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5 Shocking Facts From the O.J. Simpson Police Chase

On June 17, 1994, 95 million people tuned in to watch as former NFL superstar O.J. Simpson led police on a low-speed, 60-mile chase across Los Angeles that ended with "The Juice" in handcuffs. Here are five shocking facts you might have missed, even if you were glued to your TV set...

June 17, 1994, Was a Big Day in Sports History Even Without OJ.

While over one-third of the U.S. population sat on the edge of their seat waiting to see how the OJ chase would end, several big-name athletes were busy making sports history. June 17, 1994, was Arnold Palmer's final round in a U.S. Open game and was also the day that Ken Griffey Jr. tied Babe Ruth's home run record for hits before June 30th in a single season. On top of that, June 17 was the official kick-off of the World Cup and Game 5 of the 1994 NBA Finals between the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets. The New York Rangers also had their Stanley Cup victory parade that day.

Simpson Had a Fake Mustache With Him in the Bronco.

At 6'1" and well over 200 pounds, Simpson was pretty easy to spot in a crowded room. Then consider the fact that he was one of the most recognizable faces in sports history, and you'll understand why the man thought he needed a disguise. But a fake mustache? You can do better than that, Juice. Despite the fact OJ claims he was not running from police, evidence in the car suggests otherwise. In addition to the infamous gun he carried, the iconic White Ford Bronco had $9,000 cash, makeup, OJ's passport, and some adhesive for the 'stache. 

The Bronco Has a New Owner...But You Can Rent It.

Most people think OJ owned the Bronco that served as his getaway car, but it actually belonged to the car's driver—Simpson's close friend, AJ Cowling. In 1995, Cowling decided to cash-in on the Bronco's notoriety and sold the vehicle for $200,000 to Michael Pulwer, a real estate developer and restaurant owner. Pulwer now rents the Bronco out for special events, including a 2012 display at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas. 

On June 17, 1994, Dominos Sold as Many Pizzas as Super Bowl Sunday.

The chase kicked off around 6:00 pm PST, right at the time most families would be settling down to dinner. But, of course, no one wanted to be stuck in the kitchen that night. So, families across America did what anyone would do in such a situation—they called Dominos. The popular pizza chain had over 10,000 locations in 1994, and on the night of June 17, business was booming. Though the company declined to share actual sales figures, one executive claimed that sales equaled that of a Super Bowl. 

Of Course He Drank Some Orange Juice After the Chase Ended.

What? You thought "The Juice" was just a nickname? After the five-hour chase ended in OJ's driveway and a stand-off between Juice and the LAPD, officers were finally able to coax him from the backseat of the Bronco. After exiting the car, OJ went inside his mansion, called his mom and poured himself a tall glass of orange juice. His poor mother was admitted to the hospital shortly after from all the emotional stress suffered during the hours-long chase, stand-off, and arrest.

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5 Crazy Facts About Napoleon Bonaparte

On this day in 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte suffered his final defeat at the hands of the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo in Belgium, bringing an end to the Napoleonic era of European history.  Here are 5 interesting facts you may not know about one of the greatest military minds the world has ever known...

He Nearly Flunked Out of Military School.

Napoleon was born into semi-nobility and became the first Corsica-born graduate of Paris's École Militaire. But it was definitely an uphill battle. Though the young Napoleon started out strong in school, the passing of his father during his first year forced Napoleon to take on more responsibility for financially supporting his family. His grades suffered as a result, and though he would eventually graduate, he ranked 42 in a class of 58. Not exactly a spot that screams, "Next Conqueror of Europe."

He Hated France in His Youth.

Despite being the head of a French Empire that stretched across much of continental Europe, Napoleon started out as a Corsican Nationalist with a strong distaste for France. The Bonaparte family were long-time advocates of Corsica's independence from French rule, and Napoleon adopted the same philosophy. In a series of treatises on the history of Corsica, Napoleon calls the French "monsters" and "enemies of free men." But after spending extensive time in Paris, Napoleon began to warm up to the culture and opportunity France provided. Eventually, Napoleon changed his stance and went on to join the French Revolution.

He Tried to Commit Suicide Before His First Exile.

By 1814, Napoleon's reign was on a steep decline. After losing Spain in the Penninsula War, and following a disastrous attempt to invade Russia, Napoleon was forced to abdicate. Though he would eventually be exiled to a comfortable life on the island of Elba (from which he would later escape, leading to the loss at Waterloo on June 18, 1815), Napoleon had prepared for his eventual fall from grace. He carried with him a poisonous pill that had clearly lost its potency over the years because when Napoleon took it, he got violently ill, but did not die as planned.

He Asked The Enemy for Asylum.

As if exile to Elba wasn't generous enough, when Napoleon suffered his final defeat at Waterloo, he had the guts to draft a letter to British royalty requesting asylum and a small estate in London to live out his years. It's hard not to admire that kind of confidence. The letter never reached the Prince Regent (future-King George IV), but even if it had, chances are the Prince would've given it a thumbs down. Napoleon was so likable that Parliament was concerned he would gain favor among the British common folk. He was exiled to Saint Helena instead.

Even at Saint Helena, Napoleon Plotted an Escape.

Never one to know when to quit, Napoleon reportedly organized several attempted escapes from his exile on Saint Helena—a small island with steep cliffs and a continuous patrol of more than 2,800 men armed with over 500 cannons. Famous British smuggler Tom Johnson was reportedly offered £40,000 to execute an elaborate escape that included a makeshift submarine. The plot never came to fruition, and Napoleon died in exile in 1821.

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5 Interesting Facts About Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

On June 19, 1953, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiring to pass U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviets, were executed at Sing Sing Prison.  Though the couple made headlines throughout the early 1950s, here are five interesting facts you may not have read in the papers...

It Was Ethel's Brother Who Ratted Them Out.

According to the FBI investigation and outside accounts, the Rosenbergs were actively conducting spy activities for the Soviets from 1942 until their arrest in the summer of 1950. Together they recruited several members of the top-secret "Manhattan Project" including Ethel's brother, David Greenglass. The FBI caught up with Greenglass in June 1950, and he quickly implicated Julius while (at first) denying his sister's involvement. That all changed when prosecutors threatened to put Greenglass's wife, Ruth, behind bars along with him. In exchange for immunity for Ruth, Daniel testified that Ethel had an active involvement in her husband's ongoing relations with the Soviets. In a 1996 interview with The New York Times, Greenglass admitted he lied in his testimony to protect his wife.

Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, and Pope Pius XII All Pled For Clemency.

Julius and Ethel were both convicted of espionage and sentenced to death in the spring of 1951. Many Americans believed the allegation against them to be false and the sentence to be far too harsh. There were widespread claims of antisemitism and major cultural figures like Einstein, Picasso, the Pope, Frida Kahlo, and Jean-Paul Sartre all advocated for President Eisenhower to intervene and reduce the Rosenbergs' sentence. He declined, and on June 19, 1953, doctors at the Sing Sing prison in New York executed the couple.

Ethel Did Not Go Easy.

The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons did not operate an electric chair of their own, and so the couple was transferred to Sing Sing to meet "Old Sparky," as the chair was called. Julius was first. He died almost immediately from the first shock. Ethel was not so fortunate. She was administered three different shocks before doctors checked her heartbeat—and found she was still alive. The administered another two jolts before she finally passed. It took four-and-a-half minutes to execute Ethel.

The Rosenbergs' Sons Continue to Campaign for Their Mother's Exoneration.

One of the most unfortunate parts of the whole story is that the Rosenbergs had two young sons that were orphaned as a result of the executions. Today, the sons largely accept their father's role in the affair (though they do claim that Julius was not guilty of atomic spying and therefore received too harsh a sentence). But, they maintain their mother's innocence. In the final weeks of Obama's presidency, the two brothers attempted to get Ethel exonerated but did not succeed. To-date, they have not attempted to do so with President Trump, likely because Ray Cohn—a former lawyer and advisor to President Trump—served on the legal team against the Rosenbergs.

But, Historians Believe It's Likely They Both Were Guilty.

Despite the claims of innocence by the Rosenberg boys, historians who have dedicated time and research to studying the Rosenberg case all largely agree that in all likelihood, both Julius and Ethel were guilty of espionage. Declassified FBI documents show Ethel hid money, acted as an intermediary communicator, weighed in on potential recruits, and was present in meetings with Soviet contacts. 

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5 Facts You Didn't Know About the Movie "Jaws"

What's the first film to gross over $100 million at the box office? If you're good at trivia (or at reading titles), you probably know the answer is Jaws, which debuted at the box office on June 20, 1975. We decided to celebrate its anniversary with these five fascinating facts about the blockbuster film...

The Movie Generated So Much Fear and Hatred of Sharks That Peter Benchley Became a Shark Conservationist.

Jaws was based on the best-selling book of the same name, written by Peter Benchley in 1974. When the movie turned into a runaway success, it also created a mass fear of sharks. People thought of them as bloodthirsty, persistent ocean monsters that would stop at nothing to eat everything in the water, including humans. But Benchley became so upset at the reaction that, later in life, he became a conservationist and repeatedly tried to set the record straight regarding sharks and shark attacks.  

The Actress at the Beginning of the Film Really Wasn't Injured by the Harness—but Her Reactions Were Mostly Real.

At the beginning of the film, actress Susan Backlinie swims in the ocean and is eventually dragged down into the water by the shark. The scene is frightening in its intensity, and somehow a rumor started that the actress was really terrified because the harness she was wearing—the crew would tug at the harness to pull her down during the simulated shark attack—broke her ribs. However, she has repeatedly denied being injured, and there are no actual records of her sustaining broken bones during the scene. However, she apparently was not warned about when the tugging would happen, so while she tried to act as best she could, much of the fearful reaction was real due to the surprise timing. Backlinie left acting soon after Jaws, and she now lives, of all places, on a houseboat.

Forget Star Wars—John Williams Credits Jaws as the Movie That Really Got His Career Going.

John Williams is now known as a master composer and conductor who has put together some of the iconic movie themes of the past few decades. He's probably most associated with the themes to Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Jaws was the one that put him on the movie-composer map. This was the second score that Williams composed for Steven Spielberg, and while Spielberg originally thought the simple score was a joke, it became a memorable two-note tune that even now is one of the most recognizable scores in film. By the way, that simple tune that Spielberg thought was a joke? Williams won an Oscar for it.

The Original Book Could Have Had a Very Different Title.

Peter Benchley's book, Jaws, nearly had a very different title. He had been playing around with different titles, all longer than one word, and he asked his father, who was a children's book author, for suggestions. His father came up with 200 options, among which was the decidedly non-scary Wha's That Noshin' on My Laig.

Jaws Was to Seaside Towns and Baths What Psycho Was to Showers.

Back in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho made audiences so terrified of taking showers that some stopped bathing completely, at least for a while. Jaws had a similar effect on bathing, swimming, and even visiting seaside towns. Restaurants tried to attract customers by encouraging them to order fish as a way to "get even" with the shark from Jaws. 

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5 Crazy Facts About the Constitution

On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.  Here are five crazy facts about the U.S. Constitution...

The Bill of Rights Wasn't Originally in the Constitution.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights seem to go together as a package when you learn about them in school. However, the Bill of Rights was not officially created until 1791. Individual states had concerns about the Constitution and its lack of protections for individual rights, so the framers promised to create amendments that would guarantee these rights. However, it wasn't until 1791, three years after the Constitution was ratified, that the Bill of Rights became official.

The 1788 Constitution Was Essentially a Bloodless, Mutually Desired Coup.

Before the constitutional convention was called in 1787, the United States functioned as a loose confederation of individual states that weren't countries on their own, but that did have a lot of independence. The states were governed by Congress, which had the ability to handle international dealings and coordinate the states in the event of a foreign invasion. But Congress didn't have much power over the states themselves in terms of domestic matters. It couldn't even force the states to pony up money or troops if there actually had been an invasion. The new country was well on its way to breaking up into separate, small countries. The constitutional convention was meant to create a new type of government that could hold the states together.

Rhode Island Was Threatened Into Ratifying the New Constitution.

The last of the 13 original colonies and states didn't ratify the Constitution until 1790; in fact, Rhode Island didn't even send a delegate to the constitutional convention. The state was finally forced to ratify the Constitution after the other states threatened to start treating Rhode Island's exports as if they came from a foreign country—in other words, they were going to tax the heck out of them if they didn't ratify.

Before the New Constitution, the U.S. Didn't Have a President.

As mentioned, the Articles of Confederation saw individual states held together in a loose alliance by Congress, but there was no president. In fact, there was no three-branch system. The Articles had intended to protect the states against strong central power—they'd had enough of that as colonies ruled by Britain—but the power was so decentralized that the government didn't really work that well. The form of government adopted in the new Constitution called for three branches, with the executive branch run by an elected official. In 1789, George Washington became that elected official, becoming the first president.

The New Constitution Wasn't Popular at All.

You'd think that after the mess created by the Articles of Confederation, a new agreement and government would be welcomed by all. But it wasn't. Smaller states worried about representation and being steamrolled over by larger states; larger states wanted their population to count more, which alarmed the smaller states; many people were worried about the introduction of centralized government, which seemed much too close to what the colonial government had been like; and even more were concerned about the lack of guaranteed rights in the new document (which is what brought about the Bill of Rights, noted above). While the Constitution did eventually win over the population, it took several amendments to help it along.

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5 Interesting Facts About The Battle of Okinawa

On June 22, 1945, the World War II battle for Okinawa ended after about 82 days of fighting for control of the island. The following interesting facts about the battle show why it was one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.

The Battle for Control of Okinawa Was the Largest Land-Sea-Air Battle of the War.

Nicknamed Operation Iceberg, 183,000 soldiers and sailors from the Marines and Navy faced 77,000 Japanese, along with 20,000 members of the home guard and 750 boys from a middle school. The invasion became the largest amphibian landing in the war. Because Okinawa was the last line of defense against an Allied invasion of Japan itself, Japanese troops were prepared to fight to the death.

American Troops Met Little Japanese Resistance at First.

American troops were surprised when they landed on the coast of Okinawa because they expected it to be another D-Day where they'd meet no resistance. However, the Japanese troops were waiting and watching from what they called the Shuri Defense Line in the southern part of Okinawa where they planned to make a final stand. The commanding general over the Japanese forces, Mitsuru Ushijima, finally committed ritual suicide when he realized the battle was lost, despite an all-out effort to protect Japan from Allied forces.

Kamikaze Pilots Were Unleashed on April 4, Causing Severe Damage.

Kamikazes, Japan’s suicide pilots, were unleashed to attack the Fifth Fleet, at times crashing into their targets at 500 mph. By the time it was over, the Fifth Fleet had lost 36 ships, 4,900 men and 763 aircraft. In addition, 368 ships were left damaged, and 4,800 men were wounded.

Corporal Desmond Doss Was a Hero at the Battle of Hacksaw Ridge.

Hacksaw Ridge, located on top of a vertical cliff 400 feet tall, was where Americans attacked on April 26, suffering heavy casualties. During this battle, much of which was hand-to hand combat, Corporal Doss saved 75 wounded soldiers while alone and in the middle of enemy soldiers. Doss belonged to the Seventh-Day Adventist church and worked in the army as a medic, and he refused to carry a gun.

Casualties in the Battle of Okinawa Were Enormous.

Losses in the Battle of Okinawa were enormous, with more than 72,000 casualties, including Lt. Gen. Simon Buckner, who was killed days before the end of the battle. Japanese casualties are estimated at around 110,000, and thousands of citizens of Okinawa also died by the end of the three-month-long battle.

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5 Interesting Facts About John Gotti

On June 23, 1992, John Gotti, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty on 14 accounts of conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering.  Here are 5 interesting facts that you probably didn't know about the “Teflon Don”...

Gotti Was a Member of a Street Gang From Age 12.

As a boy from a poor family with 13 children and a father who was a day laborer with a gambling habit, Gotti decided early on that his life wasn’t going to be like that. He began working for organized crime at age 12, as an errand boy for a secret club run by one of the captains for the Gambino crime family, the largest in New York. Later, Gotti joined the Fulton-Rockaway gang, he aided them in committing car-jackings and robberies.

The First Murder Gotti Committed Was in 1973.

By this time, Gotti was a captain in the crew of Carmine Fatico, who was nicknamed Charley Wagons and served as Gotti’s mentor. Gotti murdered a man named Jimmy McBratney of a rival gang, who was believed to have killed mob boss Carlo Gambino’s nephew, Manny. As revenge, Gotti and Ralph Galione confronted McBratney in a restaurant, and Galione shot him multiple times, but both Gotti and Galione plea bargained their sentences down and only served a few years in prison.

Gotti Took Over the Gambino Crime Family by Killing Paul Castellano.

Once Carlo Gambino died, Paul Castellano became the head of the crime family. Paul was Gambino’s brother-in-law and a man that Gotti considered weak for the job. A hit on Castellano was ordered by Gotti in an attempt to take over the crime family. Castellano and an associate, Thomas Bilotti, were gunned down in front of Sparks Steak House in Midtown Manhattan in 1985, and Gotti got enough support that he took over the role as head of the Gambino crime family.

Gotti Was Brought Down by Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano.

The FBI credited Gravano with supplying the evidence for Gotti’s conviction in 1992 on 13 counts, including racketeering and murder. Gravano testified against Gotti, saying that 10 of the 18 murders he had committed had been approved by Gotti and that Gotti had been behind the murder of Paul Castellano. Gotti was sentenced to life in prison as a result of Gravano’s testimony, along with compelling evidence submitted by the FBI, which included recordings made of private conversations by using a wiretap.

The Rest of Gotti’s Life Was Spent Behind Bars.

Gotti was placed in solitary confinement at the Marion, Illinois, penitentiary. Following a diagnosis of throat cancer in 1998, he died at the prison in 2002. Frank Locascio, who was arrested at the same time as Gotti and Gravano on multiple charges, was also given a sentence of life imprisonment and is still in prison in Massachusetts.

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5 Facts About the Roswell Incident and Area 51

On this day in 1997, U.S. Air Force officials release a 231-page report dismissing long-standing claims of an alien spacecraft crash in Roswell, New Mexico, almost exactly 50 years earlier. The truth is out there, and perhaps these five fascinating facts will help you decide where you stand...

There Actually Was a Big Government Cover-up.

You read that right—in the Air Force's first report on the Roswell incident, officials admitted that it was not a weather balloon that crashed on the night of July 8, 1947. Furthermore, the report acknowledged that the misidentification was not a mistake, but rather a real cover-up by the U.S. government. Now, before you get too excited, here's the catch: they weren't covering up the existence of aliens. They were covering up the crash landing of a Cold War-era satellite the Air Force intended to use to monitor Soviet bomb tests. 

There Were Several Accounts of a Strange Metal at the Scene.

The thin, foil-like metal seen in photos of the alleged "weather balloon" doesn't look like much. But, accounts of the metal are pretty strange. One person claimed that despite its paper-like look and feel, the metal was completely impenetrable. It could not be bent or dented and seemed completely out of this world. Other accounts give an opposite (but equally interesting) take: the metal was completely malleable, but would reform into its original shape like a sponge within a few seconds.  

It Wasn't Just the Aircraft That Crashed.

This wasn't some remote-controlled drone from Mars. According to several eyewitness accounts, troops removed several bodies from the scene that were far from human. All accounts claimed to see the same short, 3-to-4-foot tall bodies carted away. Each had a large head, big eyes, and a single hole for a nose. The Air Force claimed that the "bodies" were, in fact, crash dummies used on the weather balloon. However, believers are quick to call the bluff on that excuse. After all, why did all the witnesses have the same exact description?  

Some Claim Area 51 is Famous for More Than Just Aliens.

As if one conspiracy theory wasn't enough for this famed government test site, some believe that Area 51 was home to the staged lunar landing video, too. Though just 6 percent of Americans are still skeptical about the Apollo 11 mission, those who do are pretty vocal about it and have some interesting theories. The idea that Area 51 was involved actually isn't too far from the truth—the government used the site for testing several vehicles used by the astronauts.

The CIA Didn't Acknowledge Area 51 Even Existed Until 2013.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, declassified documents detailing the U-2 spy plane program are the first official acknowledgment by the CIA of Area 51's existence. It was a long time coming, even if the evidence already made it clear: for years "camo dudes" (as they are colloquially known) man the borders of the Area 51 site and the numerous "Trespassing" warnings have been enough to give away that something was hiding in the desert.

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Level Up With These 5 Facts About Atari

On June 27, 1972, an electrical engineer from Utah named Nolan Bushnell and his business partner, Ted Dabney, established their own video game production company. They named it Atari - a reference to Bushnell’s favorite game, Go. Here are five interesting facts about Atari and its legacy...

The Word "Atari" Really Does Have a Meaning.

There's an urban legend floating about that says the name "Atari" doesn't really mean much, but it does have an actual meaning. Bushnell originally wanted to call the company "Syzygy" but had to think of a new name for the new company because his first choice was already taken. He considered "Sente," "Hanne" (also written as "hane"), and "Atari," all three of which were commonly used terms in the Japanese game of Go, and Bushnell managed to get "Atari" approved. "Atari" refers to surrounding an opponent's stone on three sides, leaving only one option for that stone's next move.

If It Hadn't Been for Atari, We Might Not Have Apple.

Atari managed to attract several brilliant computer and software people and was among the first companies to use the more relaxed business protocols that now characterize so many startups. The work and office atmosphere were perfect for some guys named Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne, who not only built the first Apple computer with materials borrowed from Atari, but also even offered the Apple design to the company. Atari declined, claiming it wanted to concentrate on games, though the company later debuted its own line of home computers, the Atari ST, in 1985. 

They Built Their Empire With Just $500

Apparently, back in 1972, it didn't cost much to found a video game company. Founders Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney invested a whopping $500 to get things started. Within a few years, the company was sold to Warner Communications for $28 million. That investment itself turned out to be peanuts for a company that within another five years would earn $2 billion in sales and account for half of Warner's revenue. Not a bad return for a few hundred bucks.

If Atari Hadn't Been Successful, We Might Not Have Another Important Childhood Icon.

Bushnell really liked games, and he was also a businessman who didn't want to deal with competition. In 1977, with Atari well-established and its games popular, Bushnell created a pizza parlor that allowed him to place his games, and only his games: Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza-Time Theaters. Bushnell added animatronic entertainment so that parents wouldn't think they were simply taking their kids to an arcade. By the way, Bushnell's first choice for a name? Rick Rat's Pizza. The marketing department understandably objected.

The Original Atari Lasted Only a Few Years.

Atari, as it was originally founded, lasted only four years. In 1976, it was sold to Warner because Bushnell wanted better marketing opportunities for Atari's home gaming systems. The combination worked well for a while, but by 1984, the company was not as profitable—or adored, after it released a couple of movie- and arcade-tie-in games that flopped badly—and Warner broke up Atari. The name is still linked to games now, but it's owned by a completely different company.

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5 Shocking facts About Mike Tyson

On June 28, 1997, the sports world was horrified as boxer Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear during their WBA heavyweight fight.  The attack led to his disqualification from the match and suspension from boxing, and was the strangest chapter yet in the champion’s roller-coaster career. Here are five shocking facts about Mike Tyson...

Tyson Actually Bit Both of Holyfield's Ears.

This event is usually remembered as one bite, but it was really two. Tyson quickly bit Holyfield's right ear, at one point, causing the referee to almost stop the match. However, the referee allowed it to continue (Holyfield did not realize just how serious the first bite was, though in interviews he did report feeling a lot of pain) only for Tyson to grab Holyfield again and chew up his left ear.

He Once Owned Tigers.

Tyson was rolling in money as a result of his boxing wins, and he led an extravagant lifestyle while the money lasted. This included buying, keeping—and sometimes, napping with—Bengal tigers. Tyson did have to sell the tigers when his finances tumbled both because he was in such bad shape and because the cats were very expensive to care for. But he has reminisced fondly about them. Unfortunately, at least one of those tigers was sold into not-so-good circumstances; Tyson sold the cat to the man who gave Tyson his facial tattoo, but the cat was later taken away, along with three other tigers, by the USDA due to the shoddy conditions in which the cats were living.

Tyson Was Introduced to Boxing in Reform School.

Tyson, fearsome as he was as an adult, was a bullied child who fell in with gangs. As a result, he was sent to reform school when he was 12, where one of the social workers noticed that Tyson had great potential in the ring. The social worker, who was also a boxing fan, connected Tyson with trainer Cus D'Amato, who quickly trained Tyson and who saw Tyson go on to win a ton of fights. D'Amato even became Tyson's legal guardian at one point.

He Once Refused to Stop Fighting, Injured a Referee, and Then Criticized a Boxer Who He Wasn't Fighting.

It's as bizarre as it sounds. In June 2000, Tyson was fighting Lou Savarese when the referee called for the fight to stop. However, Tyson kept hitting, and he actually—and accidentally—hit and injured the referee. What was even stranger was that, when asked about the fight, Tyson went into a rant about Lennox Lewis, who had nothing to do with the Savarese fight.

He Found out About His Fan Club Long After It Had Started.

It's not unusual for people to hand over a lot of professional duties to managers, including running a fan club. But people also usually know what's being done in their name. When Tyson teamed up with promoter Don King, initially the publicity and opportunities were very good, but the relationship eventually included severe financial fraud and legal action. King was accused of taking much of Tyson's money and distributing it among family and friends (King's, not Tyson's), including paying his own daughter tens of thousands to run Tyson's fan club without telling Tyson that he had one. However, that "running" was not very efficient; when Tyson found out he had a fan club, he and his assistant went to the facility that supposedly housed the club's operations only to find a lot of stored and unopened mail. This mail included a letter from a mother whose child was dying; Tyson tried to contact her only to find the child had already died a year earlier.

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5 Facts About Bernard Madoff and His Ponzi Scheme

On June 29, 2009, financier Bernard Madoff received a 150-year sentence for running an elaborate Ponzi scheme that stole billions of dollars from investors. See if you know these five shocking facts about this former icon of Wall Street and the scandal that rocked the financial community....

Madoff’s Defense Attorney Was One of His Victims.

Among the long list of people Madoff swindled were the parents of Lee Sorkin, his defense attorney for the trial. The attorney himself had recovered the $20,000 he had invested with Madoff about 10 years previously; however, his parents had placed their trust in Madoff by investing about $900,000. Other notable investors who lost money included Steven Spielberg, Kevin Bacon, Sandy Koufax, and television talk show host, Larry King.

He Was Turned in by His Sons.

Madoff’s sons, Mark and Andrew, were partners in the firm and turned his father in after Madoff confessed to them that his business was a lie. Neither of the sons was charged with investor fraud. However, numerous civil suits were filed against them. Mark Madoff committed suicide two years after his father’s arrest, while Andrew Madoff died at age 48 of cancer.

Madoff Was Sentenced to 150 Years in Prison.

The 71-year-old former financier was charged with and convicted of 11 counts. They included wire and mail fraud, securities and investment adviser fraud and multiple counts of money laundering. On top of these, he was convicted on charges of perjury, making false statements, making fake filings with the SEC and stealing from a benefit plan for employees.

The Financier Lived the Good Life Before He Was Convicted.

Being a crook worked well for Madoff for a long time. At the time he was charged, he owned three yachts, one in the Mediterranean, one in Florida and one in New York, a multi-million dollar penthouse in Manhattan, plus a mansion at the Hamptons and a French Riviera villa. He also had a boat that measured 56-feet long and was called “The Bull.”

Still at it, Madoff Is Still Trying to Make Money in Prison.

Although he is serving a life sentence, Madoff is still a businessman even though he is behind bars. A reporter who has contact with him reported last year that Madoff had cornered the market on hot chocolate at the prison where he is incarcerated in North Carolina. He bought all the Swiss Miss that was in the prison commissary and was selling it in the prison yard for a profit.

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5 Fun Facts About the Chevy Corvette

On this day in 1953, the first production Corvette was built at the General Motors facility in Flint, Michigan.  Here are 5 fun facts that you probably didn't know about the Chevy Corvette...

The Name Corvette Came From a Warship.

The Corvette was a naval vessel that was small and fast and used throughout the 1800s and 1900s. In America, these smaller vessels were known as sloops and were employed during the War of 1812 at the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean against more powerful British vessels.

The Rarest Corvette Was Made in 1969.

Only two of the ZL-1 Corvettes made in 1969 that were equipped with a 427 aluminum engine were sold to the public. The price tag may have had something to do with it. While a normally priced Corvette cost $4,781 in 1969, the ZL-1 with its aluminum engine cost $10,048 and had neither a radio nor air conditioning.

The Fastest Speed Clocked on a Corvette Is 212 Miles per Hour.

Tested at an oval track in Germany, the 2019 ZR1 has a 755 horsepower engine and can reach 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Timing runs on the track were made both with and without wind, and driving with the wind, the car reached 215 mph. The ZRI is produced in Kentucky and comes with a price tag of $120,000.

There Were no Corvettes Released in 1983.

Forty-three Corvettes were manufactured in 1983; however, all but one of them failed crash testing. Only one of the 1983 Corvettes was kept and is displayed in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at the National Corvette Museum. Other reports state there were a few more Corvettes produced that year, but if they were, no one knows what happened to them.

The Cheapest Price You Could Pay for a Corvette Was in 1954 or 1955.

The 1953 Corvette was built by hand the first year it was manufactured, and the price tag on them that year was $3,498. In the models produced in 1954 and 1955, assembly lines were used, lowering the cost to $2,274 for both years. By 1962, the price tag for a Corvette was more than $4,000 while the average cost of a home was $12,550.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About The Battle of Gettysburg

On the morning of July 1, 1863, the largest battle of the Civil War began when Union and Confederate forces collided at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. To honor the men who lost their lives, here are five facts you may not know about the bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil...

The Battle Had Nothing to Do with Shoes.

Despite a prevailing myth that the Confederate Army marched toward Gettysburg on a hunt for new shoes for the 80,000 or so men behind General Lee, there's no historical accuracy to support that's what led to the fateful meeting. In fact, despite the fact that Gettysburg was a booming little town in 1863, there wasn't even a shoe factory anywhere close by. Instead, the real reason the Union and Confederate armies converged on Gettysburg was simply because of the ten roads that passed through the town. No one made any mention of shoes until 1877 when Confederate General Henry Heth wrote that his desire for new kicks led to the start of the bloodiest battle on American soil.

In 2014, President Obama Awarded a Medal of Honor to a Fallen Union Soldier.

Since the battle concluded on July 3, 1863, American presidents have awarded 64 Medals of Honor to various soldiers whose service went above and beyond the call of duty at Gettysburg. The most recent recipient, Alonzo Cushing, received his award posthumously from President Obama in 2014. Cushing was just 22 when he was killed defending Cemetery Ridge. Cushing was struck three times — once through the shoulder, a second time in the abdomen, and third fatally in the mouth. Cushing fought through the first two wounds despite an officer ordering him to go to the rear. According to Obama's Medal of Honor Citation, Cushing's efforts killed several Confederates and helped repel Pickett's Charge.

A 75-Year-Old Gettysburg Citizen Volunteered Alongside the Union Troops.

As the Confederate Army approached town, John Burns, a 75-year-old veteran of the War of 1812 and resident of Gettysburg, grabbed his flintlock musket and volunteered his services to the nearest Union regiment. Though initially greeted with some snickers and snide remarks, Burns proved ready to fight and suffered three wounds on the first day of battle. Though captured by the Confederates, they allowed him to return home to his wife. After the battle, Burns became a local celebrity of sorts and even had a chance to meet President Lincoln. 

Residents of Gettysburg Collected Over 37,000 Rifles from the Battlefield.

Of those 24,000 were loaded with at least one round of ammunition. An estimated 7,000 rounds of ammunition were fired at Gettysburg along with over 500 cannonballs. One estimate claims it took 100 rounds of ammunition for one casualty at Gettysburg. Rifles could shoot about 400 yards, whereas the cannons could reach up to a mile and a half.  

Confederates Had a Train of Wounded Soldiers That Went for 17 Miles.

Following the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederate Army retreated south toward Virginia to lick their wounds and recoup. Little did General Lee know that it would be the last time his Army would come north. 8,000 wounded Confederate soldiers made the long, 10-day journey back to Virginia in horrible, rainy weather. The train of wagons stretched for 17 miles but even despite that, some 6,800 wounded Confederates remained behind at Gettysburg to be treated by Union field hospitals. 

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Amelia Earhart

On July 2, 1937, the plane carrying Amelia Earhart, a 39-year-old pilot from Kansas, disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. What happened to Earhart remains a mystery today, but here are 5 interesting facts about her disappearance you may not know...

Earhart was On Her Third-to-Last Leg of the Journey.

Earhart's planned landing on Howland Island was a simple refueling before she would continue on to Hawaii and then California. In her final hours, Earhart claimed to have been within 100 miles of her destination, but faulty radio signals made it so that she had no help or direction from the ground on Howland Island. Her last radio message states that she was running low on fuel, giving legs to the most likely and popular theory of Earhart's disappearance: that she ran out of gas and crashed into the Pacific.

Investigators Found a Jar of Her Freckle Cream on Gardner Island.

One of the possible theories of Earhart's final days centers around a small, remote island known then as Gardner Island, but today called, "Nikumaroro." Some believe that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, landed on the shore of Nikumaroro after running out of fuel and being unable to find their true destination, Howland Island. The theory suggests Earhart and Noonan lived out their final days as castaways on the island. Over the years, researchers, archaeologists, and investigators have searched for evidence proving the theory, but have come up with very little. Then, in 2012, an interesting development occurred. Researchers found a small glass jar that matched the shape of a cream Earhart used to try and remove her freckles. 

In 2017, Investigators Claimed They Found a Photo of Earhart in Saipan. It Was Quickly Debunked.

Another theory claims Earhart landed on the Japanese island of Saipan where she and Noonan were captured and later killed. The theory was disregarded by serious investigators for quite some time, until a photo surfaced in 2017 that claimed to show Earhart sitting on a dock in the Marshall Islands with Noonan by her side and the wreckage of her plane being towed by a ship in the distance. For a few days, news outlets went wild with the new photo, until two bloggers quickly revealed that the picture originated from a Japanese travel guide published in 1935—two years before Earhart's final flight. 

Some Conspiracy Theorists Claim She Started a Second Life...In New Jersey.

Most people wanting to disappear from the public eye to start a new life under an assumed identity don't flee to New Jersey. But, according to a few of the more "out there" Earhart theorists, that's exactly what happened. Some believe Earhart was a spy for President Roosevelt who the Japanese gunned down over the Marshall Islands, held captive, and then released following the end of World War II. Upon release, the theory proposes that Earhart assumed the identity of Irene Craigmile Bolam, a banker from New Jersey. To be clear: Bolam is almost certainly not Earhart. Not only have forensic scientists compared the two women's faces and found considerable differences, but Bolam also had a well-documented history with husbands, a child, and various friends attesting to her existence long-before the Earhart disappearance.

There's a New Amelia Earhart. And She's Doing Big Things.

While no one can replace the old Amelia, a young pilot bearing her same name is carrying the torch and setting records in aviation. In 2014, the new Earhart became the youngest woman to fly around the world in a single-engine plane. She was just 31-years-old at the time!

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Back to the Future

On July 3rd, 1985, Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, hit theaters. The movie spent 11 weeks at number one and went on to become the highest grossing movie of the year. You can take your own time travel adventure with these five facts about the movie!

The Studio Wanted to Call the Film, Spaceman from Pluto.

Co-creator Bob Gale had to shop the Back to the Future script for quite a while before getting a bite from Universal Pictures (Gale claims he was rejected more than 40 times). And the studio was understandably concerned about certain aspects of the movie—namely that one scene with Marty and his mom in the back of the car and the film's title. Executives had seen a trail of recent time-travel movie flops and were concerned Zemeckis's film would suffer the same fate, so they suggested an alternate name: Spaceman from Pluto. Executive producer Steven Spielberg quite literally laughed in their face about it.

Michael J. Fox Almost Wasn't Marty McFly.

It's hard to imagine anyone but Fox playing the film's protagonist, but Robert Zemeckis almost had no choice. Though his original choice was Fox for the role, the actor's obligations to his popular television show, Family Ties, got in the way of scheduling. Zemeckis then hired Eric Stoltz for the role, but quickly realized he'd made a huge mistake. Stoltz was an accomplished young actor, but he didn't quite have the comedic chops needed to capture McFly. The studio eventually negotiated a contract for Fox with Family Ties, and the rest is history.

The DeLorean Was Almost a Mustang...And a Fridge.

Early drafts of Back to the Future had Marty McFly jumping back in time in an old refrigerator, but the idea was scrapped by Zemeckis and his producers in favor of the now-famous DeLorean. Once filming began, Universal Studios received a call from Ford offering $75 million for the DeLorean to be swapped with a Mustang. Zemeckis reportedly responded: "Doc Brown doesn't drive a [expletive] Mustang!" The creator of the DeLorean wrote a "thank you" note to the writers for their inclusion of his car. 

President Reagan was a Big Fan.

Anyone who has seen the film likely recalls the shout out President Reagan receives in the film. But Reagan reportedly found the scene so funny that he had the projectionist rewind the movie to watch it a second time. Later, Reagan quoted the movie during his 1986 State of the Union address: "where we're going, we don't need roads," and producers offered him a role in Back to the Future III (he declined).

Crispin Glover Sued the Studio for Using his Likeness in the Sequel.

It's no secret that Glover is a bit of an eccentric guy. For one, Lea Thompson claims she once went to his house to run lines and found it painted completely black with no furniture but a stainless steel operating table. Yikes. But when Glover refused to star in the sequel to the film, Zemeckis breathed a sigh of relief—Glover had been a notorious pain on set, and he was happy to replace him. So, he hired an actor to wear a mask that resembled Glover in Back to the Future II. Glover didn't take kindly to that and sued the studio. Despite the fact that the move was completely legal, Universal's legal team settled out of court for $500,000 to avoid the hassle and any negative press about the film.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Arthur Ashe

On July 5, 1975, Arthur Ashe became the first African-American man to win a singles title at Wimbledon.  To mark the anniversary of his unprecedented achievement, here are five things you didn't know about Arthur Ashe....

This Was Not His First "First."

Wimbledon may be a crowning glory for tennis players, but it was not Ashe's first "first" by any means. Ashe was also the first African American to: be on the U.S. Davis Cup team, win the U.S. Open title (1968), get a visa to and play in South Africa during apartheid (1973), win the Australian Open (1970), and be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame (1985). Ashe was a five-time Grand Slam champion and had 47 titles over the course of his tennis career.

Ashe Played in South Africa as a Way to Try to Fight Apartheid.

In 1973, Ashe managed to get a visa to South Africa, then in the grip of apartheid. While the boycott movement (which meant to force South Africa to abandon apartheid) was in full swing at that point, Ashe tried not to boycott, instead hoping that by playing there, the country would loosen up a bit. Ashe was repeatedly turned down for a visa until 1973 when he was able to play in that country's national championships. However, he eventually joined the boycott movement in the late 1970s.

Ashe Was Also a Historian.

After he retired from tennis, Ashe turned his attention to both his health (he'd had a heart attack in his 30s) and to history. He wrote a three-volume series of history books about Black athletes in the United States and what their struggles were like. The volumes were published in 1988 and called A Hard Road to Glory. Ashe noted that his desire to write the books grew after finding out that no comprehensive histories chronicled what Black athletes had gone through.

He Became an AIDS Activist After Contracting the Disease From a Blood Transfusion.

Ashe had his first heart attack in 1979 and a second in the early '80s. As a result, he had double-bypass surgery in 1983, and it was during that surgery that Ashe received contaminated blood during a transfusion. He developed AIDS, which was formally diagnosed in 1988, and he eventually died from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1993. In that five-year span, though, Ashe became a dedicated activist.

Ashe Served in the Army in the Late 1960s—but His Veteran Brother Saved Him From Vietnam.

Like many young men in the 1960s, Ashe served in the Army. However, he was able to avoid being sent to Vietnam because his brother, who was in the Marines, decided to head back to Vietnam a second time. His brother, Johnnie, had already served overseas and came home, but he knew that Arthur was at risk of being sent to Vietnam himself. Because the government had a policy that stopped siblings from being at war simultaneously, Arthur stayed in the United States while Johnnie returned to Vietnam. Johnnie, luckily, survived.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the Republican Party

On July 6, 1854, more than 10,000 people gathered on the outskirts of Jackson, Michigan, for the first official meeting of the Republican Party. To celebrate the anniversary of this landmark event in U.S. political history, here are 5 facts you probably didn't know about the Grand Old Party...

John Fremont Was the First Republican Candidate for President in 1856.

Captain John C. Fremont, nicknamed “The Pathfinder,” was a well-known explorer in the American West and led regulars and insurgents to capture California for the United States. He later served as a senator from California in Washington, D.C. Fremont ran as the Republican candidate for president against the Democratic candidate, James Buchanan, and he lost the election by 174 to 114 electoral votes.

The Republican Party Was First Associated With an Elephant by Cartoonist Thomas Nast

Nast, a cartoonist who worked for Harper’s Weekly, drew a cartoon called “The Third-Term Panic” in 1874, which depicted the Democratic donkey, wearing a lion’s skin, scaring other animals in a zoo. The one animal that was not frightened off was an elephant labeled “The Republican Vote.” The image stuck, and the elephant became the symbol for the Republican party.

The Term “Grand Old Party” Used to Refer to Democrats.

Early terms that referred to the Republican party were “Go Party” and “Gallant Old Party” before “Grand Old Party” became the norm. Democrats, especially those from the South, had been called the “Grand Old Party” as early as 1856. The phrase referring to the Republican party by this name was first used in the 1870s in articles by the Freeport, Illinois, Journal, and Republic Magazine.

Abraham Lincoln Was the First Republican President.

Lincoln served as president from March 4, 1861 until April 15, 1865, when he was assassinated at Ford’s Theater by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln’s vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, who was from Maine, was the first Republican to serve in this political capacity as vice president. He was replaced in the 1864 election by Andrew Johnson, a Southern Democrat, when Lincoln ran for re-election under the National Union ticket, a name used by the Republican party for one election only.

Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower Established the Interstate Highways.

The Interstate and Highways System Act of 1956 called for the construction of new highways totaling 41,000 miles. Eisenhower signed the legislation into law after having seen first hand how quickly the Nazis invaded Europe using the German autobahn. The threat of nuclear war was one of the reasons for the new highways.  Eisenhower believed these highways would speed up the ability to defend the nation and respond to catastrophes.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Sandra Day O'Connor

On July 7, 1981, Sandra Day O'Connor was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court as its first female associate justice. Learn more about the woman who went from living on a cattle ranch as a small child to becoming one of the most important women in the United States.

The Future Associate Justice Grew Up on a Cattle Ranch in Arizona.

For the first few years of her life, Justice O’Connor’s home did not have running water or electricity, and she passed her time riding horses and making friends with the cowboys who worked there. She lived over 30 miles from the nearest town, and when it came time for her to attend school, she moved to El Paso to stay with her grandmother and attended the Radford School for Girls, a private school still in existence today. She graduated from Austin High School in 1946, ranking sixth in her class.

Justice O’Connor Completed Law School in Just Two Years.

O'Connor graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1950 at Stanford University. She went on to attend law school there, graduating in 1952 as third in the class. She was also a member of the board of editors of the prestigious Stanford Law Review at the same time that future Chief Justice William Rehnquist was its editor. It was reported that they dated for a short time.

O’Connor Had Trouble Getting a Job as a Lawyer at First.

Women still had problems finding employment as lawyers at the time O’Connor graduated because the legal field was predominantly men. After calling several firms that were looking to hire lawyers, she still could not find work. Finally, she got an unpaid job working in California as a deputy county attorney’s advocate. This was on the condition that she would not be paid until there was money to pay her, and she would not be given an office.

O’Connor Did Not Find Out About Her Appointment Until the Day Before.

President Ronald Reagan had promised to appoint a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the opportunity came when Justice Potter Stewart retired. O’Connor was notified the day before the nomination was announced by a phone call from the president, and she didn’t know she was even under consideration for the job. The confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee lasted three days, and she was sworn in by the chief justice, Warren Burger.

She Cast the Swing Vote in an Important Abortion Case in 1998.

In a reaffirmation of Roe v. Wade, O’Connor cast the deciding vote in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, even though it went against the stance held by the Republican party. Among other decisions, she promoted the interests of women in cases that protected young school girls from being harassed, holding the schools liable.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the Liberty Bell

On July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell was supposedly rung to announce the Declaration of Independence. But did it?  See how much you know about the history of this iconic image of American history...

Despite Its Name, the Liberty Bell Probably Wasn’t Rung on the First Independence Day.

The bell, if it was rung at all on July 4, 1776, would not have sounded until July 8 because it took several days for the Declaration of Independence to be printed. However, on July 8, bells were ringing all over the city of Philadelphia, calling people to come hear Colonel John Nixon’s public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Because the bell tower holding the Liberty Bell was in dubious condition at the time, it cannot be certain that the bell was even rung that day.

Patriots Hid the Liberty Bell Away During the Revolutionary War

Before the British arrived to occupy Philadelphia in 1777, all of the bells around town, the Liberty Bell included, were taken out of the city. It was believed, and probably true, that the British would melt down the city’s bells to make cannons. After the Liberty Bell was taken down, it was hidden at the Zion Reformed Church at Allentown, Pennsylvania, underneath the floorboards, where it stayed until the danger was over.

The Bell Was Originally Ordered for a Celebration

The Liberty Bell actually predates the American Revolution by about 26 years. It was commissioned by the Pennsylvania Assembly as a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Charter of Privileges granted by William Penn. It had been hanging in Independence Hall in Philadelphia since June 7, 1753, when the building was called the Pennsylvania State House.

No One Knows Exactly When The Bell Was Cracked

The question of when the Liberty Bell acquired its famous fracture has been the subject of a good deal of historical debate. In the most commonly accepted account, the bell suffered a major break while tolling for the funeral of the chief justice of the United States, John Marshall, in 1835, and in 1846 the crack expanded to its present size while in use to mark Washington’s birthday. After that date, it was regarded as unsuitable for ringing, but it was still ceremoniously tapped on occasion to commemorate important events. On June 6, 1944, when Allied forces invaded France, the sound of the bell’s dulled ring was broadcast by radio across the United States.

The Liberty Bell Wasn’t The Original Name Of This Icon

The bell was originally known as the State House Bell. In the late 1830s, it acquired the name of the Liberty Bell when it became a symbol of the anti-slavery movement.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Bob Dylan

On July 9, 1962, Bob Dylan recorded the song that would make him a superstar: "Blowin' in the Wind." To celebrate one of the greatest protest anthems in history, here are five things you probably didn't know about Bob Dylan...

People Thought He Stole "Blowin' in the Wind" from a High School Student.

Nearly a year passed between the time Bob Dylan recorded "Blowin' in the Wind" on July 9, 1962, and released the album, Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, on May 27, 1963. During that time, a small magazine published Dylan's lyrics and musical arrangement for the song and a young high school student from New Jersey played the tune to a packed house at his local talent show. When the song showed up on Bob Dylan's record 10 months later, people suspected Dylan paid the kid off for rights to the song (even though the kid himself vehemently denied it). 

The Agent Who Signed Him Also Discovered Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Bruce Springsteen.

John Hammond had quite the ear for future superstars. Despite the fact that one executive at Columbia Records said Dylan's voice was "the most horrible thing I've ever heard in my life," Hammond went with his gut and signed the young singer-songwriter after hearing him play harmonica on a Carolyn Hester album. Dylan almost lost the contract after his debut album flopped, meaning the world may not have ever heard "Blowin' in the Wind." Thankfully, the "Man in Black" himself, Johnny Cash, stepped in and urged Hammond to keep Dylan on Columbia's roster.

He Was Almost Elston Gunn, Not Bob Dylan.

Most Dylan fans know that his real name is actually Robert Zimmerman. But few know that in the early days of his music career, Dylan tried a different alias: Elston Gunn. While working at a diner in North Dakota after high school, Dylan managed to convince Bobby Vee's band, The Shadows, that he had enough piano chops to play keyboards in the band (spoiler: he didn't—he lied about playing with Conway Twitty and his keyboard skills). During his brief run in the band, Dylan donned his alter-ego before the whole band ran out of money and he moved to Minneapolis.

He Wanted to Play Keys for Little Richard.

Dylan graduated high school in 1959 (despite the fact that he no-showed for his own graduation party). In his high school yearbook, his life goal reads "play in Little Richard." According to sources, the note was a little bit tongue-in-cheek: apparently, Dylan's high school band played a Little Richard cover at the school talent show in 1956, only to have the school principal cut the lights and pull the curtain on them. Needless to say, Dylan exceeded this life goal by far.

He Got The Beatles Into Pot.

For years, Paul, John, George, and Ringo were strictly Scotch and Coke fans. But after meeting Dylan in New York City in 1964, the group quickly turned toward a more "psychedelic" way to loosen up after shows. Though their encounter with Dylan wasn't the first time they had smoked marijuana, it was the first time they enjoyed it. So much, in fact, that Paul McCartney recalls asking the tour manager to write down everything that happened in a notebook. Those notebooks were later confiscated by police. 

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5 Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About New Coke

July 10, 1985, just 79 days after The Coca-Cola Company shocked the world by changing the 99-year-old recipe for Coke, the company retreated and put the original recipe back on the market. Here are five shocking facts that you didn't know about about New Coke...

New Coke Would Have Saved the Company $50 Million a Year.

If you think Coca-Cola's attempt at launching a new recipe was all just a marketing ploy to boost sales, you're wrong. The "new and improved" recipe was actually a major cost-savings measure by the soda conglomerate. New Coke contained fewer ingredients and was, therefore, cheaper to produce than the classic recipe. If it had taken off the way executives thought it would, the savings would have totaled around $50 million a year. Instead, the company lost at least $30 million on unsold product (though Coca-Cola has never publicly announced the total hit they took).  

Coca-Cola Sold New Coke Up Until 2002.

New Coke's shelf life was not just the 79 days between its launch and the rebirth of Coca-Cola Classic. The company had spent $4 million testing the beverage with over 200,000 consumers. And though they never told consumers the recipe they were tasting would overtake the existing Coke recipe, responses were generally positive. So, Coca-Cola thought New Coke's failure was more of a marketing blunder than a bad product. So they rebranded New Coke as Coke II and sold it all the way until 2002 when it was officially pulled from shelves.

The Company Received Over 400,000 Letters and Phone Calls About New Coke.

In 1985, consumers didn't have the option to hop online and leave bad reviews about New Coke, so they had to do it the old-fashioned way: by phone and mail. Coca-Cola received over 400,000 calls and letters from disgruntled customers in the brief two-and-a-half month window that New Coke was sold in stores. When CEO Roberto Goizueta announced bottlers would have the option of buying both New Coke and Coca-Cola Classic concentrates on July 10, 1985, producers bought the old recipe at a 10 to 1 ratio. The people had spoken: New Coke was out.

Bill Cosby was the Official New Coke Spokesman.

Though Mr. Cosby isn't getting much PR work these days, in the mid-eighties he was the king of promotions. His Jell-O commercials live on in infamy, but surprisingly few people remember that Cosby was also the guy brought on to promote New Coke. Cosby stepped away from the role as soon as the backlash hit because he was—somewhat ironically today—concerned about his reputation. A few months later, Coca-Cola rolled out their new spokesman: Max Headroom.

It Wasn't a Genius Marketing Ploy Like Some Think.

Despite the perceived failure of New Coke, marketing experts have long-debated whether New Coke was intended to fail from the very beginning. Several theories prevail that indicate Coke's blunder may have been a genius marketing move. Sales had been steadily slumping for 15 years, and many believe pulling the original recipe from shelves was a way to boost sales. Others claim it was a clever way for Coca-Cola to renew their patent on the original recipe or that it was all a guise to pull attention away from their switch to high fructose corn syrup. Considering Coke has never once acknowledged the failure as part of their marketing strategy, chances are good it was truly just a big-time blunder and not a genius master plan.

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5 Things You Might Not Know About the Hamilton Burr Duel

On July 11, 1804, Aaron Burr fatally shot one of our nation's founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel that took place in New Jersey. To mark the anniversary of the deadly dual, we've put together five interesting facts you may not know about the most famous duel in American history...

Burr Once Stopped Hamilton from Dueling with a Different Founding Father.

Though Burr clearly bears the historical burden of murdering George Washington's right-hand man, Hamilton himself was no saint. In 1792, Hamilton made a run at James Monroe, the man who would later become America's fifth president. Hamilton believed Monroe had outed his cover-up of an affair to the media and challenged Monroe to a duel of his own. Monroe asked Burr to act as the intermediary, responsible for making arrangements between the two camps. However, Burr felt both men were being ridiculous and dragged out proceedings until everyone had cooled down. Little did he know then that twelve years later, he would be the one firing at Hamilton.

Burr's Second Wife Hired Hamilton's Son to File Divorce Proceedings.

Talk about some colonial-era reality TV—this would be a season finale cliffhanger! When Burr's second wife, Eliza Jumel, filed for divorce after just two years of marriage, she hired the son of the man Burr had murdered to represent her. Jumel suspected Burr had been cheating on her and that he had attempted to take some of her assets (she was a wealthy widow). Hamilton Jr. gladly took on the case, which was highly publicized in newspapers at the time. Burr died the day his divorce was finalized: September 14, 1846. 

The Same Set of Pistols Killed Hamilton's Other Son, Philip, Just Three Years Before His Dad Died.

The pistols used in the Hamilton-Burr duel belonged to Hamilton's brother-in-law. But Alexander was not the first Hamilton to borrow them—in 1801, Hamilton's son, Philip, used the pistols in a duel against George Eacker that took place near where his father would duel Burr three years later. Philip was just 19-years-old at the time of his death, and though Alexander took it hard, he remained civil and professional with Eacker until his own death on July 11, 1804. 

Those Pistols are Now Owned By JP Morgan Chase

Aaron Burr was one of the founding members of The Manhattan Company—the organization that is today known as JP Morgan Chase. Burr, a Democratic-Republican living in New York City, found it difficult to secure any funding from the Federalist run banks of NYC. So, he started The Manhattan Company seemingly as a way to provide fresh water to New York's residents, but really as a way to establish a Democratic-Republican bank in New York. Hamilton, a Federalist, fell for the rouse and supported Burr, only to be made to look like a fool for doing so. This was the beginning of their rivalry. In 1930, JP Morgan Chase acquired the two pistols used by Burr and Hamilton in their duel, and today they can be seen on display at the company's headquarters in NYC.

Burr Faced Murder Charges in Two States But Was Never Convicted.

Dueling was illegal in both New York and New Jersey at the time of the duel in 1804. However, New Jersey was much more "forgiving" of those who chose to engage in the archaic manner of settling disputes, which is why Burr and Hamilton crossed the Hudson the morning of July 11, 1804, to Weehawken, New Jersey. After Hamilton died, both New York and New Jersey sought to charge Burr—who had quickly fled to Philadelphia and later England—with murder. Neither state ever ended up pursuing the charges and Burr later returned to New York where he died.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Geraldine Ferraro

On July 12, 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale named New York Congresswoman Geraldine A. Ferraro his running mate, making her the first woman to run on a major party ticket.  Here are five other interesting facts about Ferraro that you may not have known...

She Left Office Shortly After Losing the 1984 Election.

Despite the momentary boost in the ratings when Mondale announced Ferraro as his running mate, the Reagan-Bush ticket won the 1984 election by a landslide—Reagan secured 525 electoral college votes while Mondale received just 13 (yikes). But while Mondale was able to lick his wounds and return to life as a private citizen in Minneapolis, Ferraro had to return to The Hill and finish out her term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She left her seat in 1985 and spent the rest of the 80s away from politics before two unsuccessful bids for Senate seats in 1992 and 1998.

She Worked For Bill Clinton Throughout His Presidency.

Ferraro served as an alternate delegate to the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 and was officially appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission by President Clinton a year later. Later in the Clinton presidency, Ferraro shifted gears to a role more in the spotlight—she became co-host (alongside Pat Buchanan) of CNN's Crossfire from 1996 to 1998. But Ferraro never lost touch with the Clintons, and in 2008, she'd play a big role in Clinton's presidential bid.

She Got in Some Hot Water for Racially Charged Comments About Obama.

Ferraro was a hardcore Clinton supporter during the 2008 Democratic primaries, going so far as to take an honorary post on Clinton's fundraising committee. But in March of 2008, Ferraro became a bit more a liability to Clinton than a help when she stated in an interview that "if Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept." Ferraro resigned her post shortly thereafter following a barrage of outrage from Obama supporters and later supported Obama in the general election after he picked up Joe Biden as a running mate. 

Sarah Palin Cited Her as an Inspiration.

Speaking of the 2008 election: Sarah Palin made mention of both Ferraro and Hillary Clinton in her speech after presidential candidate John McCain announced Palin would be her running mate. Though Ferraro never wavered on her support for the Democratic ticket, she did acknowledge that it was a "win for women" to see Palin in the race. Ferraro said of herself in relation to Palin: "It's great to be the first, but I don't want to be the only. And so now it is wonderful to see a woman on a national ticket."

She Battled Blood Cancer for More than Twelve Years Before Passing Away in 2011.

Ferraro was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1998 but did not publicly announce her illness until June 2001. Though initially only given three to five years to live, Ferraro succeeded in treatment and lived another 12 years before succumbing to the disease on March 26, 2011. During those years, Ferraro became a serious advocate of cancer research and women's health. 

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the Hollywood Sign

On July 13, 1923, a sign consisting of 50-foot-tall letters spelling out "HOLLYWOODLAND" was dedicated in the Hollywood Hills and has stood as a symbol of Hollywood ever since. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about the famous Hollywood landmark...

The Sign Was Only Meant to Be Temporary.

Instead of being a calling card for the land of feature films and movie stars, the Hollywoodland sign was an advertisement for a new real estate development. The sign was only intended to stand for about 18 months to draw homebuyers to this hillside area.

The Original Sign Was Much Larger Than the Current Sign.

The sign was originally made of sheet metal with letters up to 50-feet high, held together by a framing system of pipes, poles, wires and scaffolding. It had 4,000 light bulbs that lit up in consecutive sections. It isn’t surprising that the sign cost about $21,000 at the time—the cost would have been more than $250,000 today.

An Aspiring Starlet Became Famous by Jumping From the “H” on the Sign.

The body of a failed actress, Peg Entwistle, was found in a ravine below the Hollywoodland sign on September 18, 1932, after she climbed a ladder to the top of the “H” and jumped to her death. Entwistle had successfully performed in plays on Broadway, even attracting the attention of future star Bette Davis, who said it was Entwistle that made her decide to become an actress. However, Entwistle’s luck didn’t hold after she went to Hollywood, and she appeared in only one film, after which she was released from her contract.

The Sign Was Scheduled to Be Torn Down in 1949.

Los Angeles purchased a large amount of land from the developers of Hollywoodland in 1944, which included the section where the sign was located. The sign stayed undisturbed for five years when the city decided to take it down. However, residents protested, and an agreement was reached to leave the part that said “Hollywood” since it decidedly represented the entire community.

The Sign Was Permanently Saved in 1978 by a Rock Star, a Playboy and a Singer.

Although it had been repainted in 1973, the sign again deteriorated, and members of the Chamber of Commerce knew it would be expensive to repair. Hugh Hefner, the owner of Playboy, determined to save the sign by holding an auction at his Playboy Mansion to raise funds. Each letter was sold for $28,000 for the renovation. Rock star Alice Cooper, actor and singer Gene Autry and Hefner himself were among those who saved this Hollywood landmark.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Billy the Kid

On July 14, 1881, Billy the Kid was shot to death in New Mexico by Sheriff Pat Garrett in an ambush. At the time, Billy had a $500 bounty on his head.  Billy the Kid has become an American legend, so today let’s check out 5 interesting facts you probably didn't know about this ruthless criminal...

The Kid’s Real Name Was Not William H. Bonney.

Billy the Kid’s real name was William Henry McCarty. He was the son of Patrick McCarty and Catherine Devine, both Irish immigrants. In 1873, his mother married William H. Antrim. Billy the Kid was known to use aliases such as William H. Bonney, Kid Antrim and Henry Antrim.

The Kid Never Robbed a Bank or Train.

Billy the Kid was first arrested for stealing clothing from a laundromat in New York as a young teen. Instead of committing daring crimes like the Younger gang’s bank robberies, he rustled cattle and stole horses to take elsewhere and sell.

Billy the Kid Probably Did Not Kill 21 Men.

Although Billy himself was reported to have said he killed one man for every year of his life, he is actually credited with killing four men and aiding in the deaths of five more. The Kid is believed to have killed Frank Cahill in Arizona, following an argument; Sheriff William Brady and his deputy; and gunslinger Joe Grant in New Mexico.

Billy the Kid Was Not Left-Handed.

Billy the Kid was widely thought to be left-handed because, in the early tintype of him, he is wearing his holster and gun on the left side. However, the picture was discovered to be reversed when someone noticed that the loading gate on the Winchester he is holding is on the wrong side. Two other clues that the ferrotype was printed backward are that the vest buttons are on the wrong side and the belt buckle prong is pointing in the wrong direction.

Three Authenticated Photos of Billy the Kid Have Been Found Over the Years.

Many Old West buffs are familiar with the tintype of Billy the Kid with his 1873 model Winchester. A new photo surfaced that featured Billy with a croquet mallet in his hand at what is believed to be the wedding of Charley Bowdre, one of the members of the Lincoln County Regulators. An even more surprising photo that was recently authenticated shows Billy the Kid; Dave Rudabaugh, a gunfighter and outlaw; and Pat Garrett, the sheriff who killed Billy.

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