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.
“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.