Stars, Stripes, and Surprises: 25 Facts That Capture the Essence of the USA – Part 2

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1Obese

Obese

In 2017, U.S.A. overtook Mexico again as the most obese nation in the world with estimates that 50% of the nation will be obese by 2030.


2. Seattle changed Columbus day to indigenous peoples day in 2014 to acknowledge that native Americans were living in the Americas long before Columbus "discovered" it.


3. In 2013, California shut down an elder care facility (Valley Springs Manor) but didn't relocate the residents before the owners stopped operations. The janitor (Miguel Alvarez) and cook (Maurice Rowland) stayed behind, unpaid, to give around-the-clock care to 16 patients for two days.


4. Seattle has a "tiny house" village that homeless residents can use to sleep, eat and shower. It costs residents $90 a month to cover utilities and is designed to help them get back on their feet.


5. In 2007, when Minnesota passed an anti-smoking law that banned smoking in public buildings, there was a line that said only actors who had to smoke were allowed to do so. Thus, the Barnacles Bar declared that everyone in the bar is an actor in a live performance.


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6New Jersey

New Jersey

New Jersey is home to more scientists and engineers per square mile than anywhere else in the world.


7. The Centralia mine in Pennsylvania has been on fire since 1962 and is expected to burn for another 250 years minimum.


8. The streets in Northeast Minneapolis were named after the U.S. presidents in order of their election to help new residents from Poland, Ukraine, Lebanon, and Germany prepare for citizenship exams.


9. In New Orleans, for a few hundred dollars, you and your friends can rent a brass band and have your very own police escorted personal parade.


10. During the 1980 New Mexico prison riot, prisoners in protective custody waited for 5 hours while prison gangs cut their way into the cell block with blow torches and then tortured and killed them. They could have escaped through a rear door, but the guards refused to open it.


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11Pay-to-serve jail

Pay-to-serve jail

In Los Angeles, you can serve a jail sentence in a much nicer "pay-to-serve" jails for $100. These allow day release for employment, food delivery, and better-visiting conditions. Those that can't pay as much clean the jail.


12. Colorado's two tallest mountains (Mount Elbert and Mount Massive) are so close to each other in height that fans of each mountain would repeatedly pile up rocks to try and make their preferred mountain taller.


13. Philadelphia is known as "The City of Brotherly Love" because it's composed of the Greek words for love (phileo) and brother (adelphos).


14. Louisiana has its own version of French called "Creole French" which only 70,000 people can speak. It varies so much from standard French that native French speakers cannot understand it.


15. Charleston, Arkansas was the first southern school system to integrate (not Little Rock, AR.) When asked how it could be done without violence, an attorney named Dale Bumpers said, "We'll just do it." The board integrated the schools without announcing it to the press, and there was no violence.


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16Public schools

Public schools

Massachusetts guaranteed access to all public schools to every child in 1845, after a group of black whalers from Nantucket, accustomed to the relative equality they had on whaling ships, began a boycott and petition campaign.


17. The city of Detroit raised $50,000 in less than 10 days in order to fund the building of a Robocop statue.


18. The City of Chicago banned the sale of Foie Gras (livers of Force-fed duck/goose) in 2006 with a $250-$500 fine for violating it. Some Chefs violated the law and sued Chicago to be allowed to continue. Other, smarter chefs, gave Foie Gras away for free since the ban was on selling it.


19. Wyoming only has two sets of escalators in the entire state, and both are in the same city.


20. North and South Dakota are two different states because they couldn't agree on where the capital should be.


21Finance reform law

Finance reform law

Maryland passed the United States' first campaign finance reform law in 1811. It prohibited candidates from purchasing alcohol for voters, which was an extremely common practice at the time.


22. In Alabama, it is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.


23. In 1950, residents of Mosinee, Wisconsin held a mock Communist invasion, which had concentration camps, a purged library, and inflated prices. The mayor, seemingly unaware of the plan, died due to the excitement.


24. Whiteclay, a town of 14 people in Nebraska sells 4 million cans of beer per year, mostly to the natives who are prohibited from drinking it on the reservation located right next to Whiteclay.


25. The U.S. supplies 94% of the paid blood plasma used around the world and nearly 80% of the plasma centers in the U.S. are located in America’s poorer neighborhoods.

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