The first educational aptitude test in America was developed in 1910 by German-American psychologist Hugo Munsterberg. This was done after he had been asked by William James to direct the psychological laboratory at Harvard University.
Simon Oakland played Dr. Richmond, the psychiatrist who tries to explain Norman Bates’s actions at the end of Psycho (1960).
The title of the 1962 book by Michael Harrington refers to the huge number of Americans at the time who were living below the poverty level. According to Harrington, the poor totaled 20-25 percent of the U.S. population, or about 40-50 million people.
The males of the fighting fish species do indeed fight. They nip each other’s fins and show off their extended gill covers and intensified colors. Their battles are exciting enough that the Thai have domesticated the fish for use in contests.
Rope (1948) was Alfred Hitchcock’s first film in color.
Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field (1963), was the first black man to win an Oscar for Best Actor.
Yes, the Japanese made a Frankenstein movie called Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966).
A Remington electric shaver could shave “the short, close fuzz of a peach without harming its tender skin”, in 1954, long before Victor Kiam bought the company.
Gimlet. Sir T. 0. Gimlette, a British naval surgeon who in 1890 developed the drink as a healthful cocktail. Grand Marnier. Named (in jest?) by hotel owner Cesar Ritz for a short businessman named Marnier Lapostolle, the inventor of the liqueur. Mickey Finn. A turn-of-the-century Chicago bartender who served the spiked drink to clients he […]
The subtitle of Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo is A Tale of the Seaboard.
The speed limit in New York City is thirty miles per hour on the streets, 50 miles per hour on the highways, except where otherwise noted.
Say it whichever way you like. The pronouns those and them are both correctly used as objects in this passage.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky translated Eugenie Grandet (1833) into Russian. Dostoyevsky’s 1844 translation was his first publication.
Henry Ford found the Ford Motor Company in 1903 in Detroit, Michigan.
Gloria Swanson’s last film was Airport 1975 (1974).
Ben-Hur with 11 Oscars was the biggest winner in 1989.
The one-time foreign minister and war minister of the Soviet Union Leon Trotsky was expelled from Russia by Joseph Stalin in 1929. He made his way to Mexico, where he was murdered, probably at Stalin’s command, in 1940.
The first baseball game played at night was at Crosley Field in Cincinnati on May 24, 1935. It was a game between the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds beat the Phillies, 2-1.
In act 1, scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet’s father says she “hath not seen the change of fourteen years”, making her thirteen.
Kosher pareve means food that is neutral. That is, fruits, vegetables, and eggs, and can be eaten with either meat or dairy products. The two other main categories of kosher food are mikhig (dairy) and fleishig (meat).
The first major conflict against Indians in New England was the Pequot War against the Pequot Indians of Connecticut in 1637. In the bloodiest encounter of the war, English colonists burned a Pequot village near Long Island Sound, killing hundreds of Indian men, women, and children.
Casey Stengel was born Charles Dillon Stengel in Kansas City, Missouri (c. 1890-1975). Stengel managed the New York Yankees from 1949 to 1960 and the Mets from 1962 to 1965.
Cassidy, the leader of the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang, was born Robert Leroy Parker in Circleville, Utah, on April 1, 1866. He was one of 10 children. The Sundance Kid was born Harry Longbaugh in 1870 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.
The two men who laid the Mason-Dixon line gave it its name. Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon laid the line sometime between 1763 and 1767 at 39°43’26” north latitude. Originally it was the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania. Later it marked the line between slave states and free states.
Charles Foster Kane’s estate in Citizen Kane, Xanadu, was on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The estate of William Randolph Hearst, on whom Kane was based, is located in San Simeon, California.
There are several theories for the origin of the word hoodlum. One has to do with a gang of thugs in San Francisco led by a man named Muldoon. A fearful reporter, writing about him in 1877, spelled the name backward, Noodlum, and the compositor mistook the N for an H. A second theory claims […]
The sheep at the White House were part of the war effort. In 1917, during World War I, President Wilson arranged for a small flock of sheep to graze on the White House lawn, thus freeing up the regular gardeners for military service. Although the sheep began eating more of the White House grounds than […]
The song “Meet Me in St. Louis” by Andrew B. Sterling and Kerry Mills refers to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. The tune provides the leitmotif for the 1944 musical film Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland, about a St. Louis family faced with a move to New York […]
Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner collaborated indirectly on the 1944 movie version of Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not. Jules Furthman and William Faulkner wrote the screenplay of the film, now best remembered for bringing together Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. When Hemingway declined to write the screenplay himself, director Howard Hawks reportedly said, […]
The undersized Miles Standish was given the nickname “Captain Shrimp” by fellow colonist Thomas Morton. Standish (c. 1584-1656) was the military leader of the Plymouth Colony, founded in Massachusetts in 1620. Morton (c. 1590c. 1647), leader of the rival colony of Merrymount, ridiculed the austere habits and strict religious beliefs of his Pilgrim neighbors.
Hank Aaron entered the major leagues as right fielder with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954. He moved to Atlanta with the team in 1966. On April 8,1974, he broke Babe Ruth’s record for career home runs.
The five persons that are in line of succession to the presidency are: 1. Vice-President 2. Speaker of the House of Representatives 3. President Pro Tempore of the Senate 4. Secretary of State 5. Secretary of the Treasury
Only two future presidents signed the Declaration of Independence, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. George Washington and James Madison were the only two to sign the Constitution.
The Ouija board is thought to reveal unconscious thoughts and emotions. It is named for the French and German words for yes, oui and ja.
The speech known as the Gettysburg Address, given by Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863, runs 271 words, if you count “resting place” as two words.
Jean de Brunhoff created Babar the Elephant, in stories beginning with The Story of Babar (1933). De Brunhoff’s son Laurent continued the series.
The small intestine, which is contained in the central and lower abdominal cavity, is 20 to 23 feet long. The large intestine is 5 feet long.
Not surprisingly, the world’s best selling cookie is the unassuming Oreo, made by Nabisco Brands. The first Oreo was sold in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1912. Now, over 6 billion are sold each year, which means that $1 of every American’s $10 in grocery money goes to the cookie.
State chemists are the executioners who kill condemned prisoners by lethal injection. State electricians perform executions by means of the electric chair.
Yes, the man behind the “Sherman Anti-Trust Act” was related to the man behind “Sherman’s March to the Sea”. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act, passed in 1890, was sponsored by John Sherman, the younger brother of William Tecumseh Sherman. It was the latter Sherman who, as a Union general, led the destructive march across Georgia in […]
Joe E. Ross was Gronk and Imogene Coca was Shad, the lead cave dwellers befriending the lost astronauts on “It’s About Time” (CBS, 1966-67).
The Catholic anarchist and pacifist newspaper The Catholic Worker founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin has been published since May 1933. The cost, then and now, is one cent per copy.
A secretary named Margaret Herrick, who later became executive director of the Academy gave the Academy Award statuette the name “Oscar”. According to legend, she looked at the statuette and said, “Why, he reminds me of my Uncle Oscar.” The uncle’s full name was Oscar Pierce.
Three cities were destroyed when the volcano erupted. They were Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae, all southeast of modern Naples. When were the ruins of Pompeii discovered? Destroyed in A.D. 79, the city was not discovered until the late 1500s. Formal excavation did not begin until 1748.
It took Leonardo da Vinci four years (1503-1507) to paint the Mona Lisa. This was long enough for his patron, Francesco del Giocondo, to get impatient. Giocondo had commissioned the portrait of his third wife, Lisa, but enough was enough. Giocondo refused to pay for the unfinished portrait, and Leonardo sold it to the king […]
The canine silent movie star Rin Tin Tin is buried in Cimetiere du Chiens in Paris, France. The black onyx tombstone is inscribed “The Greatest Cinema Star”.
Confederate general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died of a battle wound, but it was not inflicted by a Union soldier. One of his own men accidentally shot him in the arm during the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, May 1-3, 1863. Although the battle was a Confederate victory, Jackson’s arm had to be amputated. The general contracted […]
Edgar Allan Poe invented detective C. Auguste Dupin, the coolly logical amateur sleuth of three stories published in the 1840s: “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Roget,” and “The Purloined Letter.”
In Grand Hotel (1932), to John Barrymore, Greta Garbo says, “I want to be alone”.
No, the Atlanta Civil War scenes were not shot on location. Atlanta was built on the MGM studio back lot. Many of the burning buildings were recycled from movies like King Kong (1933), Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936), and The Garden of Allah (1936).
The pledge was uttered by Nez Perce chief Joseph (c. 1840–1904) in 1877. It was part of a larger statement made when his fugitive tribe surrendered to the U.S. Army following a long, grueling journey as they attempted to flee to Canada. The exact quote is, “Hear me, my chiefs, I am tired; my heart […]
Anthony Quinn’s eight minutes on-screen as painter Paul Gauguin in Lust for Life (1956) was the shortest time on-screen ever for an Oscar-winning performance. Quinn won as Best Supporting Actor.
Four main collections of English mystery plays based on biblical episodes survive: The York Cycle (early fourteenth century), forty-eight plays The Towneley Cycle (mid-fourteenth—early fifteenth century), thirty-two plays The Chester Cycle (fourteenth century), twenty-four plays The Coventry (or N Town) Cycle (fifteenth century), forty-three plays
Close encounters of first kind is the sighting of UFOs. Close encounters of the second kind is the finding of physical evidence of UFOs. A close encounter of the third kind is actual physical contact with UFOs.
Mary Quant, co-owner (with her husband Alexander Plunket Greene) of the boutique Bazaar in Chelsea, London, is credited with inventing the miniskirt. Quant, “the mother of the miniskirt,” premiered the new fashion item at Bazaar in 1965.
The Molly Maguires were a secret militant organization of Irish miners working in the Pennsylvania anthracite coal mines in the 19th century. They organized in 1854 to fight the mine operators. In 1875, a Pinkerton spy working for the owners infiltrated the group. That led to the conviction and hanging of 20 Molly Maguires on […]
“Radar” O’Reilly’s real name in the 1970 film and 1972-83 CBS TV series “M*A*S*H*” was Walter. Gary Burghoff played the character in both TV and film.
As used by Tonto on the radio show “The Lone Ranger,” Kemo Sabe was intended to mean “faithful friend.” But in the Apache tongue it means “white shirt.” In Navajo it means “soggy shrub.”
Abigail Van Buren (born Pauline Esther “Popo” Friedman) and Ann Landers (born Esther Pauline “Eppie” Friedman) are identical twins born on July 4, 1918, in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1955, Eppie took over as Ruth Crowley’s replacement on the Chicago Sun-Times “Dear Ann Landers” advice column. In 1956, the other sister began writing under the […]
The opening words of the Declaration of Independence are as follows: When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature […]