11. A 17-year-old designed the current flag of the US for a school project; he received a B- for it.
17-year-old Robert Heft, in 1958, designed a prospective flag for the US as part of a school project, for which he received a B-. After talking with his teacher, it was agreed that if the Congress accepted the flag, his grade would be reconsidered. The rest, as they say, is history – or at least an integral part of history: the design for the flag was accepted and admitted into the Union in 1959.
And of course, Heft’s grade was, as promised, reconsidered and raised to an A.(source)
12. For every 3 people in the US, there are 2 pets.
Nearly 3/4th of the American population owns pets. This adds up to approximately 218 million pets in the United States, excluding, of course, the fish. Survey indicates that Americans also spent about $61.4 billion on their pets in 2011 alone; a family’s average expenditure on their pets, therefore, amounted to $500 – 1% of a family’s total spending in a year.(source)
13. Interracial marriages were banned in the U.S. from 1776 to 1967.
These laws defined interracial marriages and interracial sex – called “miscegenation” – as a felony. First enacted in the early 1660s, they were retained after America gained independence in 1776; they were only completely repealed in 1967, after they were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
The laws, while they existed, prohibited individuals of different races to marry; this was especially true when it came to marriages between whites and non-whites, especially blacks, Asians, and Native Americans.(source)
14. College costs in the U.S. have risen by 500% since 1985.
In the last 30 years, college tuition fees in the U.S. have surged by approximately 538%; medical costs, on the other hand, saw a 286% increase, while the consumer price index rose by 121%.
The steady increase in college tuition has resulted in more students going in for education loans, while, at the same time, making American colleges less accessible to domestic, as well as overseas students.(source)
15. 8th January, 1835 was the last day in history that the US National Debt stood at $0.
When Andrew Jackson took office as the President in 1829, the national debt of the United States stood at $58.4 million. Come the 8th of January, 1835, he announced that the national debt had been paid in full. However, this only lasted a year, with the country headed for a massive depression in the immediate years.
Today, the US’s debt is over $16 trillion.(source)