A tale of two cities: Fun facts about Super Bowl LI’s competitors
Did you know that Atlanta hosts the largest 10k race in the world and Boston’s famous “Citgo” sign in Kenmore Square contains 5 miles of neon tubing? Super Bowl LI is just around the corner, and everyone loves a good fun fact. Competing in this year’s big game are the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, and we have the quirky things you want to know about the two participating cities.
It’s against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or street lamp. (Why does this need to be a law? How common are giraffe sightings in Atlanta?)
Over 50 streets in the city include the name Peachtree.
The city is the only one in North America destroyed as an act of war. On Nov. 15, 1864, General Sherman burnt Atlanta to the ground. This is why the city’s symbol is a phoenix.
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was named the busiest airport in 1942, and remains so to this day. (Sorry, O’Hare and JFK.) This airport achieved 1,700 takeoffs and landings in one day, and the terminal is as large as 45 football fields.
Georgia’s Capitol building is gilded with 43 ounces of locally mined gold.
At one time it was illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket.
History’s fastest baseball game took place in Atlanta. The Mobile Sea Gulls beat the Atlanta Crackers 2-1 in 32 minutes — sounds riveting, really.
The city also hosted the greatest defeat in football history. In 1916, Georgia Tech destroyed Cumberland College 222-0.
It’s also illegal in Atlanta for one man to carry another man on his back. The law does not apply to women.
Emory University has a tradition known as Dooley Week, during which a skeleton of Lord Dooley goes about campus and lets students out of class if they can answer a trivia question correctly. (Someone please remind me why I didn’t go to this school.)
You can’t keep a donkey in your bathtub. (Did this become such a problem that it needed to be outlawed?)
The Varsity is the world’s largest drive-in restaurant and serves close to 3 million servings of Coca-Cola annually.
The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue is the only spot in the world where a boat can sail under a train going under a car that’s under a plane.
Boston is home to the deepest tunnel in North America — the Ted Williams Tunnel is 90 feet underground.
The city’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is the site of the largest art theft in history. On March 18, 1990, two thieves posing as police officers stole 12 paintings worth a total of $500 million.
John Hancock Tower, which is 60 stories tall, is made of 13 acres of glass. It also predicts the weather.
Happy hours are against the law, and they’ve been illegal since 1984.
A wave of molasses flooded Boston’s North End on Jan. 15, 1919. A storage tank that held over 2 million gallons of molasses burst, killing 21 people and injuring over 100 others. It’s the worst molasses-related accident in history. (Does this mean there are other molasses-related accidents?)
From 1659-1681 the puritans banned Christmas, believing it was a corrupt and indulgent holiday.
On Dec. 16 each year, the city reenacts the Boston Tea Party. (History buffs probably knew this already.)
There are over 850 restaurants in Boston, but only about 40 of them serve fast food. (Can someone say dining snobs?)
Sam Adams isn’t the guy on the label of Sam Adams — that’s actually Paul Revere. (Apparently Adams was wicked ugly.)
In Massachusetts it’s illegal to duel, even with water guns. (Summer vacation just got a whole lot more boring.)
Also against the law in Boston? Playing the fiddle.