Staff at BuzzFeed’s UK offices were asked to describe each state in the grand US of A. Here’s what they said. We’re sure you have more to offer than light inbreeding and hillbillies, West Virginia.
Browsing ATI By united states
1. If you want to kill someone in New Jersey, you probably shouldn’t wear a body vest. In addition to the legal problem of, you know, killing someone, New Jersey law forbids an offender to use or wear “a body vest while engaged in the commission of, or an attempt to commit, or flight after committing or attempting to commit murder, manslaughter, robbery, sexual assault, burglary, kidnapping, criminal escape or assault.”
2. A law in Missouri bans the sale of yellow margarine. This prohibition dates back to the 19th century, and while it isn’t upheld, such a crime can smack the offender with a $500 fine and six months in the slammer if he or she dares peddle the imitation spread multiple times.
Up to the moment that the Chicago World’s Fair opened to the public on May 1, 1893, crews scrambled to replant landscaping that had been washed away in a torrential rain storm. Puddles drowned the newly sodded lawns and some paint was still wet, but to the eyes of that day’s fairgoers, it was nothing short of a photo finish. The few remaining pieces of the Fair dazzle today’s viewers just like they did over a century ago.
Rather than a simple map, enjoy UCLA’s three-dimensional recreation of the Fair:
In the nineteenth century, cities were filthy places. Factory pollution and dust clogged the air. So when fairgoers were greeted by the glimmering Court of Honor, nicknamed the White City, it seemed like they had been transported to another world. Overseeing the Fair’s design and construction, Daniel Burnham had the huge neoclassical buildings coated in soft white paint so that they would “glow” in the sunlight.
Proving that no human idiosyncrasy is too obscure for a holiday, each year people celebrate Lucky Penny Day, a time to appreciate the good luck of finding a penny heads-up. When May 23rd rolls around, one can find people hunting for lucky pennies in the streets or even tossing a few coins to the ground to make good luck for others. And while these days many people consider the American penny to be an anachronistic waste, the one-cent coin has a colorful history that spans centuries.
The History of the American Penny
In 1787, Congress issued the first iteration of the American penny, which was reportedly designed by none other than Benjamin Franklin himself. Referred to informally as the “Franklin” and eventually as “the Fugio cent,” this penny prominently featured the sayings “Mind Your Business” and “We Are One” along its sides. The 1787 copper coin also bore images of thirteen connected chain links to represent the original states. There are a reported 55 (slight) varieties of the Fugio cent.
Jeeze, Illinois. You’re thirsty.
Making use of the very strait that many believe to have allowed for the human migration from Asia to the Americas some 20,000 years ago, various organizations have motioned to unite Russia and the United States via a Bering Strait railroad. The proposed crossing has been dubbed everything from “The Intercontinental Peace Bridge” to the “TKM-World Link” to the “AmerAsian Peace Tunnel”, and in 2007 Russian government officials stated that they would put forth $65 billion to build the tunnel.
However, given the strait’s proximity to the Arctic Circle and its volatile conditions, construction would likely take longer than ideal, and the finished product would deteriorate at a quicker–and therefore more expensive–rate than normal.