As Americans, it’s easy to think that we know everything about our country. We took history classes and learned a lot about the birth and growth of the nation. However, that doesn’t mean we know all there is to know about America.
Here are ten potentially surprising things many people don’t know about the United States.
As Americans, it’s common for many to believe it’s all about us. It really isn’t. We also believe we know what took place in history. In many cases, we don’t.
For example, Hitler was largely taken down by the Soviet Union – not us. Christopher Columbus wasn’t the good person we were all taught to think. He enslaved natives and was incredibly brutal towards them.
Quality of Life Isn’t That Great Here
Relatively speaking, America is a wealthy culture. Unfortunately, much of that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few.
The official poverty measure reveals that nearly 40 million people, over 11 percent of our population, were living in poverty in 2022. Millions of others experience food insecurity.
Every Other Country Isn’t Third-World
Ignorance leads many of us to believe that most other countries in the world are third-world. We envision nations as barren lands with little hope. Yes, some countries are third world but it’s not to the extent we believe it is.
For example, we trail other industrialized nations in infrastructure, internet speed, healthcare, transportation, and more. To be fair, if you speak to many foreign visitors, they believe the stereotype that all cities in the U.S. are filled with roving gangs looking to harm and pillage.
We’re Incredibly Unhealthy
Maybe not too surprisingly, the United States ranks relatively poorly for healthcare. We rank 23rd in our public health system.
Furthermore, 40 percent of Americans are obese. This ranks us dead last among other countries.
We Don’t Have an Official Language
If you speak to some people, they believe that English is our official language. Worse yet, they believe American is a language.
Neither is the case. While some states list English as their official language, there’s no national official language.
Harriet Tubman Was a War Hero
Most know Harriet Tubman as escaping slavery and working on the Underground Railroad. She also served in the Civil War.
She was the first woman to lead an armed excursion during a conflict when she served alongside soldiers and led them.
George Washington Never Lived in the White House
Many people know that George Washington oversaw the construction of the White House. He chose the spot where it would sit.
However, he never lived in the White House. It wasn’t completed until 1800, nearly three years after his tenure in office.
Ken and Barbie Are Siblings
There is no doll more known than Barbie. It’s a part of America.
What many don’t realize is the creator of Barbie based the doll and Ken on her two children.
We Really Love Pizza
Mmm, pizza. We love our pizza in America. Reports indicate we, collectively, eat 100 acres of pizza a day. That works out to three billion pizzas sold annually.
On an individual level, we consume 46 slices annually, or 23 pounds of pizza.
We Didn’t Come Up With the Constitution
Few things are as revered as the U.S. Constitution. However, we weren’t the first ones to come up with some of the ideas behind it.
It was molded after the constitution of the Iroquois Native American tribes.
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I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.