The wild turkey is the breed indigenous to the United States. It weighs 50 to 60 pounds, has strong legs, and can run from 15 to 20 miles per hour when scared.
Francine Lawrence was the real name of “Gidget”, played by Sally Field on the TV show “Gidget” (ABC, 1965-66).
Margo Channing was the name of Bette Davis’s character in All About Eve (1950). Anne Baxter played her young fan and rival Eve Harrington.
No. Kate “Ma” Barker was never arrested. Although Mrs. Barker (the former Arizona Donnie Clark) saw three of her four sons serve in Alcatraz, Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing, and Leavenworth, she stayed behind the scenes of the crimes. Ma Barker and her son Freddie were killed on January 16, 1935, in a 45-minute gunfight […]
The Liberator. Simon Bolivar (1783-1830), leader in the quest for Latin American independence; also, Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847), Irish nationalist leader in the British House of Commons. The Hammer. Charles Martel (688-741?), Frankish ruler who stopped the Muslim invasion of Europe. The Upright. Abu Bakr (c. 573-634), the first Muslim caliph and successor to Muhammad. Mr. […]
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 […]
Lady Bird Johnson’s real name was Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson (b. 1912). The wife of President Lyndon Johnson got her nickname after the family cook called her “purty as a lady bird.”
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.
The official name of the Statue of Liberty is “Liberty Enlightening the World.” A gift from France, the statue was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and dedicated in New York harbor in 1886.
Recent marriage rates have been fairly similar to what they were at the turn of the century. In 1900, the marriage rate was 9.3 per 1,000; in 1988, it was 9.7. The divorce rate, however, has changed drastically. In 1900, it was 0.7 per 1,000; in 1988, it was 4.8.
From 1906 to 1960 the Xerox Corporation was known as the Haloid Company, headquartered in New York. In 1961 it became the Xerox Corporation.
Window washer Morse conquered the Worldwide Wicket Co., owned by Rudy Vallee in the movie How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name Shangri-La to Camp David in 1953, naming it after his grandson.
Unlike an air conditioner, it does not cool the air. It actually increases the air temperature because of the heat released by the motor. What makes the room seem cooler is increased air circulation over the skin, which speeds evaporation of moisture.
The independent political party the Mugwumps was comprised of Republicans who wanted to band together to demonstrate support for the Democratic candidate for the 1884 election, Grover Cleveland. They remained active in presidential politics through 1892. The word mugwump was a slang term for “kingpin.”
The royal governor of New York Henry Sloughter with the murderous name was responsible for hanging Jacob Leisler in 1691. Leisler was a New York City wine merchant who led a rebellion against royal rule in 1689. As acting governor, Leisler set up an assembly and reformed tax laws until the new governor, Sloughter, stopped […]
Until 1929, the Waldorf-Astoria stood at the southwest corner of Thirty-fourth Street and Fifth Avenue in New York. On October 1 of that year, demolition of the famous hotel began, and on May 1, 1931, the Empire State Building opened on the space. In the same year, the Waldorf reopened at its current address between […]
His son, Jesse James was the first Jesse James in a movie. Jr. James’s movies include: Jesse James Under the Black Flag (1921) and Jesse James as the Outlaw (1921), both silent films.
Judy Garland was sixteen when she made The Wizard of Oz.
Thirty-three of these poems in honor of various Greek gods survive. Written in imitation of Homer, they date from the eighth century B.C. to the fifth or fourth century B.C.
New York City policeman Eddie Egan was the inspiration for Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle in the movie The French Connection.
Spelunking is the exploration of caves as a hobby. It is not to be confused with speleology, the scientific study and exploration of caves.
Alphonso D’Abruzzo. Robert Alda Gladys Greene. Jean Arthur Albert Einstein. Albert Brooks Richard Jenkins. Richard Burton Tula Finklea. Cyd Charisse Lily Chauchoin. Claudette Colbert Declan McManus. Elvis Costello Alexandra Zuck. Sandra Dee Margarita Cansino. Rita Hayworth Krishna Bhanji. Ben Kingsley Laszlo Loewenstein. Peter Lorre Susan Tomaling. Susan Sarandon Michael Shalhoub. Omar Sharif Gordon Sumner. Sting
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 1909, Gertie the Dinosaur, created by New York Journal cartoonist Winsor McKay, became the first cartoon shown in movie houses along with a regular feature.
Katharine Hepburn played Jo March, the eldest of the little women in Little Women (1933).
The earl ranks higher, but is by no means at the top. From highest to lowest, the line of peerage runs as follows: Duke and Duchess Marquess (or Marquis) and Marchioness Earl and Countess Viscount and Viscountess Baron and Baroness
There are more physicians in the USSR than anywhere else. The United States holds top honors for psychiatrists, psychologists, and dentists.
Princess Leia Organa’s (Carrie Fisher’s) home planet in Star Wars (1977) was Alderaan.
Brian Blessed played Augustus, George Baker played Tiberius, John Hurt played Caligula, and Derek Jacobi played Claudius, on the TV series “I, Claudius” (BBC, 1976).
Gertrude Stein coined the term “the lost generation”. She translated the phrase from a French garage proprietor who was angry at a young mechanic’s negligence in fixing Stein’s car. Stein used it to refer to Hemingway and his contemporaries: “All of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation.” The […]
Airplanes were first used by the U.S. armed forces unsuccessfully in 1916 against Pancho Villa in Mexico. In 1917, the First Aero Squadron, the first air unit, fought in World War I.
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.
The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre lasted eight minutes. Several members of the George (“Bugs”) Moran gang were killed that day, February 14, 1929, along with a man in the garage who looked like Moran. Moran himself escaped the massacre to die a natural death of lung cancer on February 25, 1957.
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.
Hart Crane’s last words were “Goodbye, everybody!” He said it just before committing suicide by jumping off a ship in 1932.
“News on the March.” was the newsreel that recaps Kane’s life in Citizen Kane.
Tom London (1883-1963), who appeared in more than 2,000 movies, beginning with The Great Train Robbery in 1903. For many years, he was a leading man at Universal; later in his career, he specialized as a B-western sheriff. His last film was The Lone Texan 1959).
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) was not the man given credit for it, Senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart). It was Tom Doniphon (John Wayne), a relic of an older, less civilized West.
Abraham Lincoln was 25 when he was elected to the Illinois state legislature as an assemblyman in 1834.
The title to the drug-induced stream-of-consciousness narrative Naked Lunch means a “frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork” and is repulsed by it. The title was suggested to the author William Burroughs by Jack Kerouac.
The Socialist Party of America was born in 1901 under the leadership of Eugene V. Debs. Instead of emphasizing state control of the economy, it advocated worker-protection laws, many of which later came to be enacted. Among the party’s goals were the reduction of hours in the workday, nationalization of railroads, and the creation of […]
There are 13 stars, arrows, olive leaves, and olives in the Great Seal of the United States, symbolizing the original 13 colonies. The design of the seal was approved by Congress in 1782. As seen on the back of the dollar bill, the seal consists of an eagle holding olives and arrows in its talons, […]
Jimmy Carter (served 1977-81) was the first president to have more than one woman in his cabinet. His female cabinet members were: Patricia Roberts Harris – Housing and Urban Development; later moved to Health and Human Services Shirley Mount Hufstedler – Education Juanita Kreps – Commerce
The metal measurer that measures foot size is called the Brannock device.
The intellectuals who served as advisers to FDR included attorney Basil O’Connor, Felix Frankfurter of Harvard law School, and Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and Adolf Berle of Columbia University. The nickname, the brains, for the elite group who helped shape the New Deal was first suggested in 1932 by Roosevelt’s legal counsel Samuel Rosenman.
El Greco signed his paintings as Domenikos Theotokopoulos, his real name. The artist (c. 1541-1614) wrote the name in Greek characters, sometimes followed by Kres for “Cretan”, his national origin.
The Spanish Inquisition lasted about 350 years. It was begun in 1478 by Queen Isabella of Castile to search out converted Jews secretly practicing their original faith. In 1483, it was broadened as a means of persecuting any and all heretics. The Spanish Inquisition was not completely abolished until 1834.
The annual prize for poetry, the Bollingen Prize, was first awarded in 1949 to Ezra Pound for his Pisan Cantos (1948).
The Time Machine (1960) opened on December 31, 1899.
Harry Dickens (John Astin) and Arch Fenster (Marty Ingels) were carpenters and handymen. They starred in “I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster” (ABC, 1962-63).
Elvis died in one, his first, Love Me Tender (1956). It was also the only one in which Elvis did not receive top billing. Its original title was The Reno Brothers, but the title was changed when a song from the movie, “Love Me Tender,” became a hit.
A black man from Haiti named Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable (1745-1818) founded the city of Chicago. In 1772, Du Sable founded a settlement called Eschikagou on the north bank of the Chicago River. However, he was not officially recognized as the city’s founder until 1968.
Dorothy Parker, known for her sharp wit, wrote the famous couplet, “Men seldom make passes/At girls who wear glasses” in the poem “News Item” in 1926.
The first publicly televised sporting event was a Japanese baseball game, broadcast on September 27, 1931. The Ushigome and Awazi Shichiku Higher Elementary Schools battled it out on the Tozuka Baseball Ground, watched by viewers on 8-by-5-inch screens.
In 1824, the candidates the last time the presidential election went to the House of Representatives were Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay. Jackson won a plurality of both the electoral and popular votes, but not a majority in the Electoral College. In accord with the Constitution, the election was […]
Rob and Laura Petrie of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” had a house in New Rochelle, New York.
“M” and “N” are tied with eight states each for the most common initial letter for U.S. states: Maine Nebraska Maryland Nevada Massachusetts New Hampshire Michigan New Jersey Minnesota New Mexico Mississippi New York Missouri North Carolina Montana North Dakota
Hesiod, the reputed author of the Theogony, the oldest surviving account of the origin of the Greek gods, was a poor Boeotian farmer of the eighth century B.C. His Works and Days gives advice on fanning and moral life.
The American expression to Beat the Band is not more than a century old. It referred to the aim of arriving at a parade site before the band passed.