United States Trivia and History Quiz Answers Part 4

Answers to a quiz about United States Trivia and History, random trivia about geography, the states, and more.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE U.S.?

Answers

41. It is both east and west of the Mississippi. Before 1881, Illinois was completely on the east side of the river. In April of 1881, the river flooded, changed its course, and ran through part of Illinois. As a result, while most of the state remained east of the river, 24 sq. mi. of the state--Kaskaskia Township in Randolph County--lay west of the river, and have remained so ever since.

42. The Salton Sea in southeastern California. Originally in the desert, it was a huge salt marsh known as the Salton Sink. In 1905-1907, the Colorado River poured through some weak levees, flooded the salt basin, and formed a lake that covered 445 sq. mi. It took two years of building levees and $2 million to contain it to that size. Since then, due to evaporation and seepage, it has shrunk to 250 sq. mi. It is known as "the roughest body of inland water in the U.S."

43. The northernmost state in the contiguous U.S. is Minnesota--specifically, 125 sq. mi. of the northern part of Lake of the Woods County.

44. The state of Maine is touched by only one other state, namely, New Hampshire.

45. In recorded history, not one of the Great Lakes has ever been frozen over completely, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Sometimes, in coldest winter, the water is covered by ice for many miles, but none of the lake surfaces has ever been entirely frozen over.

46. There is a 1,500-sq.-mi. section of northern Colorado, west of Denver, not owned by the U.S. three days a year. According to the records of the General Land Office, this territory "was acquired neither through the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the Texas annexation of 1845, nor by treaties with the Utes who apparently never claimed it." This un-American region--its residents possibly not U.S. citizens--included the town of Breckenridge. To check this further, in 1977 the Almanac editors called the Colorado Bureau of Land Management, who admitted the questionable area "was blank" on their maps, showing no admission date to the U.S. According to the Colorado Historical Society, a strip of land 90 mi. long and 30 mi. wide in the Breckenridge area had been a no-man's-land due to an early surveyor's error, but was offically made part of the U.S. on Aug. 8, 1936, with a special proviso that the area retain "the right to be a free and independent kingdom three days each year." Since then, a "No Man's Land" festival has been held annually in August. However, part of the region may still not be U.S. territory. If any readers have further information, let us know.

47. The letter J was omitted as a street name in the heart of the nation's capital and as a company name in the U.S. Army to avoid confusion, because it too closely resembles the letter I.

48. Texas has lived under six different flags: the Fleur-de-lis of France; the Lions and Castles of Spain; the Eagle and Snake of Mexico; the Lone Star of the Republic of Texas; the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy; and the Stars and Stripes of the U.S.

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