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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about "The Scream"

On May 7, 1994, Edvard Munch’s famous painting, “The Scream” was recovered after thieves stole it from the National Gallery in Oslo, Norway. Find out how much you know about one of the most famous paintings in the world.

The Theft of the Painting Was So Easy, the Robbers Left a Thank You Note.

On the opening day of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer on February 12, 1994, most people were busy watching the games, so the streets were fairly empty when the painting was stolen from the National Gallery during daylight hours. All the robbers did was walk in and take it, demanding a ransom of $1 million. Adding insult to injury, the thieves left a polite note saying, “Thanks for the poor security.”

“The Scream” Isn’t a Single Piece of Art.

Munch must have been proud of his creation of “The Scream” because he made four separate versions of it. The originals were made in 1893, one in pastel and the other in mixed media. It was the mixed media version that was snatched in the bold daylight robbery in Oslo. Another version of the painting was done in 1895 in pastel, and the other in 1910 in tempera.

A Different Version of the Painting was Stolen in 2004.

Art thieves targeted another version of the painting at the Munch Museum itself on August 22, 2004. This time, the thieves stole “The Scream” and added Munch’s painting titled “Madonna” to their haul. It took two years to recover the pieces of art, and the investigation was helped along by a criminal awaiting sentencing who wanted to make a deal.

A Candy Company Posted a Sweet Reward for the Painting’s Return.

Mars, Inc. was getting ready to introduce its new line of dark chocolate M&Ms, so the company offered a reward of 2.2 tons of the candy as an inducement for the thief to return the painting. Apparently, it worked because a Norwegian man, in a plea deal, led authorities to the location of the painting. The police suggested that the reward, valued at $26,000 at the time, should be donated in cash to the Munch Museum.

“The Scream” Is One of Munch’s “Soul Paintings.”

Mental and physical illness and death haunted Munch from a young age. Munch's father was a religious extremist, and his mother and sister died of tuberculosis when Munch was just a boy. His portraits painted of the soul included other works such as “Moonlight,” “The Storm,” "Death in the Sickroom” and “Red Virginia Creeper.” “The Scream” is the most popular of Munch’s works and of his soul paintings.

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Hamana-Hamana! Five Interesting Facts About The Honeymooners

On May 9, 1971, the classic Jackie Gleason show, The Honeymooners, officially made its way to syndication when the final episode aired on CBS.  Think you're a Honeymooner fanatic? Here are five interesting facts you may not have known about the show.

The Original Alice Got Fired Because Her Husband Was a Communist.

When Jackie Gleason first debuted the characters that would later be the cast of The Honeymooners on his variety show, it was the early 1950s and McCarthyism was in full effect. An actress named Pert Kelton played Gleason's working-class wife, Alice, at the time. When Gleason successfully convinced the network to spin-off his variety show into The Honeymooners, he had every intention of bringing Kelton along for the ride. But, it was Kelton's real-life husband who ended up costing her the job. Kelton's husband was labeled as a Communist and Kelton herself became guilty by association. CBS fired her as a result, and Audrey Meadows came in to replace her.

Meadows Was the Only Cast Member With Really Good Lawyers.

Meadows almost didn't get the job because Gleason found her vivacious youth and beauty a bit too unrealistic for the wife of Ralph Kramden. But after tricking Gleason with some dressed-down glamour shots, she landed the role. When it came time to sign on the dotted line, she brought her two brothers—both attorneys—to the negotiating table. They insisted their baby sister get a clause for syndication residuals. CBS didn't have a ton of faith in the show and as a result, happily obliged. As a result, she was the only cast member still getting Honeymooners checks well into her old age. 

Jackie Gleason Almost Sued Fred Flinstone.

Well, more like the creators of Fred Flinstone. If you've ever watched the Jurassic-era cartoon, then you know they "borrowed" quite a bit from Gleason's Honeymooners. Two married couples living next door to each other? Check. Dopey husband with smart, down-to-earth wife? Check. Best friends who were both members of the same bowling team? Check. Gleason certainly took notice and briefly considered a lawsuit against the cartoon's creator before someone talked some sense into him by asking, "Do you really want to be the guy who killed Fred Flintstone?" Gleason dropped the idea.

Cary Grant Really Wanted to Do a Guest Spot on the Show.

Cary Grant was the George Clooney of his generation—handsome, debonair, and a solid actor. As if that wasn't enough, the A-list star also apparently had a great sense of humor. According to Audrey Meadows' biography, Grant once approached Meadows on the CBS lot and introduced himself. Meadows was star struck, but that soon deflated when Grant made his intentions clear: he wanted Meadows to put in a word with Gleason about doing a guest spot on his favorite show, The Honeymooners.

Fans of the Show Sent Alice Decorations for Her "House."

Gleason modeled the Kramden's apartment off the tenement where he grew up in Brooklyn. It was intentionally bleak—built to reflect a man of meager wages who also refused to use credit to decorate his house (unlike the Norton's next door). Fans of the show felt for Alice and as a result, sent hundreds of packages a week containing decorative linens and knick-knacks to help spruce up the Kramden homestead.

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Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Bob Marley

On May 11, 1981, Bob Marley, the outgoing Jamaican songwriter and singer, passed away, leaving a musical legacy that remains popular today. Get your reggae on and see how much you know about the legendary singer.

Marley Died From Cancer That Started in His Toe

Marley died at age 36 from a rare form of cancer called acral melanoma that began under his toenail. Acral melanoma forms on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet or under a nail and is not caused by sun exposure. Although he was advised to have the toe removed, he refused, and the cancer spread quickly, reaching his lungs, brain and other parts of his body. Marley was Rastafarian and cited his religious beliefs as the reason he refused the amputation, and by the time he sought medical treatment, it was too late.

Marley Wrote “I Shot the Sheriff”

Marley's song, which became famous later after Eric Clapton sang the tune, was released on an album called Burnin’ in 1973 when Marley’s band was known as Bob Marley and The Wailers. George Terry, the guitarist for Eric Clapton, gave him the album as a gift, and Clapton recorded the song, which earned him a Grammy.

His Final Concert Almost Didn’t Happen

Marley had been scheduled to appear at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh on September 23, 1980, but his agent reported that Marley was ill and might not perform. Several days earlier, he had been jogging at Central Park in New York when he collapsed as a result of the cancer that was spreading throughout his body. The show in Pittsburgh had been sold out, plus the band members needed money, so this was Marley’s last performance, despite the fact that he was ill at the time.

An Attempt Was Made on Marley’s Life

Marley had been warned to not perform in Jamaica because of the political corruption of the times. Marley’s wife was wounded outside of their home as she was leaving in her car, then at least three persons entered Marley’s house and sprayed it with gunfire. Marley and his manager were wounded, but it didn’t deter Marley from performing several days later.

A Jamaican Soup Kitchen Receives All the Royalties From One of Marley’s Songs

Marley attributed the song “No Woman No Cry” to an old friend Vincent Ford, even though Ford was neither a musician nor a songwriter. In Trenchtown, where Marley lived, Ford operated a soup kitchen for the needy, and the royalties from the song were meant to fund the soup kitchen and keep it going. Rolling Stone listed “No Woman No Cry” as number 37 on their 'Top 500 Songs of All Time' list.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the Kidnapping of the Lindbergh Baby

On May 12, 1932, the body of the Lindbergh baby was found a few miles from the home of his parents, Colonel Charles Lindbergh, the famous aviator, and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Find out how much you know about what was widely described as the crime of the century.

Lindbergh Paid $50,000 in Ransom to the Kidnapper

Just after the baby’s kidnapping from his second-floor nursery on March 1, 1932, a ransom note demanding $50,000 was found on the windowsill of his room. Arrangements were made with a local doctor to act as the go-between to comply with the kidnapper’s demands. The doctor paid the money to an unknown man in the Bronx in early April. Although a search was conducted to find the baby after the doctor received a tip from the kidnapper that the baby was onboard a boat in Massachusetts, he wasn’t found.

The Baby’s Body Was Found by Accident

The baby’s body was discovered close to Mount Rose in New Jersey by a man named William Allen. It was identified by the coroner in Trenton the following day. The examination by the coroner showed the infant had died several months prior. The cause of death was a blow to the head.

Authorities Recorded the Serial Numbers of the Bills Paid in the Ransom

The ransom for the child’s return had been paid using gold certificates, and the FBI issued pamphlets to its offices containing those numbers. On May 2, 1933, a New York bank discovered they were in possession of 296 of the gold certificates with $10 denominations and one gold certificate for $20. One of the deposit tickets was signed J.J. Faulkner with a New York address; however, that person was never located.

A Description of the Kidnapper Was Obtained Through the Passing of the Gold Certificates

The go-between in the kidnapping, Dr. John Condon, had described the man he had met to pass the ransom money to, and the facial characteristics matched those of a man who had been passing the gold certificates in New York in August 1934 around Harlem and Yorktown. In September, a gas station attendant received one of the bills when the man paid for his gasoline, and it was traced to Bruno Richard Hauptmann in the Bronx.

$13,000 in Gold Certificates Tied Hauptmann to the Murder and Kidnapping Plot

Authorities found around $13,000 in gold certificates at Hauptmann’s house that contained serial numbers which matched the ransom money, along with a vehicle that matched the description of the one seen the day before the kidnapping near Lindbergh’s home. Hauptmann, a carpenter from Germany, was arrested due to a large amount of circumstantial evidence—including Dr. Condon’s phone number, which was jotted down inside a closet in the house. He was found guilty of the child’s murder, and although he appealed to the Supreme Court, the verdict was not overturned. He was executed on April 3, 1936, for the murder of the Lindbergh baby.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Frank Sinatra

On May 14, 1998, the world lost one if its most famous and admired artists: Frank Sinatra. The singer and Oscar-winning actor died of a heart attack at the age of 82, leaving behind an abundant legacy of music, movies, and rumors.  Here are five things you didn't know about Frank Sinatra and his effect on the world...

Some of Those Screaming Teen Girls Were Plants

With a velvety voice and calm manner, young Frankie Sinatra had no trouble making his fan base of young women swoon and scream. But his publicist thought that it wouldn't hurt to have a little help and actually auditioned girls who could scream really loud. He (the publicist) planted those girls in audiences to get the noise going and rouse everyone present into a frenzy. The lucky girls not only got to see Sinatra sing, but they also got paid $5, which is about $88 in today's money. That's not a bad haul for watching a favorite singer.

Sinatra Was Accused of Both Having Mob Ties and Being Another Hitler

Sinatra became so popular that he also became the target of rumors. Some anonymous listener actually contacted the FBI to hint that Sinatra's popularity could be used to turn him into another Hitler, a claim that Sinatra would have reviled given he had made films decrying both anti-Semitism and racism. That claim, though, got the FBI on his tail and started the FBI file that dogged Sinatra for years. It didn't get better as he got older, either; in 1987, biographer Kitty Kelley released her infamous biography that claimed Sinatra had mob ties. Sinatra had actually been investigated by the FBI for those reputed mob ties, though the bureau was never able to prove that there was a real connection. However, Sinatra's daughter Tina claimed in 2000 that her father connected the Kennedy family with mobster Sam Giancana for help in winning the 1960 election.

A Famous Cartoon Character Can Thank Sinatra for Its Name

Sinatra's music often incorporated scat singing, those melodic—but nonsensical—syllables that filled in many spaces in music in the 1940s and 1950s. One of those songs, Strangers in the Night, was playing when CBS head Fred Silverman came up with the name for a cartoon character. The lyrics went, "Dooby, dooby doo," resulting in the strange but catchy name for Scooby Doo, the mystery-solving, snack-loving dog.

Sinatra Was Instrumental in Desegregating Vegas Casinos

Sinatra had long been a supporter of civil rights and was clear that he would not play at casinos that were segregated. Of course, no one wanted to run that casino, the one that couldn't get Sinatra to play a show, so the casinos that weren't already integrated ended their segregation policies.

He Was Almost Targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee

One of the things that Sinatra did as part of his support for civil rights was participating in a 1945 film called The House I Live In. It was a short film that saw Sinatra, playing himself, stop and lecture a gang of boys from harassing another boy of a different religion. The short won a Golden Globe and an honorary Oscar in 1946, but it also got Sinatra pegged as a communist sympathizer in the late 1940s and early 1950s, when the House Un-American Activities Committee was conducting its infamous trials. Sinatra, luckily, avoided having to testify, and he was not blacklisted.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the Seven Years' War

The Seven Years War, a global conflict known in America as the French and Indian War, officially began on this day in 1756 when England declared war on France. Here are five things you didn't know about the Seven Years' War...

This Is the War That Gave Rise to Cajun Culture in Louisiana

French settlements stretched all the way up into what is now eastern Canada, in an area called Acadia. The British were wary of having a French region so close by and decided to oust the settlers, even though they were not themselves involved in fighting and had committed to remaining neutral in the war. The Acadians were expelled and forced to flee, with many going to France, but many also moving south to Louisiana, which was under French control. The word "Acadian" gradually morphed into "Cajun," and the expulsions are still remembered to this day. The term "Cajun" also gradually grew to encompass any regional white, French-speaking resident, even if they weren't of Acadian descent.

It's Also the War That Started the Cascade of Incidents Leading up to the American Revolution

By the end of the war, Britain was in a great position globally and politically—but it was tapped out financially. Britain decided the Colonies could refill the Empire's coffers, and the British government came up with infamous tax acts like the Sugar Act, Townshend Acts, and Stamp Act, as well as a ban on settling west of Appalachia. These restrictive and financially stressful acts were among the conditions that led to the rebellion of the American Colonies.

The Seven Years' War Had a Two-Year Head Start

The official dates of the Seven Years' War are from 1756-1763. However, the fighting actually began in 1754. Both the French and British were at odds and battling each other for two years before Britain decided to formally declare war on France.

It Was Actually a World War

As the alternate name implies, this was a war concentrated in North America between the British and French with Indian help. But the involvement of so many global allies—and the reach of all these empires—meant that related battles broke out worldwide. While the war might not have been a devastating event on the scale of World War I, it did reach around the globe, with key battles in Africa and the Philippines. In fact, this was the war that saw the Philippines switch from Spanish control to British control.

The Massive Concessions Made by the French Led to Their Support for the Colonies in the Revolution

France lost a lot in the Seven Years' War, and it had a long memory as a result. When the American colonies rebelled in the 1770s, France aided the colonists against the British—and the stinging loss to the British in the previous war was the main driver for France to help the new Americans.

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You're Going to "Like" These 5 Interesting Facts

On May 18, 2012, the NASDAQ stock exchange officially accepted Mark Zuckerberg's friend request and started trading shares of Facebook stock publicly. The May 18th initial public offering (IPO) is the biggest in technology to-date and at its peak raked in over $104 billion. Here are five interesting facts that you probably didn't know about Facebook...

The Original Logo Featured None Other Than Scarface Himself, Al Pacino.

It's hard to imagine Al Pacino has much time (or patience) for a site like Facebook. But that didn't stop Mark Zuckerberg from adopting his likeness for an early logo on the site. Back when Facebook had a "The" in its name and was only available to college students, Zuckerberg manipulated an image of Pacino from his Godfather days to use in the site's top banner. You'd never really know unless you were a huge Pacino buff (and an early adopter of Facebook), but David Kirkpatrick outed Zuckerberg in his book, The Facebook Effect.

You Can Change Your Language Setting to "Pirate."

That's not a typo—we didn't mean "private." Buried within Facebook's "Settings" menu, you can find your language preferences. And while most of us default to standard American English, if you look closely, there's another option: "English (Pirate)." On days where you're feeling like sailing the seven seas while still connecting with friends and family, the "Pirate" setting provides all the fun jargon to go along with your adventure. Instead of a Newsfeed, you have a "Home Port." Your activity log changes to "Scour the Ship's Records." You get it.

Just 3.5 Friends Separate Two Average Facebook Users from Opposite Side of the Globe.

There is no 'six degrees of separation' on Facebook. According to recent Facebook data, just 3.5 friends separate two average users from opposite sides of the globe. With over 2 billion users now on Facebook, it makes sense that networks are expanding and people are more closely connected. So, that means all you need is your friend's friend's friend's half-a-friend (?) to introduce you to your celebrity crush. 

Facebook is Blue So That Zuckerberg Can See It.

Little known fact: the creator of the biggest social media site in the history of the internet cannot see red or green (making his Christmases pretty dull and bland). That's one of the reasons Facebooks colors center around blue—it's one of the only colors Zuckerberg can see. Psychologists will also tell you that blue is closely associated with trust and safety, two attributes a website holding 500 petabytes of personal data might want. 

Zuckerberg Turned Down Billion Dollar Offers From Some Big Tech Companies.

In the early 2000s, everyone from Microsoft to NBC wanted to scoop up the fast-growing social platform called, The Facebook. Two of the biggest offers came from Yahoo! and Microsoft, who both offered over $1 billion to acquire the company. Zuckerberg declined, of course, which obviously ended up being the right move: today, he is work almost $70 billion.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About King Henry VIII

On May 19, 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England's King Henry VIII, was beheaded after being convicted of adultery. See how much you know about the infamous life of Henry VIII...

King Henry’s First Wife Was His Sister-in-Law

Henry’s older brother, Arthur, was heir to the throne of England, being older than Henry, and married Catherine of Aragon. When Arthur died about five months after the wedding, Catherine was wed to Henry. Although she and Henry were married for many years, he finally divorced her to pursue Anne Boleyn with the hope of producing a male heir to the throne.

Henry Married His Third Wife 10 Days After His Second Wife Was Executed

Jane Seymour was a lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn, who had been executed on false charges of adultery. Seymour was the only one of Henry’s wives to give him a son, who grew up to become King Edward VI. Unfortunately, their marriage was short-lived since she died shortly after childbirth.

Henry VIII Was the Bloodiest of the Tudors

Although King Henry’s daughter picked up the nickname “Bloody Mary” due to the hundreds of Protestants she had killed during her reign, her father’s record put hers to shame. King Henry ordered the execution of up to 72,000 people over his 38 years as the King of England. Among those ordered to their death were philosopher Sir Thomas More and Margaret de la Pole, the Countess of Salisbury, along with two of Henry’s own wives, Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn.

The King Was a Songwriter

Henry VIII had an enormous collection of musical instruments, including a harpsichord, 78 recorders, five sets of bagpipes and 78 flutes. One song that he wrote, “Pastime With Good Company,” became a popular tune of the day. In addition, it was likely the only song composed by a member of the royal family to have been recorded by several British bands in modern times, including Jethro Tull.

Henry VIII Wasn’t Always Built the Way He Is Depicted in Portraiture

Portraits of Henry VIII show him as an enormously obese man, but he wasn’t that way until later in his life. He had been a striking figure in his youth, tall and athletic with reddish-blonde hair. However, as the changes show in the suits of armor that were made for him throughout the years, he went from having a svelte 32-inch waist up to a 54-inch waist before his death, indicating that he weighed around 392 pounds.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Blue Jeans

On May 20, 1873, Levi Strauss received a patent for riveted pants that became known as blue jeans. Enjoy reading the following things you probably don’t know about the work pants that became a lifestyle in America.

One Pair of Levis Sold for More Than $46,000

The pair of Levis that sold for this price was found in an old gold mine in the Mojave Desert in California in 1999 and was reported to be 100 years old. The miner who owned them had dripped candle wax on them from the light he used to see inside the mine, but for some inexplicable reason, had left the pants there when he abandoned the mine. The jeans were found lying near a paper bag from a store the miners used that went out of business in 1898.

Jeans Weren’t Always Called Jeans

What people know today as jeans were originally called waist overalls when they were first sold by Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss and his partner Jacob Davis in 1873. People continued to call them waist overalls or just plain overalls until the 1960s. Jean (or jeane) was the name for the cotton corduroy fabric made in Genoa, Italy, that was used to fashion the pants.

Jacob Davis Invented the New Type of Pants, Not Levi Strauss

Jacob Davis was a tailor who lived in Reno, Nevada, and he made horse blankets, tents and wagon covers. He invented the pants after a customer asked him to make a pair that was sturdy, so he used duck cloth and added copper rivets in places where fabric commonly tore out. Deciding he wanted to patent his invention, he contacted Levi Strauss, and they applied for the patent together.

Hollywood Made Jeans Popular Around the Nation

Originally, jeans were associated with the working class and Westerners such as cowboys, but Hollywood films changed that. First, it started with Marlon Brando wearing jeans as a tough biker in The Wild One in 1953, and then with heartthrob James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause in 1955. By the time Marilyn Monroe appeared in The Misfits in 1961, everyone wanted to own at least a few pairs of jeans, including women.

For A While, Jeans Came Equipped With Belt Loops and Suspender Buttons

Belt loops weren’t introduced in Levis until 1922 because men wore suspenders with their pants instead of belts. When belt loops were introduced, the suspender buttons and cinch in the back were still in place for those who wanted to wear suspenders in addition to belt loops. By 1933, having suspender buttons on the jeans wasn’t as popular, and retailers would cut them off for the customer before they left the store with their new pants.

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5 Fascinating Facts About the Brooklyn Bridge

Today marks the anniversary of the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge which opened to traffic on May 24, 1883.  To celebrate, the Trivia Today team put together these five fascinating facts about the bridge and its storied history. See how much you know..

27 People Died Building the Bridge. The First One Was Its Designer and Chief Engineer.

Though the Brooklyn Bridge was a feat of engineering for its time, it came with a cost. 27 people lost their lives during the 14 years that the bridge was under construction. Many died as a result compression sickness (otherwise known as the "bends"), contracted while constructing the bridge towers' foundations under the East River. However, the most bizarre death was actually the first one: John Roebling, the bridge's designer and chief engineer, died suddenly of a freak accident just weeks before construction kicked off. While he was taking a compass reading at the East River, a boat smashed into his foot and crushed some of his toes. Two weeks later, Roebling was dead from tetanus.

A Rooster Was the First Animal to Cross from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the Bridge.

Roebling's son, Washington, soon took over the bridge's construction, but he had his own fair share of health problems leading to him enrolling his wife, Emily, to help deliver messages from his sickbed to the workers. Washington rewarded his wife's hard work by granting her the honor of being the first person to cross the bridge in 1883. She carried a rooster with her as she crossed—a symbol of good luck. 

But a Rooster Wasn't the Only Animal to Cross: 21 Elephants Walked Across the Brooklyn Bridge in 1884.

Considering the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world, people were naturally a bit skittish about its safety. And unfortunately, the bridge suffered some early PR mishaps. Six days after opening, a stampede of people on the bridge spooked by something still unknown to this day killed 12 people and injured 36 others. Then, word leaked out that a vendor installed faulty wiring on the bridge that could not be replaced. So, to demonstrate the strength of the bridge, PT Barnum marched 21 elephants from Manhattan to Brooklyn. 

There's a Bunker and Wine Cellar Built Into the Bridge.

Those looming towers aren't just for show—inside, there are several secrets from the bridge's 135-year-long history. Up until World War I, the city rented out space within one of the towers for wine storage. And in 2006, maintenance workers discovered a Cold War-era fallout shelter still fully-stocked with supplies. Workers found large canisters of water, boxes of crackers, medical supplies, and paper blankets all intended to protect a select few in the event of a nuclear attack.

Two U.S. Presidents Attended the Opening Ceremony.

When the bridge officially opened to the public on May 24, 1883, President Chester A. Arthur was in attendance along with then-governor (but future president) Grover Cleveland. Celebrations included a military band, four-hour fireworks display, and over 150,000 people walking across the bridge in a 24-hour time span. 

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5 Fascinating Facts About John Wayne

On May 26, 1907, one of the greatest film stars in history was born. Marion Michael Morrison—better known as John Wayne—was born in Winterset, Iowa. To celebrate the anniversary of Wayne's birth, we've put together these interesting facts about a man who epitomized the American West in film...

He Was Almost a Football Player (Or a Surfer).

Long before he was John Wayne, Marion Morrison played college football on a full ride scholarship from USC. In addition to school and football, Morrison spent considerable time hanging with friends at the beach and surfing. It was during one such surf hang that Morrison's life trajectory changed completely. The man that would become John Wayne suffered a career-ending shoulder injury while hitting the waves and as a result, lost his scholarship. Unable to pay for school on his own, Morrison left USC and took a job as a prop guy on the Fox Studios lot in 1927. Just three years later, Morrison would become John Wayne and star in his first feature film.

He Wanted to Be Called "Duke," But Studio Executives Turned Him Down.

Wayne suffered through some childhood bullying as a result of his feminine-sounding name, so quickly adopted a moniker from his family dog and started calling himself "Duke Morrison." The name stuck all the way through college and onto the Fox Studios lot. But, when the time came to hit the big screen, executives weren't too sure about the name "Duke." Instead, they slapped Morrison with a surname from a Civil War general and balanced it out with "John" to create the movie star we know and love.

Screenwriter Jimmy Grant Played Him in Chess for 20 Years and Never Won Once.

Grant collaborated with Wayne on 12 different films, so the two spent considerable time together over the years. Wayne was an avid chess player, often inviting anyone—including starry-eyed fans—to challenge him in a match. Grant was a frequent competitor, but over the 20 years that the two sparred, Grant came away with a victory exactly zero times. 

Stalin Had a KGB Hit Out on Wayne.

Outraged by the anti-Communist messages Wayne gave in his films, Stalin reportedly enlisted the KGB to assassinate John Wayne. Though the FBI intercepted the two hitmen before they could reach Wayne, it would not be his last assassination attempt. Another plot was foiled when a sniper tried to take out Wayne while he was visiting Vietnam in 1966. The Soviet hit was eventually called off by Stalin's successor, who apologized for the event when he met Wayne in 1958.

It Might Have Been His Film The Conquerors That Killed Him.

In 1956, Wayne starred in a film called The Conquerors which was shot in southeast Utah: just downwind from where the U.S. government was conducting nuclear weapon tests at the height of the Cold War. 91 members of the cast and crew would go on to receive a diagnosis for "The Big C"—a term Wayne actually coined himself to avoid losing work when first plagued with lung cancer in 1964 and again with the stomach cancer that killed him in 1979. Though the radioactivity certainly may have played a part, Wayne's six-pack-a-day smoking habit certainly didn't help anything either.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Christopher Reeve

On May 27, 1995, actor Christopher Reeve was paralyzed from the neck down when he was thrown from his horse during an equestrian event in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Here are five things you probably didn't know about this real-life Superman...

Reeve Played a Paralyzed Man in His Last Film.

Above Suspicion was a movie made for television in 1995, shortly before Reeve was severely injured by a fall from his horse. In it, he plays paralyzed policeman, Dempsey Cain, who lives in a technologically advanced home and plots to murder his unfaithful wife and the man she is seeing. The film co-starred Kim Cattrall and Joe Mantegna and was an updated remake of Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

Reeve Was Relatively Unknown When He Was Cast to Play Superman.

Reeve was one of more than 200 actors who tried out for the role in the 1978 movie. Even though he was the star of the film, actors Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando received the top billing in the first Superman movie. In the film, Superman II, Reeve is still listed after Gene Hackman.

He Learned to Ride a Horse for His Appearance in a Movie.

Although Reeve was allergic to horses, he learned to ride for his role in the 1977 television mini-series, Anna Karenina, where he played Count Vronsky opposite Jacqueline Bisset. It was about ten years later when he began taking lessons in equestrian riding, which involves jumping hurdles. Reeve bought his American thoroughbred, Eastern Express, during the filming of Village of the Damned, released in 1995, and was riding this horse when he had his accident.

Reeve’s Muscles in Superman Weren’t Fake.

Reeve didn’t like the idea of adding padding to his costume to bulk out his muscles, so he went on a bodybuilding regimen, which he maintained throughout the filming of the movie. By doubling his protein and food intake, along with an intense exercise regime, he went from 170 pounds up to 212 pounds by the time filming was started.

The Actor Died of Heart Failure in 2004.

Reeve developed a pressure wound that had become infected and was being treated in Mount Kisco, New York, at Northern Winchester Hospital when he passed away on October 10, 2004. Unfortunately, it was reported that at the time he died, he had been experiencing some return of feeling in his body, including feeling the difference between cold and hot temperatures.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Bob Hope

On this day in 2003, Bob Hope turned 100 years old.  Dubbed “Mr. Entertainment” and the “King of Comedy,” Hope died less than two months after his 100th birthday celebration. Here are five things you didn't know about Bob Hope...

Hope Had 35 Official State Birthday Honors but Couldn't Attend Any of the Ceremonies.

In honor of Hope's 100th birthday, 35 states, including California, declared May 29 as Bob Hope Day (or a similar name). Hope, though, was in rather poor health and had also been having trouble with his hearing and sight. Some of his children went to the Hollywood celebration in his place.

His Childhood and Teen Years Didn't Exactly Make People Think He'd Be a Star.

Hope had a number of marks against him early on. One was that he was an immigrant, and having a British accent as a child did not win him much admiration in Ohio, where his family moved after coming to the U.S. In fact, he was bullied mercilessly. Another problem was that his original first name was Leslie, and his attempt to nickname himself Les got him bullied even more, with kids calling him "Hopeless." (As in "Hope" + "Les.") And while his family was supportive—his mother was a former singer, and Hope himself was a talented mimic as a child—he still got into trouble, actually spending time in reform school, which was something he didn't like to talk about.

Technically, He Could Have Been Sir Bob.

Hope was given an honorary KBE, or Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Had Hope remained a British citizen, he technically could have called himself Sir Bob (as the convention often is to use "Sir" or "Dame" with a first name). However, because Hope became a U.S. citizen in 1920, he was not allowed to use the title "Sir."

Without Bob Hope, There Would Have Been No Tony Bennett.

Singer Tony Bennett is so ubiquitous now that it's hard to imagine a time when he was struggling. But there was a time like that, and Bob Hope was the one who got Bennett out of that trap. Bennett had been working under the stage name of Joe Barry, and while his voice was good, the name seemed off. Hope advised him to choose a stage name closer to his birth name (Benedetto) and came up with Tony Bennett.

Hope's Wartime Tours Nearly Got Him Killed More Than Once.

One of Hope's enduring legacies was his work with the USO, touring bases and entertaining troops overseas. This started during World War II and continued for decades. But it wasn't all a big joke; his tours nearly led to his death, either from questionable transportation (such as a plane that barely made it to Alaska in one piece) or outright war (dodging plane crash debris in North Africa; enduring bombings in both North Africa and Italy).

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Big Ben

On May 31, 1859, the most famous clock tower in the world, Big Ben, began ticking for the first time. Read on to learn about the little-known facts concerning Big Ben, which has appeared in numerous movies and is a British landmark known to people around the world.

The Bell in Big Ben Isn’t the Original.

The original bell was cast by Warners of Norton, weighed 16.5 tons, and was shipped to London to be installed when the clock tower was completed. Testing of the clock went on in the meantime and was fine until the designer, Edmund Beckett Denison, changed the hammer to a much larger one. This decision caused the original bell to break, and the pieces were shipped to a bell foundry in Whitechapel where they were melted down.

The New Bell Was Cast From the Original.

The bell made from the melted remains of the original one weighed less at 13.5 tons. When it was time to install it, the bell had to be winched up along the side of the tower so slowly it took 32 hours to reach the top. This bell cracked after about two months and was turned around and a smaller hammer installed, so it remains in service to this day.

The Tower That Houses Big Ben Has a Small Prison Inside.

About one-third of the distance up the stairs to the top of the tower is a prison that was used to house Members of Parliament who breached the code of conduct. The last person to be imprisoned there was MP Charles Bradlaugh in 1880. Bradlaugh was an atheist and would not swear his allegiance to Queen Victoria on a bible, so he ended up spending the night in the tower prison.

The Tower Has Gone By Several Names

Even though it has assumed the Big Ben moniker, the tower has its own official name. For the bulk of its life, the landmark was known simply as the Clock Tower, but it was commonly referenced (especially by the Victorian press) as St. Stephen’s Tower. In 2012, the structure took on the new name Elizabeth Tower as part of the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 60-year reign.

Pennyweights Keep the Clock Accurate.

At the time of its construction, the clock in Big Ben was as accurate as you could get around the world. To ensure its continued accuracy, copper pennyweights were placed on the mechanism of the clock. Each pennyweight, whether adding one or subtracting one, changes the accuracy of the clock by 2/5ths of a second.

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5 Incredible Facts About Marilyn Monroe

On June 1, 1926, one of the most iconic actresses of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe, was born in Los Angeles, California. Here are five interesting facts that even the paparazzi couldn't catch about Norma Jeane Baker and her famous moniker, Marilyn Monroe.

It's Rumored She Hooked Up With...Albert Einstein.

There's no question that Monroe was one of the most desirable women in Hollywood during the 1950s and she surely could have had her pick of men. But according to a former roommate, Marilyn's taste for guys was a bit more eccentric than you might think. The two gals playfully made a list of their top male crushes while living together and Einstein was allegedly near the top of Monroe's list. Though it's never been confirmed, the roommate alludes to the hook-up in her autobiography, leaving us to wonder what may have happened between the Hollywood starlet and certifiable genius behind closed doors.

Hugh Hefner Snagged a Spot Next to Her for Eternity.

Monroe famously graced the cover of the first ever Playboy magazine, and though she and Hefner never met during life, they'll be spending eternity next to each other in Westwood Cemetery in Hollywood. The plots next to Monroe have quite the history—Joe DiMaggio originally owned the crypt above her but sold it after their divorce to a hardcore Monroe fan that asked his wife to bury him face down so he could be on top of Monroe forever. Charming. Luckily, the wife turned him down and later sold the plot for $4.6 million...only to have the buyer back out last minute.

Britney Spears Owns a Pair of Her Levis.

Monroe's closet has a history of selling for some pretty insane prices. Her spangled dress worn while singing "Happy Birthday" to Kennedy sold for well over $1.2 million, and the famous white dress worn in The Seven-Year Itch went for the same price as the crypt above her—$4.6 million. Tommy Hilfiger bought a pair of her Levis for $42,500 and then gifted them to a young Britney Spears. No word on how the fit looks on the pop princess.

Joe DiMaggio Had Roses Delivered to Her Grave Three Times a Week for 20 Years.

Despite the fact that they were only married for eight months, Monroe was the love of DiMaggio's life. He kept close tabs on her while she was alive, and the two remained "close friends." When Monroe was admitted to a psychiatric facility in 1961, it was DiMaggio who secured her release and brought her down to Florida to rest. And when she passed away the next year, DiMaggio arranged the funeral. For the next 20 years, DiMaggio had a half-dozen roses delivered to her grave three times a week. 

She Was Actually Quite the Cook.

Her former roommate (the same one who shed the dirt on her potential Einstein hook-up) claimed that she once asked Monroe to wash some lettuce only to find her scrubbing each individual leaf with a Brillo pad. While that may not sound like the behavior of a good cook (or a person with a 168 IQ), she was actually quite talented in the kitchen. In 2010, The New York Times published and tried out her recipe for Thanksgiving stuffing and the paper was pleasantly surprised with the result. They called the recipe "intricate" and declared her quite the confident cook!

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Queen Elizabeth II

On June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II officially took the crown after the passing of her father, King George VI. Just 25 at the time of her coronation, Elizabeth is now the longest-reigning British monarch in history. Here are five more incredible facts about the 92-year-old Queen of the Commonwealth...

She was in Kenya When She Became Queen.

At the time of her father's passing, Elizabeth was with her new husband in Kenya. The two had made a pit stop there on their way to Australia and New Zealand and had just returned home from a night on the town when word arrived of George's death. Phillip broke the news to the new young queen, and the royal party quickly returned to London where they immediately moved into Buckingham Palace. Though her coronation ceremony wouldn't occur for several more months, Queen Elizabeth II had begun her epic reign that spans all the way to today.

She's 92-years-old and Still Has a Drink Before, During, and After Lunch Every Day.

The Queen is said to be quite the fan of gin and is known to have a cocktail of gin and fortified wine (with a slice of lemon) before lunch every day. Then, she drinks wine with lunch, a martini in the afternoon, and has a glass of champagne in the evening. At 92-years-old, why not get a little loose?

Prince Phillip Isn't the Only Man Who Has Been in Her Bedroom.

In 1982, a man named Michael Fagen snuck into Buckingham Palace not once, but twice in the same month. It was on his second adventure that he managed to sneak into Elizabeth's bedroom where he found her in her nightie. The original story was that the Queen kept her cool and ended up having a long conversation with Fagen before security came and apprehended him, but Fagen remembers it differently: he claims she scurried past him barefoot without saying a word. The Queen's head of security offered his resignation as a result of the break-in, but she graciously declined the offer and asked him to stay on.

She's Visited 116 of the 195 Countries on Earth.

Elizabeth has long been a fan of travel. She first visited the United States before she ascended to the throne while Harry Truman was President and throughout her time as queen, has gone on 256 official state visits to 116 different countries. And she's only slowed down slightly in her old age—she visited 43 new countries after turning 50 and has made recent visits to Germany, France, Ireland, and Italy. 

She Brings Her Own Toilet Paper on the Road.

Despite being an experienced traveler, The Queen doesn't pack light. In addition to dozens of outfits, her own food and water, and even a personal supply of blood that matches her type, Elizabeth brings her own toilet paper wherever she goes. You can recognize it by the special seal holding each fresh roll together—only Phillip or The Queen herself are allowed to break it.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Bobby Kennedy

On June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles by a man named Sirhan Sirhan. Kennedy was running for president, and he was addressing campaign workers that evening after winning the California primary.  Despite his premature death, he remains a major figure in U.S. culture and politics. Here are five things you probably didn't know about Bobby Kennedy.

Kennedy Was a Key Figure in the FBI Surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Believe it or not, Kennedy was the one who authorized the FBI surveillance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., starting in 1963. The FBI was convinced that King was a communist sympathizer and pressured Kennedy to allow the surveillance. So, Kennedy himself was not so suspicious of King to want that surveillance—but he did eventually give in to J. Edgar Hoover's request, which led to King being surveilled for three years.

However, He Was Also a Major Figure in Protecting Civil Rights.

However, before you dismiss Kennedy, remember that he was a major figure in protecting key civil rights people and events. After Dr. King's assassination, Kennedy, who was supposed to attend one of King's rallies, still went there, announced King's death, and pleaded with the crowd to stay calm. While riots broke out in other cities, Indianapolis—where King was assassinated and Kennedy made that speech—did not succumb to major violence. Kennedy was also the person who helped protect the first African-American student, James Meredith, at the University of Mississippi by having U.S. marshals guard him. Kennedy also protested apartheid in South Africa and traveled around the U.S. to study poverty and its real-world effects on society.

Kennedy Worked on One Candidate's Campaign and Yet Voted for the Other Candidate.

Back in the 1950s, Kennedy joined Adlai Stevenson's presidential campaign for about six weeks. Stevenson was the Democrat running against Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, but Stevenson's campaign ended up practically ignoring young Kennedy. By the end of the campaign season, Kennedy switched sides and voted for Eisenhower.

He Was Among the First Group to Ascend Mount Kennedy in Canada Despite Never Having Climbed Before.

In 1965, the tallest unclimbed peak on the North American continent was Mount Kennedy in Canada. The mountain had just been named in honor of John Kennedy, and Bobby decided he was going to be the first to climb the mountain even though he was not a mountain climber. However, with the help of a very good and very experienced team of climbers, Kennedy made it, and he left several mementos of John at the summit.

Kennedy Tried to Prevent Lyndon Johnson From Accepting the Vice Presidential Spot on John Kennedy's Campaign.

Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson did not get along, to put it nicely. In fact, the dislike, at least on Bobby's side, was severe. Johnson had already accepted John Kennedy's offer to be on the ticket in the 1960 election, but that didn't stop Bobby from trying to get Johnson to refuse the position. John told Johnson to ignore Bobby.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About D-Day

On June 6, 1944, Allied troops landed at Normandy in northern France, in a massive assault that became known as D-Day. Following are a few of the things that most people don’t know about this invasion that was the beginning of the end of World War II.

Eisenhower Wrote a Letter of Resignation in the Event the Invasion Failed.

General Eisenhower had his doubts and prepared a letter of resignation and apology but misdated the letter as July 5 instead of June 5. It is understandable since the invasion was being carried out by 175,000 troops from 12 nations, including the United States, Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and Belgium, against resistance from the Germans. However, the beaches were secured in less than seven days at the cost of about 10,000 Allied lives.

Operation Fortitude Convinced the Germans that the Landing Would Be Elsewhere.

In an elaborate ruse, massive amounts of fake information were fed to the Germans, including chatter on the radios about tank engines needing to operate in temperatures below zero and the need for ski bindings. A deceased homeless man named Glyndwr Michael was transformed into a fake soldier named Major William Martin who had a briefcase handcuffed on his wrist. The briefcase contained fake documents about a planned Allied invasion of Greece. When he was found floating in the water, the information about the fake invasion was picked up by Nazi spies.

The British Constructed a Fake Army to Fool the Germans.

Because the Germans didn’t know where the Allies would strike, an imaginary army was placed in Essex and Kent in England to make the Germans think the invasion would be in France at Calais. It included fake planes, destroyers, vehicles, airstrips and camps. Juan Pujol Garcia, a British double agent known as Garbo, fed the news to the Germans, and it eventually reached Hitler.

Gustav the Pigeon Brought the First Word About the Invasion.

Gustav was a gutsy carrier pigeon that brought the first news about the Normandy invasion. The note carried by the pigeon said that Allied troops were within 20 miles of the beaches, and the first troops had landed with no interference or enemy planes in sight. It took Gustav five hours and 16 minutes to reach Thorney Island along the Thames River and deliver the message.

A Louisiana Lumber Company Owner Was A Major Reason the War Was Won.

An unlikely hero named Andrew Jackson Higgins designed a boat that could go into shallow swamps to retrieve lumber without getting grounded. When he was given a contract with the government, he produced 20,000 of the vehicles to use to transport troops. They were in use at the landings at Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword Beach during the Normandy landing.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Gandhi

On June 7, 1893, Gandhi performed his first act of civil disobedience when he was ejected from a South African train for refusing to comply with rules on racial segregation. See how much you know about the man known in India as the “Great Soul.”

Gandhi Was Married at 13.

Through a pre-arranged marriage, Gandhi married Kasturba, who was 14 years old at the time. She remained at her parents’ home in Indian fashion until she was old enough to live with Gandhi as his wife. They had five sons, one of whom died at birth, and were married for 62 years.

Over the Years, Gandhi Went on 17 Hunger Fasts.

Fasting was a part of Gandhi’s way of protesting using non-violence, and he went on 17 fasts during his lifetime. The first was in South Africa in 1917 and lasted one week, while the last was in 1948 and lasted six days in an attempt to restore peace between Hindus and Muslims. The longest fast undertaken by Gandhi lasted 21 days in 1924 at New Delhi, which was his first in an effort to unite Hindus and Muslims in India.

He Lived a Life of Austerity.

With time, Gandhi came to believe that owning possessions interfered with his inner peace and made his life more complicated. Eventually, the only possessions he owned were his steel-rimmed eyeglasses, a bowl, a songbook, a watch, a set of dentures, a pair of sandals and his loincloth. The watch was stolen in 1947; however, the remorseful thief returned it a few months later.

Gandhi Was Killed by a Hindu Nationalist.

Nathuram Vinayak Godse shot Gandhi three times when he was staying at Birta House in New Delhi in 1948 because he felt that nonviolence in the conflict between Muslims and Hindus left the Hindus vulnerable to attack. Gandhi was carried back into the house where he passed away about 40 minutes later.

Gandhi Was Nominated For, But Never Won, the Nobel Peace Prize.

He was nominated five separate times for the prize between 1937 and 1948 but never won. The final nomination was made a short time before his murder in 1948, and no prize was awarded by the committee that year. The secretary of the Nobel Committee stated in 2006 that their greatest omission was never awarding the prize to Gandhi.

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5 Weird Facts About Porsche

On June 8, 1948, the first prototype for a Porsche was completed, and the company went on to produce their line of luxury cars that remain popular to this day. Find out how much you know about this famous car company.

The Porsche Crest Was Designed on the Back of a Napkin.

The story is that Ferry, Ferdinand Porsche’s son, was meeting with a New York distributor in a restaurant. The distributor, Max Hoffman, suggested that the company needed a mascot or symbol. Ferry Porsche sketched the design on a napkin, took the napkin with him back to Germany, altered it a bit, and it was then placed on the company’s vehicles.

The Porsche 911 Is One of the World’s Longest Running Sports Cars.

The legendary Porsche 911 sports car, which went into production in 1963, was based on the Porsche 356. In a 1999 poll to determine the cars of the century, the Porsche 911 placed in the top five and is one of only two vehicles that has been in continuous production. The number of Porsche 911s that have been manufactured passed the one million point in 2017.

Porsche Used to Manufacture Tractors.

While he was developing the Volkswagen Beetle in the 1930s, Ferdinand Porsche was also developing a prototype for a tractor for the people called the Volkstraktor in German. World War II caused the project to be shelved, but afterward, the tractor was produced by Mannesmann AG starting in 1956. The tractors were produced until 1963.

Ferdinand Porsche Made a Hybrid Electric Vehicle in 1899.

Over 30 years before founding his famous motor vehicle company, Porsche designed an electric car called the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton. Porsche built the car himself with an octagonal-shaped electric motor and 12 speeds. The top speed of the car was 21 mph, and it could travel 49 miles without needing a recharge.

The Dutch Police Used to Drive the Porsche 356.

Because the German police were driving Porsches, the Dutch ordered a 356 B in 1962 as a test. It was so successful, they ordered 40 more. The police force stopped using Porsches as high-speed chase cars after 1996 because of the high cost to purchase and service them.

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5 Facts You'll Love About The Sopranos

Almost 12 million people tuned in for the series finale of HBO’s critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning Mob-family drama The Sopranos on this day in 2007.  The Sopranos finale is one of the most debated conclusions to a television show in history. Here are five interesting facts you'll want to know about The Sopranos. 

The Show Was Originally Going to Be a Movie.

David Chase originally wrote a script for The Sopranos with the intention of pitching it as a feature film in the spirit of classic gangster movies like Goodfellas and The Godfather. It was his manager who ultimately convinced him to flesh out his script into a television show—a smart move considering the show ended up spanning seven seasons and becoming one of the most iconic shows of all time. Chase found little ways to pay homage to the gangster films of the past. For example, The Sopranos shares 28 cast members with Goodfellas.

Steve Van Zandt Was Originally Supposed to Play Tony.

It's hard to imagine anyone but James Gandolfini in the lead role of Tony Soprano, but according to David Chase, he originally envisioned Bruce Springsteen's guitarist, Steve Van Zandt, as the top dog. Chase saw Van Zandt giving a speech at the Rock n" Roll Hall of Fame and found him funny and charming. He also felt Van Zandt looked like a younger Al Pacino. HBO wasn't willing to roll the dice on a first-time actor for such an important role, which is how Gandolfini was cast. But, Chase didn't give up on having Van Zandt as part of the show—he wrote in a character especially for Van Zandt. The character, Silvio Dante, was modeled after a short story written by Van Zandt himself. 

Christopher and Adriana Almost Didn't Make the Cut.

Michael Imperioli plays Tony's troubled nephew, Christopher Moltisanti, on the show and his portrayal couldn't be more on point. But, Imperioli was almost certain he wouldn't make it on the show. According to an interview, Imperioli thought he bombed his audition with David Chase and was surprised to get a callback. As for Christopher's love interest, Adriana La Cerva, actress Drea de Matteo almost didn't make the cut either. Chase didn't feel de Matteo was "Italian enough" for the role and actually cast her as an unnamed waitress in The Sopranos pilot. It wasn't until the show was actually picked up that de Matteo landed the role of Adriana.

Paulie's Storyline Wasn't All Fiction.

Tony Sirico played Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri on The Sopranos, but before his acting days, he was a real-life gangster in New York. Sirico went to prison 28 times in his young adult life, and as a result, showrunner David Chase mined Sirico for stories and interesting anecdotes he could use to develop characters and plots throughout The Sopranos. Some of what stuck wasn't necessarily "gangster-ish" at all: Chase adapted Sirico's neat-freak tendencies and even the fact that he lived with his mom for 16 years as an adult into the story. Sirico only had one rule for his character: he refused to play a rat. 

There's a Prequel to The Sopranos in the Works.

When the show famously cut to black on June 10, 2007, everyone wondered whether Chase would someday return to the world of hitmen and cannolis. Recently, he definitively answered that question: New Line purchased a script for a prequel to The Sopranos called The Many Saints of Newark. The show will take place in the 1960s in Newark, and many younger versions of classic Sopranos characters will likely make appearances.

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These ET Facts are Out of This World

On June 11, 1982, Steven Spielberg's cinematic classic ET: The Extraterrestrial premiered at cinemas across the country. 36 years later, it's still one of the most iconic films in cinema history. To celebrate the anniversary, the Trivia Today team brings you these five interesting facts about ET...

Drew Barrymore Wanted to Star in Poltergeist, Not ET.

Everyone knows that in addition to being a great movie, ET was a launching pad into Hollywood for a young Drew Barrymore who starred as Gertie in the film. But few people know that Barrymore originally auditioned for a different Spielberg film: Poltergeist. Spielberg wrote Poltergeist as an off-shoot of ET, and Barrymore was one of the first young actresses to try out for a role. However, Spielberg didn't feel like she was right for the role. Instead, he cast her in ET, and the rest is history.

The Winner of the "Best Picture" Oscar Thought ET Should Have Won.

ET was nominated for nine Academy Awards in 1984 including both "Best Picture" and "Best Director" but lost both to Richard Attenborough's Gandhi. Following the win, Attenborough said, “I was certain that not only would E.T. win, but that it should win. It was inventive, powerful, [and] wonderful. I make more mundane movies.” That little bit of brown-nosing landed Attenborough a role in a future Speilberg film; he played John Hammond in Jurassic Park.

Reese's Pieces Sales Went Up 65 Percent After the Film Was Released.

Spielberg's original ET script called for Elliott to lure ET into the house with M&M's, but the company declined to be involved in the film. Turns out that was a big mistake. When The Hershey Company offered their new product, Reese's Pieces, as an alternative, Spielberg and his team graciously accepted. As a result of the film's success, Reese's Pieces' sales increased by 65 percent following the film's release.

ET Was Supposed to Be Over Ten Million Years Old.

The alien was also genderless and an omnivore. An elderly woman who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day did the voice for the film, and a 2'10'' actor did all of the puppeteering, except for the kitchen scenes where ET was played by a 10-year-old boy who had no legs and had mastered walking on his hands. According to Spielberg, his face was modeled after the poet Carl Sandburg, a pug, and Albert Einstein put together.

Harrison Ford and Corey Feldman Were Both Supposed to Have Cameos in the Film. Both Scenes Were Cut.

Ford was set to play Elliott's school principal, and Feldman was offered a role in the film, too. But during the rewriting and editing process, both roles were cut from the film. Spielberg felt especially bad about cutting out the young Feldman and promised him a role in his next film. The movie would end up being Gremlins—the film that put Feldman on the map. 

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Anne Frank

On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank received a diary as a gift for her birthday, which she wrote in while she and her family were hidden in an attic from the Nazis. Here we round up 5 important facts that you probably didn't know about Anne Frank and her diary...

The Diary of Anne Frank Was an Autograph Book.

Frank started writing in her so-called diary on her 13th birthday and continued writing for the next two years until her family’s hiding place was discovered. Many of the entries were long letters to her imaginary friend Kitty. She also wrote stories and used a separate notebook to write down quotes that she liked.

Frank’s Father Had Been a German Army Officer.

In 1915, Otto Frank was drafted into the German army during World War I, as were his brothers. He served on the western front and obtained the rank of lieutenant. His sister and his mother worked as volunteers in Frankfurt, Germany, at a hospital for the military.

The Nazi Officer Who Was Responsible for the Arrest of the Franks Bought a Copy of Anne’s Book.

Karl Josef Silberbauer was an officer with the Gestapo and was head of the squad that arrested the Franks and others hiding in the annex on August 4, 1944. He later admitted he had bought a copy of Frank’s book to see if he had been mentioned by name. Following the war, Silberbauer went on to do intelligence work in West Germany, reporting on communist groups and Nazi organizations that were still functioning.

Anne’s Father Was the Only One to Survive the War.

Anne and her sister were transferred from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen, while their mother, Edith, remained at Auschwitz where she died from starvation. Anne and her sister, Margot, are believed to have died from typhus a short time before the concentration camp was liberated. The van Pels family and Fritz Pfeffer, with whom the Franks were in hiding, also perished. Auguste van Pels was murdered while on her way to a concentration camp. Hermann van Pels, was gassed, and his son, Peter, died of unknown causes, while Fritz Pfeffer died of illness.

The Person Who Betrayed the Franks’ Hiding Place Was Never Discovered.

Anne Frank suspected that Lena Hartog-Van Bladeren, whose husband worked for Otto Frank’s company, might have been the person who betrayed them, although the woman later denied it. Tonny Ahlers has been suspected since he had been blackmailing Otto Frank for his negative comments about the Nazis. Otto Frank suspected a newly hired employee named Willem van Maaren, who seemed suspicious and would set traps using bits of paper and other items to see if anyone was in the building at night.

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5 Important Facts About Our National Flag

You may not know it, but today is National Flag Day.  On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag of the United States.  Here are 5 important facts that you need to know about Flag Day...

Both Stars and Stripes Were Originally Added for New States.

Originally, new stars and stripes were added to the American flag as states were added. Two new stars and stripes when Vermont and Kentucky entered the union, which raised the number to 15 stars and 15 stripes between 1795 and 1818. However, because they felt the number of stripes would become too crowded, lawmakers decided to return to the original 13 stripes and only add stars after 1818.

June 14 Honors More Than the Flag.

Flag Day, while it was designated to honor the nation’s flag, is also significant in other ways. When Congress authorized soldier enlistment for the Continental Army shortly before the Battle of Lexington and Concord two years earlier, it was done on this same date in 1775. In other words, the establishment of the U.S. Army shares the anniversary date of the national flag minus two years.

The U.S. Flag Was First Flown on the Moon in 1969.

During the first mission to the moon by Apollo 11, astronaut Neil Armstrong implanted a five-foot by three-foot U.S. flag in the moon’s surface. Five additional flags were planted from later Apollo missions. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin reported that the original flag had been knocked over as a result of a rocket blast as he and Armstrong were departing the moon’s surface for their return trip to Earth.

Old Glory Belonged to a Sea Captain.

Only one U.S. flag was originally called Old Glory, and it was owned by a man named William Driver, who was a sea captain. His mother, along with some other women, had given him the flag in Salem, Massachusetts, which was his hometown. He decided to name it Old Glory in 1831 and flew it outside his house.

Flag Day Is a Legal Holiday in Only One State.

Flag Day was established in 1885 by Bernard Cigrand, a Wisconsin elementary school teacher. The presidential proclamation for Flag Day wasn’t issued until 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. However, Congress did not pass legislation making it a national holiday until 1949, and Flag Day is a legal state holiday only in Pennsylvania.

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5 Fascinating Facts About Magna Carta

On June 15, 1215, Magna Carta (that's right, there's no "the" in front of it) was sealed by King John in England. Magna Carta established for the very first time that no one, including the King, was above the law.  It is one of the world's most famous documents and YOU should know what it is!  Here are five fascinating facts you should know about Magna Carta...

Three of the Magna Carta’s Original Clauses Are Still Part of British Law..

Of the 63 clauses in the original Magna Carta, three are still integral parts of British law. One states that "the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired." The second allows for the city of London, and all other cities and towns, to "enjoy all ... ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and by water." The third, and probably most important, calls for timely jury trials, stating that "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land," and that "To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice."

The 1215 Magna Carta Isn't the One Laws Are Based on Today.

King John sealed Magna Carta for the first time in 1215, but he called in a favor with the Pope, who annulled Magna Carta soon after. The clauses were repeatedly edited and not really enforced, which created more animosity between King John and the barons who had forced him to create Magna Carta. Magna Carta was reissued a couple of times with edits and reductions by King Henry III, after King John's death, with a final version issued in 1225. That one stuck and contributed to laws people follow today in the UK.

Though Considered a Founding Document, Magna Carta Had Plenty of Precedents.

The roots of the Magna Carta are found in other charters granted by English kings at the beginning of their reigns.  While Magna Carta was certainly a change, it wasn't the first time an English king had issued a charter of liberties. In 1100, Henry I issued a charter when he was crowned king (and it is called the Coronation Charter of Henry I). This charter was sort of a reward as Henry I had actually been elected king by his barons (there was a suspicious death in the royal family that had left the throne temporarily empty, and Henry I rushed in to take it), and he issued the charter soon after.

Magna Carta Gave Women Distinct Rights, Considering the Times.

The 13th century wasn't exactly a hotbed of women's rights in England. Before the Magna Carta was signed, women in England, even noblewomen, had virtually no rights. However, Magna Carta did give women (those in the barons' and nobles' families only, of course) more rights than they'd ever had, including the right to inherit property in specific circumstances and to control property when widowed. It also gave women the right to refuse to get remarried.

A Copy of Magna Carta From 1300 Was Found in 2015.

In the town of Sandwich in 2015, Professor Nicholas Vincent of the University of East Anglia found a copy of the Magna Carta in the town archives. It had been filed inside a scrapbook from the 19th century. This 24th confirmed copy of the document was verified to be from the year 1300.

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