A fact about the United States for each letter of the alphabet.
Click on highlighted word for more information.
A IS FOR AMERICA
America was named after Amerigo Vespucii an Italian who explored the New World several years after Christopher Columbus. New information indicates the country might have been named after Richard Ameryk an aristocratic merchant living in Bristol at the end of the 15th century. The United States is often called a "melting pot" because its people come from many countries.
B IS FOR BASEBALL
Baseball is the national sport of the United States. There are major and minor leagues and semi-rofessional leagues. Baseball is played in many colleges and high schools and millions of boys and girls play in Little Leagues.
C IS FOR CAPITAL
The location of the capital of the United States was chosen by George Washington, the first president, and called Federal City. Not until after his death did it become known as Washington, D.C. The Capitol building is where laws are made and is a symbol of America'a government of the people, folr the people, and by the people.
D IS FOR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 and told the world that the Americans were declaring freedom from English rule. The Revolutionary War began and lasted until 1782.
E IS FOR EAGLE
The bald eagle became a national symbol of the United States in 1782 when it was chosen to appear on the Great Seal of the United States. When the population of the bald eagle began to dcline, Congress passed the Bald Eagle Protection Act. In 1999 it was removed from the endangered list but will be protected from hunting or capture.
F IS FOR FLAG
In 1777 the Continental Contress adopted a resolution for the design of the Flag of the United States. Each star and each stripe represented one of the 13 original states. A star was added as each new state came into the union. The flag is flown over every public building and in every classroom in the country.
G IS FOR GOVERNMENT
The government of the United States is based on the Constitution that was adopted in 1789 following the Revolutionary War. It gives liberty and equal rights for all under the law. It is a government in which people govern themselves through elected representatives. The president is the Chief Executive of the United States.
H IS FOR HOLIDAYS
The United States Congress and the President establish legal holidays for federal employees and the District of Columbia. These are often made public holidays. Each state decides which holidays it will observe. The 4th of July was the first national holiday in the United States.
I IS FOR ISLANDS
The Hawaiian Islands became a state in 1959. This is the only state that was once ruled by a king.
J IS FOR JURY
A jury is used in the law system practiced in the United States. It provides a fair way of deciding the guilt or innocence of someone accused of a crime. There are usually twelve people on a jury and court officials choose them. The jury reaches a decision secretly and only the verdict is made public.
K IS FOR KITTY HAWK
The Kitty Hawk was the world's first powered aircraft. It was built by the Wright Brothers and made its first flight in 1903 near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
L IS FOR LIBERTY BELL
The Liberty Bell was made in England for the Pennsylvania Colony and hung in the State house in Philidelphia in 17853. It became known as the Liberty Bell after being rung on many historic occasions including the news of America'a Declaration of Independence. The State House is now known as Independence Hall.
M IS FOR MOON
In 1969 the United States became the first and only country to put a man on the moon - Apollo 11. The first man to step on the moon was Neil Armstrong. There were five more successful manned missions to the moon.
N IS FOR NATIVE AMERICANS
When Columbus landed in the New World, he thought he had reached the Indies and called the natives Indians. Indians were the first people known to have lived in the United States and are known as Native Americans. Many of them live on reservations that are located throughout the country. Nearly half of the states have Indian names.
O IS FOR OLD IRONSIDES
Old Ironsides is the nickname of the USS Constitution the oldest commissioned warship afloat. It is a 44-gun frigate and was launched in 1797. In a battle during the war of 1812, cannon balls from a British ship seemed to bounce off the sides of the Constitution as if it was made of iron. The ship soon becamse known as Old Ironsides.
P IS FOR PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge of Allegiance first appeared in a magazine in 1892. It was part of the national schools celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America.
Q IS FOR QUARTER
A quarter is being issued by the U.S. Mint for each state according to its admission date.
R IS FOR ROSE
The rose is native to the United States. The first fossil of a rose, estimated to be 40 million years old, was found in Colorado. As pioneers migrated west they planted roses along the trail from New York to California. In 1986 President Ronald Regan signed a law which made the rose the National Flower. The Oak is the National Tree.
S IS FOR STATUE OF LIBERTY
The Statue of Liberty is located in New York Harbor and was dedicated in 1886 by President Grover Cleveland. It was a gift from France on the 100th anniversary of the United States of America. The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of the principles and ideals of freedom in which Americans believe.
T IS FOR TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN
The Tomb of the Unknowns is located in Arlington National Cemetery across the Ptomac River from Washington, D. C. It honors member of the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives in war. A sentry is on duty 24 hours a day guarding this symbol of the naiton's gratitute to its honored dead.
U IS FOR UNCLE SAM
During the War of 1812, an army meat inspector names Sam stamped the initials of the United States on barrels of meat. He jokingly said the U.S. stood for Uncle Sam. The nickname first appeared in a newspaper in 1812 and the costume originated in cartoons of the 1830s. In 1961 Congress passed a resolution recognizing Uncle Sam as a national symbol.
V IS FOR VOTE
Every citizen of the United States who has reached the age of 18 has the opportunity to vote. Every four years voters choose electors who in turn elect the president and vice-president of the United States. Congressional elections are held every two years. Each state sets a date of its own to vote on local matters.
W IS FOR WHITE HOUSE
The White House is in Washington, D. C. and is the official residence of the President of the United States. It became known as the White House because it was painted white after abeing burned during the war of 1812. The White House is the scene of many importnat state dinners and entertainment given by the president and his wife.
X IS FOR XMAS
Xmas is the common abbreviation for Christmas. It is a national holiday and is celebrated in the United States much as it is in the rest of the world. The first Christmas in America was observed in 1539 by Spaniards in what is now Florida. Many other holidays are also celebrated in the United States.
Y IS FOR YANKEE DOODLE
The song Yankee Doodle is the oldest patriotic song of the United States. British soldiers sang it to make fun of the untrained Americans who were helping during the French-Indian War in 1755. During the Revolutionary War, Yankee Doodle became the favorite song of American Soldiers.
Z IS FOR ZOOS
The United States has more zoos than any other country in the world. The first zoo in the United States was opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1859. The largest zoo in the United States is in San Diego, California, where nearly a thousand animals can be seen in their natural habitat.
A webpage is being prepared about each individual state.
Click HERE to see some of them.