10 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About American History

May 9, 2014
American History DC

Source: Pat Dollard

George Washington was the first President of the liberty-loving nation, and The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. Both of these comprise rather well-known events throughout the course of American history. But there’s a wealth of hidden history nuggets that you might not know about. Here are ten of them.

American History Declaration Of Independence

Source: When In Time

1. The Founding Fathers penned the first couple of drafts of the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper, since at the time at least 75 percent of all the world’s paper was made from cannabis hemp fiber. The democratic delegates eked out the document’s first and second drafts—completed on June 28th and July 2nd 1776, respectively—on Dutch hemp paper. The final document had a more official air, though, as it was printed on parchment.

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Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison, 1968

March 4, 2014

Johnny Cash Folsom Prison

When looking for a place to start over, it’s fairly unlikely that a prison will be the first place to spring to mind. That, of course, was not the case for the Man in Black. After taking some time away from the spotlight to tame his turbulent relationship with drugs, Johnny Cash made his way toward Folsom Prison in January 1968, where he gave two concerts to the prison’s inmates.

This was not Cash’s first show for inmates, but it was certainly his most acclaimed. Fully surpassing the meager expectations of his record label (Columbia invested little in the venture, as they were shifting promotional gears from country to pop artists), Cash’s live album hit the top of the charts and gave impetus to Cash’s own personal and professional comeback. Said Cash later on about his Folsom performance, “That’s where things really got started for me again”. Since then, the album has gone triple platinum.

The History Of Homicide In The United States

February 28, 2014

Homicide Rate US

While homicide rates have slowed over the years, the alarming number of homicides in the Bayou state have analysts scratching their heads. Most attribute Louisiana’s status as “murder capital of the world” to a deadly cocktail of lax gun laws, violence-inciting warm climates and poverty. Presently, for every 100,000 people, there are 10.8 murders or non-negligent manslaughters in the state of Louisiana.

And if you enjoyed the GIF above, be sure to see All That Is Interesting’s posts on GIFs that explain the world and our collection of mindblowing facts!

Thirty Spectacular Photos Of John F. Kennedy

November 22, 2013

From his decorated war service to his infamous womanizing to his gifted oratory, John F. Kennedy was the world’s first made-for-television politician and statesman superstar. Today marks the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination in Dallas in 1963, when he was serving as the 35th President of the United States. In the gallery below, we look at fascinating photographs of John F. Kennedy across the span of his life:

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Kennedy Family In 1948

The 3 Kennedy brothers -- John, Robert, and Ted -- photographed in 1948.

John Kennedy Photos World War 2

JFK served in the Navy from 1941 to 1945 during World War 2 and was awarded several decorations, including the Purple Heart, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.

John Kennedy As A Senator

From 1953 to 1960, JFK served as a Senator for Massachusetts.

John Kennedy Jacqueline Onassis Wedding Photograph

A year after being elected to the US Senate, John Kennedy married Jacqueline Bouvier in 1953.

John Kennedy Photos Brothers At The Beach

The Kennedy brothers at the beach.

John F Kennedy Campaigning

JFK campaigning in West Virginia; note the boy on the bottom right.

John F Kennedy Campaigns In West Virginia

John F. Kennedy campaigns in West Virginia during the 1960 Democratic primaries.

Eisenhower Welcomes JFK To The White House

After winning the 1960 Presidential Election, sitting President Dwight Eisenhower welcomes John Kennedy to the White House.

John Kennedy Speech At Rice

Taken during JFK's famous speech at Rice University, where he announced the United States would land on the moon within 10 years.

John Kennedy Marilyn Monroe Photograph

Of his various extra-marital affairs, none is as famous as his romance with Marilyn Monroe. This is the only surviving photograph of the pair together.

John Kennedy Photos Halloween

Halloween in the Oval Office.

Kennedy Vacation

The Kennedy's vacation in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, in 1963.

John Kennedy Photos

JFK and Jackie watch the America's Cup in September 1962.

JFK And LBJ Tour Cape Canaveral

In 1962, JFK and Lyndon Johnson toured Cape Canaveral.

John Kennedy Tours The Berlin Wall

John Kennedy tours the Berlin wall in 1963.

John Kennedy Speech In Berlin

Taken before his famous "Ich Bin Ein Berliner" speech in Berlin.

Bill Clinton Meets JFK

A young Bill Clinton meets JFK in 1963.

Minutes Before Kennedy Assassination

Moments before the assassination in Dallas.

JFK Assassination New York Commuters

Commuters on the Long Island Railroad read newspapers following John F. Kennedy's assassination.

John F Kennedy Funeral

Charles De Gaulle pays his respect during JFK's funeral in Washington DC.

JFK Jr At John Kennedy's Funeral

In this photo, JFK Jr. salutes his father as his coffin goes by.

‘Appreciate America’ – A Fascinating Propaganda Series From World War 2

September 8, 2013

While American forces fought Axis forces across the globe, America was also consumed with winning the war at home during World War 2. With Japanese-Americans sent to internment camps and intelligence agencies maintaining surveillance German-Americans (and not to mention concern about organized labor), America was in a hyper-vigilant state about internal security. Part of this effort took involved domestic propaganda, like this ‘Appreciate America’ poster series distributed from 1942 to 1945:

All ‘Appreciate America’ images via imgur.

Kathrine Switzer, Marathon Woman

August 16, 2013

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer took to Boston only to do what she loved, and something that was otherwise a relatively uncontroversial pastime for many: running. The difference on this day, however, was that Switzer would be participating in her first Boston Marathon, and as men viewed women far too “fragile” to complete the 26-mile race, that was a feat a woman had never accomplished before.

Undeterred by myth, Switzer’s ambitions were met with aggression early-on in the race. Manhandled by the race manager (seen above trying to pull off Switzer’s numbers), demonized by her then-boyfriend for ruining his sports career, and antagonized by the press with asinine questions like “What are you trying to prove?”, Switzer ran to cross more than a finish line that day; she ran to achieve equal rights for women in sports and to silence the squawks of those whose anachronistic views on a woman’s physical abilities had kept countless capable women out of athletics for centuries. Said Switzer to her running-mate and coach Arnie Briggs following the race manager debacle, “I have to finish this race. Even on my hands and knees. If I don’t finish, people will say women can’t do it, and they will say I was just doing it for the publicity or something.”

She did finish the race. And at this year’s marathon, nearly 70% of the 11,606 female runners followed in Switzer’s footsteps.