From the dentist office in the White House to the hidden room in Mount Rushmore, America's landmarks are full of secrets and awe-inspiring facts.
The Liberty Bell features one of history's most famous repair jobs. After nearly 90 years of use, a narrow split formed in the Liberty Bell around 1840, according to the . When the city of Philadelphia sought to repair the bell in 1846, metal workers actually spread the crack further, using a technique called "stop drilling" to restore the bell's tone. Unfortunately, the repair job only resulted in a second crack, which silenced the bell forever. No one living today has heard the true original sound of the bell.
It's technically a sign of damage. The statue's infrastructure is iron, but its exterior is copper, which has turned green over time due to oxidation, reports . However, that green coating protects the statue from further damage and deterioration. Originally, the statue was a .
Yes, it's stunning, but the Gateway Arch is more than just looks: It also holds a fascinating piece of residential history at its very top. A time capsule was placed in the arch on October 28, 1965, and holds 762,000 signatures (many from students who attended St Louis schools at the time), according to the . However, don't expect to see the list made public any time soon. The capsule is permanently welded inside the arch, and won't be opened as long as the structure is standing.
Most people have basements filled with dusty boxes. The President has a basement that includes (in addition to the Situation Room, where he meets with advisors during crises) a flower shop, a dentist's office, a carpenter's shop and even a bowling alley, reports .
When explorers David E. Folsom and Charles W. Cook first discovered Yellowstone in 1869, they wrote an account of their expedition. However, it was difficult for them to sell it because magazine editors thought it was too far-fetched, reports . Still, Yellowstone was established as a national park three years later (before Wyoming, Idaho and Montana were even states) and soon drew throngs of visitors.
It's actually not as difficult as it sounds. In fact, part of Niagara Falls will be "turned off" in the next five to seven years so engineers can demolish two 115-year-old bridges that span above the Niagara River and are past their useful lives, reports . A cofferdam will be constructed between the upstream tip of Goat Island and the United States mainland to enclose the flow of water and pump it out, reducing water headed to American Falls (one of three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls) to a trickle.
Grafitti isn't exactly a phenomenon of modern society. The Washington Monument was still under construction when Civil War fighting broke out, and Union soldiers who were posted there carved their names and drew pictures onto the monument, according to . You can still see the markings today at the monument's base.
The distinguishable color of the Golden Gate Bridge actually came about partly by chance. In the 1930s, Irving Morrow (the Golden Gate's architect) noticed that red-orange primer had been painted on some of the steel, according to . At the time of the bridge's construction in the 1930s, most bridges were black or silver, but Morrow convinced the Department of War — the permitting agency at the time — that the entire bridge should be painted in the bold hue. The name of the now famous paint color? Simply "international orange."
Mount Rushmore is one of America's most distinguishable landmarks, appearing in numerous movies and TV shows. One thing you never see among the Founding Fathers' faces: A door. Behind Abraham Lincoln's head is a secret door that leads to The Hall of Records, a room filled with documents (including charter documents), meant to pass stories of the history of the United States on to future generations, according to .
You'd need to use a flashlight to see them clearly, but the letters "EBL" are carved faintly into the north wall stone of the Lincoln Memorial. According to . The letters stand for Evelyn Beatrice Longman, who carved the ornamental border around the memorial. Longmont was a protege of Daniel Chester French, who was the director of the memorial project.