15 Fascinating Facts You Never Learned About America

Which president was a hangman, which owned a saloon, the country’s deadliest job, and more fascinating trivia about American history and culture.

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American flag
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1. Their Grand Old Flag

The current 50-star American flag was designed by a 17-year-old as a school project in 1958. He got a B-.
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President Donald Trump
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2. America’s Deadliest Job

Statistically, the deadliest job in America is … president. Of the 45 men who’ve held the post, four have been assassinated in office—a rate of roughly 9 per cent (or about one in 10) killed on the job.
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Pepperoni pizza
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3. A Whole Lotta Pizza

Meanwhile, Americans sell enough pizza every day to cover 100 acres.
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American veterans parade
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4. Their Mighty Military

The largest air force in the world is the U.S. Air Force. The world’s second-largest air force is the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps combined.
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Susquehanna River
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5. Cry Me a (Very Old) River

Three of the world’s five oldest rivers flow in the United States: The New, the Susquehanna, and the French Broad Rivers are each hundreds of millions of years old.
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Civil War cannon
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6. The Power of Youth

But the nation is young: The government is still paying one pension on behalf of a Civil War veteran (to his 85-year-old daughter).
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Lake Superior
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7. Talk About a Great Lake

There is enough water in Lake Superior to cover the entire landmass of North and South America in one foot of liquid.
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Abraham Lincoln
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8. An Entrepreneurial President

The only U.S. president to own a patent and a saloon: Abraham Lincoln. His patent was for a device to lift boats over sandbars. His saloon was a miserable failure.
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Grover Cleveland
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9. The President You Don’t Want to Mess With

The only American president who was an executioner: Grover Cleveland. As sheriff of Erie County, New York, he hanged a murderer.
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Mayflower ship
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10. In Praise of the Pilgrims

An estimated one in ten Americans could be a blood relative to one of the original 102 pilgrims who arrived aboard the Mayflower in 1620.
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Fingerprint file
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11. The FBI is Watching Them

And roughly one in three Americans has his or her fingerprints on file with the FBI.
Here are more fascinating facts you never knew about the FBI.

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Helping hand
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12. A Nation of Do-Gooders

According to the World Giving Index, Americans are the most likely people in the world to help a stranger.

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13. Thanks to the Firemen

Case in point: Slightly more than 69 per cent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers.
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John Hancock's signature
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14. The Real Independence Day

The day Congress voted Americans free from British rule is July 2, 1776. July 4 is just when John Hancock put the first signature on the Declaration of Independence to spread the word.
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Basketball court
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15. The Highest Court in the Land

Finally, the real acme of the American justice system? That would be the basketball court on the fifth floor of the Supreme Court building. It’s known as the Highest Court in the Land.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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