What every American should know

Sergey Nikoyan
4 min readSep 26


There are things each citizen of the US has to know — http://www.whateveryamericanshouldknow.org/
Most of them were familiar to me but some things were new. Here’s the list of them with a brief description. I believe, most of them will be new for you too:
1. The Pledge of Allegiance is a patriotic recited verse that promises allegiance to the flag of the United States and the republic of the United States of America.

2. Rosa Parks (1913–2005) helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States when she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus in 1955. Her actions inspired the leaders of the local Black community to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Led by a young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the boycott lasted more than a year — during which Parks not coincidentally lost her job — and ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Over the next half-century, Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation.

3. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was signed into law on August 24, 1966. It is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, teaching, testing, exhibition, transport, and by dealers. The Act is enforced by USDA, APHIS, Animal Care.

4. The Voting Rights Act (1965) — this act was signed into law on August 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson. It outlawed the discriminatory voting practices adopted in many southern states after the Civil War, including literacy tests as a prerequisite to voting.

5. Japanese American internment — it is the forced relocation by the U.S. government of thousands of Japanese Americans to detention camps during World War II. That action was the culmination of the federal government’s long history of racist and discriminatory treatment of Asian immigrants and their descendants that had begun with restrictive immigration policies in the late 1800s.

6. Manifest Destiny, in U.S. history, the supposed inevitability of the continued territorial expansion of the boundaries of the United States westward to the Pacific and beyond. Before the American Civil War (1861–65), the idea of Manifest Destiny was used to validate continental acquisitions in the Oregon Country, Texas, New Mexico, and California. The purchase of Alaska after the Civil War briefly revived the concept of Manifest Destiny, but it most evidently became a renewed force in U.S. foreign policy in the 1890s, when the country went to war with Spain, annexed Hawaii, and laid plans for an isthmian canal across Central America.

7. Gettysburg Address — in the wake of the United States Civil War’s deadliest battle, President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. Now praised, this speech was not always seen this way.

The Battle of Gettysburg was fought between July 1 and July 3, 1863. It was one of the bloodiest battles of the United States Civil War, with over 51,000 casualties — soldiers killed, injured, or otherwise lost to action — combined. Around 3,100 U.S. troops were killed, while 3,900 Confederates died. The U.S. victory there marked the turning point of the war.

President Lincoln was asked to deliver a message at the dedication of the Gettysburg Civil War Cemetery on November 19, 1863. The featured speaker for the occasion was Edward Everett, a former dean of Harvard University, and one of the most famous orators of his day. He spoke for two hours. Then Lincoln delivered his message; it took two minutes.