1. Good Morning, Mr. President
Thomas Jefferson was infamous for greeting White House visitors in his robes and slippers. In addition, he spoke six different languages and owned a mockingbird that flew freely around his office. Jefferson was one of eight Presidents born as a British citizen.
2. Designing the Flag
In a class assignment, Robert G. Heft designed a flag, but only received a B for the project. Though the teacher claimed the design lack creativity, he told Heft if it was adopted by Congress, he would receive a higher grade. Heft then sent his design to his state representative, where it eventually became the current U.S. flag.
3. Benjamin Franklin
In addition to discovering several qualities of electricity, Benjamin Franklin also invented bifocals, the lightning rod, the Franklin Stove, flippers, the Glass Armonica and the odometer. In between, he also found the time to map the Gulf Stream.
Columbus never actually landed on Northern American soil. His first sighting of land (the island that came to be known as San Salvador) was located about 375 miles off the coast of Florida.
5. His Shortest Address
George Washington’s second inaugural address was the shortest presidential inaugural address in history, totaling 135 words. The reason? At the time George Washington only had one tooth and his dentures were bothering him.
6. And all that Jazz
Popularized by musicians in the 1920s, Jazz is actually mixture of ragtime, blues and marching band. The craze took root in Louisiana and quickly spread across the nation.
7. The White House
During the War of 1812, the White House was burned down by the British. Popular legend states that the President’s wife, Dolly Madison, carried out a portrait of George Washington from the burning building.
8. Real estate
The best real-estate deal in history was undoubtedly the Louisiana Purchase. Napoleon sold the U.S. 868,000 square miles (which would eventually become 13 separate states) for .03 cents an acre. When questioned why he wanted to sell, Napoleon replied with: “I have given England a rival, who sooner or later, will humble her pride.”
Baseball found its origins in the English game of rounders. Alexander Cartwright invented the most influential style of baseball, known as “Knickerbockers” and the first baseball field around 1845. The first organizational baseball league was founded in 1858.