Over the course of publication (1732-57), Benjamin Franklin’s Almanack sold on average 10,000 copies per year.
The story of Cinderella has enjoyed 58 film productions, in cinematic and cartoon form, throughout the world. The first Cinderella movie was made in 1898.
BVD does not stand for, as once believed, “Baby’s Ventilated Diapers” or “Boys’ Ventilated Drawers”. Instead, it stands for the three founders of the company, Bradley, Voorhees, and Day.
The Tootsie Roll was named after Clara Hirschfield, the daughter of the candy’s creator. Leo Hirschfield who invented the Tootsie Roll had given her this pet name. He gave the name to the candy as well, which entered the American market in 1896.
Lolita was twelve when Humbert Humbert first met her.
The man who had been expelled from Harvard, William Randolph Hearst, bought or started 42 newspapers. Only a handful remained by the time of his death in 1951.
Boz. Charles Dickens George Eliot. Mary Ann Evans George Orwell. Eric Arthur Blair Ellery Queen. Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee Stendhal. Marie-Henri Beyle Saki. Hector Hugh Munro Voltaire. Francois-Marie Arouet Maksim Gorki. Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov
In The Iliad (9th century B.C.), Thetis, a sea nymph is Achilles’ mother.
Producer Michael Todd, who filled Around the World in 80 Days (1956) with forty-four cameo stars, adopted the word “cameo” as a cinematic term for walk-on parts for well-known people.
PacMan was invented by twenty-seven-year-old Turn Iwatani in 1980. Iwatani worked for Namco Limited of Japan, a producer of video games and computer software. Pac-Man is an icon of 1980s pop culture, and is considered universally as a classic video game.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say that cleanliness is next to godliness. It came from John Wesley (1703-1791), the British theologian who founded Methodism.
At least 1,547 people were killed when the boiler of the side-wheeler Sultana exploded on April 27, 1865, on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee, making it the worst marine disaster in U.S. history. Many of those killed in the blaze were Union soldiers who had recently been freed from Confederate prison camps. The most […]
The word avatar means the human incarnation of a god to a Hindu. The word is most frequently applied to the 10 incarnations of Vishnu, the benevolent god of sun and light. His most famous avatars are: Krishna, Rama, and Buddha.
Probably not. In French, gaga means a silly old man, and the meaning may simply have been modified. However, some think it is short for artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), who, it is said, revealed mental imbalance in his work.
Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Denton Grant are buried in Grant’s Tomb on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Five, dating back to 1808, when the first Hamilton Fish was born to Nicholas Fish (1758-1833), Revolutionary War patriot and friend of Alexander Hamilton, for whom Nicholas named his son. Each Hamilton Fish was father to another one, in this order: Hamilton Fish (1808-93) Hamilton Fish (1849-1936) Hamilton Fish, Jr. (1888-1991) Hamilton Fish, Jr. (1926) […]
Susan Lucci has played villainous Erica Kane on “All My Children” (ABC, 1970) since the the TV show’s debut in 1970.
The seven original astronauts in the American space program were: M. Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., John H. Glenn, Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Alan B. Shepard, Jr., and Donald K. Slayton.
Goose bumps are a vestige from the days when humans were covered with hair. When it got cold, the hairs stood on end, creating a trap for air and providing insulation. The hairs have long since disappeared, but in the places where they used to be, the skin still bristles, trying to get warm.
Walt Whitman High School was the high school in the TV series “Room 222” (ABC, 1969-74). In “Welcome Back, Kotter” (ABC, 1975-79)? James Buchanan High School. In “Head of the Class” (ABC, 1986-91)? Millard Fillmore High School.
The chimp from Bedtime for Bonzo died in a trailer fire in the early 1950s, along with his four stand-ins, on the day he was scheduled to help present the first Patsy Awards for animal achievement.
All About Eve (1950) received the most Oscar nominations, with fourteen.
The Time Machine (1960) opened on December 31, 1899.
The head of the British Secret Service called C or CSS. He is not called M, his name in the James Bond stories, although the head of the SOE (Special Operations Executive) in World War II was called M for a while.
“Rosebud,” said by Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles), is the first spoken line in Citizen Kane (1941). “Throw that junk in,” said by Kane’s butler, Raymond (Paul Stewart), as the “Rosebud” sled is thrown into the flames, is the last spoken line in Citizen Kane (1941).
The average American generates about three pounds of garbage per day, according to the Garbage Project.
His Family by Ernest Poole won the first Pulitzer Prize in 1918.
Elvis Presley did not make his TV debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (CBS, 1948-71), but on “The Jackie Gleason Show” (CBS, 1952-55, 1956-57, 1962-70). Elvis first appeared there in January 1956.
Ted Turner owns three film libraries: those of RKO, MGM/UA, and Warner Brothers.
Mocha Dick was a legendary white whale said to have killed more than thirty men and attacked several ships in the 1800s. His story was told in The Knickerbocker Magazine in 1839. Melville’s Moby-Dick of 1851 may have been influenced by the story.
From Jonathan Swift’s The Battle of the Books (1704). Matthew Arnold used the phrase “sweetness and light” in Culture and Anarchy (1869) to elaborate his idea of culture as a humanizing and ennobling force.
Natalie Wood had a walk-on part in the 1979 pilot of husband Robert Wagner’s TV mystery “Hart to Hart” (ABC, 1979-84). She was billed in the closing credits as Natasha Gurdin, her real name.
Neal Hefti composed the eminently hummable theme for TV’s “Batman” (ABC, 1966-68). Danny Elfman wrote the score for the 1989 movie.
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.
No one won the Cannes Film Festival prize for Best Film in 1968. Political demonstrations led by directors like Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Claude Lelouch forced the festival to close in mid-proceedings that year.
A Fascist general named Gonzalo Queipo de Llano y Sierro is said to have coined the phrase during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). As four Fascist army columns closed in on Madrid, the general described his supporters inside the city as a “fifth column.” The term came to mean any group of subversives trying to […]
They were protesting the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, waged from 431 to 404 B.C. in Aristophanes’ comedy, Lysistrata. In the play, the women of Athens and Sparta refuse to have sex with their husbands until peace is made.
Yes, Ford was the first incumbent president to agree to public debates. He gained that claim to fame in 1976 when he debated Jimmy Carter. The debates helped Ford to narrow Carter’s lead in the race, although he eventually lost the election.
Joseph Conrad define his task as a writer as, “to make you hear, to make you feel—it is, before all, to make you see!” in the preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897).
Stephen Collins Foster, who wrote the song “Swanee River” about the South (also called “Old Folks at Home”) in 1852, was born near Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, in 1826. Daniel D. Emmett, the author of the 1859 song “Dixie” that became a Confederate anthem, was born in Ohio.
Tiny Tim and Miss Vicky were married on “The Tonight Show” on December 17, 1969.
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.
Window washer Morse conquered the Worldwide Wicket Co., owned by Rudy Vallee in the movie How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Tess’s name before she becomes Tess of the d’Urbervilles is Tess Durbeyfield, daughter of Jack Durbeyfield, a carter. In the 1891 novel by Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, she eventually becomes the kept woman of Alec d’Urbervilles, a member of the well-to-do family for whom she is working.
In its earliest use, the phrase pin money did mean the money to buy pins, the primary fasteners for clothing before buttons and zippers were invented. But by the sixteenth century, the phrase came to mean the money used for incidentals.
“Family Ties” (NBC, 1982-89) star Michael J. Fox played a werewolf in the movie Teen Wolf (1985). Jason Bateman, star of “Valerie/The Hogan Family” (NBC, 1986-90; CBS, 1990-91) played the werewolf in the sequel, Teen Wolf Too (1987).
According to 1980 census findings, citizens in the 55 64 age group had a turnout of 71.3 percent. Close behind were those in the 65-to-74 age group, with 69.3 percent. Those 18 and 19 brought up the rear with a 34.2 percent showing.
In art, gusto is the excitement of the imagination that gives full expression to the dynamic character of an object. According to William Hazlitt (1778-1830) in his essay “On Gusto,” gusto is “power or passion defining any object.” Gusto unites the senses as “the impression made on one sense excites by affinity those of another.” […]
The people of Blefuscu, an island northeast of Lilliput, were the enemies of the Lilliputians. The people there were as tiny and mean-spirited as the Lilliputians. Swift meant Blefuscu to represent France, while Lilliput represented England.
The Virginian (1929) introduced the line, “If you want to call me that, smile”. Gary Cooper said it. Owen Wister, author of the novel The Virginian, phrased it as “When you call me that, smile!”
The renegade androids in Blade Runner (1982) were called Replicants. “Blade runners” were the people assigned to hunt them down.
The Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi first played the role onstage in the 1927 Broadway production of Dracula. It was adapted by Hamilton Deane and John Balderston from Bram Stoker’s novel. Lugosi became famous by playing Dracula in the 1931 movie version.
Archer fish, members of the five species of the family Toxotidae, shoot arcs of water droplets at insects sitting on vegetation near lakes and streams. This knocks them into the water where they become easy prey.
Johnny Olson was the famous TV game show announcer shouting “Come on down” on “The Price Is Right” (NBC, 1956-65; CBS, 1972). Olson worked on the show from 1972 until his death in 1985.
Theodore Roosevelt, who invited Booker T. Washington, was the first president to invite an African-American man to the White House.
The author/illustrator Maurice Sendak was a designer of window displays in a toy store when he was commissioned to illustrate The Wonderful Farm by Marcel Ayme in 1951. Sendak wrote and illustrated his first children’s book, Kenny’s Window, in 1956.
Newspaper columnist Bob Greene is credited with first writing the term “yuppie” in a column in March 1983. The derisive term for “young urban professionals” became widespread by 1984.
Laurel Near plays the woman with the deformed cheeks who sings about Heaven in Eraserhead (1978). The music and lyrics of her song are by Peter Ivers. Fans know the character as the “Lady in the Radiator.”
Henry Morton Stanley, a journalist, was commissioned by the New York Herald in 1871 to find the explorer David Livingstone, who had been missing for two years. Stanley trekked through Africa for six months before meeting Livingstone, the only other white man within 1,000 miles.
William Johnson (1715-74) was an Irishman who settled in the Mohawk Valley of New York in 1738, at the age of 23. He became a wealthy landowner and trader and treated his Mohawk neighbors with fairness and respect. The Mohawks adopted him as a blood brother, and he took a Mohawk wife, Molly Brant. Johnson’s […]