Both John and Leigh stated the oft-repeated myth that the U.S. has *never* defaulted.
If only that were true.
The above summary is from Carmen Reinhart's and Ken Rogoff's research in their superb book This Time is Different.
As you can see from their research not only has the U.S. defaulted, but the U.S. has defaulted or 'restructured' (a partial-default) at least once every century since the founding of the republic. Details on each episode can be found in the book and at Carmen's website.
As Reinhart and Rogoff put it, the U.S. is definitely not a "default virgin".
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.