The United States of America (USA) is a free country that attracts people from across the world. With the federal district of Washington DC and 50 states, the USA has been one of the leading educational destinations for many years. The following article is a compilation of interesting facts about the USA.
The country houses some of the best universities such as Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, etc. Before we start discussing the fun facts, let us shed some light on the history of the land.
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A concise historical timeline of the United States of America
The USA or simply America is one of the most fascinating countries in the world. One of the factors that contribute a lot to the unique appeal of this country is its rich history. Anyone who plans to move to the United States of America should get acquainted with the American historical milestones that have been the center of many world events. Here is a brief history of America which can make it easier to understand the culture of the country and strike a meaningful conversation with your fellow American students.
1. 1492 – Italian explorer Christopher Columbus discovered the American continent bringing Europeans for the first time to the US
2. 1565 – The Spanish settlers in America, established the first European colony at St Augustine. Before this, the land was inhabited by several distinct groups including the Native American tribes.
3. 1607 – Georgetown was founded by the English settlers who started Tobacco farming on the land.
4. 1763 – Winning the Seven Years War, England gained control over the territory up to the Mississippi River.
American War of Independence
1. 1774 – The First Continental Congress was founded by the Colonists and England closed the Boston harbor while English troops were deployed in Massachusetts.
2. 1775 – The American revolution took place and the Continental Army under the leadership of General Washington went on to uproot British rule.
3. 1776 – 4th July, America declared independence from British Rule.
4. 1783 – The loss of colonies was accepted by Britain in the Treaty of Paris.
5. 1787 – The constitution of the United States was drawn up by the founding fathers and was made effective in 1788.
6. 1789 – General George Washington became the first American President after being elected.
7. 1803 – The Louisiana territory was sold by the French to the United States of America.
8. 19th Century – Indigenous resistance in the US was subdued as the settlers arrived en-masse to claim their fortunes. The number of states in the US rises to 45.
9. 1846 – 1848 – The US gained territory in California and New Mexico in the Mexican War.
Civil War Era
1. 1854 – The Republican party was set up by the abolitionists who opposed slavery.
2. 1860 – Abraham Lincoln from the Republican Party was elected the President of the US
3. 1860 – 1861 – The American Civil war razed through the nation as the pro-slavery Southern states created the Confederate States of America.
4. 1863 – Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln declaring the slaves living and working in the Confederate States to be free.
5. 1865 – The Confederate States lost the civil war to the Union, and the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery all over the United States. President Lincoln was assassinated in the same year.
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First World War and the Great Depression
1. 1917 – 1918 – The United States entered the First World War; however, did not join the League of Nations.
2. 1920 – Sale and production of alcohol were banned as the prohibition era began.
3. 1920 – Women were given the right to vote with the Nineteenth Amendment
4. 1924 – Native Americans and indigenous people were given the right to citizenship.
5. 1929 – 1933 – The Great Depression lasting many years swept through the country as the Wall Street stock market crashed and President Herbert Hoover rejected the idea of federal relief.
6. 1933 – The “New Deal” recovery program was launched by President Franklin D Roosevelt to revive the economy including public work on a major scale. Prohibition-era ended as the legalized sale of alcohol was resumed.
Second World War and Cold War
1. 1941 – Pearl Harbor in Hawaii was attacked by the Japanese warplanes and the US entered the Second World War and joined the Allied powers of Russia and Britain.
2. 1945 – The Japanese Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were attacked by the Atomic Bomb on August 6 and August 9 respectively by the US. Japan surrendered after this event.
3. 1948 – The Marshall Plan was put into action as the US disbursed around 13 billion USD to the failing economies across Europe.
4. 1950 – 1953 – The US sent troops to the Korean war and the US forces helped repeal the North Korean and Chinese forces.
Vietnam War and Desegregation
1. 1954 – Racial Segregation in schools in the US was declared unconstitutional. The American Civil Rights movement for ending discrimination against African Americans was initiated.
2. 1964 – President John F Kennedy was assassinated and the US sent military forces to Vietnam.
3. 1968 – Martin Luther King, a noted civil rights activist was assassinated.
4. 1969 – Neil Armstrong of the US became the first person to land on the moon
5. 1973 – Ceasefire treaty was signed by the US on Vietnam War
1. 2001 – September 11 attack happened on the Twin Towers followed by US invasion of Afghanistan for “War on Terror”
2. 2003 – Iraq war started against the Saddam Hussain regime
3. 2008 – Democratic candidate Barack Obama became the first colored president of the US
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Some interesting facts about the USA
We often focus on the politics, education, and job opportunities in the country. But there are some fun facts about the USA too.
1. The USA is one of the largest countries in the world by landmass. It is almost the size of the entire Europe. The total area of the country is 9.834 million km².
2. It is the only country in the world that has all the five climates zones of the Earth. The climate zones include dry, tropical, continental, temperate, and polar.
3. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum witnesses 9 million visitors annually. It is the most visited museum in the country and the second most visited museum in the whole world.
4. The largest office building in the world is the Pentagon in the USA. The corridors run for seven miles reaching twice the length of the Empire State Building.
5. Harvard University is the first university in the USA. It was founded in 1636.
6. The largest amphitheater in the world is in Los Angeles. In 1922, the Hollywood Bowl accommodated almost 18,000 people.
7. Several heritage sites in the USA have been recognized by UNESCO. Some of them are YellowStone Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, etc.
8. The fourth longest river system is in the USA – the Missouri River and the Mississippi River combine to create this river system. The water of Missouri is used for drinking, transportation, flood control, irrigation, and even hydroelectric power.
9. Since 1871, the USA has been the largest economy in the world. If we compare the economy of the USA with the other countries of the world, we can say it has a quarter of the global economy.
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10. New York was the capital of the country from 1785 to 1790. It was in 1790 that Washington DC became the capital of the USA.
11. Nevada is famous around the world for organized gambling. You can find mega-casino hotels here. When you are here, you can well expect gambling, nightlife, shopping, entertainment, and fine dining, especially in the enigmatic Las Vegas.
12. The population of Kentucky is 4.3 million people, while about 4.7 million barrels filled with bourbon are stored here. This means the bourbon barrels in Kentucky exceed the population.
13. English is a predominantly spoken language in the USA but not the official language. In fact, the USA does not have an official language.
14. The longest coastline in the USA is in Alaska.
15. After France and Spain, the USA is the third most visited country by tourists in the world.
16. Talking about the surface area, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater body in the world. The area covered by the lake is 31,700 square miles.
17. American athletes have won more Olympic medals than athletes from any other country in the world.
18. Americans were the first people who had walked on the surface of the moon.
19. Various music genres such as country, jazz, hip-hop, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, soul, and gospel have originated in the USA.
20. The Federal Government owns as much as a third of all available land in the United States.
21. As per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 37% of the adult population in the country consumes fast food daily.
22. As per the United States Department of Agriculture, at least 28.3 million acres of farmland in the US is owned by foreign investors.
23. The United States of America is the first country that used the title of ‘President’ as the head of the state.
24. The United States has been the home of many inventions such as the airplane, cellphones, computers, potato chips, and even the light bulb.
25. There are around 75.8 million dogs in the United States of America. Dogs are kept as pets in most of the houses in the US.
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26. In the last decade, the United States has become the largest producer of petroleum in the world. In 2019, 18.23 million barrels of oil were produced per day, which was more than the daily production of oil in Saudi Arabia. The oil includes crude oil, biofuels, and other petroleum liquids.
27. The USA is the largest consumer of oil in the world. Hydrocarbon gas liquids, gasoline, jet fuel, and distillate fuel oil, combined for 20.48 million total barrels of oil consumed on daily basis.
28. A high school student designed the existing iteration of the American flag.
29. America has a lot of German influence. Approximately 43 million Americans have German ancestors.
30. There are only three countries in the world that have not officially switched to the metric system, and the USA is one of them. The other two are Burma and Liberia.
31. The green color of the US currency was adopted in the 19th century as an anti-counterfeiting strategy. During that time, the cameras would only take black and white photographs, and it was difficult to produce imitation bills.
32. News of tornadoes often flashes in the news channels in the United States. Out of every four tornadoes, three occur in the United States of America.
33. The majority of the Nobel Prize winners have been from the United States.
34. The United States ranks as one of the top countries known for housing many fish, mammal, reptile, and vascular plant species.
35. The US has more than 3.1 million square miles of forest land.
36. In 2015, the most-watched broadcast in the history of US television was Super Bowl XLIX. The estimated number of viewers was 114.4 million. In 2019, the average viewer for Super Bowl LIII was 98.3 million, which was the lowest in ten years.
37. The United States shares the longest land border in the world, with the neighboring country, Canada. The distance is more than 5,500 miles. The border is divided between the northern edge of the 48 lower states and the eastern border of Alaska.
38. The country is the largest producer of corn in the world. In the 2018-2019 season, more than 366 million metric tons of corn were produced.
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39. Among the top 100 golf courses across the world, 52 of them are located in the United States.
40. According to the reports of CNBC, the number of billionaires are more in the United States of America than in any other country in the world. Out of the 10 richest people in the world, seven are from the USA.
41. One of the facts about American culture is the love for sports, especially basketball. The most popular sports in the country are basketball, baseball, and American football. Choice of certain sports can be a huge uniting or dividing factor in this country.
42. Competition plays a major role in American culture. Children in this country are encouraged to be competitive, work hard, and succeed from a young age. As they reach universities, it gets even more competitive.
43. The internet is used by around 85% of the American population. This means many elderly Americans also use the internet.
44. Denali, earlier called Mount McKinley, is the highest point in North America that stands at a height of more than 20,000 feet.
45. Around 70% of the firefighters in the US are volunteers.
46. Women in the United States own 30% of the businesses.
47. Many of the US presidents came from Virginia. A total of eight presidents have been from Virginia.
48. From 2011 to 2013, a Pew Research Center study was conducted in which 54% of Americans mentioned that religion was important to them.
49. Nine out of the 10 largest companies in the world are based out of the United States of America. The majority of the top 100 companies globally are from the US.
50. The US boasts some of the top universities in the world. The universities and their quality education attract a large number of foreign students from various countries in the world.
If you found some of these facts interesting and want to explore this fascinating country, pursuing your higher education can help you do that. It can also help you build a strong base for your career. Many premier educational institutions in the US can help you in achieving your dreams and aspirations. If you are making up your mind about pursuing your studies at a university in the US, do visit the website of upGrad Abroad. upGrad Abroad has tie-ups with some of the premier universities in the US and you can save a lot of your educational expenses compared to carrying out a full course from the US. You can also get some great help while clearing IELTS/TOEFL and even your visa application. Do explore the courses at upGrad Abroad and enjoy a smooth transition to a US university.