The city of Cleveland (pop. 573,822) was named for its founder Moses Cleaveland in 1836. The city was once known as the “Forest City” because of its abundance of trees.
The first U.S. warship to make a trip around the world was the sloop-of-war Vincennes in 1829-31, during the administration of President Andrew Jackson. Jackson used the show of force to protect American commerce in the Pacific.
Jane Withers was Josephine the Plumber, who sang the praises of Comet Cleanser in the 1960s.
It Happened One Night (1934), from Harry Cohn’s then “Poverty Row” studio, Columbia, was the first movie to win all five top Oscars. In addition to winning the Oscar for Best Picture, the film brought honors to Frank Capra (director), Claudette Colbert (actress), Clark Gable (actor), and Robert Riskin (screenwriter).
Boris Karloff made two with Abbott and Costello: Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949), and Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953). Karloff did not appear in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), where Glenn Strange played the Frankenstein monster.
“The Andy Griffith Show” (CBS, 1960-68) was a spinoff of “The Danny Thomas Show” (ABC, CBS, 1953-64).
About 20 percent of the earth is under permafrost. This means it has had a temperature below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for over two years. In Siberia, some sections of land are frozen to depths of 5,000 feet.
There is no difference between Hoover Dam and Boulder Dam. Both are names for the same dam, erected in 1931-36 on the Colorado River between Nevada and Arizona. The dam is over 700 feet high and 1,200 feet long.
Rope (1948) was Alfred Hitchcock’s first film in color.
No, Dooley Wilson didn’t actually play the piano in Casablanca (1942). Wilson sang in the movie, but couldn’t play piano. Accompaniment was dubbed in.
The first black person to win the prize, the American statesman and civil rights leader Ralph Bunche earned the honor of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for mediating an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1949.
Margaret Sanger (1883-1966) coined the term “birth control” in 1914. Sanger founded the first birth control clinic in the U.S., in 1916. In 1921, she established the American Birth Control League, predecessor to the Planned Parenthood Federation.
Every Which Way But Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980) featured an orangutan. The orangutan’s name was Clyde.
Glenn Miller was presented with a gold-covered master of his recording “Chattanooga Choo Choo” on his radio program of February 10, 1942. The record, released in conjunction with the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade, had climbed past the 1 million mark a few months after its release. The original 1949 Broadway cast recording of Oklahoma! […]
The miracle in Miracle of Morgan’s Creek was the birth of sextuplets to Trudy Kockenlocker (Betty Hutton). She was a woman who got married and pregnant without remembering it after drinking too much at a World War II servicemen’s dance.
Aphra Behn (1640-89), author of the play The Rover (1677) and the novel Oroonoko (1688). She wrote under the pseudonym Astrea.
In 1972, in South Wales, a male dachshund is said to have crept up on a sleeping female Great Dane. The union produced 13 “Great Dachshunds,” with short legs, large heads, and raised ears.
The French author of Consuelo (1842), George Sand was born Amandine Lucie Aurore Dupin.
Robert Duvall’s film debut was Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).
Vincent Gardenia played gangster “Dutch” Schultz in Mad Dog Coll (1961).
Yes. There was no double when Paul Newman rode the bicycle himself in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
Peoria, Illinois, got its name from the Peoria tribe of the Illinois Confederacy. The name means “carrying a pack on his back.”
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 Red River begins in New Mexico, serves as the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma, and flows into Louisiana. “The Red River Valley” is the site of the departing lover in the traditional Southern folk song of that name.
Jefferson Davis wearing women’s clothing when he was captured was the unsubstantiated rumor that spread among Union soldiers after the president of the Confederacy was captured near Irwinville, Georgia, on May 10, 1865. Supposedly Davis had donned his wife’s cloak and shawl to disguise himself from the enemy.
The subtitle of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death.
At the opening of “Mission: Impossible” (CBS, 1966-73), it took five seconds for the tape to self-destruct. What was the name of the force that responded to the call? The I.M. Force.
The Wings of Eagles was based on World War I aviator Frank “Spig” Wead, who after a debilitating accident, became a screenwriter. The screenplays he wrote included Air Mail (1932), The Citadel (1938), and They Were Expendable (1945).
In 1989, 76.9 percent of the U.S. population aged 25 and over has completed high school. Only 21.1 percent has completed college.
The million-dollar legs belong to a racehorse by the same name. Betty Grable’s legs and the rest of the actress appeared in the movie too.
The WIN in the WIN buttons stood for Whip Inflation Now.
The secretive, anti-Catholic, and antiforeign movement, which flourished in the 1850s, received its name, the “Know Nothings”, because members, when questioned by outsiders, answered, “I know nothing.” They pursued their aims through electoral politics, violence, and intimidation. Also known as the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner and the American Party, the movement had adherents in […]
The light-green beans called lima beans were introduced to the U.S. from Lima, Peru, by U.S. Navy Captain John Harris in 1824.
As of 1991, the top three leading NFL touchdown scorers are: Jim Brown-126 touchdowns Walter Payton-125 touchdowns John Riggins-116 touchdowns
The first state to secede from the Union was South Carolina, which seceded on December 20, 1860, in response to the November election of Abraham Lincoln as president.
The first federal prison in America opened in Auburn, New York in 1821. To regulate prisoner activity, Auburn employed what came to be known as the Auburn system. In the hopes of instilling discipline and effecting rehabilitation, the Auburn system required inmates to work silently in groups. When not working, inmates were confined in silence […]
The first eight-hour day in America was instituted for federal employees in public work projects in 1868. Before the law was passed, an average workday could run 10 to 12 hours. In 1867, the Illinois state legislature had passed a law proclaiming the eight-hour day to be “the legal workday in the state.” But the […]
Tales from the Crypt (1972) and The Vault of Horror (1973) were the 1970s British horror films that were inspired by 1950s E.C. Horror Comics. Both were produced by Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg for Amicus-Metromedia. They were released by Cinerama.
For this crime of shoplifting, women outnumber men by four or five to one.
During the Revolutionary War years, 90 percent of Americans were farmers. By World War II, the number had shrunk to 15 percent. Today fewer than 3 percent of the population are farmers.
No, red M&M’s were never made with a carcinogenic dye. In 1976, M&M/Mars responded to publicity about the carcinogenic effects of red dye number 2 by taking red M&M’s off the market. However, red M&M’s were not made with red dye number 2: The company acted because people wrongly believed that the dye was being […]
There were three pioneering suburban housing developments bearing the Levittown name: the one in Hempstead, New York, in the late 1940s; one near Philadelphia in the 1950s; and one in New Jersey in the 1960s.
Visa began in 1965 as the Bank of America’s BankAmericard, backed by a group of banks able to exchange funds nationally. It received its current name, Visa, in 1977, to promote its international image and acknowledge the cooperation of banks in other countries. MasterCard began in 1966 as the Interbank card issued by another consortium […]
For late 19th-century immigrants from Europe, to travel to America in “steerage” meant a passage below decks, near the ship’s steering gear. The price for these uncomfortable but low-fare accommodations was about $15.
Warren G. Harding was the first president to ride in an automobile to his inauguration, on March 4, 1921.
Edward Stratemeyer created Nancy Drew, under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The prolific author died in 1930.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a nonprofit organization for the advancement of the film art and industry that gives out the Academy Awards. It was founded in 1927. Membership is by invitation only.
Thomas Paine, the eighteenth-century American pamphleteer who wrote Common Sense, was called filthy little atheist. Paine was actually 5 feet, 10 inches tall, neat in appearance, and believed in God.
There are about 200 million to 300 million sperm cells are contained in an average human ejaculation. Yet sperm cells make up only 2 to 5 percent of total sperm volume. The rest is composed of fluids, known as seminal plasma, that help keep the sperm cells alive.
For the first 19 years of his life, George Washington (born in 1731) celebrated his birthday on February 11. After the British parliament replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar (in 1752), Washington celebrated his birthday 11 days later, on February 22.
It isn’t certain. Constantine abolished the gladiator shows in A.D. 325, but they persisted. Honorius abolished them again in the fifth century, but even then they may have continued.
The 4,000-mile trade route called the Silk Road joined the ancient kingdoms of China and Rome. It started in Siam, followed the Great Wall of China to the northwest, bypassed the Takla Makan Desert, crossed the Pamir Mountains, passed through Afghanistan, and ended at the Levant. Goods were then transported across the Mediterranean Sea to […]
Camp Crystal Lake was the camp terrorized by Jason in Friday the 13th (1980).
Founded in 1947, the CIA was born about the same time as the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. An offshoot of World War Il’s Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the agency was established to gather foreign intelligence, carry out counterintelligence, and perform covert operations.
Will Rogers called Guinn “Big Boy” Williams for his large size. Williams supported Rogers in movies like Almost a Husband (1919).
On September 16, 1921, a baby boy in Shoreditch, East London, England, was reported to have been born with 14 fingers and 15 toes.
Longtime associate Martin Bregman produced the Al Pacino comeback vehicle Sea of Love (1989). Martin Bregman also produced the Pacino films Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975 ) and Scarface (1983 ).
No, typhoid fever is not the same thing as typhus. Typhus is caused by microbes called rickettsiae and is carried by fleas, mites, and ticks, which in turn are carried by rats and other rodents. Typhoid (also called typhoid fever or enteric fever) resembles typhus in its symptoms but is caused by a different microbe, […]
Dr. Strangelove was based on a novel, Red Alert, by Peter George.
Gertrude and Murgatroyd were the names of the pigeons played by Red Skelton on “The Red Skelton Show” (CBS, NBC, 1951-71).