1. Starting in the late 18th century, the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts was the primary manufacturer of firearms for the United States military.
2. The last state to join the union was Hawaii in 1959. The first state to join the union was Delaware in 1787.
3. A secret committee including General George Washington approached widow and upholsterer Betsy Ross in 1776 about creating a flag. She was shown a rough diagram of a six-pointed star. She quickly cut a five-pointed star and was then commissioned to sew the first American flag.
4. In September of 1814, during the War of 1812, soldiers at Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a key victory over British troops. This inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song about broad stripes and bright stars that eventually became the United States’ national anthem.
5. During the Jurassic period, vegetation was more lush than in later eras.
6. The Stegosaur and Tyrannosaurus dinosaurs never met. The Jurassic Stegosaur was extinct for about eighty million years before the Tyrannosaurus appeared during the Cretaceous period.
7. The fist reptiles appeared during the Paleozoic era, about 570 million years ago. The first dinosaurs came much later, around 245 million years ago, during the Triassic period.
8. Saxophonist Rudy Wiedoeft was instrumental in making the C melody sax famous in the early 1920s.
9. In 1879, Thomas Edison discovered that a carbon filament in an oxygen-free light bulb glowed but did not last long. He eventually created a bulb that could burn for 1500 hours.
10. Thomas Edison drew up 1,093 successful U.S. patent applications in his lifetime, the first when he was 21.
11. Many scientists now believe that one of the reasons dinosaurs became extinct was due to a meteorite hitting the earth at the end of the Cretaceous period.
12. The stegosaur weighed approximately four tons but is believed to have had a brain no larger than the size of a dog’s brain.
13. Before Kansas was admitted to the union, it became known as “Bleeding Kansas” in the mid-1850s when a major, bloody battle over the issue of slavery occurred there.