10 Weird Facts About American History They Didn’t Teach You in School

Think you know everything about American history from your school days? Well, hold onto your hats, because there’s a whole lot of weird stuff that didn’t make it into the textbooks.

In this article, I discuss 10 weird facts about American history that your teachers probably never mentioned. These aren’t your usual boring dates and names – we’re talking about the kind of wild stories that sound too strange to be true.

The Great Molasses Flood

Image Credit: Bernhard Jaeck from Pixabay

In 1919, a huge tank of molasses exploded in Boston, creating a sticky flood. The wave of molasses was 15 feet high and moved at 35 mph. It destroyed buildings and killed 21 people. Bostonians say you can still smell molasses on hot days.

President’s Giant Cheese Wheel

Image Credit: Hans from Pixabay

In 1835, President Andrew Jackson received a 1,400-pound wheel of cheese as a gift. He left it in the White House lobby for two years, letting anyone eat it. When he finally threw a party to finish it, the cheese stank up the whole building. The White House smelled like old cheese for months afterward.

Kentucky’s Raining Meat Mystery

Image Credit: Alexa from Pixabay

In 1876, chunks of meat fell from the sky in Kentucky. People said it tasted like mutton or venison. Scientists think it might have been vomited up by vultures flying over the town. It’s still known as one of the weirdest weather events in American history.

The President Who Got Stuck in a Bathtub

Image Credit: will zhang from Pixabay

President William Howard Taft was a very big man. Legend says he once got stuck in the White House bathtub. It supposedly took six men to get him out. After this, a new, bigger bathtub was installed just for him.

The Time America Banned Sliced Bread

Image Credit: Couleur from Pixabay

In 1943, the U.S. government briefly banned sliced bread. They said it was to save metal and wax paper for the war effort. People were so upset that the ban only lasted two months. It’s where we get the saying “the best thing since sliced bread.”

Andrew Jackson’s Foul-Mouthed Parrot

Image Credit: Fabio from Pixabay

President Andrew Jackson had a pet parrot named Poll. The parrot learned to swear from Jackson. At the president’s funeral, the parrot had to be removed because it wouldn’t stop cursing. Imagine a parrot swearing at a funeral!

The Confederacy’s Camel Corps

Image Credit: Manuela_Burkhalter from Pixabay

During the Civil War, the Confederacy tried using camels as military animals. They thought camels would work better than horses in the desert. The plan didn’t work out, and many camels were left to roam free in the southwest. Some people still report seeing wild camels in Texas.

The White House’s Weird Naked Ritual

Image Credit: Dim Hou from Pixabay

For over 100 years, presidents and their male staff would swim naked in the White House pool. This strange tradition lasted from 1930 to 1988. Even important meetings sometimes happened in the nude. President Lyndon Johnson was said to be a big fan of this custom.

America’s One-Day President

Image Credit: stokpic from Pixabay

In 1849, David Rice Atchison was technically president of the United States for one day. It happened because of a quirk in the inauguration schedule. Atchison spent most of his “presidency” sleeping. He later joked that he had the most honest administration in American history.

The Great Egging of Andrew Jackson

Image Credit: Aaron Kittredge from Pexels

On his last day in office, President Andrew Jackson invited the public to the White House. The crowd got out of control and started breaking things. Jackson escaped, but the crowd was only calmed down when big tubs of whiskey and ice cream were put on the lawn. It turned into a giant, messy party.

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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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