Interesting Facts about George Washington’s Mount Vernon

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Mount VernonThe property where Mount Vernon, the home of first United States President George Washington, sits was first obtained by John Washington, the great grandfather of George, in 1674.  When Washington inherited the estate after the death of his elder half brother, Mount Vernon would rise to great prestige to become one of the most treasured homes in the country.  The following article offers a wide array of facts and trivia about this great U.S. landmark.

Mount Vernon is located in Virginia; it overlooks the Potomac River as well as the low hills of Maryland.  It is considered to be America’s “first home.”

George Washington’s great grandfather John Washington was granted five thousand acres from King Charles II with the stipulation that he pay an annual rent and “seat and plant” the land within the span of three years.  This tract of land was divided with John Spencer.
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Fascinating Facts about Calcutta

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CalcuttaWith a population nearing the six million mark, the ancient city of Calcutta figures deeply into the imaginings of the wider world.  A city of mystics and saints, artists and throngs of impoverished-Calcutta is a city of great extremes.  The following article lists a wide array of facts and trivia about the Indian city of Calcutta.

Calcutta is the capital city of West Bengal, a northwestern state of India.  It is known in Bengali as Kolkata.  The name derives from the land of the Goddess Kali.  The name was officially changed from Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001.

Considered the second city of the British Empire, Calcutta was established in 1690 by the East India Company.  It grew out of the small fishing village of Kolikata.  Before the East India Company acquired the land, the nearby villages were known for the production of muslin and chintz.
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Spamtown USA

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canned meatSpamtown USA is the nickname given to Austin, Minnesota, a town full of spirit and community pride.  Austin acquired its name from one of its original settlers, Austin Nichols.  This town is home to the Hormel Foods Corporation, the maker of the world’s supply of Spam, as well as a variety of other products. 

Spam, once touted as the miracle meat in a can, was developed in 1937.  This clever meat product did not need to be refrigerated and was created from a mixture of ham and pork that was chopped and flavored.  Unfortunately for its makers, competitors honed in on the market and presented fierce competition initially. 

The Hormel Company created a contest to come up with a catchy name for their product in an attempt to garner more of the canned meat market.  Obviously, the winning entry was “Spam” and the winner received one hundred dollars for the prize.  A singing commercial, one of the first, followed in 1940. 
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Dandelion Capital of the World

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DandelionTowns across the United States are well known for one thing or another.  Some of these things should be shouted aloud and others should simply be kept quiet.  Either way, the choice is yours to make whether you consider the claim to fame that these cities spout so proudly to be virtuous of the title.

Vineland, New Jersey, has the distinction of being named the “Dandelion Capital of the World.”  In fact, the first National Dandelion Festival was held in Vineland in 1973.  In subsequent years, Vineland’s Mayor Patrick Fiorelli proudly proclaimed Vineland to be the “Dandelion Capital of the World.”  Publicity was widespread and immediate, causing quite a sensation. 

It is located in Cumberland County and is approximately 53 miles away from the state capital, Trenton.  To this day, the Annual Dandelion Dinner Festival is held in Vineland, New Jersey.  Patrons of this event can enjoy a variety of dishes prepared with dandelions, including dandelion salad, which is one of the most popular and most commonly found dandelion dish throughout the world.  
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Bigfoot Capital of the World

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Willow Creek, California, has the distinction of being named the “Bigfoot Capital of the World.”  Located in Humboldt County, Willow Creek is a mountain community.  Additionally, it is located on the Trinity River.  Willow Creek is located to the north of San Francisco.

This town has held the name since the 1950s when a logger brought a plaster cast of a large footprint thought to belong to Bigfoot into the town.  He discovered the footprint near some of the logging camp’s equipment.

Who or what exactly is Bigfoot?  For over four hundred years, sightings in North America of a strange creature have caused a stir.  The creature is reported to have a large body that is completely covered with hair.  Bigfoot leaves large footprints that resemble the footprints of a human with large feet.
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“Corncob Pipe Capital of the World”

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Washington, Missouri has the distinction of being named the “Corncob Pipe Capital of the World.”  The company whose work led to this distinction is the Missouri Meerschaum Company, one of the world’s largest producers of corncob pipes.  This town sits in the low hills along the Missouri River.  Two famous Americans who have favored corncob pipes include Mark Twain and Herbert Hoover. 

Located west of St. Louis, Washington provides the world’s supply of sweet smelling corncob pipes from its two factories that are designed exactly for this purpose.  The first factory had its beginnings as a small business in the late 1860s.  By 1872, its owner, Henry Tibbe, gave his business an official name, the Missouri Meerschaum Company.  By 1939, another factory, Buescher Industry, had been founded to aid in the production of corncob pipes.

Both factories allow visitors.  At Buescher Industry, visitors can peruse the collection of approximately eight thousand corncob pipes on display there.  This is quite possibly the largest known collection of corncob pipes.
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Fascinating Facts about Hawaii’s Mauna Loa

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VolcanoMauna Loa is the Earth’s largest volcano rising more than thirteen thousand feet above the Pacific Ocean.  A fascinating natural wonder, Hawaii’s volcano covers about half the island of Hawaii and is visited by thousands of people each year.  The following article offers facts and trivia about this amazing volcano.

The volcano’s name, Mauna Loa, actually means “long mountain.”  This is an apt name for a volcano that is sixty miles long and thirty miles in width.

The island of Hawaii has five volcanoes including Mauna Loa.
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Barbed Wire Capital of the World

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Barbed WireTowns across the United States are known for an eclectic array of reasons.  Perhaps it is because of years of experience at a particular aspect of life, maybe it is due to a specialty that no other town has mastered, or quite possibly, it is for no other reason than an unavoidable happenstance of time.

La Crosse, Kansas has the distinction of being named the “Barbed Wire Capital of the World.”  Located in Rush County, La Crosse is the county seat.  Do not confuse it with its namesake, La Crosse, Wisconsin.  People who have a fascination with this “devil’s rope” gather in La Crosse to discuss its finer points.

The largest known collection of barbed wire and fencing tool patents is located in La Crosse at the Larry Greer Research Center.  Barbed wire, twists of steel with sharp points, created to restrict animals, is the focus of this center.  However, barbed wire has been used to restrict human beings as well.
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Odd Town Names

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Odd Town NamesSometimes the founders of a town will give it a name that seems great, but turns out to be just, well, weird. For whatever reason, there are millions of odd town names all over America. Here are some of the weirdest of the weird. Impress your friends (and geography teachers) with your new knowledge.

Chicken, Alaska
Population: 17
This town was settled by gold miners in the 1800s. They named it œChicken because they couldn’t figure out how to spell œptarmigan “ the name of a bird that is common in that area.
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Facts about Scotland

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ScotlandScotland lost the greatest number of soldiers per head of population in WW1.

The name Scotland derives from the word “Scoti” a Celtic tribe who migrated from Ireland to Scotland in the 5th and 6th Centuries.

John Logie Baird inventor of the television transmitted the first pictures from a room in the Central Hotel in Glasgow.
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Fun Facts About California

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californiaThe west coast state of California is known for a lot more than just earthquakes and here are some facts you probably didn’t know.

1. The proud city of Fresno, California claims to be the ‘Raisin Capitol of the World’.

2. Seventeen million gallons of wine come from California every year.

3. The Greek word ‘Eureka’ (translation: I have found it) was adopted as the official state motto in 1849.
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Facts About the Eiffel Tower

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Eiffel TowerPeople are drawn from near and far to see the majesty that stands proud, the Eiffel Tower is truly a monument. Only two years of construction from 1887-1889 for the Universal Exhibition and the Centennial of the French Revolution, here are some amazing facts about the tower the world has grown to love.

1. The Eiffel Tower stands 986 feet high! Add the antenna for a whopping total of 1052 feet.

2. Only one worker was killed during the construction.

3. The Eiffel Tower weighs seven thousand tons.
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Fast Facts about Guam

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GuamGuam is a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  It is part of an island chain called Micronesia, but it is also an unincorporated territory of the United States.

Just 30 miles long and between 8 and 11 miles wide, it has a population of about 150,000.

The Marianas Trench, the deepest trench in the ocean floor, borders Guam on the eastern side.  When measuring from the bottom of the trench to the top of the highest point on Guam, you get the world’s tallest mountain:  Humuyong Manglo.
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Interesting Facts About Texas

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TexasDid you know that the Capitol Building located in Austin, Texas is the biggest one in the United States?   Made from Texas pink granite, the dome of this building stands even taller than the one in the nation’s Capitol in Washington D.C.  Actually it stands a whole seven feet taller.

Texas is the largest state in the continental United States.  You could fit 220 Rhode Islands into the state, or all of the New England States and Ohio, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.  Alaska is the only state larger than Texas.

The oldest remaining public building in downtown Austin still remains.  It is known as the Governor’s mansion, built in 1856.
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Strange Facts from Michigan

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MichiganThe state that we call Michigan was settled just over 10,000 years ago. Sometimes called the Water Wonderland, Michigan has more shoreline than any other state. However, that’s not the only odd thing about Michigan. Check out these facts that are all strange, but true.

* Michigan is nicknamed the “Wolverine State”, but wolverines can not be found anywhere in the state.

* The first soda pop made in the U.S. was inadvertently invented in Detroit, Michigan. Pharmacist James Vernor went away to serve in the Civil War and when he returned, he found that the liquid he had stored in an old oak case had acquired an interesting ginger flavor. He decided to call it Vernor’s Ginger Ale.
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Interesting Facts about Shanghai

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ShanghaiThis Chinese coastal city has its infamous roots in the First Opium War dating to 1812 when China suffered defeat and was forced to open several ports for trade with the outer world.  Although Shanghai’s past is steeped in notorious back alleys and nefarious characters plodding kidnappings and the like, Shanghai has come a long way to become what it is known as today-the Paris of the Orient.

Shanghai was one of five treaty ports the British forced the Chinese to open.  The others were Canton, Amoy (Ziamen), Ningbo and Fuzhou.

While the British established a settlement in a section of Shanghai, the French and Americans also established their own settlements.  But Shanghai quickly became a destination for émigrés from Russia, Japan, and others from Europe and Western Asia.
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Fascinating Facts about China

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ChinaOne of the world’s oldest and most mysterious civilizations, China’s vast land and history has mesmerized scholars young and old.  The following offerings present a fascinating sampling of China’s rich culture from ancient times to the present.

Historians consider China to be the world’s oldest continuous civilization.  Although various dynasties rose and fell, a basic ruling system held the civilization in place from 221 BC to 1912.

China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, ruled from 221 to 207 BC.  The first emperor’s tomb is famously guarded by life size terra-cotta soldiers.
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Interesting Facts about Beijing

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BeijingBeijing, or the northern capital as it has been termed, has been on the historic map for about a half million years when Peking Man once lived in the caves of what is today suburban Beijing.  The following text offers a plethora of facts and trivia about one of China’s greatest cities to date.

Some of the earliest settlements near present-day Beijing were named Ji and Yan.

The State of Yan named Beijing its capital during the Warring States period of 475 to 221 BC.  These early incarnations of the city served as trading posts for northern peoples like Mongols and Koreans.
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It’s All Greek to Me: Facts about Greece

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GreeceGreece is a fascinating country.  It has been home to the classic ancient Greek city-states of Athens, Sparta, and Corinth.  It has been part of the Eastern Roman Empire, otherwise known as the Byzantium Empire, as well as to the Ottoman Empire.  This diverse heritage has left its mark on Greek food, architecture, music, and art.  How much do you know about Greece?  Test your knowledge with these ten facts about this beautiful and important country.

1. Over 11 million people call Greece home, 54 percent of them women.

2. Greece is divided, for governmental reasons, into 51 prefectures, similar to U.S. States.
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You Live Where? Weird Town Names.

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WeirdAll of the towns and cities listed below are actual names of real towns and cities – there is one for each state.
1. Burnt Corn, Alabama
2. Shishmaref, Alaska
3. Cockscomb Butte, Arizona
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Bird Dog Capital of the World

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Towns from corner to corner of the United States have gained notoriety for one thing or another and Waynesboro, Georgia is no different than any other.  It has the distinction of being named the “Bird Dog Capital of the World.”  The town proudly and prominently displays this fact across the town’s water tower.

Waynesboro gained its notoriety after Henry Berol established annual national bird dog competitions there starting in the 1950s.  Berol, a millionaire, moved to Georgia and immediately began to purchase small parcels of land, the majority of them being small farms.  He combined the land to create a large plantation that would be used for the purpose of forming a quail preserve. 

It wasn’t long until Berol helped to organize an annual national bird dog competition, known as the Georgia Field Trials.  This led to the town’s nickname,  “Bird Dog Capital of the World.”  People from around the world travel to Waynesboro to see how their dog would compete against the others.
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The Hungarian Capital – Interesting Facts about Budapest

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BudapestAn international city with miles of old-world charm, Budapest lies on the Danube River (Duna as it is called) in the Hungarian interior.  Celtic, Roman and Christian ruins help to color Attila the Hun’s ancient stomping grounds.  The subsequent text offers facts, trivia and travel information relating to the beautiful city of Budapest.

The Huns conquered the area of Budapest (Pannonia) in 409.

It is believed that Hungarians, or Magyar tribes, migrated from the Ural Mountains in 896 to find the area of Budapest a strategic place for settlement.
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Facts About Australia’s Great Barrier Reef

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ReefThe Great Barrier Reef stretches more than 2000 kilometers along the coast of Queensland, Australia.

Captain James Cook is the first European to discover the reef. 

The reef was named by Matthew Flinders in 1802 while her was exploring northern Queensland.

The first people to populate and live in the area of the Great Barrier Reef are ancestors of today’s Aborigines. 
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Amazing Facts About Australia

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AustraliaThe largest cave south of the equator is The Archway cave west of Sydney. The cave is 725 feet long, 196 feet wide and almost 100 feet high. It is so vast inside that goldminers used it for an impromptu theatre in the mid 1900s. The local miners build a stage in the cave and gathered there for dances and music performances every Saturday night.

The first white men to land in Australia were hardly good advertising for settlement. The ship Batavia founded on Morning Reef in Western Australia in 1629 and stranded the survivors. But something worse was waiting for them in the form of fellow survivor Jeronimous Cornelisz, who systematically tortured and murdered them. Cornelisz and his followers were executed when the ship’s Captain – who had gone in search of aid – returned and saw what had happened.

The word blue has many connotations to Australians. `Bluey” is a typically wry, ironic Australianism – it is only applied to people with red hair. `Humping my bluey’, an Aussie term meaning carrying one’s worldly possessions wrapped in a `swag’ or bundle, referred to the blue blankets used to make a swag;
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