So you think that you know everything about the USA? You may be surprised to find out that there are still a lot of strange and unusual things and customs in this vast country. Indeed, if you think of the basics, the classic Bald Eagle screech that is typical of North America is actually a red-tailed hawk. Bald eagles tend to make a crackling type of laugh which is a lot less impressive. But that was an appetiser! Let’s dive into the details now.
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#1. It’s Easier To Get In Than You Think
Those who have not been to the USA might think that getting in needs a lot of paperwork and careful greasing of a few official hands. In truth, travellers from almost 40 countries are eligible for the US esta visa which authorises entrance on the territory for visits up to 90 days. All you need to do is to register online in advance, fill up a simple form and confirm your travel dates. For the sum of $14, the ESTA authorisation will be sent soon after to your email address.
#2. The Iconic Hollywood Sign Was An Advertisement
Did you know that the Hollywood sign, which is located on the Pacific side of the USA, in Los Angeles, was first placed there as a temporary real estate sign in 1923. It was designed to attract home buyers, and first used to say Hollywoodland. The “land” part of the name was finally dropped in 1949.
#3. You Don’t Need A Driver’s Licence
As surprising as it might sound you don’t need a state driver’s licence to compete in the NASCAR – National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing – race. Indeed, several drivers competed while they were not allowed to drive legally, having had their driver’s licence suspended. Kyle Busch, for example, has his licence suspended for speeding, but he could still take part to the race. In 2004, Scott Wimmer failed a breathalyser test but was still allowed to compete.
#4. A Desk Full Of Candy
There is a desk full of candy on the Senate floor. This is an ongoing tradition that has been started in 1968 by California Senator George Murphy, who kept a desk full of candy despite the no eating rule on the floor. Since then, the tradition has been continued without interruptions.
#5. Uncle Sam Existed
Uncle Sam was a real person whose name was Samuel Wilson. Samuel Wilson was a meatpacker in Troy, NY, who fought in the American Revolutionary War. In the War of 1812, he became the official meat inspector for the Northern troops. His natural friendliness and generosity were well-known in Troy, where he had a meatpacking shop so that people used to refer to him as Uncle Sam. The tradition continued, when the troops in 1812 began to joke that the US label on the meat barrels stood for Uncle Sam. Finally, the joke grew, and US was officially adopted by the military forces as a synonym for Uncle Sam.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]