50 Awesome Facts About Cities in USA – Part 3

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26 Simi Valley reactor meltdown

Simi Valley reactor meltdown

In 1959, an experimental nuclear reactor meltdown in Simi Valley (35 miles from Los Angeles) released an estimated 458 times more radiation than the Three Mile Island incident. The site remains radioactive to this day, which is surrounded by 500,000 people within 10 miles.

27. The 10th tallest pyramid in the world is a Bass Pro Shop in Memphis, Tennessee.

28. A contractor won a tender to rebuild part of the MacArthur Maze interchange in San Francisco with a bid of just over $876,000, about a third of the projected cost. By completing the rebuild more than a month ahead of schedule, the contractor pocketed a $5 million bonus.

29. In Las Vegas during the 1950s, Casinos offered “Atomic Tourism” in which guests could watch atomic bombs be tested in the desert as a form of entertainment.

30. In 1915, San Diego hired a “rain maker” who used a secret mix of chemicals to “attract rain” for $10,000, payable if he filled their reservoir. It rained for most of January, destroying bridges, dams, and causing 20 deaths.

31 Seattle Fair

Seattle Fair

A 2 month-old baby boy named Ernest was raffled off at the 1909 World’s Fair in Seattle. No one claimed him with the winning ticket, and it is unclear what happened to him.

32. While most air traffic communications around the world use the NATO phonetic alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, etc), Atlanta doesn’t. Taxiways, Gates, and others including a ‘D’ are referred to as ‘Dixie’, so as not to cause confusion with Delta Air Lines. Atlanta is Delta’s hub.

33. Chicago’s Field Museum has 10 colonies of flesh-eating beetles, which live and work at the museum cleaning animal bones for display.

34. Prior to British troops firing on civilians at the Boston Massacre in 1770, they were pelted with oyster shells, ice, stones, sticks, and beaten with clubs by an unruly mob. At the trial, the soldiers were successfully defended by none other than John Adams and all were acquitted of murder.

35. The Oakland Buddha was placed by a resident on a street corner to prevent illegal dumping, the statue has now become a shrine for the local Vietnamese population who leave offerings and have even built a shelter for the Buddha. Crime in the area also dropped 82%.

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36 Philadelphia


Philadelphia leads the nation in sweatpants purchases per capita.

37. The quietest place on Earth is in a small studio named Orfield Laboratories in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At -13 dBA it’s so quiet you can hear the internal workings of your body.

38. There is a radio station in New Orleans for the blind. Volunteers every day read the local newspaper on the air, along best-sellers, grocery ads, stories for kids, mysteries, the Wall Street Journal, young adult novels and much more.

39. Based on the landmarks in the training scene of Rocky II, Rocky ran 30.61 miles before jumping around with a bunch of kids at the top of the stairs at The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

40. The Archbishop of New Orleans ruled that Alligator meat is classified as fish, so Catholics can eat it on Fridays during Lent.

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41 Boston Aerial Photograph

Boston Aerial Photograph

The first ever aerial photograph of an American city is of Boston in 1860. The photo, made from a hot air balloon, is titled: “Boston, as the Eagle and the Wild Goose See It.”

42. Los Angeles was hit with a devastating and deadly series of intentionally set fires in the 1980s and 90s. They finally arrested the arsonist who turned out to be the Arson Inspector charged with investigating the fires.

43. 94% of people who live in Minneapolis are within a 10 minute walk to a park.

44. The infamous Great Seattle Fire of 1889 also killed 1 million rats, which completely eliminated the town’s major rodent problem.

45. In the mid-1990s homeless children in Miami developed a vast, elaborate, and consistent mythology that spread by oral tradition throughout the community as a coping mechanism.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

46 Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

In 1964 white business leaders in Atlanta refused to buy tickets to an event honoring recent Nobel Prize winner Martin Luther King. Coca-Cola recognized the potential PR disaster and threatened to leave the city unless people attended. The event sold out the next day.

47. Because of the number of low-hanging power lines in San Francisco, the city’s fire department still uses handmade wooden ladders, made by on-staff master ladder makers.

48. In 1886 workers in Chicago went on general strike to rally for an 8-hour day. Later, it became International Workers’ Day celebrated worldwide, except in the USA.

49. About 30 million Argentine ants die every year in the conflict between two supercolonies in San Diego.

50. Violent crime in New York City has been dropping since 1991 and as of 2017, is among the lowest of major cities in the United States. In 2017, there were 290 homicides, the lowest number since the 1940s.

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