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5 Things You Didn't Know About JFK Jr.

July 16 marks the anniversary of the 1999 plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy, Jr.; his wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy; and her sister, Lauren Bessette.  Here are five things you didn't know about JFK Jr. 

JFK Jr. Was Known for His Childhood Salute and His Magazine—But Not Politics.

John F. Kennedy Jr., or John-John, was the little boy saluting his father's coffin back in 1963, and this picture is the way in which people often remember JFK Jr. He was also the publisher of a political magazine, George, but JFK Jr. stayed away from politics. While he didn't rule out future involvement, he did not jump into what was essentially the family business.

The Bessette Sisters Almost Didn't Fly With Him.

JFK Jr. was supposed to fly on July 16, 1999, but his wife and her sister almost did not go with him. The marriage between Carolyn and John was in a rough patch, and Lauren, determined to help the two stay together, insisted that she and Carolyn accompany John even though Carolyn was reluctant to go.

He Almost Became an Actor, but His TV Legacy Had Little to Do With Any Roles He Himself Had.

At one point early in JFK Jr.'s career, he considered being an actor, but he soon dropped that choice in favor of law school (by the way, he failed the bar twice but did eventually pass). However, that didn't keep him off TV sitcoms. He played himself briefly on Murphy Brown, but the most memorable sitcom role was one that he was not actually involved in—the infamous "Contest" episode of Seinfeld, in which he's the object of Elaine's, er, affections. (An actor played JFK Jr. on the show.) He had a good sense of humor about it, though, and at one point even discussed the episode with Jerry Seinfeld on a late-night talk show.

He Once Got Insulted in Court by Someone Who Didn't Believe He Was a Lawyer.

The day after that talk show appearance, JFK Jr. had to be in court. When a man insisted that it had been JFK Jr. himself on the Seinfeld episode, JFK Jr. said it hadn't been him. At that point, the man reportedly told his attorney that JFK Jr. was obviously an actor and that it was no wonder he had failed the bar exam.

JFK Jr. Had a Tough Start, Literally.

Those who don't remember JFK Jr. as that little saluting boy remember him as a healthy grown man, but he really had a tough start in life. He was born premature and with a lung problem that required immediate medical attention. Back in 1960, lung problems were a major cause of death for newborns; in fact, JFK Jr.'s younger brother died at only a day and a half old from a lung disorder. But JFK Jr. pulled through.

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5 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Disneyland

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California. It's estimated that just under 45,000 people make their way to Disney's land of enchantment every single day! That's not the only fun fact we know about Disneyland—here are five more interesting tidbits you probably didn't know...

Future-President Ronald Reagan Hosted a Live Telecast of the Park's Opening.

Sure, he would later become the President of the United States, but when Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, Ronald Reagan was just an unemployed actor looking for his next gig in Hollywood. Disney found him and brought him on to host the live telecast of the park's opening. Tickets cost just $1, and there was only 18 attractions compared to the 52 today and $99 price tag. Other notable former Disneyland employees include Steve Martin, who was a magician at the park, and Michelle Pfieffer, who played Alice in Wonderland.

Walt Disney Had an Apartment in the Park.

According to sources within the park, Walt Disney himself kept a small, private apartment above the fire station on Main Street in the park. The apartment is still maintained and a light shining from the window is said to symbolize Disney's presence at the park. Walt and his wife aren't the only residents of Disneyland, though—the park is also home to over 200 feral cats that help keep rodents and pests down to a minimum within the park walls. 

The Park Has Closed Only Three Times in Its 63-year-long History.

Forget Christmas or Thanksgiving—you'll find Disneyland in full-swing on both days (that's the beauty of a Southern California theme park). In fact, there have only been three days in the park's history where the gates have been closed and the rides shut down. The first was on November 25, 1963, the day of President John F. Kennedy's funeral and a national day of mourning as proclaimed by President Johnson. The second was January 17, 1994, the day of the Northridge earthquake that shook the San Fernando Valley (the park suffered no damage). And the third was on September 11, 2001. Though the attacks happened before the park's opening, the gates remained closed for the entirety of that day.

There's an Exclusive Club Hidden Within the Park.

In 1967, Disney was looking for a way to entertain high-profile park guests, so he opened a members-only restaurant and lounge above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Dubbed "Club 33," the restaurant is the only place in the park that serves alcohol. Memberships cost $25,000 in start-up fees plus an additional $10,000 per year in maintenance. According to sources, Tom Hanks and Elton John are among the club's exclusive members.

If You Hear "Code V," Keep an Eye Out...For Vomit.

"Code V" is the term used among the park's 23,000 employees for when someone has a few too many churros before getting on the teacups ride. Needless to say, if you hear someone yell out "Code V in progress!" keep an eye out for any flying leftovers coming your way. 

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5 Fascinating Facts About FDR

On July 18, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented third term in office. Roosevelt would eventually be elected to a record four terms in office, the only U.S. president to serve more than two terms.  But that's not the only interesting fact about America's 32nd president—here are five other things you may not know about FDR...

President Teddy Roosevelt Walked Eleanor Down the Aisle at Her Wedding to FDR.

Much has been documented about FDR's admiration for his distant cousin, Theodore. But few people realize that Eleanor was actually also a family member (albeit a distant one). Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was FDR's fifth cousin once removed and the niece of then-President Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy actually walked Eleanor down the aisle on her wedding day, March 17, 1905, because Eleanor's father had passed away. Sadly, Great Uncle Teddy wouldn't live long enough to see FDR rise to the presidency—he died in 1919.

He was the First President to Make a Woman Part of His Cabinet.

It's hard to believe that when Roosevelt first ran for office as the vice presidential running mate to James M. Cox in 1920, women had just earned the right to vote mere months before. 13 years later, when Roosevelt finally made it into the White House, he became the first president to nominate a woman for his cabinet. Frances Perkins served as Secretary of Labor during all four of Roosevelt's terms in office, helping orchestrate several of his key initiatives including social security. It was the second time the duo had worked together—Perkins served as labor commissioner when FDR was governor of New York. 

Secret Service Agents Ruined Photos of FDR in a Wheelchair.

Most people know that FDR contracted polio in 1921 and spent most of his adult life relying on a wheelchair. But boy, did he want to do everything he could to keep it a secret. Roosevelt was notoriously private about his ailment, choosing to have most public appearances showing him sitting in an open chair or standing behind a podium. Few photos depict FDR in a wheelchair and for good reason—media figures who tried found themselves getting their cameras confiscated or film ripped out as a result.

He was the First Sitting President to Fly on a Plane.

Plane travel was a bit dicier in the 1930s than it is today, and so it was risky for FDR to take the flight to Chicago in order to accept his nomination at the 1932 Democratic Convention. But when he later took a flight to Morocco to meet with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1943, FDR became the first sitting president to travel by plane and the first president to leave the country during wartime. Speaking of flying...

His Wife, Eleanor, Flew in a Plane with Amelia Earhart.

Amelia was an inspiration to an entire generation of young women, and the First Lady was no exception. Based on her admiration for Earhart, Eleanor applied for her own pilot's license and even got to go on a short flight with Amelia herself in 1933. Upon Earhart's disappearance in 1937, Eleanor was grief-stricken and told reporters that Amelia's last words must have been "I have no regrets."

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5 Secrets About the Rosetta Stone

On July 19, 1799, a French soldier found what would end up being the key to understanding a language that scholars had deemed "dead" for over 2,000 years. The Rosetta Stone —as it's now known— is a thick, basalt slab containing three identical transcriptions in Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Egyptian demotic. Here are five things you didn't know about the Rosetta Stone...

It's Over 2,200 Years Old.

The Rosetta Stone was carved in 196 BC during the reign of Ptolemy V Epiphanes, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Rosetta Stone was created in his ninth year as Pharoah and it lays out all the nice things Ptolemy V had done for the Egyptian people including the repeal of various taxes. The Stone also contains instructions for erecting statues of him in temples, you know, just in case you feel so inclined.

Only About 1 Percent of Egyptians Could Read Hieroglyphics.

Today, we tend to think of the small drawings Egyptians did to represent objects and sounds as a huge part of Egyptian culture, right up there with pyramids and King Tut. But, the truth is that at the time the Stone was created, hieroglyphs were reserved for important or religious documents only. So, Ptolemy made sure to include the common tongue of the Egyptian people, demotic, on the slab along with ancient Greek, which was the language spoken by Egyptian rulers at the time. By including all three languages, Ptolemy made sure the masses knew what a great ruler he was and understood the decrees he was passing down following his coronation.

The Ottoman Empire Used it as Building Material.

It's believed that the Rosetta Stone's first home was in a temple before being moved a few times in the Middle Ages and eventually finding it's way into a heap of building materials the Ottoman Empire used to construct Fort Julien. It was while reconstructing the fort that Bonaparte's army came across the stone. Pierre Bouchard, one of Napoleon's soldiers, knew Bonaparte wanted to preserve ancient artifacts and saved the stone. When the British later defeated Bonaparte in 1801, they took hold of the stone and have kept it ever since.

The Stone Has Only Moved Once Since 1801.

Since making it's way to the British Museum in 1801, where it is now the most-visited exhibit, the Rosetta Stone has stayed pretty much in place. The one exception was during World War I when British officials elected to relocate the stone and other priceless, irreplaceable artifacts to an underground bunker for fear of bombing attacks. It's unclear what the future holds for the Rosetta Stone, however—in 2003, Egyptian officials requested that the stone be returned to the homeland. British officials sent a perfect replica as a gift hoping that would be enough, but Egypt still wants the original back in the country. 

It Took 23 More Years to Actually Crack the Code.

It was a French scholar, Jean-François Champollion, who finally discovered that the ancient hieroglyphs represented the sounds of the Egyptian language, and through the Rosetta Stone and other ancient texts was able to decipher key characters that translated the stone and unlocked an entire culture. Champollion went on to write a dictionary of Egyptian hieroglyphs and is widely credited as the man responsible for bringing back a 2,000-year-old language.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the First Moon Landing

On July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on the moon. To celebrate the anniversary of this landmark event, here are five little known facts about the first moon landing...

The Astronauts Didn’t Have Life Insurance.

The cost for life insurance for an astronaut is extremely high, which isn’t much of a surprise, and is probably even more if they are heading to the moon. Since Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins did not have life insurance to provide for their families if the moon mission failed, they came up with a new plan. The three men signed autographs in the hundreds to distribute among the families, so they could sell them if something went wrong.

The Design of the Lunar Module Was One Reason Neil Armstrong Set Foot on the Moon First.

Since Armstrong was the senior astronaut on board the mission, it was fitting that he be the first man to step onto the moon. However, he didn’t have much choice because of the way the lunar module was designed. When the door was opened on the hatch, the hinge placement boxed Aldrin in, so Armstrong had no choice but to exit first.

One of the Astronauts Designed the Mission Insignia.

Astronaut Michael Collins designed the insignia for the Apollo 11 mission. On advice from Jim Lovell, he traced an eagle he found in National Geographic and drew one that was landing on the moon’s surface and holding an olive branch by its beak. Since he thought the talons of the eagle looked aggressive, he moved the olive branch down, so the eagle was holding the branch in both claws.

The Most Difficult Part of the Mission Was Placing the Flag on the Moon’s Surface.

Following studies conducted by NASA, the moon’s surface was expected to be soft, but in reality, it was hard rock with a thin coating of dust, which made planting the American flag on the moon difficult. The astronauts did manage to drive the flag’s pole into the surface for a few inches so that it could be filmed. According to Buzz Aldrin, when they left the moon’s surface for their return trip home, it fell over.

The Original Tapes of Apollo 11’s Moon Landing Were Erased.

The films taken by the lunar camera during the landing were lost, according to NASA, probably because they were erased in order to reuse the film. Because the camera used on board wasn’t compatible with television broadcasting, it had to be changed. This made the films seen by those at home on their television sets dark and difficult to make out, instead of the much clearer images filmed on the moon itself.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Battle of Bull Run

On July 21, 1861, the First Battle of Bull Run was fought just 30 miles from Washington, D.C. See how much you know about this major Civil War battle with these five surprising facts about the First Battle of Bull Run...

The Battle of Bull Run Was Where Stonewall Jackson Earned His Nickname.

General Thomas Jackson, leading his troop of Virginia volunteers in the battle on July 21, began a major push forward to block a gap in the Confederate line from Union attack. One of the other Confederate generals engaged in the battle remarked that Jackson was standing in place like a stone wall. The nickname stuck, and Jackson was promoted to major general that October.

Around 55,000 Union and Confederate Troops Fought in the Battle.

The Union Army of Northeastern Virginia, commanded by Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell was composed of about 35,000 troops, while the Confederate troops that were called the Army of the Potomac and under Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard had about 20,000 troops. The Union suffered 2,708 casualties—481 soldiers were killed, 1,011 were wounded and 1,216 were listed as missing. The Confederates are estimated to have suffered 1,982 casualties, which included 387 fatalities, 1,582 wounded and 13 reported missing.

The Fight Was Also Called the Battle of Manassas.

Confederates named battles after the cities or towns that were nearby. The Federal government named them after nearby rivers or creeks. For this reason, the Confederates referred to this confrontation as the Battle of Manassas, and the Union called it Bull Run. which is a river tributary of the Occoquan River.

The Battle of Bull Run Was the First Time a Railroad Was Used to Move Troops.

General Beauregard wanted reinforcements to increase the Confederate's chance of success in the upcoming battle; however, rebel General Joseph Johnston and his 12,000 troops were in the Shenandoah Valley, some distance away. To get there, Johnston marched his troops to Piedmont Station where they boarded the Manassas Gap Railroad, which took them to the battlefield.

The Confederates Won the Battle.

For the first several hours of the battle, Union forces pushed Rebel troops back slowly while shelling the Confederates on the other side of the river. However, reinforcements arrived on the Confederate side, supplied by General Johnston, and this rallied the Southern troops to stop fighting defensively and take the offense. General Beauregard ordered a counterattack, and the Union line was broken, sending their soldiers into retreat and winning the battle for the Confederates.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About John Dillinger

On July 22, 1934, the notorious American gangster, John Dillinger, was gunned down by federal agents outside a movie theater in Chicago.  Here are five things you probably didn't know about John Dillinger…

He Could Evade, but Not Escape.

Dillinger and his gang were known for some daring evasions that often resulted in police officers being wounded or killed. However, he wasn't that good at actually escaping once in custody. Oh, he tried, and he let law enforcement know he would try. But when he was in prison, he was never able to escape and had to wait for parole to get out. When he and his gang headed to Arizona to avoid police, he was recognized even there—and when he was captured, he couldn't escape custody.

Dillinger Actually Thought Being in the Navy Would Help Protect Him.

Dillinger's crime career really started with an auto theft in 1923. He managed to get away from police, but he realized that they would be on the lookout for him, so he couldn't really return to his home. Instead, he joined the Navy immediately, thinking that would keep him out of the sights of the police. Unfortunately, the disciplined lifestyle of the Navy wasn't for him, and he deserted (after going AWOL several times), receiving a dishonorable discharge.

The "Lady in Red" Was Not Wearing Red.

Much is made of the "Lady in Red" who turned on Dillinger and helped the FBI track him down, leading to his death. However, this Lady in Red—who was the landlady of Dillinger's girlfriend and herself a close friend of Dillinger—was wearing... orange. She and the FBI arranged a plan in which she'd wear an orange skirt so the agents could identify her, and thus Dillinger, who kept trying to change his appearance through plastic surgery. The lights, however, made her skirt look red, thus earning her the nickname. This woman, named Anna Sage, was a brothel madam at risk of deportation to her home country of Romania. She struck a deal with the FBI in hopes of gaining some advantage in her deportation case, though she was eventually deported anyway.

Dillinger Had Another, Legal Skill That Was His Key to Gaining Allies.

Dillinger had the knowledge and drive to become a major gangster, but it was a totally legal skill that really won him a lot of allies in prison, and which led to his elevation in the world of bank robbery: tailoring. While in prison, Dillinger worked as a "seamster," which is essentially a tailor. He was so good and so fast that he would help others meet their production quotas, and you can imagine how good that made him look in everyone's eyes.

Despite Evidence, Some Still Claim Dillinger Himself Wasn't Killed in 1934.

The official line regarding Dillinger's death is that he was shot outside the Biograph Theater by three FBI agents, with the fatal bullet entering at the back of his neck and exiting out on the right side of his face. And fingerprints taken from the corpse seem to match up with records of Dillinger's own fingerprints, even taking into account Dillinger's attempts to obscure his fingerprints with acid. But there remains a dedicated group that insists Dillinger was not actually killed, and that he lived in hiding afterward. They claim his face was different and that his tombstone has a slightly incorrect version of his name, but in all cases, there have been simple explanations (e.g., his tombstone uses the suffix "Jr." even though he wasn't a junior, but a robbery associate of his noted the Jr. was a joke that Dillinger had wanted to use).

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Ulysses S. Grant

On this day in 1885, just after completing his memoirs, Civil War hero and former President Ulysses S. Grant died of throat cancer.  Here are five things you probably didn't know about Ulysses S. Grant...

He Didn't Want to Be in the Military in the First Place.

Grant initially entered the Army by being nominated to West Point. He did not want to take over the family business, so his father steered him toward the military instead; however, other than having something to do and learning more skills with horses, Grant really wasn't interested in a military career. Still, when he was assigned to posts, he dutifully went where he was told.

He Was Asked to Leave the Army.

Unfortunately, those posts and campaigns were often far away from his family and very long and isolated. He turned to drinking and developed such a bad alcohol habit that he was actually asked to leave the Army. Had it not been for the Civil War, Grant might have stayed close to home for the remainder of his life and not made that much of a mark on history. But when the war broke out, he re-enlisted and made an effort to stay sober (it wasn't that successful, but he stayed sober enough to carry out his duties without alarming his superiors).

Grant Managed to Get Two Civil-Rights-Related Acts Passed.

After the Civil War, Grant remained in the military for a time before running for president in 1868. He served two terms and was not known as the most successful president, though he did stay sober while in office. Most people know of him as a president who couldn't halt or handle a financial depression and whose surrounding administration suffered from a great deal of corruption. But he did manage to get a couple of acts passed that were related to civil rights. One placed restrictions on the KKK's activities, and the other was an attempt to desegregate public spaces.

His Name Was a Mistake.

He wasn't born Ulysses S. Grant; he was born Hiram Ulysses Grant. He had to change his name very quickly when he entered West Point because the person who nominated him got his name seriously wrong. However, Grant was unable to fix the mistake, so he had a choice between using the new name and trying to apply to West Point again.

He Was a Supporter of the Eight-Hour Workday.

Ask people about working conditions in the 1800s, and you'll likely hear about long, hard days on the farm or very bad factory conditions. And these conditions did exist. But Grant made a major change for federal employees in 1869, shortly after he took office: He instituted an eight-hour workday for those employees. He wasn't the first to look at that amount of time; the first eight-hour day was created in Illinois in 1867. 

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5 Things You Didn't Know about Machu Picchu

On July 24, 1911, Yale archeologist Hiram Bingham became the first to officially "discover" Machu Picchu,  an ancient Inca settlement in the Andes Mountains in Peru.  Here are 5 fascinating facts you probably didn't know about this historic landmark...

It's One of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Along with Chichen Itza in Mexico, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, the Colosseum in Italy, Petra in Jordan, the Taj Mahal in India, and the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu helps make up the modern "New Seven Wonders of the World." We're using the term "modern" pretty loosely: the original list of "seven wonders" was laid out by Philo of Byzantium in 250 B.C., but all of the original seven minus the Pyramids of Giza have been destroyed. All seven of these modern wonders are Unesco World Heritage Sites. 

Yale University Stored Thousands of Artifacts from Machu Picchu for 100 Years.

When Hiram Bingham and his team uncovered Machu Picchu on July 24, 1911, they began collecting artifacts to bring with them back to Yale University, where Bingham was a professor. In all, Bingham collected an estimated 40,000 artifacts, including mummies, a full human skeleton, ceramics, and various other antiquities. For almost 100 years, Yale battled with Peru to maintain "custody" of the artifacts, until 2010 when an agreement was finally reached to return them to their homeland.

Bingham Probably Wasn't the First Explorer to Come Across Machu Picchu.

It's no secret that local Peruvians knew of the hidden site buried in the countryside—after all, it was a small group of locals led by an 11-year-old boy that brought Bingham to the site, to begin with. But it's also likely that Bingham wasn't the first foreigner to come across Machu Picchu either. A German engineer who owned property across from Machu Picchu was said to have raised funds to plunder the ancient site more than 40 years before. Then, a map from 1874 was found detailing the ancient relic. And an English missionary living in Peru at the time of the discovery claimed not only to have found the site himself but that he also directed Bingham on where to find it. So while Bingham gets all the credit due to his book, chances are good that the site had been found before. 

Over a Million Tourists Visit the Site Each Year.

They don't call it a "wonder of the world" for nothing. In peak season from May to October, Machu Picchu sees as many as 5,000 visitors per day, so scoring a scenic photo without swarms of people around isn't very likely. The number of visitors has grown so much, that last year Peruvian officials implemented a new ticketing system where tourists need to buy either a morning or afternoon entry pass to regulate the flow of people. 

The Site Was Likely a Summer Getaway for an Incan Emperor Named Pachacuti.

Though its exact purpose remains unknown, archaeologists believe the site was a home-away-from-home for the Incan elite. Believed to have been built sometime around 1450 and abandoned in 1572 with the Spanish invasion of Incan lands, the site contains over 100 different flights of stairs and 150 different buildings. 

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5 Things You Didn't Know about the United States Post Office

On this day in 1775, Congress established the United States Post Office. The United States Postal Service now employs some 617,000 workers, making it the third-largest civilian employer in the United States.  Here are five interesting facts about the post office...

Ben Franklin Wasn't the Only "Celebrity" Postmaster.

While Mr. Franklin will always be the first, several other big-names have served in the United States Postal Service. President Abraham Lincoln was himself a postmaster in his home state of Illinois. And according to the Postal Service's website, other famous former employees include Bing Crosby, William Faulkner, Walt Disney, Charles Lindbergh, Richard Wright, and Adlai Stevenson. That's quite the dream team of mail delivery folks!

The Postal Service Had a Dog as an Early Mascot...Until He Bit a Mail Carrier.

Owney the dog was a small terrier that in 1888, started out hanging around the post office in Albany, NY. Owney began traveling on the railways with bags of mail and was soon considered a good luck charm during a time when train accidents were fairly common. Soon, Owney was a national mascot for railway mail carriers, collecting pins and tags of the places he'd been on a custom harness. Then, in 1897, Owney reportedly got a bit too testy with the wrong mail carrier. As the story goes, he bit the man who then shot him dead in Toledo, Ohio. Other mail clerks raised enough money to have Owney stuffed and today, he can be seen on display in the National Postal Museum. 

Believe It or Not, Several Kids Have Been Shipped and Carried by USPS.

The first was a young boy in Batavia, Ohio, who was shipped for 15-cents worth of stamps to his grandmother about a mile away in 1913. If you're wondering what kind of parents would do such a thing, don't worry: they paid for $50 worth of insurance, you know, just in case. Not every kid was going just a mile up the road, though. A year later, in 1914, five-year-old May Pierstorff was sent by her parents 73-miles away to visit her grandparents. No word on if they purchased the insurance, too. 

The Longest Mail Route is 190 Miles. The Shortest is Just Over One.

In Mangum, Oklahoma, a 187-mile route holds the record for most miles a mail carrier traverses in a day. In 2013, news outlets caught wind that a 72-year-old man made the run every single day. On the other end of the spectrum, a mail carrier in Carrollton, Texas travels just 1.2 miles a day on his or her route. There are over 211,000 mail carriers delivering mail to 87 million residential and business delivery points around the country.

Mail Carriers Know How to Hunt Down Criminals.

No one would expect the nice guy who delivers your packages to also be a skilled criminal detective, but according to sources, the USPS helped turn over 46,000 pounds of narcotics in a year and aided in the arrests of 778 criminals due to fingerprints and other incriminating evidence from the mail. 

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Jackie Kennedy

On this day in 1929, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was born into a prominent New York family. She remains one of the most famous and admired first ladies in the United States, and her influence on fashion and politics continues long after her death in 1994. Here are five things you probably didn't know about Jacqueline Kennedy...

Kennedy Wasn't Always the Sweetest Student.

As a young student, she had a good reputation and charmed pretty much everyone—except her teachers when she acted up. Yes, the elegant first lady and socialite had her share of "got kicked out of the classroom" days as a kid. Her disciplinary notes were always diplomatic but straightforward, so there was no glossing over why she occasionally ended up missing some of her class time. Of course, things like this happen to lots of people when they're kids. It's just funny to hear that even first ladies had those days as well.

The 1960 Election Wasn't the First Time She'd Dealt With Richard Nixon.

John F. Kennedy's campaign against Richard M. Nixon in the 1960 election—Nixon was the sitting Vice President—was not the first time that Jackie Kennedy had dealt with Nixon. Her first job out of school was as a reporter who would ask "man in the street" questions and write about the collected answers. One of the people she was able to interview in the early 1950s was none other than Richard M. Nixon.

Her Life After January 1952 Was All Thanks to a Gut Feeling.

Jackie Kennedy was originally supposed to marry a banker and got engaged in January 1952. However, despite how well the two seemed to match up, Kennedy began to second-guess the engagement. She wasn't keen on becoming a housewife at that point, so she called off the engagement. It was good timing; only a few months later, she met John F. Kennedy. Had she not listened to her doubts, her life would have been very, very different.

She Created a Fully Functional Kindergarten.

The Kennedys were very popular, both with the public and the press—and they needed several security personnel to protect them. That made it difficult for Kennedy's daughter to start going to school, so Jackie Kennedy created an actual kindergarten for her daughter and a few other children. This was more than just homeschooling; the school offered everything a regular kindergarten did, including a typical array of small animals.

Her Famed Fashion Sense Almost Got Her Into Trouble.

One of the leading images of Jackie Kennedy is of a woman who had great fashion sense. But that sense was initially something that people didn't like about her because she kept wearing French fashions that gave the public the impression that she was spending too much and that she was not really in touch with the public. After her family paired her up with an American designer, though, the public's perception of her fashion sense turned around, and people started admiring her instead.

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5 Facts about Prince Charles and Lady Diana's Wedding

On July 29, 1981, Prince Charles married Lady Diana in a wedding that could have come from a fairy tale as 750 million people worldwide watched the event. See if you know these behind the scenes facts about one of the most famous weddings in history.

Lady Diana Spilled Something on Her Gown Just Before the Wedding

It was reported that just before Diana started down the aisle, she decided to dab on a little of her favorite perfume, Quelques Fleurs Cher. Unfortunately, the perfume doused part of the wedding gown. During her walk down the aisle, Diana is seen holding her dress up a good part of the time, which was an attempt to cover the spot left by the perfume.

The Royal Couple Had Enough Wedding Cake to Feed an Army.

Twenty-seven wedding cakes were made for the celebration. The official cake was made by a head baker at the cooking school for the Royal Navy. It was a fruitcake with five layers and covered in white icing, along with decorations of the Prince of Wales’ coat of arms and the family crest of the Spencers. Roses, orchids and lilies of the valley also decorated the elaborate cake.

The Wedding Gown Had to Be Refitted Over and Over.

Fifteen times, Diana had to have her wedding gown fitted because she kept losing weight before the ceremony. It was reported that her waistline dropped from 29 inches to 23.5 inches from the initial fitting. The elegant gown, made of silk and taffeta, cost $115,000 and contained over 10,000 pearls and sequins, along with a train that measured 25 feet in length.

The Wedding Ring Was Ordered Through a Catalog.

Diana went to the jewelry catalog from the House of Garrard, the oldest jewelry house in the world, for her engagement ring. The ring she decided on contained a 12-carat blue sapphire with 14 diamonds in a white-gold setting. After the death of Lady Diana, the ring was passed down to Prince William’s wife, Kate.

The Royal Couple Received Some Amazing Wedding Gifts.

The gifts from President Reagan for America were a glass bowl from Steuben and a Boehm porcelain centerpiece that was handmade, while Canada sent an entire roomful of antique furniture, made in Canada, of course. Cartier sent a clock that was Art Deco in design, Australia gifted the couple 20 silver platters that were handcrafted, and Scotland sent whiskey. The couple also received ordinary gifts, including picnic baskets, bathrobes and figures of the couple made from gingerbread from one primary school.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Jimmy Hoffa

On July 30, 1975, Jimmy Hoffa, former powerful leader of the Teamsters Union, vanished from the parking lot of a restaurant in a Detroit suburb, never to be seen again. See how much you know about this man who was suspected of having been rubbed out by members of the mafia...

Jimmy Hoffa Headed the Largest Labor Union in the World.

With membership in the hundreds of thousands, Hoffa, as president of the Teamsters, wielded an incredible amount of power in the United States. Since truckers carried most of the merchandise, food and fuel to locations all across the country, if Hoffa had called for a strike, the country would have faced serious shortages quickly. According to journalist Clark Mollenhoff, Jimmy Hoffa had more power in the country than the president himself.

Richard Nixon Pardoned Jimmy Hoffa in 1971

Hoffa had been convicted in 1964 of jury tampering, and he received an eight-year sentence. That same year he was convicted of embezzlement for making large loans out of the Teamster pension fund to mobsters. In 1971, after serving fewer than five out of his sentence of 13 years, he was pardoned by President Nixon but with restrictions that kept Hoffa from taking over the Teamsters Union again.

He Was Supposed to Meet With Two Teamster Officials at the Time of His Disappearance

Anthony Giacalone and Anthony Provenzano were nicknamed Tony Jack and Tony Pro, and both were members of organized crime and were believed by Hoffa to be meeting him in the parking lot of a restaurant. Giacalone’s alibi was that he was getting a haircut and hadn’t planned to meet with Hoffa that day. Provenzano was known to be at his home in New Jersey when Hoffa disappeared. However, Provenzano had been in prison with Hoffa, and their feuding while in jail was well known, even leading to a fist fight.

Hoffa Contacted His Wife From the Restaurant

Hoffa went inside the restaurant after waiting for about 30 minutes in the parking lot for the two men, but Giacalone nor Provenzano had not arrived. Hoffa then phoned his wife at about 2:30 in the afternoon from the restaurant, asking her if there had been any phone call from Giacalone. This was the last time anyone had contact with Hoffa.

Rumors About What Happened to Hoffa Floated Around for Many Years

Although there was an extensive search for Hoffa by federal and local authorities, no evidence was ever found about what happened to him. Rumors about his disappearance included that he had been killed by mobsters and buried underneath Giants Stadium, but a search did not turn up anything. Another rumor was that he had been slain by a contract killer who had then placed his body in a barrel, which was then put in a car, compacted and shipped to Japan.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Andrew Johnson

On July 31, 1875, former President Andrew Johnson died and was buried with his body wrapped in the American flag, and with the U.S. Constitution as his pillow. Find out how much you know about the man who replaced Abraham Lincoln following his assassination.

He and His Brother Were Indentured Servants.

Johnson and his brother, William, were sent to James Selby, a tailor, to work as indentured apprentices. Although they were bound to the tailor legally, they were unhappy and ran away about two years later. The tailor placed a newspaper ad offering a $10 reward for their return. However, they were never captured.

At the Age of 22, Johnson Was Elected as Mayor of His Town.

Johnson must have learned the tailoring business well because he opened a shop of his own at age 19. At 22, he was elected as the mayor in Greeneville, Tennessee, an office he held for four years. In 1935, he was elected as a new member of the House of Representatives in Tennessee, and he became a State Senator before his election to the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C.

Johnson Was Supposed to Be Assassinated With Abraham Lincoln.

President Lincoln was originally supposed to have been kidnapped by John Wilkes Booth, and one of the other plotters included George Atzerodt, an immigrant from Prussia, who was familiar with potential escape routes and the back roads. When the plot was changed to assassinate both the President and Vice President, Atzerodt was supposed to kill Vice President Johnson but did not do so. He was still charged as part of the conspiracy, taken to trial, found guilty and executed on July 7, 1865.

One Vote Kept Johnson From Being Removed as President.

In 1867, the members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Johnson because he had removed his own Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, from his post, which was illegal under the Tenure of Office Act. The vote to remove Johnson fell one vote short, so the impeachment was unsuccessful. In the following presidential election, Johnson did not receive the party nomination to run in 1868.

Johnson Tried to Get Back into Politics After He Left the Presidency.

Following his unsuccessful bid for the office of the presidency, Johnson returned to Greeneville, Tennessee, where he ran for seats in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. He was unable to win a seat until 1875, when he won an election to the U.S. Senate. However, he died from a stroke on July 31, 1875, a short time after taking office.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About World War I

August 1, 1914, marks the official beginning of the "Great War" when Russia and Germany declared war on each other.  Though most thought the war would be over in a few months, it would take more than four years for conflicts to come to an end. Here are five interesting facts about the first World War...

The British Prime Minister Heard an Explosion All the Way in London.

World War I introduced a multitude of new weaponry into battle, including tanks and flamethrowers. But the use of mines was perhaps the most devastating. During The Battle of Messines in 1917, British forces detonated 900,000 lbs of explosives in 19 underground tunnels beneath German frontlines. The explosion was one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions in history and the most deadly: 10,000 German soldiers died in the trenches. Reports came from Downing Street in London and even Dublin of hearing the explosion. At Lille University in France, the explosion was mistaken for an earthquake.

The War Kicked Off the Beginning of Plastic Surgery.

It was not just weaponry that saw tremendous advancements during the war—medicine also saw new innovations that carried on into modern times. Plastic surgery got its start during World War I. A doctor named Harold Gillies pioneered facial reconstruction surgery after seeing soldiers injured and disfigured by shrapnel explosions. Blood transfusions also became a regular practice, with the first blood banks established on the frontlines during 1917.

German was the Second Most Widely Spoken Language in the US Before the War.

But that changed when U.S. officials banned German language books and required schools remove German from their curriculums. As if that wasn't crazy enough, German Shepards, Dachshunds, frankfurters, and sauerkraut became known as Alsatians, liberty pups, liberty sausages, and liberty cabbage. Needless to say, suspicions of the Germans were quite high stateside.

Woodrow Wilson Ran on an Anti-War Platform.

And then reneged on it just a month after getting elected. Wilson prided himself as the president who kept America out of the war and used American fears of sending boys overseas as a way to earn a second term. But after several American ships were sunk by German forces, Wilson had no choice but to get involved. America entered the war on April 4, 1917.

Women's Skin Turned Yellow During the War.

We all remember Rosie the Riveter, and the call for U.S. women to take up jobs usually held by men during World War II. But in World War I, many women had to fill the factory jobs held by their husbands, too. Some women who worked with TNT saw their skin turn yellow and suffered from toxic jaundice. 

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5 Fascinating Facts About the Declaration of Independence

On August 2, 1776, 56 delegates to Congress signed the Declaration of Independence, and Great Britain received word about the Declaration eight days later. Find out how much you know about America’s declaration of freedom from Great Britain.

The Declaration of Independence Wasn’t Signed on Independence Day.

Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, and this is why Independence Day is celebrated on this date. However, the document was unsigned for about a month afterward because it had to be written out on parchment first. Most of the delegates signed the document on August 2; however, a few signed later, and some never signed it at all.

When the Declaration of Independence Was Read to the Crowd Gathered in New York, a Riot Started in Celebration.

Even though there were a large number of British naval ships sitting in the harbor at New York at the time, George Washington read the Declaration of Independence while standing boldly in front of New York’s City Hall. The crowd was so pleased by the news that they tore down George III’s statue, which was melted down to make over 42,000 musket balls to help arm the new American army that would fight for its freedom.

During World War II, the Declaration Was Stashed Safely Away at Fort Knox.

Following the deadly attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, the Declaration, along with the U.S. Constitution, was removed from Washington, D.C. for safety. The two documents traveled with a contingent of armed guards and were packed in special padlocked containers that were lead sealed and put into an even larger box. With additional protection supplied by the Secret Service, the documents were taken by train to Louisville, Kentucky, and escorted by 13th Armored Division cavalry troops to Fort Knox.

More Than One Copy Exists

After the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, the “Committee of Five”—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston—was charged with overseeing the reproduction of the approved text. This was completed at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap. On July 5, Dunlap’s copies were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials and the commanders of the Continental troops. These rare documents, known as “Dunlap broadsides,” predate the engrossed version signed by the delegates. Of the hundreds thought to have been printed on the night of July 4, only 26 copies survive. Most are held in museum and library collections, but three are privately owned.

Two Additional Copies Have Been Found in the Last 25 Years

In 1989, a Philadelphia man found an original Dunlap Broadside hidden in the back of a picture frame he bought at a flea market for $4. One of the few surviving copies from the official first printing of the Declaration, it was in excellent condition and sold for $8.1 million in 2000. A 26th known Dunlap broadside emerged at the British National Archives in 2009, hidden for centuries in a box of papers captured from American colonists during the Revolutionary War. One of three Dunlap broadsides at the National Archives, the copy remains there to this day.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Christopher Columbus

On this day in 1492, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set sail in command of three ships—the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina—on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.  Here are five interesting facts about Christopher Columbus...

The First Voyage Almost Never Happened.

After Columbus's plan to find a western route to the Indies was rejected by Portugal, Italy, and England, the explorer turned to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I of Spain. Isabella was naturally a bit hesitant to fund Columbus’s voyage. When Columbus first proposed the idea in 1486 (six years before Columbus would finally set sail), Isabella rejected him on the advice of her counsel. But, she clearly maintained interest—she opted to pay Columbus an annual stipend and give him free room and board across all the lands where she ruled.  

In January 1492, he got another chance to make his case in front of Isabella. She again rejected him, and Columbus fled. Ferdinand then stepped in and authorized the voyage. The Queen’s courier had to hustle to catch up with Columbus—who was already four miles outside town—and shared the good news.

His Crew Didn't Love Him.

Finding a crew wasn't the easiest task. In 1492, it wasn't just Kyrie Irving thinking the Earth was flat; many people though sailing across the ocean would lead to some massive waterfall where they'd fall of the face of the planet into the abyss. Alas, Columbus managed to convince 86 men to join his crew, but they didn't love their captain. Columbus maintained two separate logs so that he could deceive the crew about how far they'd traveled from home. On the brink of mutiny, Columbus agreed to head home if they didn't find land within two days. The next day, they came across San Salvador. 

He Wrecked the Santa Maria on Christmas Day, 1492.

Columbus returned back to Spain without the gold and spices he had promised the King and Queen, and without the nicest ship they had loaned him. The Santa Maria ran aground on Christmas Day, forcing Columbus to leave 39 men behind at a settlement called La Navidad in present-day Haiti. Just one more reason the crew didn't love their captain. 

A Lunar Eclipse Saved Columbus's Life.

During Columbus's final voyage in 1504, Columbus and his crew got stranded in Jamaica for a year. Columbus and a small crew took a Canoe over to Hispaniola in search of food, but the governor despised Columbus and refused to help him. Desperate and aware that a lunar eclipse was coming soon, Columbus warned the islanders that their refusal of food had upset his god and that the moon would turn red to show his wrath. When it turned the next night, the islanders were terrified and gave Columbus the provisions he needed to survive.

Columbus Crossed the Atlantic Even in Death.

Columbus died in 1506 and was buried in Valladolid, Spain, and then moved to Seville. The bodies of Columbus and his son Diego were later shipped across the Atlantic to Hispaniola where they were kept at a Santo Domingo cathedral. Then, in 1795, the French captured the island. Spanish locals dug up remains thought to be those of Columbus and quickly moved them to Cuba. They were then returned to Seville after the Spanish-American War in 1898. That's a lot of hopping around, but here's the twist:

In 1877, a box with human remains and the explorer’s name was discovered inside the Santo Domingo cathedral. Though DNA testing has confirmed that at least some of the bones in Seville belong to Columbus, it's possible the explorer has remains on both sides of the Atlantic. 

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Anne Frank_2

On this day in 1944, the Nazi Gestapo captured 15-year-old Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family in a sealed-off area of an Amsterdam warehouse.  nne spent much of her time in the “secret annex” working on her diary.  Here are five interesting things you probably didn't know about Anne Frank...

She Addressed Many of Her Entries to "Kitty."

Scholars have long debated who exactly "Kitty" was to Anne. Some believe it's the nickname of her closest friend before going into hiding. Others think it relates to a character from Anne's favorite book. While we likely will never know the truth, one thing's for certain: Kitty isn't the only "person" Anne wrote to in her diary. There are letters addressed to Conny, Marianne, Emmy, and Pop, too. 

The Woman Who Found the Diary Said She Would Have Burned It if She Read It.

Miep Gies, a secretary at the factory where the Franks hid for two years, was a supporter of the family and regularly visited with Anne. After the raid on August 4, 1944, Gies went up to the attic and found Anne's diary strewn across the floor. She collected the papers but never read them, instead storing them safely and returning them to Otto Frank after the war. It's a good thing she didn't read them, too: Gies later confessed that had she read the pages, she would have burned them because they implicated her and everyone else involved in a crime that could have cost them their lives.

Otto Frank Possibly Saved the Arresting Officer Who Sent His Family to the Camps from Losing His Job.

Karl Silberbauer was an SS officer in Amsterdam during the war who received the orders from his superior on August 4, 1944, to investigate an anonymous tip of hidden Jews in the top floor of Prinsengracht 263. Sillberbauer later said he vividly remembered the arrest and even complimented Otto Frank on his lovely daughters. In 1963, people made the connection between Sillberbauer—then a Viennese police officer—and Anne Frank. Austrian officials immediately suspended Sillberbauer without pay and set up a hearing. Otto Frank attended the hearing and testified that Sillberbauer had only done his duty and acted with civility throughout the process. He did not believe Sillberbauer needed to lose his job, but requested to never see the man again in his life.

The Diary of Anne Frank has Regularly Been Banned from Schools.

Despite being a prolific writer and deep thinker, Frank was still just a young girl, and therefore, some of the entries depict the natural thoughts and curiosities of a young girl discovering her own anatomy. Because of a brief passage where Frank wonders about her own body, the book has been regularly banned from school reading lists. But that's not even the dumbest reason for banning the book: schools in Alabama once banned it for being a "downer." Yikes.

Some People Think Anne's Diary is a Fake.

We've all heard of those crazy Holocaust deniers who don't think millions of Jews died during the Holocaust. Well, those same deniers have made ludicrous claims that Anne Frank's diary is a forgery and the events described never really happened. Not to worry—the documents have been thoroughly analyzed for handwriting, glue and binding methods, and the types of ink and paper. To no sane person's surprise, the document came back 100% authentic.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Marilyn Monroe's Death

On August 5, 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home, as a result of an apparent suicide.  As with other famous deaths, Monroe's soon became subject to varying theories, and her popularity has only grown. Here are five things you didn't know about Marilyn Monroe's death...

She Left No Note.

The image of a bedside note explaining why someone took their own life is not as common as many think. Only about 40 percent of people who commit suicide actually do leave a note, and Monroe was not one of them. The police did determine that it was suicide and not an accidental death, but they could not determine exactly why. She had long dealt with severe depression and had seen her career greatly affected by it, so many assumed that her suicide was linked to that. There were hints from others that her death may have been related to poor box-office performance of two films in a row, but this has never been proven. Over the years various friends and acquaintances have thought she might have been murdered.

Objectification and Gossip Didn't Stop Once She Died.

Conspiracy theories and affair rumors surfaced after her death, as one might expect when someone so young and publicly doing well suddenly dies. Her supposed affair with Robert Kennedy was a rumor that sprang from a book written in 1974 by a man who claimed he (the author, not Kennedy) had secretly married Monroe. Even the long-standing affair rumor regarding John F. Kennedy was based on only one night when they might have had time to meet up outside of public view. Worse, the physical objectification of Monroe refused to stop—and we're not talking about sales of posters. When Monroe's body was installed in a crypt, a man bought the crypt on top of hers and stipulated he be buried face down "on top" of Monroe.

An Apparent System of Wiretaps in Her Home Didn't Help Stop That Gossip.

The history of Marilyn Monroe's house, after she died, generally holds that it was bought by actress Veronica Hamel in 1972. Hamel initiated extensive remodeling work, as one does, only to find reportedly extensive wiretapping instead. A retired FBI official reportedly said the wiretap parts would have been standard issue for the FBI in the early 1960s.

She Wasn't Highly Paid in Life but Has Pulled in More Than a Tidy Sum in Death.

Monroe, surprisingly, wasn't paid very well when she was alive. She was certainly paid well in a practical sense, but compared to other actresses like Elizabeth Taylor and Jane Russell, she was getting about one-tenth what other superstar actresses might get. However, her estate has constantly raked in millions of dollars each year after her death, including $30 million in a licensing deal in 2011.

Monroe Was Given a Lutheran Funeral Despite Having Converted to Judaism.

Monroe converted to Judaism in 1956. She had been raised in conservative Protestant homes and had become a Christian Scientist as a young woman. However, when she began dating playwright Arthur Miller, she became very interested in Reform Judaism and expressed a sincere desire to convert. Her conversion was eventually approved, and a small ceremony was held just before her wedding to Miller. Despite her divorce from Miller later on, she remained an observant Jew (she did not attend services out of fear of causing a spectacle). However, her funeral was presided over by a Lutheran minister who had been invited by Joe DiMaggio, Monroe's former husband with whom she may have been reconciling at the time of her death.

 

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the Bombing of Hiroshima

August 6, 1945, is the day the U.S. dropped the "Little Boy" atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan unleashing the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT.  Here are five things you didn't know about the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima...

Little Boy Was 15 Kilotons—Very Small Compared to Some Later Test Bombs

Little Boy destroyed a city and left a legacy of radiation poisoning—but it was an incredibly small bomb compared to what's been invented since then. To give you an idea of relative bomb strengths, the devastation you see in pictures of post-bomb Hiroshima, and all the personal horror stories that go with those, were caused by a 15-kiloton bomb. Current nuclear bomb strengths far exceed that of Little Boy's, such as the estimated 100 kilotons of a probable test in North Korea in 2017. 

Godzilla Was Created Because of the Bombs

U.S. audiences generally know of Godzilla as the poorly edited Americanized version that had footage of Raymond Burr added to an existing film. But the original (distinguished from the Burr version in the U.S. by its romanized name, Gojira) was a serious metaphor for the atomic bombs dropped on the country and a parable about nature's revenge for the devastation. Its 1954 release in Japan—just nine years after the bombings—also came on the heels of an incident in which a Japanese fishing vessel was caught in the fallout from a secret U.S. nuclear test in the South Pacific, making the metaphor even more timely for Japanese audiences. Interestingly, as time went on and Japan's situation improved tremendously, even the Japanese sequels became campy and somewhat humor-based.

Hiroshima Made the Oleander Its Official City Flower After the Bombings.

The oleander is native to Asia and is also a common streetside shrub in the southern portions of the U.S. (especially in Southern California), but it holds special significance in Hiroshima. An oleander bush was the first to produce flowers after the bombings, so the city decided to adopt the oleander as the city's official flower.

The Bombs May Not Have Been the Central Reason for the Japanese Surrender.

The two bombings certainly hurt Japan; that's not in question, and it's a good bet that the bombings did help usher the country toward surrender. But they may not have been the core reason. The Soviet Union had finally entered World War II's Pacific side in August 1945 after years of fighting on the European front only. The additional declaration of war may have been what really pushed Japan to stop fighting.

A U.S. TV Show Arranged Possibly the Most Awkward and Uncomfortable Reunion Imaginable.

This Is Your Life was a show that reunited people with others from their past, usually in heartwarming and funny episodes; those featuring celebrities still make the rounds in snippets online. (Subjects were often somewhat duped into appearing, only to have the real purpose and person-from-the-past appear once they were on live TV.) When a group of Japanese women came to the U.S. in 1955 for surgery for injuries related to the bombing (a.k.a. The Hiroshima Maidens), the man who helped bring the women to the states, Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, was himself a survivor and thought he as going on a talk show to discuss the surgery project. Instead, he was surprised by the appearance of the co-pilot of the Enola Gay, which was the plane that carried Little Boy. Tanimoto kept his composure, but no doubt this was not a reunion he was expecting to take part in.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the Purple Heart

On August 7, 1782, General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, created the “Badge for Military Merit,” otherwise known as a “Purple Heart.”  See how much you recall about this symbol of courage and sacrifice that was designed to honor the bravest of the brave in American history.

The Badge Was Originally Created for Those Who Served in the Revolutionary War.

The original Purple Heart was a white-colored ribbon with a heart-shaped emblem embroidered out of purple cloth. Only three were awarded by the end of the Revolutionary War when it was discontinued. One was given to Sergeant Daniel Bissell, who acted as a spy against the British, and the other two were awarded to Sergeant William Brown for his courage at Yorktown and Sergeant Elijah Churchill for two raids against fortifications held by the British.

The Purple Heart Wasn’t Reinstated Until World War II.

Major General Douglas MacArthur was instrumental in reviving the award, and it was renamed the Purple Heart in 1932. MacArthur himself received the first one for his participation in 1942 in the American Expeditionary Force in France. The commendation was expanded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to include members of any service branch who had been wounded during action when fighting against an enemy of America.

Some Civilians Were Awarded the Purple Heart.

Civilians have also been awarded with the Purple Heart over the years. One was Ernie Pyle, the combat journalist, who was given the award after he was killed by gunfire while he was reporting the battle on Lejima, near Okinawa. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, firefighters who worked to douse the flames, along with other civilians, were awarded medals, but the practice of giving the Purple Heart to civilians was stopped in 1997.

One Soldier Received Nine Purple Hearts.

A Marine Corps sergeant, Albert Luke Ireland, is credited as receiving the highest number of Purple Hearts. He was injured five times while serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II and another four times while serving in the Korean War for a total of nine Purple Hearts. Ireland was a New York native who was also awarded two Bronze Stars and service and campaign medals adorned with eight battle stars.

There Is a Museum Dedicated to Those Who Received the Purple Heart.

A museum dedicated to Purple Heart recipients was established through passage of a resolution by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2002. It is located in New Windsor, New York, close to the spot where George Washington was camped when the badge was established in 1782. The center contains a registry of all of the U.S. combat casualties from military combat from the period of the Revolutionary War to present times.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About the Watergate Burglary_II

On August 8, 1974, President Nixon, facing impeachment, resigned from office in a cloud of scandal and wrongdoing. See how much you remember about the Watergate investigation that brought down some of the most powerful men in Washington, D.C.

Nixon Tried to Obstruct the Investigation.

In various efforts to obstruct the investigation, Nixon asked the CIA to interfere with the FBI investigation, which they refused to do. Hush money was paid to the co-conspirators, and Nixon taped his discussion with John Dean to pay E. Howard Hunt $75,000. Chuck Colson was offered clemency on Nixon’s orders to get him to keep quiet about what he knew.

The White House Worked Hard to Fire the Independent Counsel.

While the Justice Department, headed by Archibald Cox, was trying to get the tapes, the White House refused to cooperate and repeatedly tried to get Cox removed as counsel. Elliot Richardson, the attorney general, was ordered by Nixon to fire Cox but refused and resigned from his post. William Ruckelshaus, who was acting attorney general after Richardson, also refused and quit, and it was Robert Bork, Solicitor General in the Justice Department, who finally fired Cox, which abolished the special prosecutor’s office.

There Were Three Articles of Impeachment Against Nixon.

The first impeachment article charged Nixon with obstructing the Watergate investigation, covering up and protecting the people responsible for it and concealing evidence, among other charges. The second charged that Nixon tried to enlist the help of the IRS to investigate his political enemies and oversaw the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg’s office along with letting the men who broke into the DNC headquarters work at the White House.

Many People Were Charged With Participating in the Coverup and Related Crimes.

Although there were many people charged with crimes in the Watergate coverup and break-ins, at least 12 were convicted and served jail time for their parts. Among them was H.R. Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff; John Mitchell, Nixon’s campaign manager for his reelection and former attorney general; and John Dean, who served as counsel to the White House. E. Howard Hunt, who had worked as a CIA officer, and G. Gordon Liddy, a previous FBI agent, were also among those convicted of the burglary.

The Supreme Court Ruled That Nixon Had to Turn Over the Tapes.

Efforts to impede the investigation of the Watergate burglary failed following the indictment of former Nixon aides. Nixon was referred to as an unindicted co-conspirator and was still balking at handing over the tapes used to record all conversations that took place in the oval office. Although the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to hand the tapes over to investigators, he did not do so until August, and the tapes showed that the president was involved in the crimes committed at Watergate.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia fronted one of the most legendary rock bands in history for 30 years, but on August 9, 1995, that came to an end when he died of a heart attack at the age of 53.  Here are five interesting facts you may not know about the man who helped usher in a whole generation of peace and love...

Jerry Garcia's First Love Was Country Music.

Though he went on to found one of the most popular bands in rock n' roll history, if the young Jerry Garcia had it his way, he'd have been playing country tunes in a pair of cowboy boots. Garcia grew up listening to Grand Ol' Opry every Sunday and his first record ever was a Hank Williams 45. It wasn't until he watched The Beatles' film, A Hard Day's Night, that Garcia converted to the church of rock n' roll. 

The Original Band Name Was The Warlocks.

The five-some of Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Pigpen McKernan, and Bill Kreutzman originally formed a group in 1964 called The Warlocks before going on to change the name to The Grateful Dead. According to Garcia, the new name didn't have any prolific origin—he simply plucked it out of the dictionary. Deadhead legend has it that the band was smoking DMT at Phil Lesh's house when Garcia opened a dictionary randomly to those two words. He suggested the name to the rest of the guys, and it stuck. 

Garcia Has a Cockroach and an Asteroid Named After Him.

The spirit of Jerry Garcia lives on in more than his music—in the late 1990s, a Deadhead doubling as a researcher discovered a new breed of cockroach (hooray!) and decided to pay homage to the hippie king of rock n' roll by naming the bug after Garcia. “Cryptocercus garciai” was born! But don't worry, if bugs aren't your thing, two astronomers named an asteroid after the singer just three months after his passing, so you can remember him through a giant flying rock instead!

Garcia Earned Just $5 for His First Gig.

Before The Grateful Dead (and even before The Warlocks), Garcia and friend Robert Hunter played a gig under the name "Bob and Jerry" for just $5. Though the duo initially framed the check to remember their humble beginnings, the memory was short-lived. The duo cashed the check for cigarette money just days after getting it. Bob Hunter would go on to write lyrics for The Grateful Dead, and when the band was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Hunter became the first non-performing band member to get inducted. 

They Had an Awful Set at Woodstock.

Most people know that The Grateful Dead performed for 400,000 people at Woodstock in 1969, but few know the dirty details: the band had an awful set. So bad, in fact, that they were not featured in the feature film version of the concert. Garcia himself acknowledged that the band was too trashed when they got on stage for their nighttime set, and a mix of bad weather and too many people on stage made them play poorly. 

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Spider-Man

On August 10, 1962, Spider-Man made his comic book debut in Amazing Fantasy #15.  Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and very quickly took pop culture by storm.  Look out!  Here comes the 5 things you probably didn't know about the famed wall-crawler...

Spider-Man is Quite the Ladies Man.

Despite being a timid, somewhat awkward teen, when Peter Parker puts on that spandex suit it's not just his body that shoots over tall buildings—his confidence is sky-high, too. Most people think of Spider-Man's two main love interests from the comics (and films): Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy. But Peter's first love was actually Betty Brant. Like many of Parker's relationships, however, this one too ended in death when Betty's brother passed away during a fight between Spidey and Dr. Octopus. And true comic book fans will also remember Felicia Hardy—Parker's love interest before Mary Jane came along.

Peter's Parents Were Spies.

One of the biggest mysteries in the early days of Spider-Man was "What happened to Peter Parker's parents?" We know that Peter lived with Uncle Ben and Aunt May for quite some time when he got bit by the radioactive spider, but the backstory behind why didn't reveal itself until 1968 when Peter uncovered the truth: his parents were double agents working for the U.S. government to infiltrate an organization run by a KGB operative. They were killed in a plane crash in Algeria, leaving Peter to be raised by Ben and May.

He's Been a Part of the Fantastic Four and X-Men.

If you follow along with the comic books, you may remember Spider-Man got the nod to join an early incarnation of The Fantastic Four (then called the Future Foundation) after The Human Torch passed away and left an open spot on the roster. Later on, in his retirement, Spider-Man went on to teach a course or two (while fighting crime and evil on the side) at the Jean Gray Insitute of Higher Learning along with the rest of the X-Men (except Wolverine, who had died by this point).

Tony Stark Made Him an Iron Man Suit of His Own.

When Peter Parker decided to fight alongside Stark and the rest of "The Initiative" during the Civil War, Stark made Parker a special suit called "The Iron Spider." While the suit traded in the traditional red and blue for gold, that was far from its only difference. It also had three retractable spider legs that Parker could use for a stronger grip or an "extra hand" in combat.

Peter Parker is Dead. But a New Spider-Man is Climbing the Ranks.

Following the death of Peter Parker, a young thief named Miles Morales finds himself face-to-face with the same radioactive spider that chomped down on Parker so many years back. Like Parker, Morales develops "spidey senses" and decides to use them for good. Unlike Parker, Morales does not shoot webbing from his wrists but venom instead.

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