Sure, the Declaration of Independence was signed in the year 1776, and George Washington was the first United States president. Such well-known facts are widely acknowledged by Americans as events which collectively built this liberty-loving nation. However, they are just a drop in the ocean of actual series of events throughout America’s history. There are many other interesting, least-known facts on events which occurred through the centuries America was shaped into the country it is today. Here are 5 of the most captivating ones:
- Robert G. Heft, a 17 year old kid, came up with a 50 star flag design that his teacher termed as “mediocre”, for his school project. He was consequently awarded a B-, a grade that his tutor promised to change if the Congress accepted it. Interestingly, against all odds, Congress was moved by the design which was subsequently adopted as the official American flag in 1959. As for young Robert, he was ultimately awarded a grade A by his previously pessimistic teacher.
- In a strange court case that was held on the 25th of September 1820, the public, represented by Salem NJ, largely believed that tomatoes were poisonous. In bid to clear all doubts, Robert Johnson did exactly what other people were afraid of doing- he ate an entire basket of tomatoes in front of crowd that had gathered to witness the proceedings. Seeing he remained alive after his heavy fruit meal, the case was immediately dismissed.
- In addition to serving as the country’s first president, George Washington was also an alcohol manufacturer and distributor, owning and running one of the biggest distilleries at that time. He erected it after James Anderson, a scot who managed his farm, convinced him that his corn and rye farm product would generate additional income if he made whiskey from it. The 2250 square foot distillery was supplying more than 11,000 whisky gallons to American citizens by the year 1799.
- Both Democratic and Republican party symbols were not influenced by any political inspirations. The Republican elephant gradually became the official party symbol after a Thomas Nast, a satirical cartoonist, depicted a republican vote through the drawing of an elephant. The Democratic Party’s symbol on the other hand, came into being after Andrew Jackson was referred to as a “jackass” by his opponents in the 1828 elections.
- During the peak of World War Two, right before the Hiroshima bombing, the Japanese came up with a thoughtful way of hitting the United States with Intercontinental bombs. Taking advantage of the strong American on-shore winds, they tied the bombs to hydrogen balloons and let them float all the way to American Coast. Dubbed the “Fu-Go” campaign, the Japanese released over 9000 bombs which were expected to take 30 to 60 hours to land and decimate Americans. Although many of them landed and exploded, only 342 of them made it to the US mainland.
It’s believed that there were many other interesting events, which will unfortunately never be fully recognized due to limited documentation methods in the past. Some however, are allegedly state’s secrets, only open to a select few who make it to the white house.