Only one U.S. president was never married, James Buchanan (president 1857-61).
Michael Joe Jackson, born August 29, 1958, was eleven when “I Want You Back” was released in November 1969 and sold 2 million copies in its first six weeks.
The revealing 1929 study by Robert and Helen Lynd, Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture, examined family life in Muncie, Indiana. It was followed by Middletown in Transition in 1937.
The Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates five games to three in what was then a best-of-nine series, October 1 to 13, 1903. This was the first win of the World Series in baseball.
Marilyn Monroe was working on Something’s Got to Give (1962) when she died.
Jean-Pierre Leaud played Antoine Doinel in director Francois Truffaut’s autobiographical series. The series consisted of: The 400 Blows (1959), Love at Twenty (1962), Stolen Kisses (1968), Bed and Board (1970), and Love on the Run (1979).
The Ten Commandments vary according to religion and denomination. In the Jewish tradition, the Ten Commandments (based on Exodus 20:2-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21) are as follows: 1. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 2. You shall have no other god to set against […]
The story “Wedding Preparations in the Country” (1907) by Franz Kafka seems to directly foreshadow Gregor Samsa’s plight, as a train passenger lying in bed imagines himself as a giant bug.
Diners Club, the first credit card for buying goods and services from more than one institution was invented in 1950 by Frank McNamara. McNamara, a loan company executive in New York, got the idea when he found himself short of money at a restaurant.
Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the “I Have a Dream” address to more than 200,000 people on the mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963.
Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov were the escapees from Devil’s Island in We’re No Angels (1955). Robert DeNiro and Sean Penn were the angels in the 1989 film of the same title.
For 41 years, under the reign of the Medicis, citizens of Florence, Italy, paid what we now know as an income tax. Called the Scala, the tax was instituted in 1451, supposedly on a progressive scale. The tax turned into an easy type of political blackmail, and as such it was repealed when the court […]
Yes and no, the U.S. and France almost went to war with each other. From 1798 to 1800, the U.S. and France clashed in a series of naval hostilities but never formally declared war. At issue was France’s resentment at what it viewed as American partiality to France’s enemy Britain. The U.S. was angry because […]
Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion (1965), was the basis for the TV show “Daktari” (CBS, 1966-69) , with Betsy Drake and Marshall Thompson.
The battle cry “fifty-four forty or fight” mean was the slogan of U.S. expansionists who wanted to fix the boundary of the Oregon country (the Pacific Northwest) at latitude 54° 40′ N., in the middle of what is now British Columbia in Canada. The belligerent slogan was associated with the presidential campaign of James K. […]
The first labor union in America was the Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers (shoemakers), formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1794.
No, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) was not Peter O’Toole’s first film. O’Toole played several secondary roles in Ombre Bianche, Les Dents du Diable, The Savage Innocents, The Day They Robbed the Bank of England, and Kidnapped (all 1960). He did not become famous until he appeared as T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia.
The bank employee Joseph K. is arrested for no apparent reason on his thirtieth birthday Kafka’s The Trial.
The sun sets in the east in the closing moments of the movie The Green Berets (1968).
The Broadway play The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams was drawn from a screenplay called The Gentleman Caller, which Williams wrote while he was under contract as a screenwriter for MGM in the early 1940s.
The throat-slashings of six prostitutes in London’s East End occurred between August and early November 1888. The identity of Jack the Ripper was never verified.
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.
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), directed by Henry Hathaway, was the first outdoor movie to be filmed in three-strip Technicolor”. It starred Sylvia Sidney, Fred Mac-Murray, and Henry Fonda. It was set in backwoods Kentucky in the early 1900s.
Jean-Paul Sartre refused the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964. He explained: “A writer must refuse to allow himself to be transformed into an institution.”
William Wordsworth said “The Child is father of the Man”, in the poem “My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold” (1807).
Poet Vachel Lindsay killed himself by drinking Lysol, in 1931 at age fifty-two.
Yes, there was a sequel to American Graffiti (1973). More American Graffiti (1979). It reunited Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Paul LeMat, Charles Martin Smith, Candy Clark, and Mackenzie Phillips, but not Richard Dreyfuss. Rosanna Arquette and Mary Kay Place were also in it.
The Italian religious epic Jerusalem Delivered, written in 1575 by Torquato Tasso (1544-95), concerns the First Crusade, in which European Christians fought to regain the Holy Land from the Muslims. The First Crusade lasted from 1095 to 1099.
Daryl Van Horne was the Devil as played by Jack Nicholson in The Witches of Eastwick (1987).
Thomas Jefferson said, “I am not among those who fear the people; they, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom”.
The practice, which takes place before the home team comes to bat, became popular in 1860 because the number seven is considered lucky.
The illustrations of fashionable, modern women of the 1890s were named for the artist who drew them for popular magazines, Charles Dana Gibson. Gibson’s drawings helped to establish a new standard of American beauty at the turn of the 19th century.
The Dublin theater known as the Abbey Theatre dedicated to presenting Irish drama opened in 1904. Its directors included William Butler Yeats and Lady Gregory. Destroyed by fire in 1951, the theater reopened in 1966.
The towns which the following soap operas set in are: “All My Children” (ABC, 1970–)–Pine Valley “Ryan’s Hope” (ABC, 1975-89)–New York City “The Guiding Light” (CBS, 1952–)–Five Points “The Edge of Night” (CBS, ABC, 1956-84)—Monticello (a violent midwestern city) “The Secret Storm” (CBS, 1954-74)—Woodbridge, New York “As the World Turns” (CBS, 1956–)—Oakdale, Ohio
The Allied leaders who forced Germany to accept the Versailles Treaty of 1919 at the end of World War I were: Woodrow Wilson (U.S.) Georges Clemenceau (France) David Lloyd George (Great Britain) Vittorio Orlando (Italy)
John Wayne played the centurion at the crucifixion in The Greatest Story Ever Told. His only line was, “Truly, this was the Son of God.” The movie was director George Stevens’s version of the life of Christ.
In 1913, Illinois stonemason Charles Pajean brought the toy he created for his children to the American Toy Fair in New York City. Within one year, 1 million Tinkertoy sets had been sold.
Country singer Randy Travis is a ring member in Young Guns (1988).
The most recent tie in Oscar voting for major awards was in the category of Best Actress in 1968. The award went to Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter and Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl.
Edmond O’Brien is an accountant dying of radiation poisoning (caused by iridium) in the original D.O.A. (1950). In the 1988 remake, Dennis Quaid is a college professor also dying of radiation poisoning.
Sigmund Freud’s original term for the unconscious mind was not id but es, the indefinite pronoun it in German. Freud borrowed that term from a physician, Georg Groddick, who in turn had borrowed it from his teacher Ernst Schweninger. As Freud’s ideas became popular in English-speaking countries, translators felt that simply calling the unconscious it […]
James Cagney’s last movie was Ragtime (1981).
Mary Katherine Goddard published the first official copies of the Declaration, the first to bear the names of all the signers, in January 1777. At the time, Goddard was the only printer in Baltimore, where the Continental Congress had fled from Philadelphia. She had taken over the print shop and the city’s only newspaper from […]
As of 1992, the honor goes to Richard (Dick) Button, who held the title for seven years from 1946 to 1952. Four skaters have held the title for four years: Hayes Jenkins-1953-56 David Jenkins-1957-60 Scott Hamilton-1981-84 Brian Boitano-1985-88 What female figure skater has most often won the U.S. Skating Championship? As of 1992, the honor […]
The idea for Alka-Seltzer came from a newspaper editor in Elkhart, Indiana, in the 1920s. It was brought to the public by Hub Beardsley, president of the Dr. Miles Laboratories (now Miles Laboratories). Beardsley learned that an entire newspaper staff had remained free of influenza during an epidemic when they took the editor’s prescription of […]
Bette Davis said, “There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne” in Old Acquaintance (1943).
The 1929 Western In Old Arizona, for which Warner Baxter won the Best Actor Oscar, was billed as “the first 100% all-talking drama filmed outdoors”.
Gene Wilder’s character in Young Frankenstein (1974) was Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, pronounced “FRONK-ensteen.”
Birmingham, Alabama. Which city is known as the Rubber Capital of the World? Akron, Ohio. Which city is known as the Pretzel City? Reading, Pennsylvania. Which city is known as the Insurance City? Hartford, Connecticut. Which city is known as the Cement City? Allentown, Pennsylvania. Which city is known as the Celery City? Kalamazoo, Michigan.
“D. W.” in director D. W. Griffith’s name stands for David Wark (1874-1948).
The first news event to be televised was the nomination of Alfred E. Smith for the presidency in Albany, New York, on August 22, 1928. The program was transmitted by Schenectady’s WGY. The first regular news reports were 15-minute daily programs transmitted over New York’s WCBS and WNBT, beginning on July 1, 1941.
Henry Shrapnel of England (1761-1842), an artillery officer, invented the so-called shrapnel. It was a round projectile filled with bullets and equipped with an explosive charge to scatter the shot. In later versions, fragments of the shell casing itself were found to be more deadly than the enclosed bullets. Shrapnel today refers to those fragments.
Zora Neale Hurston was a folklorist who studied with anthropologist Franz Boas at Barnard College before becoming a novelist. In Mules and Men (1935) and Tell My Horse (1938), she compiled black traditions of the South and the Caribbean. Her novels include Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937).
Yin is female, dark, negative, earthly. Yang is male, bright, positive, heavenly. In Chinese mythology, both are ethers born in the division of the original cell of chaos, Ch’i.
There are several theories. One is that the phrase refers to greased-pig contests once held at county fairs, where the winner kept the pig and thus brought home the bacon. Another theory revolves around the town of Dunmon, England. There, in A.D. 1111, a noblewoman decreed that any person who knelt at the church door […]
President Richard Nixon was charged with three counts of impeachment. On July 30, 1974, the House Judiciary Committee charged the U.S. president with three counts related to the Watergate case: obstructing justice; abuse of power; and defying the House Judiciary Committee subpoenas.
The first game on record played by English colonists in America was a game of bowls played in the streets of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1611.
The phrase passing the buck probably came into use in American poker games during the late nineteenth century. In 1872, Mark Twain wrote that players would pass an object, a buck, to remind them of who was to deal. It is also possible that buck is an old word for bet.
A white amateur photographer named George Holliday happened to be on hand to videotape the scene of Rodney King’s beating by Los Angeles police on March 3, 1991, while testing his new camcorder. The images of black motorist King being kicked and clubbed by white officers shocked the country. A year later, news of the […]
It wasn’t only John D. Rockefeller who founded the Standard Oil Company. What would become the country’s largest oil company was founded in 1867 by four people, Rockefeller, Henry M. Flagler, S. V. Harkness, and Rockefeller’s brother William.