When the city of Austin, Texas asked people online to rename their Solid Waste Services Department, the winner was “The Fred Durst Society of the Humanities and Arts.”
27. Light bulbs in the New York City subway system screw in “backwards” (i.e. with left-handed threads) so that people won’t steal them to use at home.
28. Despite it being common practice for casinos to ban card counters, a 1979 New Jersey Supreme Court decision banned all Atlantic City casinos from doing so, making them the only state in America where a casino is forbidden from throwing out skilled blackjack players.
29. There is a city in Washington named 'George'. Every year, George, Washington celebrates the 4th of July by baking the world's largest cherry pie.
30. While planning his comeback in Las Vegas in 2007, Michael Jackson wanted to build a 50 foot tall robot replica of himself that would roam the desert under the flight paths of incoming planes, shooting lasers out of its eyes in order to get the attention of the tourists flying into the city.
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Arizona legislators once hired a prostitute to distract a colleague from voting against a bill making Phoenix the capital of Arizona. That night she swallowed his glass eye, without which he refused to be seen in public, after he took it out to sleep. The bill passed the next day by one vote.
32. Washington D.C. police once ran a fake hip-hop studio to attract criminals and record proof of their illicit deals. “Manic Enterprises” made 70 arrests, snagged $7.2 million in cocaine, and confiscated 161 illegal weapons. Cops shut it down after they heard a gang planned on robbing the studio.
33. In June 2017, a tire shop in Fort Worth, Texas, was robbed so often that the owner bought a guard dog. The next time the shop was robbed, the intruders stole the dog.
34. When George Washington moved to Philadelphia to serve as president, he rotated his slaves in and out of Pennsylvania in order to circumvent a law that freed slaves being held in the state for longer than 6 continuous months. The rotation itself was illegal, but no one opposed him.
35. Seattle's first openly-gay bar, Shelly’s Leg, was founded using settlement money after Shelly, a dancer, lost her leg in a glitter cannon accident at a Bastille Day parade.
In Boston if you a report a pothole, you get back both a photo of the filled pothole and a photo of the team that filled it.
37. There is a plane that flies above Los Angeles every single day releasing thousands of sterile fruit flies from 2,000 feet in the air to combat the invasive Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Up to 125,000 flies per square mile are released each week in what’s called “biological birth control.”
38. 1980, Detroit gave Saddam Hussein a key to the city out of recognition of donations he made to local churches.
39. El Paso, Texas is one of the safest big cities in America, despite being across the river from Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
40. In San Antonio, Texas lynchings used to be held in front of the San Fernando Cathedral until the priest cut the trees in which the hangings took place.
Detroit has the worst 911 response time in America, with police & EMS taking over an hour to show up. In 2013, despite numerous 911 calls, police arrived 90 minutes later to find Stacey Hightower had been murdered by an intruder. Her mother sued the city of Detroit, but they were bankrupt.
42. It used to be illegal for men to be topless and show their nipples until a judge overturned New York State’s male shirtless bans in 1937 following men protesting for their rights to not sexualize their bare chest.
43. Nashville, Tennessee isn't referred to as the “Athens of the South” because of its full size replica of the Parthenon, but because it was the first American southern city to establish a public school system in the 1850s.
44. Portland was named by a coin flip. Had the coin landed the other way, the city would have been Boston, Oregon.
45. The St. Patrick’s Day tradition of dyeing the Chicago River green arose by accident when a group of plumbers used green dye to trace illegal substances that were polluting the river. The dyeing of the river is still sponsored by the local plumbers union.
Art thieves posing as police officers stole 13 works valued at $500 million from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990. The stolen artwork included paintings by Rembrandt, Manet and Vermeer. The artwork hasn’t been recovered, and only empty frames hang in their place.
47. The most expensive hot dog at an MLB stadium is $7 at Nationals Park in Washington DC, while the cheapest hot dog is $1.50 at Oriole Park in Baltimore, less than an hour away.
48. Seattle kids have a lower polio vaccination than the African country of Rwanda.
49. San Francisco’s LBGT culture was rooted in the gold rush, when the city’s population was 95% men. The unbalanced gender ratio made things such as cross-dressing and same-sex dancing commonplace.
50. During the 1793 yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, many black citizens, widely believed to be immune to the disease, volunteered to deal with the dead and dying as white citizens fled the city. The immunity seems to have not actually existed, and blacks died at the same rates as whites.