The Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
She was born Audrey Hepburn-Ruston near Brussels, Belgium, on May 4, 1929. Her father was an English banker and her mother a Dutch baroness.
The subtitle of Melville’s short story “Bartle by the Scrivener” is “A Story of Wall Street.”
There were 1,400 actresses who interviewed for the part of Scarlett O’Hara in Scarlett Letters. Four hundred were asked to do readings.
The oldest confirmed site of human habitation in the continental United States is an archeological site at Clovis, New Mexico. It is a site that dates back 11,500 years, to a time when mammoths were still alive. The site was discovered in 1952.
Robbo, the character “inspired” by Robin Hood, was played by Frank Sinatra. Among the hoods were Dean Martin as Little John and Sammy Davis, Jr., as Will.
Henry James created Roderick Hudson, in the 1876 novel of the same name.
The word attic comes from Attica in ancient Greece. There, an attic was a certain kind of low story above the main floor. Over the centuries, however, attic has come to refer to any low space above the top floor of a building.
Fahrenheit 451 (1967) is Francois Truffaut’s only film in English.
In 1963, unemployed twenty-two-year-old Ernesto Miranda was arrested for stealing $8 from a bank employee in Phoenix, Arizona. While in custody, he was picked from a lineup by a young woman who said he had kidnapped and raped her. After two hours of interrogation, the police gained a confession from Miranda. The U.S. Supreme Court […]
Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was published in 1932, George Orwell’s 1984 in 1949.
The Revolutionary War patriot Paul Revere (1735-1818) was only 50 percent British. Revere’s father was French silversmith Apollos Rivoire, a Huguenot (Protestant) refugee from persecution by the Catholic authorities in France. Revere’s mother, Deborah Hitchbourn, was of English descent.
Alistair Cooke was born in Manchester, England, on November 20, 1908, but has been an American citizen since 1941. Cooke has hosted the PBS TV series “Masterpiece Theatre” since its inception in 1971.
Catherine Deneuve starred as Se’verine Se’rizy, prostitute by day, newlywed by night, in the film Belle de Jour (1967) by Luis Bufiuel.
The Arctic Circle lies at 66° 30′ north latitude. This is because that is the southernmost latitude where the sun can be seen for a full 24-hour period on or about June 22, the first day of summer (summer solstice). On the same day in the Antarctic Circle (south of 66°30′ south latitude), the sun […]
James K. Polk, photographed by Matthew Brady in 1849, was the first president photographed while in office. The first president of whom there is any known photograph was John Quincy Adams.
Born in Atlanta, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-68) traveled north to receive his Ph.D. in theology from Boston University in 1955. He returned to the South to become pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where he met Rosa Parks and was chosen to lead the bus boycott. An advocate of […]
The Massachusetts militiamen won the Battle of Lexington and Concord when they forced the British to retreat from Concord back to Boston. This was the first battle of the War of Independence The British were trying to confiscate colonial arms from a depot at Concord. The battle, which took place on the night of April […]
There were four Jaws movies: Jaws (1975) Jaws 11 (1978) Jaws 3-D (1983) Jaws: The Revenge (1987) The third Jaws movie starred Dennis Quaid, Jaws 3-D (1983). The fourth and last, Jaws: The Revenge (1987) starred Michael Caine.
The prop budget for “Captain Video” (Du-Mont, 1949-55) was twenty-five dollars per week, which covered items like Video Decoder Rings and Astra-Viewers.
Caspar Weinberger, who went on to become Ronald Reagan’s secretary of defense (1981-87), served as secretary of health, education, and welfare (1973-75) under both Nixon and Ford.
Smiling is easier on the face than frowning. It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.
Harold Lloyd, whose best-known movie is Safety Last (1923), was the “King of Daredevil Comedy”.
Santa’s reindeer were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, arguably the most famous reindeer of all, was a later creation.
In the novel My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara, Flicka, a half-wild filly, is the friend of ten-year-old Ken McLaughlin in Wyoming.
It was during and just after the administration of President Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1871). So called for its materialism and political corruption, the period was given its name in a satirical novel, The Gilded Age (1873), written by Mark Twain with Charles Dudley Warner.
James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) sued John Ruskin for libel after Ruskin vilified the painter’s Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1877), accusing Whistler of “flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.” Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Whistler had lived in Europe since 1855 and had become a fixture of London art circles. […]
The three most popular natural attractions in the United States are: 1. The Grand Canyon (Arizona) 2. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) 3. Niagara Falls (New York)
In 1992, the words “Pan Am” were replaced by “MetLife” on the crown of the Pan Am Building at 200 Park Avenue, New York City. The change marked the final end of Pan American World Airways, which ceased operations in December 1991 but had housed offices in the building. It was also more accurate, since […]
Steve Reeves was born in Glasgow, Montana, in 1926. The bodybuilding champion became famous in Italian mythological epics beginning with Hercules (aka Le Fatiche di Ercole) in 1957.
The 600-foot futuristic steel structure in Seattle, known as the Space Needle, was erected for the Century 21 exposition in 1962.
The Panama Canal, which required ten years from start to finish, took two years longer to build than the Erie Canal. Excavation on the 51-mile long Panama Canal began in 1904; the first ship entered the waterway in 1914. The Erie Canal, linking Buffalo and Albany, New York, took from 1817 to 1825 to complete.
The Trojan priest Laocoon who was killed by sea serpents is a character in Vergil’s Aeneid (c. 19 B.C.).
Sophia Smith (1796-1870) founded the Smith College for women. After receiving an inheritance upon the death of her brother, a wealthy stockbroker, she was advised by a clergyman to use the money to begin an institution of higher education for women. Plans were drawn up in 1868, and in 1871, Smith College was founded.
In 1897, Mark Twain was in seclusion, grieving over a death in the family, when a sensationalistic newspaper reported that he had died impoverished in London. When a reporter appeared at Twain’s home, the writer read a prepared statement containing the famous line “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”.
The “Moonlighting” episode in which Maddie (Cybill Shepherd) and David (Bruce Willis) finally had sex was first broadcast on March 30, 1987, after two years of verbal foreplay.
This phrase texas leaguer for a weak hit falling just over the heads of the infielders may first have been used to describe the hits of Arthur Sunday, a player from Texas. Another version is that the term was coined in Syracuse, New York, in 1886 by a pitcher who lost a game because of […]
Twenty people on President Richard Nixon’s enemies list were named in the 1971 memo released to the Senate Watergate Committee in 1973. There were 200 additional enemies on a separate list. The memo proposed the use of “federal machinery,” including IRS audits and litigation, to “screw our political enemies.” The top 20 enemies included Ed […]
The gold and silver ore deposit called the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859 in what is now Virginia City, Nevada.
In the opening lines of Sunset Boulevard (1950), William Holden says, “Yes, this is Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. It’s about five o’clock in the morning. That’s the homicide squad, complete with detectives and newspapermen. A murder has been reported from one of those great big houses in the ten-thousand block.”
It was coined by New York’s Finest along Twenty-third Street in the years before World War I. At the corner of Twenty-third Street and Broadway, traditionally the windiest corner of the city, men used to stand outside the famous Flatiron Building for free looks at ladies’ well-turned ankles. The police dutifully moved the audience along, […]
More than 13,000 Union prisoners died at Andersonville, the largest Confederate military prison. Most died of neglect. The prison’s commandant, Captain Henry Wirz, was the only Civil War soldier executed for war crimes.
“D. W.” in director D. W. Griffith’s name stands for David Wark (1874-1948).
As of the early 1980s, there were seven churches in the United States that ordained women: They were the United Methodist Church, the United Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
A World for Two was the fictitious movie where Vicki Lester (Judy Garland) win the Best Actress Oscar in A Star Is Born (1954)?.
It is not Hans Brinker who wins the silver skates in Hans Brinker, but his sister Gretel, according to the 1865 novel by Mary Mapes Dodge.
Shortly after the turn of the century, President Theodore Roosevelt said that the writers of exposes who flourished at the time reminded him of John Bunyan’s Man with the Muckrake. The Man with the Muckrake when offered a heavenly crown, “would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake […]
The Daughters of the American Revolution refused to rent Constitution Hall to contralto Anderson for a concert in 1938 because she was black. Appalled by this action, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, a DAR member, resigned from the organization and rallied support in Anderson’s behalf. Later that year, Roosevelt was able to arrange a performance for […]
The title of O. Henry’s short story collection The Four Million refers to two things: it represents the population of New York City at the time, and it is an answer to Ward McAllister, who said “there are only about 400 people in New York society.” The collection contains the 1902 story, “The Gift of […]
The reporters’ term refers to delays caused by overly curious drivers, those who crane their “rubber necks” to see a wreck. The phrase first appeared in print in 1896.
Leonard Bernstein led the Young People’s Concerts, for CBS.
There are six elements necessary to a play according to Aristotle: plot, thought, character, diction, music, and spectacle.
Paul Clifford (1830) by Edward Bulwer-Lytton novel begins, “It was a dark and stormy night”. It is also the opening line of numerous novels by Snoopy.
The 16th president Abraham Lincoln was born in Hardin County (now Larue County), Kentucky on February 12, 1809. He eventually settled in Springfield, Illinois. He was assassinated on April 15, 1865.
The metal measurer that measures foot size is called the Brannock device.
The “G.E. College Bowl” ran from 1959 to 1970 on CBS and NBC, and was hosted until 1963 by Allen Ludden and after that by Robert Earle.
In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of victory. She was the daughter of the giant Pallas and the river Styx. In Rome, Nike was called Victoria.
Born in 1266, Beatrice Portinari, wife of Simone de’ Bardi, was Dante’s junior by one year. They were in their youth when Dante (1265-1321) fell in love with her. She died in 1290, leaving Dante in mourning. He wrote about her in the Vita Nuova (1294) and the Divine Comedy (1321).
The Immaculate Conception does not refer to Christ’s being born of a virgin. Instead, it is the Roman Catholic belief that Mary was without original sin from the moment of her conception.
The Hemingway novel The Garden of Eden, was published posthumously by Scribners in 1986.