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.
“American” was the official language of Illinois from 1923 to 1969.
As late as 1985 there were still 26 states with no drunk driving laws. You could map a 3,700 mile drive from Key West in Florida to the Idaho – Canada border. That would allow you to legally drink the whole drive.
In 1927 several million people in the United States sent over 100,000 petitions urging Congress to adopt the metric system.
In 1958, The Lumbee Indians of North Carolina learned of a KKK rally being held in the woods nearby. They attacked the KKK rally and broke it up. The Klan was never active in the area again. During the ensuing madness the Klan leaders wife drove into a ditch… and then some Lumbee men helped pull her out and sent her on her way.
In the 60s, the US military secretly sprayed (possibly radioactive) experimental chemicals, like zinc cadmium, on thousands of residents of poor neighborhoods in St. Louis, without their knowledge or consent, to see what would happen.