From George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Walt Disney and Michael Jordan, the USA offered A LOT to the world. Keep reading to learn more about USA facts and secrets.
Wave The flag
The US flag has 13 stripes in red and white. In the left corner, there’s a blue rectangle with 50 stars. The stripes represent the 13 colonies that declared independence from the UK. The stars represent the 50 states of America. The current flag was ordered by president Dwight David Eisenhower in 1959 and was adopted in 1960.
The national anthem of the United States is called “The Star-Spangled Banner”. The history of the tune dates back to 1814. In that year, Francis Scott Key witnessed the US flag that was then called “The Star-Spangled Banner” flying above Fort McHenry during the US victory. That event inspired key to write his most famous poem. Key handed his poem to his brother-in-law Joseph H. Nicholson. Nicholson saw that the lyrics fit perfectly a melody made by John Stafford Smith in 1773.
The song took more than a century to become the official national anthem on March 3, 1931.
Listen to the anthem
Pin On The Map
The United States of America is a HUGE country. It’s the fourth biggest country in the world as it covers around 6% of the world landmass. The US lies in North America and shares its borders with Canada in the north and Mexico in the south. The American land lies on two oceans (the Atlantic and the Pacific). The country has 50 states. Alaska is the biggest state and Rhode Island is the smallest one.
The US also controls many islands around the world such as Puerto Rico, American Samoa and Guam. Washington, D.C. is the capital city of the United States. However, it isn’t a part of any state!
America’s land is diverse. From mountains and rivers to glaciers and volcanoes, the US has it all. Denali in Alaska is the highest mountain in the US as it reaches 6,190 m (20,310 ft) above sea level. The country also has the tallest mountain in the world which is Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The distance between the base of the mountain and its summit is about 10,000 meters. The summit is around 4000 meters above sea level.
Look In The History Book
The USA is relatively young. However, the history of the lands goes WAY back. The first groups arrived in America thousands of years ago. The experts aren’t exactly sure how they arrived in the American continent. But some believe they crossed a bridge connecting Eurasia to arrive in North America. This happened during the Ice Age. The first groups formed tribes and created cultures. They included Edina culture and Mississippian culture. These groups lived all over the continent. In the Pacific Ocean, The Polynesian people started settling the islands, which form now the state of Hawaii, between the first and 10th centuries. The native groups spoke different languages and created works of art.
The journey that changed everything
In 1492, an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus was trying to find a route from Europe to Asia. Instead, he stumbled upon the American continent. Columbus’s journey paved the way for the arrival of other Europeans. Soon, European countries colonized America and the surrounding islands. The Europeans hurt the Native groups. They also brought new diseases that killed around 90 per cent of the Native American populations.
The Land of The Free
In the 1600s and 1700s, Britain controlled many colonies in America. The first permanent English settlement was called Jamestown. It was established in 1607 in Virginia. The colonies flourished under British control and people started migrating to America. During that time, Britain fought France in the Seven Years’ War. This conflict was costly and Britain needed to tax the Americans.
On December 16, 1773, Americans dumped 342 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. This event was called “The Boston tea party”. It was the spark that started the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, the Thirteen British Colonies declared independence and formed The United States of America. Till 1783, the USA fought Britain to protect its freedom in the revolutionary war. The war ended and the USA remained a free country. After the war, George Washington became the first president of America. He led the nation till 1797.
Expansion and conflict
America’s land expanded. The leaders bought vast lands. They also had to start wars to control other areas. However, the biggest problem America faced wasn’t with a foreign enemy. It was inside the country. In the 1800s, there was a HUGE conflict. The northern states wanted to ban slavery while the southern ones wanted to keep it. The southern states’ economy depended on agriculture. The white people of those states forced black slaves to work in plantations. In 1861, Abraham Lincoln became the United States President. Lincoln supported banning slavery. As a result, some states formed The Confederate States of America and fought against the United States of America. The war was bloody. However, the United States won. The USA became one country again and slavery was banned!
Two World Wars and ONE world power
In the 20th century, the USA took part in both world wars. In the first war, the USA fought with the Allied powers and won. After the end of this war in 1918, the American president Woodrow Wilson pushed the idea of the League of Nations to promote world peace and stop future wars. However, in 1939, World War II started. This war was the deadliest in history. The USA decided to stay neutral at the beginning of the war. However, in 1941, Japan attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbors. Thousands of Americans were killed and injured. As a result, the USA decided to enter the war. The USA played a vital role in ending the war and bringing victory to the Allies in 1945. The Allied powers included Britain and the Soviet Union.
After the end of World War II, a period of political rivalry started between the Soviet Union and the USA. Both countries wanted to be the most powerful nation on earth. This time was called “the cold war” as neither the Soviet Union nor the United States officially declared war on each other. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and the USA became, undoubtedly, the strongest nation in the world.
Take a Walk
It’s the capital of the United States and most of the government buildings are located there. They include the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Congress and the Pentagon.
Washington D.C. is considered an open museum for tourists to wander around more than 100 unique monuments and memorials such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Tourists can also visit over 50 museums, Such as The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The White House
It’s the residence of the president and the first family, and the main executive mansion in the country. It’s well known for its name which is based on the white-colored building. A myth claims that it was the first building to be painted after the British soldiers had burnt Washington in 1814, giving it its distinguished color next to other ashy buildings.
Don’t miss the memorable tour of the White House on your next trip to the D.C. Tours are available for 18 years old or older Americans with valid government-issued photo identification, and foreigners with their passports.
You will be wandering around walls of history and art with over 500 paintings and thousands of decorative pieces. You can find The Lansdowne portrait which is a full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. It is the oldest painting in the White House.
Public tours will take you through the Red, Green, Blue and China Rooms. If the Map Room is available to the public, you will be standing where President Franklin D. Roosevelt followed the course of WWII. The Oval Office in the West Wing is the official working space of the president.
You can take as many photographs as you want by a cell phone camera or a compact camera but videography is prohibited. All the white house tours are free of charge, but you have to book your tour up to 3 months in advance and not less than 21 days in advance.
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
It’s that kind of museum you can hardly get bored within. It tells the story of our planet and the interaction between man and nature since the very beginning with millions of pieces of fossils, skeletons, collections of ancient communities, gems and lifelike full-sized reconstructions of extinct species. Don’t miss visiting the morphing station to see what you would look like as a primitive human.
It is open every day around the year except on Christmas day, all of the Smithsonian museums are free of charge but it would be nice if you donated money to the institution.
With famous sites around every corner; it’s one of the greatest destinations for tourists with famous landmarks, such as The Empire State Building, Central Park, Radio City Music Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. And we can’t forget Broadway shows, shopping streets of Fifth Avenue and breathtaking museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frick Collection and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Statue of Liberty
Lady Liberty is definitely on top of your must-visit list in New York. It’s America’s most famous symbol of “Libertas” the Roman goddess that stands for freedom. It was a gift from France to celebrate the centennial of the American Revolution.
You can easily see the statue from land, but you can double the fun by taking a boat trip to Liberty Island to have a closer look, you can have a stop at Ellis Island to visit the Immigration Museum where thousands of immigrants were processed before entering the United States.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum-New York
Opened in 2000, it’s the gate to over 220 life-sized wax figures of your favorite celebrities and politicians. It’s time to go wild and silly with your photographic skills, you might not get that chance when meeting your favorite public figures.. you know …. in flesh.
Hollywood – California
Hollywood is the birthplace of the American film industry; one of the biggest entertainment industries in the world, located downhills of the Santa Monica mountains where you can spot the famous Hollywood sign.
You can’t miss heading to Hollywood Boulevard for the excitement of walking along the famous Hollywood walk of fame and stopping by the Dolby Theatre where the Oscars are awarded every year. Just keep an open eye, you might run into your favorite star.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Film lovers won’t miss this place for the world, Head for the breathtaking theme park rides of popular movies and TV shows like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter where Muggles can enjoy the world of magic!
Take the Universal Studio Tour for a behind-the-scenes experience by riding a tram through former movie locations to relive the on-screen action, you can feel the thriller of explosions and gunshots in the Fast & the Furious world.
Hollywood’s Museum of Illusions
It might be the coolest place on earth; the museum has 4 breathtaking experiences that will set your imaginative mind free. Spiderman isn’t the only one who can walk on walls or hang from the ceiling, get ready to defy gravity and have your world turned upside down in “The Upside Down House”.
Your next stop would be the museum of illusions with all the 3D artwork of the African safari, Dungeons & Dragons, The Red Carpet and other rooms that will blow your mind and your Instagram profile.
It’s time to see the world with a super extra-large magnifying glass in the Giant’s house with over 31 mega items that will make you feel so tiny.
Stressed? Not anymore with the “Smash It!” room where you can blow off some steam; just write down what’s stressing you out on a plate and throw it against the wall as hard as you can. The “Smash It” room is restricted to +12 years old only. This museum is the perfect match to your Instagram account with tickets around 30 to 40 dollars and special offers for families and groups.
1. Big Bend National Park
If you head west in Texas, you will find this mesmerizing 801,163 -acre- park. Big bend was officially a national park on June 12, 1944. It’s home to many species of plants, mammals, reptiles and birds.
The park took its name from its location. As it lies on a big bend in the Rio Grande River. Some people enjoy hiking, biking or fishing in the area. While adventure seekers love taking river trips or riding horses there.
2. NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Texas isn’t all about rivers and mountains. The state has gone beyond that….. Way beyond. In the 1960s, NASA founded Johnson Space Center in Houston. The center controlled many space missions such as Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo–Soyuz, and Space Shuttle missions. And a lot of astronauts trained there before flying to other worlds. Visitors can see space crafts, robots and mission control rooms in this awe-inspiring site.
Meet the people
More than 331 million people live in the US making it the third most populated country in the world. California is the most populated state in the country with more than 39 million people. Wyoming is the least-populated state with about 580,000 residents. Most Americans live in cities. There are around 273 million people living in urban areas. The big apple, New York City, is the most populous city in with more than 8 million people. On the other hand, there are around 58 million people living in rural areas.
USA is a VERY diverse country. There are only around 7 million Native Americans in the US which is about 2.09% of the entire population. Millions of people immigrated to the country over the years making America a pot of cultures. This wide range of cultures affected all parts of life from music to food. Many types of music were born in the US. These include Blues and Jazz. The US is considered by many to be the founder of Fast Industry. Many Fast food brands were born in the US, such as KFC, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut.
Americans also love their sports. It’s almost impossible to turn on your TV and not find a match to watch. American football is the most popular sport in the country. The super bowl is the biggest game of this sport. It’s usually the most-watched event on TV.
The fun doesn’t stop here. American football is popular in America. But the NBA is huge all over the WORLD. It’s the most-watched basketball league. People from all around wake up early or stay up late just to see the magic of Lebron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden and other hoops stars.
Of course, there are other major sports and leagues such as golf, Ice hockey and even soccer. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget baseball! Baseball is America’s national pastime. Every spring, people flock to ballparks to watch their favorite teams.
This love for sports is mirrored in the Olympics. The United States has been the most successful nation on that huge world stage winning more than 2,600 medals. Not only that! America is also home to the most successful Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps. The legendary swimmer won 28 medals, including 23 gold ones. The US has also hosted the Olympics eight times, that’s more than any other country in the world! In 2028, the Summer Olympics will return to The US, as the event will be held in Los Angeles!
The US is also known for Tech companies. Many major companies saw the light On American soil. They include Apple, Facebook, Alphabet (Google), Amazon and Tesla. Silicon Valley in California is home to tons of major companies and start-ups.
The technological rush started early in America. The country has always been a haven to scientists and inventors. Thomas Alva Edison was one of America’s greatest inventors. America was also the first country to send a man to the moon. That happened on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked here.
There are many holidays in America. Independence Day is the most famous one. On July 4, people celebrate the Declaration of Independence. Millions of Americans watch fireworks and parades. They also enjoy picnics and barbecues in the sun.
Take a bite
American foods differ from one state to another, one city to another and even from one district to another. This is due to the vast diversity in tastes. However, there are some meals that seem to make most American’s mouths water.
Here’s our Favorite choice!
“Good things come to those who wait”
This saying is true when it comes to barbecued brisket. It could take more than 9 hours to be ready but it’s worth the waiting. Barbecue brisket is one of the most famous dishes in Texas. It’s even considered by some people to be “the National Dish of Texas”. A brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. It’s seasoned and slow-smoked for hours over wood. Then, the juicy piece of meat is rested and served with sauce, onions and pickles.
America has much more to offer. Keep following us to know more about The US.
Records Records everywhere!
Americans have set TONS of world records in Guinness World Records. Many of those records have been set by one man. Meet Ashrita Furman! The New Yorker is the man with the most Guinness World Records titles. From Longest time to hula hoop underwater to Greatest distance travelled on a bicycle balancing a milk bottle on the head, Ashrita has set more than 600 records and currently holds over 200!
America still has LOTS AND LOTS more to offer. Keep following us to know more about the land of the Free.