Growing up attending public school in the United States, I assumed that I knew quite a bit about the United States of America. However, I recently learned that I did not know as much about the country that I live in as I thought I knew. Here are ten facts about America that most Americans do not know.
1. The first African-American woman to refuse to give up her bus seat to a white person was not Rosa Parks.
Claudette Colvin is an African-American woman who was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white woman on March 2, 1955. However, her name is left out of most history books.
2. The First Slave owner in the United States was an African-American man.
Most people assume that slaves were only owned by rich white men. However, Anthony Johnson, a black man, was the first slave owner in the United States. In 1654, John Casor, an indentured servant to Johnson, was declared a slave after Johnson held him past his indenture term.
3. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s first and middle name were not Martin Luther.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his father both lived and died under the name of Michael King.
4. Napoleon was not actually short, but he did suffer from hemorrhoids.
Napoleon Bonaparte stood just over five feet tall, which would be considered short by today's standards, but he was actually average height for his time. Furthermore, Napoleon reportedly suffered from hemorrhoids, and some scholars suggest that Napoleon lost the Battle of Waterloo due to a flare-up of hemorrhoids.
5. Witches were not actually burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials.
During the Salem Witch Trials, 19 accused witches were hanged, and one was crushed by stones.
6. The Ford Model-T did not only come out in black (originally).
The Model-T originally came out in a variety of colors. However, between 1914 and 1925, the Ford Model-T was only sold in black.
7. Pirates didn't actually make people walk the plank.
Pirates would dispose of bodies by throwing them overboard; making people "walk the plank" is only a myth.
8. The White Rhinoceros did not get its name because it is white.
The "white" in White Rhinoceros is derived from the Afrikaans word, "wijd", which means "wide", referring to the animal's lips.
9. Moth's are not actually attracted to light.
Contrary to what most people believe, moths are not actually attracted to light. Instead, they are disoriented by it. This is because moths use natural light sources, such as the sun and moon, to navigate.
10. The driest place on Earth is Antarctica.
Some parts of Antarctica have not seen rain in two million years!