The United States of America is a vast and diverse nation that captivates the imagination of people worldwide. From its iconic landmarks to its rich cultural heritage, here are 50 fascinating facts about the USA that showcase its uniqueness and influence on the global stage.

1. USA won the last ever Olympic gold medal for rugby in 1924 and are therefore technically still reigning champions. – Source

2. There are many people who live in Hawaii that refuse to be US citizens. They believe that the USA is occupying their country, and that Hawaii is actually the property of the Hawaiian Kingdom, not the USA. – Source

3. Scientists in 1916 felt America was degenerating into a second rate nationality. They listed the Top 20 threats to USA: #8 America leads all nations in murders, #12 Hearty eating without exercise, #18 Remarkable cancer mortality increase. – Source

4. The USA has a law that allows citizens to occupy any unclaimed island in the world, as long as there is seabird or bat poop on it. – Source

5. The cost of the International Space Station is funded by the USA 81%, Russia 8%, Europe 3%, Japan 3%, and Canada 1%. – Source

College textbooks

6. Cost of college textbooks has risen 812 percent since 1978, far outpacing the rise in costs for medical services and home prices in USA. – Source

7. Out of the 10,000 members of the Communist Party USA in 1957, 1,500 were FBI informants. – Source

8. In 2015, a report found 100+ Walmart products labeled “Made in the USA” that are actually made elsewhere. – Source

9. The Nazi salute looked almost identical to what was, at the time, the salute to the American flag. The USA changed the salute in 1942 because the Nazis adopted it. – Source

10. Until it was forcibly suppressed during WWI, German was the second most widely spoken language in the USA, with many local governments, schools, and newspapers operating in German. – Source

GPS

11. GPS is wholly controlled by the USA and can be ‘switched off’ at any time. – Source

12. Atheists in the USA have disapproval rates higher than those of Muslims and homosexuals. – Source

13. The award winning “Aussie Shampoo”, whose brand logo is a kangaroo, is sold in Europe, Britain and USA but not Australia. The company is based out of Ohio. – Source

14. In the USA, you are statistically about twice as likely to kill yourself rather than be murdered. – Source

15. Carbon Monoxide is used in the USA to make meat appear fresher. This practice is banned in Canada, Japan, Singapore, and the European Union. – Source

Bikini Atoll’s flag

16. The Bikini Atoll’s flag is similar to the USA flag, with black stars representing islands destroyed by nuclear testing, to serve as a reminder of the debt the US still owes them for nuclear fallout and radiation poisoning. – Source

17. The last man to be executed by firing squad in the USA asked for a bulletproof vest as his last wish. – Source

18. Most cheerleading apparel and equipment brands in the USA are owned by just one company, which also owns almost all of the regulatory bodies, and also runs the national competitions. – Source

19. While the USA is only average for racial diversity, it is one of the highest in the world in willingness to have other races as neighbors. – Source

20. 8th January, 1836 is the last day in history that the USA had no national debt. – Source

Hindenburg

21. The Hindenburg was originally designed to use non-flammable helium but the USA refused to export any resulting in the hydrogen based construction. – Source

22. Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning in the USA are male. – Source

23. Russia and USA are only 3.8km apart at the nearest point. – Source

24. Sliced bread was briefly banned in the USA in 1943 as a wartime conservation measure. – Source

25. USSR and the USA were originally in talks to jointly go into space together during the Cold War. USSR almost accepted but then President Kennedy was assassinated and the Soviets didn’t trust Vice President Johnson, so the plan fell through. – Source

26. Many people who own high end and exotic cars register them in Montana to avoid sales taxes in their home state. – Source

27. In 1916 a miscalculation of Montana’s population led to 40,000 men being drafted into the First World War, which was about 10% of the state’s population. – Source

28. Missoula, Montana has a whole “underground city” tunnel network that was used for bootlegging and prostitution rings that is still accessible today. – Source

29. The 4th largest state in USA, Montana, only has one area code. – Source

30. The gold prospectors of Yogo Gulch, Montana would notice “blue pebbles” in their stream, but ignored them for 16 years before a cigar box of them was sent by regular uninsured mail to Tiffany’s, and found to be part of a huge deposit of very high quality sapphires. – Source

Grasshopper Glacier

31. There is a glacier in Montana that is named after the tens of millions of now extinct grasshoppers that can be found trapped within the ice. – Source

32. South Dakota is the only state in the union to abolish Columbus Day and rename it Native American Day. – Source

33. The tallest structure in the western hemisphere is a TV Tower in Blanchard, North Dakota and this is what it looks like when they have to change a light bulb on it.

34. On January 22, 1943, the temperature in Spearfish, South Dakota, changed from -4°F to 45°F in just two minutes, setting a world record. This was caused by a Chinook wind, which increased the temperature eventually up to 54°F before dying down, dropping the temperature back to -4°F. – Source

35. North and South Dakota are two different states because they couldn’t agree on where the capital should be. – Source

Sue the T Rex

36. The most expensive fossil ever sold was Sue the T Rex, a 40-foot 80% complete specimen discovered in South Dakota in 1990. She was sold at auction to Chicago’s Field Museum for $7.6 million. – Source

37. In the 1910s/20s a wolf spent 9 years massacring livestock in the town of Custer, South Dakota. He evaded hunters, traps, and poison. He kept two coyotes as servants/lookouts. When he was finally killed the government issued a press release. – Source

38. When North and South Dakota were admitted to the US, President Harrison asked the Secretary of State to shuffle the documents so no one would know which was admitted first. – Source

39. The word “Idaho” is completely meaningless. The lobbyist who suggested the name lied about it being a Shoshone word for “gem of the mountains” and congress didn’t bother verifying the claim. – Source

40. The Idaho traffic code allows for bicycles approaching a stop sign to slow to a “reasonable speed” but does not mandate a full stop. This is commonly known as the “Idaho Stop.” – Source

Mt. St. Helens

41. When Mt. St. Helens erupted, the blast was heard in British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, and California. However, the blast was not heard in Portland, Oregon only 50 miles away. – Source

42. Only one person has ever been executed by the state of Wisconsin. The public execution was so graphic and horrible that Wisconsin abolished the death penalty two years later. – Source

43. In 1950, residents in Mosinee, Wisconsin held a mock Communist invasion which had concentration camps, a purged library, and inflated prices. The mayor, seemingly unaware of the plan, died due to the excitement. – Source

44. In Michigan, you are never more than 6 miles from a natural water source. This is due to Michigan’s nearly 65,000 inland lakes and ponds. You are also never more than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes. – Source

45. Michigan has a bottle deposit of 10 cents, instead of the usual 5 cents. Their recycle rate is 97%, compared to 70% of states with bottle deposits, compared to 33% for states without any deposit laws. – Source

Mackinac Island

46. M-185 on Mackinac Island, Michigan is the only state highway in US where no motorized vehicles are allowed. Travel is only by bicycles, horses or on foot. – Source

47. An anonymous donor pays for the college education of every student in Kalamazoo, Michigan. – Source

48. Lake Michigan gets so clear after winter’s ice melts that you can actually see shipwrecks in the depths from the air. – Source

49. A boy scout in Michigan tried and nearly succeeded in building a nuclear reactor in his mom’s shed using smoke detectors, antique clocks, Tin foil, and camping lanterns (amongst other things). – Source

50. The worst school mass murder in U.S. history was in Bath, Michigan in 1927, when Andrew Kehoe killed 45 people, 38 of whom were children at an elementary school. – Source

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Last Update: May 1, 2024