United States Facts
"America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely to be true, and the opposite is probably equally true."
—James T. Farrell
George Washington, early military and political leader of the United States, was born, according to the Julian calendar in use at the time, on February 11. However, according to the Gregorian calendar, his birthday would be on February 22. In 1752, Great Britain and its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, so his birthday is given as February 22 in modern documents. The United States has a holiday to commemorate Washington's Birthday. It is celebrated on the third Monday in February, which always falls between February 15 and February 21 and so can never fall on either February 11 or February 22.
The northernmost state in the contiguous 48 United States is Minnesota, specifically the "Northwest Angle", which consists of around 125 square miles of territory projecting north of the 49° line adjoining the Lake of the Woods. (source)
"Idaho", the name of one of the states in the United States of America, doesn't mean anything in any language. (source)
The state of Virginia extends farther west than the state of West Virginia.
The states of Tennessee and Missouri are each bordered by eight other states—Missouri by Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and Tennessee by Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. (source)
In the United States of America, Independence Day could have been celebrated on July 2. On that date in 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted independence from Great Britain. The next day, John Adams wrote in a letter to his wife Abigail, "The Second Day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha in the History of America.—I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more." In the 19th century, historians uncovered the letter and published it, with "Second" replaced by "Fourth." (source)
While serving in Congress, Thomas Jefferson introduced a bill that would prohibit slavery in any state admitted to the United States in future. This measure, which could have prevented the American Civil War decades later, was defeated by a single vote. (source)
The worst law ever passed by the United States federal government may have been the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Fugitive slave legislation had been around since 1793, but the new act gave law enforcement officers in the Northern States carte blanche to pursue and arrest fugitive slaves, and even to compel civilians to assist. Slaves so captured would be sent back south, without being able to defend themselves or produce evidence that they were not in fact slaves. Furthermore, the arresting officer received a bounty of $10 for each slave returned. Despite the significant incentives to catching slaves, only about 300 slaves were captured and returned between 1850 and 1861. The only real effect that the Fugitive Slave Act had was to exacerbate bad feelings between the southern states and the northern states, which would lead to the U. S. Civil War in 1861. (source)
In the year 1789, United States President George Washington's salary accounted for 2% of the state budget of the United States. With 300 slaves and a large plantation, it has been estimated that, in inflation-adjusted terms, Washington's net worth was $525 million. (source)
Between 1784 and 1788 there was a portion of the United States known as the state of Frankland, or Franklin, after Benjamin Franklin. It is now part of Tennessee. (source)
In the entire state of Ohio in 1895, there were only two cars on the road, and the drivers of these two cars crashed into each other. (source)
In 1915, when 100 million people lived in the United States of America, there were 6.5 million farms. In 2006, when 300 million people lived in the United States of America, there were only 2.1 million farms. (source)
In 1938, a United States presidential commission concluded that the nation's population would never reach 140 million. The population exceeded that figure only eight years later. (source)
There is a state holiday in Illinois that celebrates someone who never went anywhere near Illinois. On the first Monday in March, there is a holiday in honour of Casimir Pulaski (ca. 1748–1779). Pulaski was initially a military hero in Poland in the 1760s and 1770s, but failed to prevent the Partition of Poland. Pulaski then fled Poland and was later recruited by Benjamin Franklin to help the rebels in America in their fight against the British.
India is the world's second most populous country, with a population of more than 1,000,000,000. The world's third most populous country, the United States, has a population less than 30% of that of India. (source)
The official state song of Maryland, "Maryland, My Maryland," refers to the United States as "scum."
Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable long.
The only royal palace in the United States is the Iolani Palace, in Honolulu, Hawaii. (source)
Eight states in the United States are named after Indian tribes: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Utah. (source)
The place-name Washington, which honours George Washington, can be found as the name of a state, the only state named after an American, the capital of the United States, 29 counties, and 33 towns. (source)
The state of Maine is the only state bordered by exactly one state, namely New Hampshire. (source)
The two places in the contiguous 48 states that are the farthest distance apart are Sail Rock, Maine and North Farallon Island, California, which are 2,901 miles apart.
Under the terms of the 1845 annexation of Texas to the United States, Texas has the right to divide itself into up to five states at any time. (source)
The U.S. state of Texas was under five different flags in the nineteenth century. At the start of the century it was under Spanish rule as a part of Mexico. Mexico achieved independence in 1821. From 1836 to 1845 Texas was an independent state under its own flag. From 1845 to 1860 Texas was part of the United States; in 1861 it briefly reverted back to its own flag before joining the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, after which it rejoined the United States.
When the area that is now Washington, D.C. was chosen as the national capital of the United States, many criticized the location as being too far to the west. (source)
The most densely populated state in the United States is New Jersey, with an average density of 1,174 people per square mile (453 per square kilometre). (source)