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US Trivia

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The muskellunge, a fierce fighting fish that can weigh in at around 70 pounds, is the official state fish of Wisconsin.

The names of some cities in the United States are the names of other U.S. states. These include Nevada in Missouri, California Maryland, Louisiana in Missouri, Oregon in Wisconsin, Kansas in Oklahoma, Wyoming in Ohio, Michigan in North Dakota, Delaware in Arkansas, and Indiana in Pennsylvania.

The northernmost U.S. state capital is Juneau, Alaska.

The odd zigzag in the North Carolina-South Carolina state line, just south of Charlotte, resulted when boundary commissioners altered the line in 1772 to avoid splitting the Catawba Indians between the two British colonies.

"Honolulu" means "sheltered harbor."

“Q” is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of any state of the United States.

“Utah” is from the Navajo word meaning “upper.”

Some Chicago firsts...Ferris Wheel:George W.G. Ferris created a 264-foot "bridge on an axle" for the Columbian Exposition.Skyscraper:William Le Baron Jenney designed the Home Assurance Building on LaSalle and Adams Streets around an iron-and-steel frame in 1884. Lie Detector:Leonarde Keeler, an employee of the Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory at Northwestern University, devised the Keeler Polygraph. Zipper:Called the "hookless fastener" when exhibited at the 1893 Columbian Exposition, the device would be dubbed "zipper" by the B.F. Goodrich Company, who used it on overshoes.

A distillery was originally on the site of America's first mint, the Philadelphia mint, which opened in 1792.

A whirlpool below Niagara Falls iced over for the first time on record, on March 25, 1955.A huge ice jam in Lake Erie caused more than $6 million in property damages near Niagara Falls, New York.

About 43 million years ago, the Pacific plate took a northwest turn, creating a bend where new upheavals initiated the Hawaiian Ridge.Major islands formed included Kauai, 5.1 million years old, Maui, 1.3 million years old, and Hawaii, a youngster at only 800,000 years old.

According to a Fortune magazine survey conducted a few years ago, Seattle topped the list of best major U.S. cities to balance work and family.

According to the New York Times, Mississippi's most widely harvested product is catfish.

According to the National Geographic Society, a survey of 18- to 24-year-olds from nine nations put the United States dead last in general geographic knowledge scores. One in seven – about 24 million people – could not find their own country on a world map. The survey revealed that Americans possess a pathetically poor sense of where they are – much less any knowledge about the rest of the world. And even more alarming, those who participated in the survey were recent high school and college graduates.

The official state cooking pot of Utah is the Dutch oven.

The official state musical instrument in South Dakota is the fiddle.

The Old Chinese Telephone Exchange in San Francisco was completed in 1909.Operators were required to be proficient in English and five Chinese dialects. They were also obliged to learn every phone number of every one of the company's 2,400 clients because the Chinese believed it was rude to refer to a person as a number.

The only active diamond mine in the United States is in Arkansas.

The Oregon Trail (1840-1860), the route used during the westward migrations of the United States, started in Missouri and ended in Oregon and was about 2,000 miles long.

The origin of the name of the city Elko in Nevada is unclear. One belief is that it was named by Charles Crocker of the Central Pacific Railroad. Crocker reportedly liked to name railhead towns after animals, so he added an "o" to "Elk" to ease the pronunciation, and thus named the new town Elko. Another theory is that it was derived from an Indian word for “white woman.”

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