Fascinating Facts About The United States

February 9, 2017 | Sammy Tran

Fascinating Facts About The United States

Ah, the land of abundance! “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

A lot has happened since some important folk scribbled their names on the Declaration of Independence, liberating the USA from the yolk of British rule. Here’s some stuff you may not know!

United States Facts

1. The Library Of Congress Saves The Internet

Every tweet Americans send is being archived by the Library of Congress. Man holding a smart phone with twitter app.greenwish _,Pexels

2. Americans *Really* Love Pizza

100 acres of Pizza are served in the United States every day. Additionally, 8 billion chickens and 50 billion burgers are consumed in the US each year.two young women having fun and eating pizza in sitting on a couchKoolShooters, Pexels

3. Ah, The Cost Of Change

The US government poisoned alcohol during Prohibition in the 20s and 30s, killing over 10,000 people. Not everyone thought it was a good idea to make alcohol deadly, but the alcohol-must-be-stopped camp persisted, arguing that legal alcohol had killed many more than poisoned alcohol would kill during the transition to a booze-free world.

Beer Mug as a Gavel Used by a JudgeBNP Design Studio, Shutterstock

4. The pioneer of American slavery.

America's first slave owner was a black man. In the early 1600s, there were no legal slaves in the colonies, only indentured servants who were released after seven years. In 1655, Anthony Johnson sued successfully for the right to own another black man indefinitely.

Female hands with chains.Polina Tankilevitch, Pexels


5. A few inmates.

9 million people are in prisons around world, and a quarter of them are in the United States. It costs the US Government $2,768,902 per year to hold a prisoner in Guantanamo.Woman in orange jumpsuit seating in jail cell.RDNE Stock project, Pexels

6. Sweet name, bro.

There are at least 97 people called "LOL" in the US. There are 4,746 people in the United States with an identical first and last name, with Thomas Thomas being the most common. 5,840 people in the United States have a last name that ends with their first name, with Donald MacDonald being the most common. Scared shocked woman isolated on gray background in yellow blousepathdoc, Shutterstock

7. I wonder what that red button does…

In 1962, the United States blew up a hydrogen bomb in space that was 100 times more powerful than Hiroshima.

Grayscale photo of explosion on the beach.Pixabay, Pexels

8. A lot of money for a hunk of ice.

The United States purchased Alaska from Russia for just US$7.2 million in 1867. At the time, the acquisition was popularly dismissed as "Seward's Folly" (Seward was Secretary of State at the time), as the frozen land was considered worthless. Today, Alaska produces $45 billion dollars of goods and services annually.

 A hiker on the summit of Gentoo Peak, in Alaska - 2016Paxson Woelber, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

9. A little money.

The United States has the largest GDP in the world with 18.6 trillion. That’s larger than the United Kingdom, France, India, Italy, Brazil, Canada, and Russia combined.

Eyeglasses, chart and pencil on office desk.Yan Krukau, Pexels


Sign up to our newsletter.

History’s most fascinating stories and darkest secrets, delivered to your inbox daily. Making distraction rewarding since 2017.

Thank you!
Error, please try again.

10. Using those noggins.

The United States has 115,000 janitors, 83,000 bartenders and 323,000 restaurant servers with bachelor's degrees. 

Young waiter is standing in empty restaurant and looking at camera.muse studio, Shutterstock


11. Merry Christmas! Now go to jail.

Christmas was illegal in the United States until 1836 as it was considered an Ancient Pagan Holiday.

Surprised Santa ClausAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

12. And you can’t even sell them for parts anymore…

In the United States, it costs $245K to raise a child, before college. And if you’re planning on paying for additional schooling, things don’t get better! The cost of college in the United States has gone up 500% since 1985. Holding a DiplomaGül Işık, Pexels

13. Maybe next election we could vote using the “Like” button?

There are more Facebook users from the United States than US citizens that voted in the last election.

Facebook app opened on smartphoneAnton, Pexels

14. Whoops, we missed one.

At least 1 in 25 people sentenced to the death penalty in the United States are not guilty. The total number of exonerations is 156, with the most recent being Derral Hodgkins on October 12, 2015. Honorable Judge Pronouncing SentenceGorodenkoff, Shutterstock

15. It kinda has a nice ring to it…

In 1893, an amendment was proposed to rename the United States into the "United States of the Earth.” 

Surprised man is looking at side.Ketut Subiyanto, Pexels

16. Big guns.

$1 in every $5 paid in taxes in the United States goes to defense. The US defense budget is $612 billion. Despite sequestration and other spending cuts, the United States spends more money on defense than the next ten highest spending countries combined. America's biggest military advantage is its fleet of 19 aircraft carriers, compared to 12 carriers operated by the rest of the world combined. These massive carriers allow the United States to set up forward operating bases anywhere and project power throughout the world.

USS Yorktown aircraft carrier at dock.Jaxon Matthew Willis, Pexels


17. Fear of red.

Nelson Mandela wasn’t removed from the United States terror watch list until 2008. Despite Mandela’s heroic, life-long battle against apartheid and injustice in South Africa, his ties to the South African Communist Party made Raegan a little queasy.

Palestinian Leader Yasser ArafatHandout, Getty Images

18. Good old George.

There are 189 things named after George Washington: 1 state, 7 mountains, 8 streams, 10 lakes, 33 counties, 9 colleges, and 121 towns and villages.

A worker uses a ladder to work near a full length portrait of former U.S. President George Washington - 2006Spencer Platt, Getty Images

19. Charitable donations.

In 2014, individual Americans gave $258 billion USD to charity —more than twice the amount given by corporations and foundations combined. Money and savings plan for retirementNitiroj, Shutterstock

20. Big wars.

The Afghan War is the longest war in United States. history. It has cost $1.6 trillion to date.

Soldiers quickly march to the ramp of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter - 2003Staff Sgt. Kyle Davis, Wikimedia Commons

21. All they do is sit around and smoke that catnip anyway.

There are 2 pets for every 3 people in the United States. It seems that dogs have come out on top. 74% of Americans said they liked dogs “a lot.” Only 41% said the same thing about cats. Man in blue sweatshirt  walking his dogZen Chung, Pexels

22. Holy crap.

In WW2, the United States and New Zealand secretly tested 3,700 "tsunami bombs" designed to destroy coastal cities. The tests revealed that a series of 10 large offshore blasts could result in a 33ft tsunami that would wreak havoc on a coastal city. City destroyed by Tsunami wavesBignai, Shutterstock


23. With great power comes… don’t you dare take my Waze.

GPS is owned and controlled by the United States government. It can be 'switched off' at any time. Taxi driver using GPSstructuresxx, Shutterstock

24. Mass psychology.

Gun sales in the United States actually increase after mass shootings.

Gun section in Stans Merry Mart WenatcheeThayne Tuason, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

25. Turtles are not for sitting.

In the United States, sitting on a sea turtle is a third degree felony. Sea turtle in water.Jeremy Bishop, Pexels

26. Money, money, money.

The poorest 5% of people in the United States. are still richer than 68% of the world's inhabitants.

Homeless man on the streetGarry Knight, Flickr

27. Dead money.

A United States law mandates that only dead people can appear on US currency.

Rich man throwing money in officeGround Picture, Shutterstock

28. Rethinking biometrics…

In the United States, your fingerprint isn’t protected under the 5th amendment, so police can force you to unlock a phone with a fingerprint but not a password.

Android Smartphone fingerprint readerAndri Koolme, Flickr

29. A gateway to money.

In 2015, the marijuana market in the United States was bigger than craft beer, wine, and organic food.

Covered GreenhouseELEVATE, Pexels

30. The right to measure things differently than everyone else.

The United States officially accepted the metric system in 1975 when President Gerald Ford signed the Metric Conversion Act. Of course, this didn’t do anything… since Americans rarely actually use the metric system. In fact, many Americans view their system of measurement as a long-standing pillar of American individualism. There’s also a huge cost to conversion. NASA claims its costs to convert its measurement systems would be over $370 million. But not converting has costs of its own. NASA lost $125 million when its Mars Climate Orbiter crashed after its altitude-control system mixed up US customary units with metric units. Close up shot of a carpenter measuring a wood plank.Los Muertos Crew, Pexels

31. Canada, eh?

One of the thirteen articles in the 1781 US Articles of Confederation states that if Canada wants to be admitted into the United States, it will automatically be accepted. American and Canadian flag on the map.Lara Jameson, Pexels

32. Burn, baby, burn!

The Eternal Flame at Bullhead City, Arizona, only lasted until city officials received a $961 gas bill. It was relit after veterans groups complained.

Upset Man looking at sideAlena Darmel, Pexels

33. Super-charged udders.

American cows produce 4 times as much milk as they did in 1944. Brown cows on the field.Sander Wiegerink, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

34. The man responsible for the Unlimited Kibble Bill of 2015.

In August 2016, a dog was elected mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota, for its third term in a row. Duke was elected in a “landslide” when all twelve citizens residing in the town voted for the pup.

Dog as mayor sign.William Mewes, Flickr

35. Bring it, Mr. President.

When President Barrack Obama was asked if he could have beaten Trump, he said, “if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it," he told his former political operative David Axelrod. "I know that in conversations that I’ve had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one." Trump disagreed, tweeting out later in the day that “President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! —  jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.” Drama, drama.

Donald J. Trump and Former U.S. President Barack ObamaSgt. Marianique Santos,Wikimedia Commons

36. The King of the North!

Canada's immigration website crashed on US election night of 2016.Sad woman with her laptopAndrea Piacquadio , Pexels

37. It’s lasted a bit longer than the Eternal Flame….

The town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, has been burning since 1962. Centralia, Pennsylvania sits atop a few of the biggest coal deposits in the world. No one knows exactly how the Centralia fire started, but apparently, it could burn for another 250 years.

Cracked highway from subsurface coal fireJames St. John, Flickr

38. Tricks up his sleeves.

Houdini drew on his arsenal of magician's tricks to provide special instructions to American troops during WWI.

Harry Houdini - circa 1898"Famous Players - Lasky Corporation.", Wikimedia Commons

39. Pretty sure we’ll catch them soon…

The 1962 escape from Alcatraz (the only successful one) is still under investigation by the United States Marshals Service.

Alcatraz Island photo - 2013Don Ramey Logan, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

40. Just give “1234” a shot, that should work.

The launch code for most United States nuclear missiles was the same for 20 years: 00000000. This was chosen by Strategic Air Command to make the weapons as quick and as easy to launch as possible.

Graphic illustration of a hand in military uniform ready to drops anrudall30, GettyImages

41. It’s the plague!

There are still cases of bubonic plague reported in the United States every year. A man in historical masquerade costume of plague doctor.illustrissima, Shutterstock

42. Those bad boys are potent, eh?

The United States is the world’s largest exporter of sperm. These exports are actually being used to help sperm-starved Canada. It’s estimated that Canada has just 60 sperm donors who, try as they might, can’t meet demand from over 5,000 Canadians who attempt artificial insemination each year. Woman in HospitalDCStudio, Freepik

I hope you learned something interesting about the United States. Share this article with your friends by clicking below!

Sources:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.