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




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


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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!”


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Essay outlines the fates of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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The middle name of President Harry Truman was just the letter ‘S.’


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


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


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


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


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President Richard M. Nixon used the wrong “Wilson desk” in the White House.


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During a photo opportunity at a 1988 grocers’ convention, President Bush was “amazed” at encountering supermarket scanners for the first time.


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


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


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


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Article details ‘four things you didn’t know’ about Martin Luther King, Jr.


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