15 Less-known Facts About the USA That Most People Don’t Know!

by Aswathy Gopinath8 years ago

6 In the 1920s and ’30s, during Prohibition, the U.S. government poisoned alcohol, killing over 10,000 people.

Dumping illegal booze
Image source: Orange County Archives

Alcohol poisoning was unsettlingly commonplace in Prohibition-era America, with a large number of people either ending up extremely sick or too dead to be extremely sick. The bootlegged alcohol that was all the rage was found to contain metals and other impurities that led to severe casualties. This was later found to be part of the government’s plan to scare people from consuming illicit alcohol: to this extent, it was ordered that industrial alcohol be poisoned – products that bootleggers frequently stole, reselling them as drinkable spirits.

By the time Prohibition ended in 1933, about 10,000 people had died of alcohol-induced poisoning.(source)

7 1 American consumes as many resources as 32 Kenyans.

Image source

This means that, with a population 10 times that of Kenya’s, the USA consumes 320 times more resources than Kenya does; the average rate at which the people of North America, Japan, Western Europe, and Australia consume resources such as oil and metals being 32 times higher than that of other countries.(source)

8 In 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in space that was 100 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that struck Hiroshima.

hydrogen bomb in space by the US
Image source

As part of a weapons test, this hydrogen bomb was detonated to see if Van Allen belts surrounding the Earth might have an impact on the blast, or vice-versa, and if the explosion could damage nearby objects or produce radiation that could disrupt vision. Part of the plan involved sending rockets hundreds of miles up, to the extent that they surpass the Earth’s atmosphere and then detonate the bombs they contained.(source)


9 If everyone on the planet led the same lifestyle as that of the average American, we would need the resources of 4.1 Earths to sustain us.

Everyone Lived Like An American
Image credit: Tim De Chant, Per Square Mile

Americans use up 20% of the world’s available energy, eat 15% of the world’s meat, and produce 40% of the world’s garbage. Taking all this (and more) into consideration, the total generated ecological footprint of Americans indicates that, were all the people on this world to lead the same lifestyle as Americans, we would need 4.1 Earths to sustain mankind.(source)

10 Christmas, being an ancient pagan holiday, was illegal in the U.S. till 1907.

Pagan Holiday Christmas
Image source

The Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 1660, was the first to impose a ban on Christmas festivities. Several other states followed suit, until, in 1863, Alabama became the first state to lift the ban and legalise Christmas; there were, therefore, about 200 years in the history of America wherein Christmas was illegal.

The last state to lift the ban on Christmas was Oklahoma, in 1907; the US government had already declared Christmas as a federal holiday in 1870.(source)

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