In 1876 a plant native to Japan (and China) was featured at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The vine was easy to grow, pleasant to look upon and produced fragrant purple flowers. Kudzu was the plant’s name and it was extensively planted in regions of the South to impede soil erosion. The aggressive nature of Pueraria soon made it a pest that became seemingly impossible to control. Roots can weigh more than 500 pounds and stems can be more than 4 inches in diameter.
In the nineteenth century, Las Vegas (established 1835), New Mexico was much more famous than Las Vegas, Nevada. Some legends of the Old West that were said to frequent the town included Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp. A few of the lesser-known (but colorfully named) Las Vegas characters were Big Nose Kate, Mysterious Dave, Hoodoo Brown and Handsome Harry. Esteemed historian Ralph Twitchell once commented “Without exception, there was no town which harbored a more disreputable gang of desperadoes than did Las Vegas.”
The tallest building in Arizona is the Chase Tower which was completed in 1972. The structure consists of 40 stories and is 483 feet tall. Chase Tower is currently located in Phoenix. There are presently no known plans that involve moving the building to a different city.
Bad Water Basin in Death Valley (California) has the lowest elevation in our 48 contiguous states. The place is 279 feet below sea level. Approximately 132 miles away (in that very same state), Mt. Whitney is the highest point in the “lower 48.” Said mountain has an elevation of 14,494 feet.
Plymouth Rock has an uncertain past (dating from 1620). There exists no known contemporary mention of the stone. The first written reference appears to have been in 1715, some 95 years after the Pilgrims landed. The identification and location of the rock appears to have been an educated guess. In 1741, ninety-four year old Elder Faunce claimed he was familiar with the actual rock and pointed it out to local townsmen. In 1774, about half of the rock was excavated and moved farther from the coastline. Historians acknowledge that this stone might be historically significant, but there is little possibility that Pilgrims stepped from their ship onto the stone in 1620. Two reasons: (1) the rock would likely have rested quite a distance from the 1620 high water line and (2) no prudent mariners would have allowed their ship to drift in the ocean next to a boulder. Have a rock-solid week. (firstname.lastname@example.org)