically central location, the state of Ohio, for its size, has more interstate freeways, and more interstate traffic per mile, than any other state. Consequently, the very strict Ohio State Highway Patrol generates the highest number of speeding tickets per mile. Ask any trucker.

The US city located within the greatest number of people in North America is Mansfield, in North-central Ohio. Within 500 miles of Mansfield lies 75% of the population of the US, including not only the major Ohio cites of Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron & Dayton, but also such major cities and metropolitan areas as New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington DC, Charleston WV, Richmond VA, Charlotte NC, Atlanta, Louisville, Nashville, Chattanooga, Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison WI, Detroit, and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Ottawa.

Ohio is the birthplace of more Presidents than any other state - eight.

Virginia (officially nicknamed "Mother of Presidents") also has 8 as follows:
Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, WH Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, and Wilson. Harrison's family moved to Ohio and Wilson's family moved to New Jersey, but both were born in Virginia. Ohio is the birthplace of 7 US Presidents. Ohio claims WH Harrison as its own, but he was born in Berkeley, VA on February 9, 1773. His grandson (and later President), Benjamin Harrison, on the other hand, was born in Ohio

Ohio is the home of both John Glenn, the first astronaut to orbit the earth, and Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.

The most popular cartoonist in the world (and the wealthiest, by far) is Charles Schulz, creater of "Peanuts." He resided in Santa Rosa, California until he passed away in early 2000.

Forty-eight of the 50 states have operational county governments. Connecticut and Rhode Island are divided into geographic regions called counties, but they do not have functioning governments. Alaska calls its counties boroughs and Louisiana calls them parishes.

The business identity recognized by more people worldwide than any other is a little outfit based in Atlanta: Coca-Cola.

Jacksonville, Fla., is the westernmost point on the East Coast.

Key West, Fla., is the southernmost city of the continental United States.

El Paso, TX is closer to San Diego than it is to Houston.

It is also closer to Denver than it is to Dallas.

St. Louis, Evansville, and Louisville are all closer to the Gulf of Mexico than is El Paso.

Charleston, WV and Youngstown, OH are both further east than Jacksonville, FL which is on the Atlantic Coast.

Cleveland, OH is further east than Tampa, FL

Birmingham, Nashville, Louisville and Indianapolis are all further east than Pensacola, FL.

Dallas is further south than San Diego.

"Jingle Bells" was written where no one dashes through the snow: Savannah, Ga.

Maryland has the only state flag that can have a cross atop the flagpole--because there is a cross in the flag itself, which uses the magnificent heraldry colors of the Calverts, the Lords of Baltimore

The US has only lost two of the 10 major wars it has been involved in, and since war was never officially declared on Vietnam, Canada is the only country to ever really whup you rednecks with a hickory stick like you deserve!
Submitted by a Canadian!

Hot Springs, AR is the only national park that is a city!

Oklahoma has more shore line than any other state. According to the narrated PBS documentary, Oklahoma, the shore line is greater than the East AND Gulf coast combined.

We have also heard: Your fact concerning the state with the most shoreline is incorrect. The correct answer is Alaska.

You'll have to discover this shore line fact's correctness for yourself!

The state of Michigan is second to the state of Alaska in shoreline miles

Michigan has the longest fresh water shoreline in the world.

Maine has more ocean shoreline than California due to the many coves.

Alaska is the Northernmost, Westernmost and Easternmost State in the United States. It is the easternmost because the Aleutian Island Chain crosses the 180 degree Meridian which places part of the state (some of the Aleutians) in the Eastern Hemisphere.

The most northerly city in the USA is Barrow, Alaska. It is definitely the most northern city in Alaska. The latitude is 71.62.

The most westerly city is Atka in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska Its longitude is slightly over 174.20. The Aleutian Islands are much further west than any other place

The southernmost incorporated city in the US is Naalehu, Hawaii on the Big Island. It lies at 19.07 degrees north of the equator. Eat your heart out, Key West! (24.56 latitude)

The most easternly city on the mainland appears to be Lubec on the east coast of Maine, with Eastport a close second at 67.01 longitude

Oklahoma has more turnpikes (parkways, tollroads) than any other state. They have 10, (H.E. Bailey, Turner, Will Rogers, Cimarron, Creek, Kilpatrick, Chickasaw, Muskogee, and Indian Nation) all of which still require toll. An interesting fact is that if one of them isn't paid for, all of them require toll, even if it is paid for.

The State of Kentucky has more toll roads (Parkways, turnpikes) than any other state than Oklahoma---8. They are Hatcher (Green River), Audubon, Western Kentucky, Cumberland, Daniel Boone, Bert T Combs Mountain, Blue Grass Purchase. Of the eight, however, only four still require toll charges, Audubon, Cumberland, Daniel Boone and Hatcher (Green River). (submitted by Sam Johnson, San Antonio, Texas.)

NOTE: Which has more Oklahoma or Kentucky? Are these the same types of roads? If you have an answer for us, drop us an email and let us know.

The first yield sign in the U.S. was installed in Tulsa, Oklahoma at 5th and Birmingham

1997 - Polka music is Wisconsin state music

Baraboo, Wisconsin (north of the Dells) is home the worlds first circus. (10-16-08)

Did you know that every county or parish in Wisconsin has an emergency management team.

The city name which can be found in all 50 states is GREENVILLE !! (Each Greenville may not be spelled exactly the same) - Dawne Clark
Another reader has conflicting views: A review of the Rand McNally Road Atlas and the United States Postal Services ZIP code directory reveals that there is no Greenville or similarly spelled town or city in Hawaii or Alaska.  (3-2004)
Apparently, there is a Greenville in Alaska - The City of Greenville is located in South Central Alaska off of Highway 1 at Mile 55, and has a population of 10,000 residents. (5-2007)
Does anyone know of a city/town/community name found in all 50 states?  If so, email Key to the City.

The first public college for women was founded in Columbus, MS in 1884 as the Industrial Institute and College. It is now Mississippi University for Women. In 1982 the Supreme Court ordered MUW to admit male students. Since 1982, MUW has had 2 male student body presidents.

Due to the maritime effect, Miami, Florida has never seen 100 degrees F.

For a website with more fun facts about America, go to the Roadside America website.

Albany, New York is America's oldest chartered city, over three hundred years old

St Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States. The city was named by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1672 on the day he landed.

Pensacola, Florida is actually the oldest city in the US. It was settled in 1559 by Don Tristan de Luna.

The first public university in the the United States was the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was chartered by the N C General Assembly in 1789. However, the first class was not admitted until 1795.

The Top Ten largest Metropolitan areas are: (1997)

New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Detroit, Michigan; San Francisco, California; Washington DC; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts - Submitted by Robert

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States.

The first orphanage in the USA was founded in Georgia by German Lutherans

1912 - Juliette Gordon Low founded girl scouts..

The first newspaper in the USA using a native language was The Cherokee Phoenix

Georgia was the first state to require birth registration.

Kentucky has the largest cave system in the world. Mammoth cave has over 200 miles of caves

Kentucky has the greatest number of miles of running water in any state except Alaska

The first college west of the Alleghenies was Transylvania College

The first post office west of the Alleghenies was opened at Danville Ky in 1792

Louisiana is the only state that does not use the term "county." We still use the term "parish." Submitted by Claude Adams of New Orleans, LA.
note: Alaska uses the term, "borough" rather than county.

The State Flag of Ohio is the only one that is not rectangular -- it is pennant shaped. (Submitted by Paul)

New York has more ski areas than any state in the US

The first foreign country south of Detroit is Canada

Only four of the US's 50 states still regard themselves as Commonwealths: Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Virginia. (submitted by Sam Johnson, San Antonio, Texas.)

The present population of California (33,871,648 - 2000 census) is equal to that of the entire United States at the outbreak of the civil war. (submitted by Steve Demers)

If Los Angeles county were to become a state of its own, it would rank 9th in population behind CA, TX, NY, FL, PA, IL, OH and MI. (submitted by Steve Demers)

If the Southernmost nine counties in California were to secede from the state to become a state of their own, they would rank first in population, in front of TX, NY, FL and the remainder of CA. (submitted by Steve Demers)

The Statue of Liberty, which is often associated with the state of New York, actually is located (physically) in the State of New Jersey. - Submitted by: Mr Sam Johnson, San Antonio, Texas

Anchorage, Alaska, holds over 1/3 of the state's population of 626,932 (2000)

Alaska is not the least populated state, Wyoming and Vermont are smaller

Temperatures in Fairbanks, AK, range from the 90's in summer to -60s in winter

Highest temperature in Alaska: 100F, Highest in Hawaii: 100F

The population of Oregon is about the same as the Seattle Metro Area-around 3,421,399 (2000)

Did you know that the oldest private school in the country is the Collegiate School, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan? (This fact brought to you by Jeffrey J. Walsh, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. USA)

50% of the state of Florida is covered in swamp.

Ashtabula County, Ohio, has more covered bridges than any other county in the state of Ohio.

Shelby County, Tennessee has more horses per capita than in any other county in the United States.

The strongest surface wind ever recorded was 231 mph at Mount Washington, New Hampshire. It was recorded in 1934

Here is an addendum to the above fact:
In 1999, on May 3rd, surface windspeeds of the tornado that struck Oklahoma City measured 318 mph; windspeeds exceeded 319 mph high above ground. (1-2003)

Here is another addendum:
The wind measurement was taken with a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar truck by Dr. Josh Wurman, Professor of Meteorolgy at the University of Oklahoma at that time.  His claim of 318 mph is disputed, since it was measured as a radial velocity using a Doppler weather radar - not a traditional surface anemometer.  Furthermore, this wind estimate can not conclusively be determined to be a surface measurement, as the radar did have a positive tilt while scanning the severe thunderstorms - at best we can assume that these measurements were near surface. (10-2005)

Yet another addendum to the wind fact:
I first learned of this record from information sent out by well-known Meteorologist Don Kent who, starting in 1951 and for 34-years thereafter,  forecasted the weather of New England from WBZ on both radio and TV in Boston, MA.  As I recall, his version of the record was a little more descriptive and qualified the record.   I decided to check with the Mt. Washington Observatory web site for the historical information. Here is what I extracted from the recorded story which resulted in that record.

Then, at 1:21 pm on April 12, 1934, the extreme value of 231 mph out of the southeast was recorded.   This would prove to be the highest natural surface wind velocity ever officially recorded by means of an anemometer, anywhere in the world
After that the anemometer was tested for accuracy at a laboratory at MIT in Boston, MA and afterwards by tests conducted by the National Weather Bureau.   Those test results confirmed the prior historic measurement of 231 mph.  Clearly, it has been known for some time now that the rotating wind velocities of many tornados must reach and exceed 231 mph but the method used to measure that have not yet been done by anemometers.   (After reading the entire account leading up to the record-breaking event, if the record of 231 mph had been accomplished by means of a hand-held anemometer, I doubt that that record could ever be broken!) 

By the way, Don Kent, now retired but still quite active, today lives in New Hampshire - not all that far from where this all took place  - Mt. Washington!
(24 June 2006 – submitted by Bruce I. Coggins)

The San Francisco Cable Cars are one of several National Historical Landmarks (not a National Monument) that are mobile. Others are the ships Constitution in Boston Naval Shipyard in Charlestown, MA, and the Olympia at Pier 40 in Philadelphia, PA. (7-2002)

Hang On Sloopy is the official rock song of Ohio.

The longest bridge in the USA is the bridge that crosses Lake Ponchartrain in New Orleans. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, with a length of 23.87 miles, is the world's longest bridge built entirely over water.

Did you know that the capital building of Georgia, in Atlanta, has a domed roof that is gold leaf. The gold is mined from the Dalonhega Mountains in North Georgia (This fact brought to you by PHOENIX@surfsouth.com)

Domes on capitol buildings other than GA are also gold leafed, for example NJ which had their dome recovered in Gold during the 1980s.

The capital of Vermont, Montpelier, also has a dome of gold leaf. Montpelier is the most beautiful capital since it nestles against a lush stand of evergreens.

The Statue of Liberty weighs 254 metric tons.

Texas has more counties (254) than any other state.

The land area of Texas is larger than all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois combined, extending 801 miles from north to south and 773 miles from east to west.

Of the nation's 10 largest cities, 3 are in Texas (Houston, Dallas & San Antonio).

The Liberty Bell is found in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The liberty bell rested in Independence hall until 1976 the year of the U S bicentennial. During that year in time for the 4th of July celebration, a new building was constructed just to house the liberty bell. This building is entirely made of glass so that the liberty bell can be observed by visitors 24 Hrs. per day. When the building is closed; observers can select a button to push to hear the story of this great piece of Americana on demand, electronically, in a variety of languages. This is the bell used to ring out the news of the independence of the United States of America. The bell's tones rang out for the last time on February 22, 1846, George Washington's Birthday.

On December 17, 1903, history was changed once again when Wilber and Orville Wright sent their new airplane into the air for 12 seconds at Kill Devil Hills near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Alaska is the least crowded state in the USA with about 0.7 person per square mile (0.3 person per square kilometer).

The highest city in the USA is in Colorado. The city, Leadville, is 10,200 feet above sea level (3,109 meters).

90% of the land in the state of Maine is forested !!

The largest meat-eating land animal in the USA and in the world is the Alaska Brown Bear.
Note from a reader: Kodiak bears and Grizzly's are larger than the Alaskan Brown Bear and eat meat and reside in the US, and the Polar bear is larger than all three of those and eats meat.
Another note from a reader: Alaska Brown Bears and Kodiak bears are one and the same. The bears on Kodiak Island tend to grow the largest of the brown bears in Alaska. The size of Kodiak bears vs. polar bears is debatable...not clear which is larger.
Another comment: Regarding meat eating bears: the polar bear is the largest true land dwelling carnivore on the planet.

Wyoming became the first place in the USA to allow women to hold office and vote. This was in 1869, even before Wyoming became a state.

You can stand in four states at the same time at Four Corners. Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona make up these four states.

In Minnesota, there is an acre of water for every 20 acres of land !!

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the people of the USA from the people of France in 1884. The famous statue, situated in New York Harbor in New York State is 151 feet 1 inch tall (46.05 meters). It is actually physically located in the state of New Jersey

The village of Waunakee in Wisconsin is the only Waunakee in the world. (22 Feb 2009 submitted by Jeff)


If you have a USA Fact to add to our file, just drop us a line at:

P.O. Box 615,
Norco, CA. 92860

or send us e-mail We'll be happy to hear from you. Students are especially encouraged to send us facts they find in their school projects and research. You are welcome to include your name on your submission.


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Fact most recently added on 19 June 2009