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Home --> History --> American History

American History

American history has its share of legends and odd beliefs, not all of which are entirely true.

Ratings Key

        Green bullet = true
        Red bullet = false
        Multiple status bullet = multiple truth values
        Yellow bullet = undetermined
        White bullet = unclassifiable veracity

Select this link for an expanded
definition of our rating system.

Red bullet The United States standard railroad gauge derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

Red bullet When John Hancock affixed his famously large signature to the Declaration of Independence, he proclaimed, "There, I guess King George will be able to read that!"

Multi-colored bullet Essay outlines the fates of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Red bullet George Washington told of an angel who revealed a prophetic vision of America to him at Valley Forge.

Red bullet John Hanson was the first President of the United States of America.

Red bullet The White House obtained its name because it was repainted white after the British burned it in 1814.*

Red bullet Washington, D.C., has no 'J' Street because city designer Pierre L'Enfant bore a grudge against Chief Justice John Jay.

White bullet A death curse threatens U.S. Presidents elected in years evenly divisible by twenty.

Red bullet Federal law allows only the Texas state flag to be flown at the same height as the U.S. national flag.

Green bullet A clause in the document annexing Texas to the United States allowed for Texas be divided into five different states.

Red bullet David Rice Atchison served as President of the United States for one day in 1849.

Red bullet A black woman served as the model for the Statue of Liberty.

Green bullet The middle name of President Harry Truman was just the letter 'S.'

Red bullet During wartime, the seal of the President of the United States is modified so that the eagle's head faces the opposite direction.

White bullet A number of amazing coincidences can be found between the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.

White bullet Ulysses S. Grant once handed out an exploding cigar that paid off decades later.

Red bullet John F. Kennedy triggered a precipitous decline in the sales of men's hats by appearing hatless at his 1961 inauguration.

Green bullet President Richard M. Nixon used the wrong "Wilson desk" in the White House.

Red bullet During a photo opportunity at a 1988 grocers' convention, President Bush was "amazed" at encountering supermarket scanners for the first time.

Red bullet The 1968 Miss America pageant spawned a decade of bra-burning by feminists as a means of calling attention to their cause.

Red bullet The only real person ever depicted on a PEZ candy dispenser was Betsy Ross.

Red bullet The U.S. Constitution requires presidential and vice-presidential candidates to be from different states.

Multi-status bullet Article details 'four things you didn't know' about Martin Luther King, Jr.

Green bullet Two grandchildren of John Tyler, the 10th President of the U.S., are still alive.
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