From 1964 to 1973 the United States dropped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos — enough for a full plane load every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 9 years.
Green grass that covers nearly every lawn in America is not native to the Americas. The Europeans brought it over when they settled and it slowly dominated prairie grass.
Life in Puritan New England was so hard that children who were abducted by Native Americans often refused to come back. The Indians freed children of the work obligations they faced in the colonies — boys hunted, caught fish, and gathered nuts; and girls cultivated corn but had no master “to oversee or drive us, so that we could work as leisurely as we pleased.”
In the Cold War, the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, in order to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.
Brushing one’s teeth wasn’t popular in America until after World War II, when soldiers, ordered to brush teeth, brought home their enforced habit.
The US and the USSR’s only direct military confrontation happened in October 1944, over the Serbian town of Niš. It is considered top secret by both governments, and the exact number of casualties is unknown.
During WWII the United States asked Mexicans to cross the border to work agricultural jobs.
In 1970 the US Postal Service decided on a strike after a Congressional decision to raise the wages of postal workers by only 4%, at the same time as Congress raised its own pay by 41%.
In 1879 a Native American had to sue the United States Government to prove that he was legally a person.
U.S. President James Buchanan regularly bought slaves in Washington, D.C. and quietly freed them in Pennsylvania.
Contrary to urban legend, the woman who accepted Marlon Brando’s 1973 Academy Award was in fact a Native American. Sacheen Littlefeather was born Maria Cruz to a white mother & full-blooded (but mixed tribe) Native dad. John Wayne had to be restrained from dragging her off stage.
In the early 1900′s, farmers used their fences to communicate. In some isolated farmers’ communities, it was cost effective for corporations to invest on the telephone infrastructure. Instead, the existing extent of barbed wire fences could be use to transmit electric signals and connect phones in neighboring farms.
During the Mexican-American war an estimated 700 Irish men deserted the US Army to join the Mexicans and fought in the Battle of Churubusco. The were called Batallón de San Patricio (St. Patricks battalion) and are considered heroes of Mexico.
In 1957, the KKK planned to set up a burning cross at a college in Alabama that recently integrated. However, because it was finals week, the students were all in their dorms and heard the KKK outside. The students then attacked the KKK with bats and golf clubs and forced them to retreat.