Facts you may not have known about the U.S.A.

As we celebrate the U.S.A.’s 248th birthday, it’s a good time to think about what makes our country so special.

  1. It’s said that America is a land of immigrants. As of 2021, immigrants to the United States from more than 200 different countries around the world.
  2. The United States is the world’s third most-populous country, after India and China. As of 2022, the U.S. population is 333.3 million.
  3. It is also the third-largest country in the world, after Russia and Canada.
  4. We celebrate Independence Day on July 4 because that’s when the Declaration of Independence was ratified. The resolution for independence was actually passed on July 2, 1776.
  5. The largest state in the country is Alaska, which once belonged to Russia. The smallest state is Rhode Island, one of the original 13 colonies.
  6. The 13 stripes on the U.S. flag represent the original 13 colonies. The 50 stars represent the 50 stages. The flag has been revised 27 times.
  7. The U.S.A. also holds14  territories. Five of them are populated. American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are in the South Pacific. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are in the Caribbean.
  8. There are 574 federally recognized Native American tribes, and 9.7 million Americans are registered as Native American.
  9. The official bird of the United States is the bald eagle. The official flower is the rose, designated in 1986 through a proclamation signed by then-President Ronald Reagan. In 2004, Congress passed legislation naming the oak tree the country’s official tree.
  10. The oldest public park in the U.S. is the Boston Common, founded in 1634 and still used as a park today.
  11. The oldest city in the country is St. Augustine, Florida. In 1513, explorer Ponce de Leon landed there and claimed it for Spain.
  12. The first president and first lady to live in the White House were the second president of the U.S., John Adams, and his wife Abigail.
  13. Fifteen of our presidents are from two states, Virginia (eight) and Ohio (seven).
  14. The U.S. was the first country to call its head of state President.
  15. The very first Independence Day celebrations began in 1777, in Boston and Pennsylvania. Both included fireworks.
  16. The oldest newspaper continually in print is The Hartford Courant. Originally called The Connecticut Courant, it began publication in 1764. Today, it’s the largest paper in Connecticut.
  17. The U.S. has the world’s longest border. It’s 5,500 miles long and runs between the U.S. and Canada.
  18. Delaware was the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  19. Washington, D.C. did not become the country’s capital until 1790. Prior to that, there were eight others: Philadelphia; Baltimore, Maryland; Lancaster and York, Pennsylvania; Princeton, New Jersey; Annapolis, Maryland; Trenton, New Jersey and New York City.
  20. The longest river in the U.S. is the Missouri River. It flows through seven states: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. The country’s largest lake is Lake Superior, which holds three quadrillion gallons of water.

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