After making up the state name Idaho, the politician George Willing created a fake etymology, claiming it came from a Shosoni word meaning “Behold! the sun coming down the mountain.” Despite lacking evidence, this fake etymology was repeated in many textbooks through the 20th century.
In 1763, King George III issued a royal proclamation that forbade British settlement in North America west of the Appalachians, reserving the land for indigenous peoples.
The United States originated the concept of National Parks by the establishment of Yellowstone in 1872. Canada followed in 1880’s, Great Britain, Japan and Mexico by the 1930’s. Today there are over 3,000 national parks worldwide.
In the 1800’s, Americans drank, on average, 90 bottles of whiskey per year, or 1.7 bottles per week. This was because at the time, whiskey was sold at twenty-five cents a gallon, making it cheaper than wine, beer, tea, coffee and even milk.
In the United States the reason voting takes place on a Tuesday is in 1845 it could take rural farmers up to a day of travelling by horse and cart to get to a voting station. Wednesday was typically market day and Sunday was the Biblical Sabbath so Tuesday was chosen to allow ample travel time.
Many African-Americans have Irish last names (e.g. Shaquille O’Neal) because Irish and Blacks lived side by side in the ghettos of 19th century America.
Life in Puritan New England was so hard that children who were abducted by Native Americans often refused to come back.
On average, every person older than 15 in colonial America drank the equivalent of 7 shots of alcohol per day.
During Prohibition, the U.S. Treasury Department authorized physicians to write prescriptions for medicinal alcohol. Licensed doctors advised their patients to take regular doses of hooch to stave off a number of ailments—cancer, indigestion and depression among them.
After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples.