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5 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Peter Pan

On December 27, 1904, the play Peter Pan, by James Barrie, opened at the Duke of York’s Theater in London. Here are 5 facts that will surprise even the most dedicated fans of Peter Pan...

“Peter Pan” Started Out As A Play

James Barrie originally wrote Peter Pan as a play and adapted into the 1911 novel Peter and Wendy. The play received great reviews. The Guardian newspaper declared, “Even those who least relish it must admit that no such play was ever seen before on any stage. It is absolutely original — the product of a unique imagination.” The play was so popular,  it was re-staged and presented every year for the next ten years.

The Fairy Dust Was Added For Children's Safety

Didn't you ever wish you could fly? It turns out that after discovering that Peter and his Lost Boys could fly, there were a number of incidents where children injured themselves after trying to "take off" from their beds at home. To prevent such injuries, Barrie introduced fairy dust into the play, as a necessary factor for flying. Once children believed they couldn’t fly without the addition of the magic fairy dust, they stopped taking flying leaps from their beds in an attempt to go airborne.

Peter Pan Wasn’t Always Dressed In Green

Peter Pan wasn’t dressed in all green until Disney presented him that way in the 1953 animated movie. During the stage productions, the boy who could fly wore tans, auburn, and browns, along with cobwebs. The character was named for one of the Davies boys, whose name was Peter, and for Pan, the Greek god of wild things and nature. In addition, it has been suggested that the character was based on Barrie’s own brother, who died in his teens following a skating accident.

A Famous Line From The Play Was Removed During World War I

In the productions of Peter Pan staged during World War I, the line “To die will be an awfully big adventure” was removed. The line  is attributed to the original producer of “Peter Pan,” Charles Frohman. But for Frohman, that line from the play stayed with him.  It is reported that those were his last words just before he died onboard the RMS Lusitania, when it sank after being struck by a torpedo fired by a German U-boat in 1915. 

JM Barrie Gave Away The Rights To Peter Pan

J. M. Barrie had been a supporter of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for a long time and had lived behind the hospital when he first moved to London. In 1929, Barrie gave the rights to Peter Pan to the hospital, and to this day, it still receives royalties every time the play is staged. Barrie requested that the amount raised from Peter Pan should never be revealed, and the hospital has honored his wishes.

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5 Awesome Facts You Didn't Know About Iowa

On December 28, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the bill which admitted Iowa as the twenty-ninth state in the Union.  Here are five awesome facts that you probably didn't know about Iowa.

Iowa Almost Went to War With Missouri

A surveying error ignited a dispute that nearly caused a war between the State of Missouri and the Iowa Territory. The governors of Missouri and Iowa Territory went so far as to gather their militias and angry volunteers at the disputed border. Before any shots were fired, the federal government stepped in and literally drew the line. The conflict is often referred to as “The Honey War” because a copse of trees containing a large number of honeybees was destroyed during the dispute.

The State Birds Was Killed During a Golf Tournament

Those who live near a golf course know that a ball has gone astray when they hear the sound of breaking glass at their home, but one golfer playing in West Des Moines managed to kill a small bird in flight. The golfer was actor Rob Lowe, who was participating in a PGA Pro-Am celebrity tournament there. His shot hit and killed a goldfinch, Iowa's state bird, mid-flight. Actuaries calculated the the odds of an out-of-state golfer hitting a golf ball and killing the Iowa state bird to be one in 747 million. Now that’s amazing.

Sliced Bread Was Invented In Iowa

We have an Iowan to thank for the phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread".  Otto Frederick Rohwedder, from  Davenport, Iowa was tired of slicing his bread by hand, so he invented a device to do it for him in 1912. Unfortunately, his invention was lost in a fire before he could dazzle the world with it. Undaunted, he rebuilt and refined his invention, and sliced bread finally became available to the public in 1928, thrilling toast lovers around the country.

“The Day the Music Died” Happened in Iowa

It was in Clear Lake, Iowa, where music greats Buddy Holly, J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens died in a small plane crash in 1959. Waylon Jennings might have been on that plane except he gave his seat to Richardson and rode on a bus instead. Holly teased him that the bus would be freezing cold and miserable. Jennings was deeply haunted by the plane crash because he'd bantered back to Holly, “I hope your ol’ plane crashes." It took Jennings years before he could let go of the thought that he had caused the accident.

Ripley's Believe It or Not Named A Street In Iowa The Most Crooked Street In The World

Snake Alley is a street located in Burlington, Iowa, which was built in 1894. In 2017, Ripley's Believe It or Not! recognized the street as "Unbelievably Crooked" and the #1 Odd Spot in their Odd Spots Across America Campaign. In the 1940s, writer Robert L. Ripley saw the street in person, and decided to add it to his Ripley's Believe It, Or Not! column, calling it "The Crookedest Street in the World". The turns on Snake Alley are sharper than San Francisco’s famous Lombard Street, giving it a total of 1100° of turning from end to end, where Lombard Street's straighter curves total only 1000°.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The YMCA_2

On December 29, 1851, the very first American Young Men's Christian Association was organized in Boston, Massachusetts. Here are 5 facts you probably didn’t know about the famous organization.

The YMCA Sued The Village People for Their Hit Song

Whether you've danced to the song at weddings or can't help but think of the tune every time you see a police officer or cowboy, the song "Y.M.C.A." is one of the most iconic disco tracks ever created, thanks to the group Village People. It turns out that the Young Men's Christian Association, for whom the song is named, wasn't too thrilled about being at the center of what arguably began as a gay disco anthem and sued the disco group for copyright infringement (the case was eventually dropped).

A YMCA Employee Invented The Sport Of Basketball

Many people might know that James Naismith invented basketball, but what they might not know is that he was an employee of the YMCA at the time. Naismith was an instructor at the YMCA's International Training College in Springfield, Massachusetts. He came up with the new game to keep his pupils active as they had to remain indoors to escape the harsh New England winter of 1891.

Another YMCA Employee Invented Volleyball

Four years after James Naismith invented basketball, fellow YMCA alum William G. Morgan came up with a new sport of his own. The Bay State YMCA instructor invented a game that he called "Mintonette" for older members who needed an exercise game less strenuous than basketball to play. It was later renamed “Volleyball” because of the way the ball was volleyed back and forth between the players.

Many YMCA Locations Required Nude Swimming

Before the 1960s, mandatory nudity was common practice in American swimming pools (unless you were a lady, in which case you would have to wear a full suit at all times). In fact, the American Public Health Association required nude swimming from 1926 until 1962. The YMCA didn’t take a national stance on this topic, allowing individual locations to draft their own rules. Several YMCA chapters enforced nude swimming among males, citing better sanitation. It was believed that nude swimmers were less likely to spread bacteria compared to swimmers who donned swimwear. 

George H.W. Bush Helped Fund The Local Y in Midland, Texas

George H.W. Bush served as chairman of a temporary YMCA board in Midland, Texas, and was a key player in helping to raise the funds needed to get the chapter going back in 1953. The 41st president of the United States loved sports, and played both soccer and baseball at Yale University. Quite possibly, Bush's love of sports drove him to help secure the funds needed to build Midland's own YMCA chapter.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The USSR

On December 30, 1922, the USSR was formed under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin, who followed the teachings of Karl Marx. The U.S.S.R., or the Soviet Union, was the first government to ever be ruled under the principles of communism. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about the USSR.

A Government Department Was Created to Study Lenin's Brain

The Moscow Brain Institute, which is still open to this day, was founded specifically to study Lenin's brain. Many scientists believed that Lenin was a genius, and thought that studying this organ would help them better understand the former Soviet head of government's brilliance. Unfortunately, researchers only discovered that Lenin's brain was like any other brain, but it still remains at the institution to this day. The brains of other prominent Russians were also studied at this government department, including the likes of poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, scientist Andrei Sakharov, and politician Joseph Stalin.

The Soviet Union Mapped The Entire World

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union mapped out the whole world, with incredible attention to detail. In fact, the map included details such as the level of buildings and others that could be helpful if they considered planning an invasion. Certain details found in the Soviet Union's global map were not included in typical domestic maps, such as bridge load capacities, the width of roads, and factory types. These maps were so precise that the USA continues to use them today.

The Soviet Union Invented Clear Coca-Cola

While the original Coca-Cola was invented in Atlanta, Georgia, clear Coca-Cola was first imagined in the USSR. Soviet war hero Georgy Zhukov played a key role in its invention after General Eisenhower introduced him to the original soda. While Zhukov wanted to enjoy the beverage, he also didn't want to be associated with anything American, and Coca-Cola had become a symbol of American culture at that time. As such, Zhukov asked the manufacturers to make a clear version of the popular drink so it would look as if he was enjoying a glass of vodka instead. The manufacturers obliged, and as a return favor, the trucks that carried Coca-Cola were able to pass through eastern and central Europe more easily when making deliveries.

Mikhail Gorbachev Recorded An Album Of Romantic Ballads

Mikhail Gorbachev may have been known for his political movement to reform the Communist Party, but he had a musical side to him, too. The eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union released an album entitled Songs for Raisa, in memory of his late wife, and the album included some of her favorite songs. The album sold for approximately £100,000  ($130,000) at an auction in 2009. The money was donated to a charity in her name, which was established to fight childhood cancer.

The Soviet Union Dug A Really Big Hole

In the 50s and 60s the Soviet Union and the USA were in a race to see which nation could drill the deepest hole into the earth’s crust. By 1994, the Soviet Union dug the Kola Superdeep Borehole, and at the time, it was the deepest hole in the world. Located in the Murmansk region in the Kola Peninsula, the hole penetrates 7.5 miles of the Earth’s 18.6 mile crust. The process unearthed evidence of biological activity in the Earth that was more than two billion years old.

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Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Gold_2

On December 31, 1974, private US citizens were allowed to own and purchase gold bullion for the first time in over forty years. Aside from its value, there are plenty of interesting facts about gold. Here are five things you probably didn't know about gold.

There's Enough Gold in the Ocean to Give Every Person in the World Nine Pounds Each

There is so much gold out in the ocean that if you were to dig out all of its reserves, there would be enough to give each person on earth nine pounds of it. The thing is, mining gold from ocean waters would be extremely difficult. That's because the concentration of gold in the ocean is very small. According to a 1990 study published in Elsevier's "Science Direct," there's just one gram of gold per 100 million metric tons of water in the Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans.

Gold Nobel Prizes Were Melted Down To Prevent The Nazis From Confiscating Them

In the 1940s, the Nazis ordered that no gold would be allowed to leave Germany. When the Nazis arrived at Copenhagen, a Hungarian chemist named Georgy de Hevesy decided to melt down the gold of Nobel Prizes, which were made of 23-karat gold, won by German physicists James Franck and Max von Laue. He originally thought the prizes should be buried, but worried that they would eventually be dug up and confiscated. So he melted them instead. After the war, they were recast.

The Olympic Gold Medal Is Only 1% Gold

Winning Olympic Gold is the epitome of success for amateur athletes who participate in this worldwide, prestigious sporting tournament. But while the status of taking first prize may be a highly coveted position, the actual medal itself may not be as valuable as one would assume given its size and weight. Only 1 percent of the composition of the Olympic gold medal is gold.

LEGO Gave Gold Bricks To Employees Who Reached Twenty-Five Years Of Service

Typically, workers who have remained loyal employees at companies for years and have reached certain milestones may be rewarded with gifts such as a watch. But at LEGO, employees who hit a certain threshold with the company used to get something a little more unconventional. Perhaps fittingly, LEGO employees who completed 25 years of service would receive an actual LEGO brick made of gold—25.65 grams worth, to be exact.

All the Gold Mined in History Can Fit in Three Olympic Swimming Pools

Gold mining may go back thousands of years, but the amount of gold that has been extracted from the earth may not be as plentiful as you may think. In fact, all the gold that has ever been mined in the history of mankind can fit in three Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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5 Facts You Didn't Know About New Year's Eve

Times Square was eerily quiet as the New Year's Eve ball dropped in New York City last night. It marked the end of a sobering 2020 and a hopeful start to 2021. As the world says good riddance to 2020, here are five things you might not know about some New Year's Eve celebrations from the past...

The Ball Drop Was a Replacement For Fireworks

The original New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square thrown by the New York Times included a fireworks show at midnight. However, the city government made fireworks illegal in 1907, saying there were safety concerns involved. Adolph Ochs, the owner of the newspaper, replaced the fireworks display with a ball made of iron and wood, studded with light bulbs, and the tradition of the famous New Year's Eve ball drop in NYC was born.

For Two Years, The Ball Wasn’t Dropped

World War II was a nerve-wracking time with many soldiers in danger overseas, and people at home worried that the United States might be attacked. The Army was concerned that German submarines might be able to see American ships in New York Harbor because of lights in the city. This is why the Dodgers stopped playing ball at night, the torch was dimmed on the Statue of Liberty, and the ball drop was cancelled in both 1942 and 1943.

Other Cities Drop Some Really Weird Things

The Bourbon St. Pub in Key West, Florida, celebrates the New Year with a gigantic red shoe. Sushi, a local drag queen and icon, climbs into it and the two are lowered to the cheers of revelers. In Eastover, North Carolina, a giant ceramic flea, nicknamed "Jasper," is dropped, followed by the firing off of an 1861 cannon. Jasper seems to be a symbol of the town's triumph over a flea infestation in the distant past.
Mount Olive, North Carolina, home to the Mt. Olive Pickle Company, counts down to the New Year as a giant pickle slides its way down a flagpole.

Spaniards Eat Grapes For Good Luck

In Southern states, people eat black-eyed peas, and many families around the nation eat fish or pork for good luck in the coming year.  If you saw yesterday's bonus trivia question, you know know that in Spain, the people eat a dozen grapes on New Year’s Eve at midnight. The trick is to eat the entire dozen in twelve seconds, which coincides with the chiming of the church bell. 

Teens Crashed a Very Exclusive New Year’s Eve Party

In 1938, Joe Measell, age sixteen, and his date, Beatrice White, crashed a White House New Year’s Eve party held by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on a dare by some friends. Because two young sons of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., the then Treasury Secretary, were invited, the Secret Service mistook Measell for one of them, so the teens just waltzed right in under everyone’s noses. They succeeded in their mission and obtained autographs from both the president and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Georgia_2

On January 2, 1788, Georgia ratified the Constitution, and entered the Union as the fourth state. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the the Peach State.

Georgia Is More Than The Peach State

Even though Georgia is called “The Peach State,” the moniker isn’t exactly true. Yes, Georgia does produce peaches, but it isn’t the nation’s top peach producer. California is the top peach producing state followed by South Carolina. Georgia is actually the fourth largest peach producer in the nation. Georgia is however, the country’s number-one producer of peanuts, pecans, and vidalia onions, which are known as the sweetest onions in the world.

Coca-Cola Originated in Georgia

John S. Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, invented a drink in 1886 as a tonic that could be used for common ailments. It was based on cocaine derived from the coca leaf and extracts rich in caffeine from the kola nut. Frank Robinson, his bookkeeper came up with the name Coca-Cola and the refreshing drink became a huge success.

It Was Meant to Be a Felon Colony

James Oglethorpe, a member of Parliament in England, founded Georgia and wanted to use this vast territory for prisoners who could not pay their debts. Oglethorpe was a social reformer who realized that debtors released into cities after leaving prison often had no way to support themselves. He wanted to take these people and give them a second chance in a new place.  

The State Was Named After a King

Georgia was the last of the original thirteen colonies established by Great Britain, in what later became the United States. Georgia was named after King George II of England, who granted the state its charter in 1732. The terms of the charter specified that the colony was to be founded by James Oglethorpe and be named after King George II. The colony covered a vast area, even after the signing of the Treaty of Paris changed its western border. As the last of the thirteen British colonies, Georgia was governed by a Board of Trustees in London, and slavery, Roman Catholics, and lawyers were prohibited.

Georgia Funeral Directors Have To Watch Their Language

If a funeral director in Georgia is discovered using foul language in front of a corpse, he or she can lose their license. Indecent, obscene, or profane language when a body is present or within the family’s hearing, if the loved one's body has not yet been disposed of or interred, is absolutely forbidden. It makes one wonder what kind of comments brought about this type of ruling.

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6 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Mars

On January 3, 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover "Spirit" safely landed on the Red Planet. In one of the longest and most successful missions in NASA history, Spirit would survey Martian geography for the next seven years. Here are six things you didn’t know about Mars.

It Takes Eight Months to Travel to Mars

A trip to the Red Planet takes around eight months, which is slightly longer than astronauts stay on the International Space Station. There would then be the mission on the planet itself, before another eight months to return home (provided it is not a “one way” trip). For comparison, the Apollo missions took around three days to reach the moon. The mission would take place when Mars is somewhere near its closest to Earth, and the closest it has ever been was in 2003 when they were “just” 34.8 million miles apart.

Mars Is Much Smaller Than Earth

Compared to Earth, Mars is a tiny Styrofoam ball, with a diameter just over half of ours and one-tenth of our mass.. The gravity on Mars would be a nightmare for potential colonists. The gravity on Mars is .38 that of Earth, so a 100-pound person would only weigh 38 pounds on Mars. It is a desert planet, the soil is toxic and the average temperature is a frigid -81 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Martian Year Lasts Just Under Two Earth Years

Mars makes an orbit around the Sun in 687 Earth days (as compared to the 365 days for our home planet), so people would have a lot fewer birthday celebrations. A day on Mars is 24.6 hours compared to Earth's 24. However, a day on the planet Venus is 5,832 hours long, which would be 243 days on Earth.

Mars Has Two Potato Shaped Moons

Earth’s moon is simply called “the Moon,” which isn’t nearly as nice as Phobos and Deimos, the names given to Mars’s satellites. Phobos means "fear" and Deimos means "dread," but poor little Phobos is being slowly torn apart by the tidal forces on Mars and will be gone in only 50 million years. Both of the moons circling Mars are potato-shaped and are much smaller than our own moon, but Phobos seems a good landing site, and might be a good place for astronauts to visit to prepare for a future settlement on Mars.''

Mars Has The Tallest Mountain In The Solar System

The tallest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest, is 29,029 feet tall. However, Olympus Mons on Mars is 72,000 feet in height, making it the tallest mountain by far on any planet in the solar system. It also has a diameter of around 370 miles, making it roughly the same size as the state of Arizona.

The Carbon Dioxide-Filled Atmosphere Is Not a Breath of Fresh Air

Since the atmosphere on Mars is more than 95 percent carbon dioxide with a dab of argon and nitrogen tossed in, you would suffocate if you tried to breathe there. If you gave it a try, the experience would likely be similar to that in Arnold Schwarzenegger's hit, Total Recall. With your first breath, the tears on your eyeballs, saliva in your mouth, and water in your lungs will immediately evaporate. Although you wouldn’t die immediately, you might wish you would.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About The Burj Khalifa_2

On January 4, 2010,  Dubai opened the world's tallest skyscraper, the 2,717 foot tall Burj Khalifa. This sparkling glass-and-metal building is home to a hotel, residences, and many other amenities. Here are five things you didn't know about Burj Khalifa...

It Is Twice As Tall As The Empire State Building

At a height of 2,716.5 feet, the Dubai skyscraper is the world’s tallest building, surpassing Taipei’s Taipei 101, which held the record from 2004 to 2010 with a height of 1,667 feet.  The Burj Khalifa is almostthree times as tall as the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building. Laid end to end, its pieces stretch over a quarter of the way around the world.

It Took 5 Years To Build The Burj Khalifa

It was reported that 12,000 workers were needed each day to construct the Burj Khalifa. The high number of workers explains why it was able to be built in only five years. Excavation for the job site began in January 2004, and the project was completed in October 2009. It officially opened to the public on January 4, 2010. Adrian Smith, the architect behind the Burj Khalifa, designed the building to resemble the Spider Lily, a regional desert flower.

It Has Really Fast Elevators

An incredibly tall building requires really fast elevators. The building has the longest single running elevator, which is 140 floors. The elevators at the Burj Khalifa move at 22 mph, making the elevators among the fastest in the world.  In the Burj Khalifa, the ride from the ground floor to 124th-floor observation deck is only one minute.

The Building Holds Some World Records

Aside from holding the world record for being the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa holds six other world records. The Burj Khalifa is also the tallest freestanding structure in the world, has the highest number of stories in the world, has the highest occupied floor in the world, has the highest outdoor observation deck in the world, has the elevator with longest travel distance in the world, and has the tallest service elevator in the world.

It Takes 3 Months To Clean All The Windows

There are 26,000 glass panels glass covering the exterior of the skyscraper, and because of its great height, cleaning the windows of Burj Khalifa is definitely not a job for those who have a fear of heights. It takes an average of three months to clean all those windows, and then the workers need to start over again from scratch. 

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Babe Ruth_2

On January 5, 1920, the New York Yankees announced its purchase of the heavy-hitting outfielder George Herman “Babe” Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for the sum of $125,000. Here are five things you didn’t know about Babe Ruth.

He Punched Out An Umpire During A Game

Ruth was known to have a huge temper and equally enormous ego, like many elite athletes. In 1917, when he was started in a game against the Senators, he became so frustrated by umpire Brick Owens’ calls that he punched him behind his left ear before being dragged off the field by policemen. He was fined $100 and replaced by Ernie Shore who retired twenty-six batters in the game, beating the Senators 4–0.

He Was Nicknamed “Babe” When He Joined The Orioles

George Herman Ruth, Jr. was only nineteen years old in 1914 when he started playing for the Baltimore Orioles, which was a minor league team at the time.  In order to validate his $250 contract, Jack Dunn, who owned and managed the team, had to take him under his legal guardianship because the age of majority was 25 at that time. When he first encountered the Orioles players, he was referred to as “Jack’s newest babe.” This nickname was shortened to “Babe” in public. Interestingly, over the course of his career, his teammates found it weird calling him Babe, instead preferring “The Big Fellow,” “Bam” and “Jidge.”

Ruth Made His Debut As A Pitcher

While most people know Babe Ruth for his phenomenal 714 home runs, he actually started out as a very dominant left handed pitcher in the 1910s. During this time, he played for the Boston Red Sox, with who he won eighty nine games in 6 seasons. Once he joined the New York Yankees in 1920, his position was changed to an outfielder after just 5 games. As a member of the New York Yankees, he helped them win four World Series and seven American League pennants.

Ruth Was the Highest-Paid Player in Baseball

His first contract with the Yankees saw him bag a staggering $20,000 salary and by 1930, it had hit the $80,000 mark, which was the highest a baseball player had ever being paid. In fact, he earned more than the president at that time, Herbert Hoover, whose salary was $75,000. There is a legend that, when asked about earning more than the president, Ruth shrugged off the question, claiming, "Why not? I had a better year than he did." During his career, Babe Ruth made approximately one million dollars in wages and bonuses and even more from endorsements, writings, and other ventures.

He Retired In A Braves Uniform

Ruth began his major league career in Boston with the Red Sox and ended it there, but not with the same jersey. After the Yankees dropped him for his waning performance in 1935, Ruth signed with the Boston Braves hoping to become the team’s manager the next season. But when it seemed that his skills had weakened significantly, the promise was not kept and he decided to hang his boots in a Braves uniform. This marked the end of his twenty two-year career as a baseball player, having played only 28 games for the Braves.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About George And Martha Washington_2

Martha and George Washington were married on this day in 1759. While the couple is well-known among Americans, there are plenty of things about George and Martha Washington that you are not aware of. Here are five facts you probably didn't know about the First Couple.

George Was Eight Months Younger Than Martha

Martha Washington was born on June 2, 1731, in New Kent County, Virginia. Her mother gave birth to her in a bedroom at their home at the Chestnut Grove plantation. About eight months later, on February 22, 1732, George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. George's birthplace was approximately 100 miles north of where Martha was born. Being the oldest in the marriage was new for Martha, her first husband had been 20 years her senior.

George Had To Compete For Martha's Hand In Marriage

After Martha's first husband, Daniel Custis, died in July 1757, George had to compete for Martha's hand against a wealthy tobacco planter named Charles Carter. Carter was about twice Martha's age and had already fathered 12 children from his previous marriage. Though Carter's wealth and status certainly would have made him a tempting suitor, the prospect of taking on such a large family was no doubt daunting to the 26-year-old Martha. George and Martha began their courtship in March 1758, about eight months after her husband died.

Martha Was A Wealthy Woman When She Met George

Perhaps Charles Carter's wealth didn't impress Martha because she was very wealthy in her own right. In fact, Martha owned numerous properties and more than seventeen thousand acres of land across various counties. She also owned herds of cattle and sheep, as well as almost 300 slaves who worked on her tobacco plantation. Martha was actually the wealthiest woman in Virginia when George proposed to her, and her social and economic status likely meant a lot to the future president. Marrying Martha quickly advanced George's social status and pushed him into Virginia's high-class society.

They Couldn't Have Children Of Their Own Together

While there isn't any documented evidence of the reason why, historians reasonably suspect that George was the problem, not Martha. After all, in her previous marriage Martha had given birth to four children. Her two eldest children died, and George became the legal guardian of the two youngest children. It's possible that George was infertile, and if so, his condition might have been brought on by his bout with tuberculosis when he was younger.

Martha Was In The Room When George Died

George Washington died on December 14th, 1799, of a throat infection. He passed away in his bedroom in his home at Mount Vernon, with Martha sitting at the foot of his bed. His last words followed instructions he gave his secretary, Tobias Lear, to "have me decently buried; and do not let my body be put into the vault in less than three days after I am dead"  After Lear confirmed that he understood his mentor's final wishes, George spoke his final words: "Tis well." Martha passed away on May 22nd, 1802, about two and a half years after George died.

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5 Things You Didn't Know About "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

On January 7, 1950, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was the #1 song on the U.S. pop charts. While Santa may have had eleven other reindeer guiding his sleigh, no other reindeer is as popular or well-loved as Rudolph. Here are 5 things you didn't know about this famous reindeer known for his bright red nose.

Rudolph Was Created For The Montgomery Ward Department Store

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer may be a classic Christmas tune and an annual TV special, but its roots didn't start on radio or television. The Montogomery Ward department store handed out free coloring books to children who visited Santa Claus, and in 1939, store executives decided to include a character in these freebies. Rudolph was created to be part of these coloring books and became an instant hit among the children. The story was written by Robert May, a copywriter in Montgomery Ward's catalog division. The store would end up handing out 2.4 million copies of the Rudolph coloring book in just the first year.

Rudolph Was Almost Rollo Or Reginald

While it may be hard to imagine the lovable red-nosed reindeer being named anything but Rudolph, there were other names on the table for consideration, including Rollo, Reginald, Romeo, and Rodney. Eventually, Rudolph was chosen.

Rudolph's Eyes Almost Led the Way for Santa's Sleigh

Everyone knows that Rudolph's red, glowing nose lit the way to guide Santa's sleigh as he delivered presents to children all over the world on Christmas Eve. But at one point, Robert May considered giving Rudolph another way to light the way: with bright eyes that would shine through the night like headlights. However, May eventually settled on a red nose, as he felt that type of characteristic would be easier to make fun of among the mean kids, which is a key part of the story.

The Song Was Created A Decade After Rudolph Was Created

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer may have been an immediate hit among children who visited Montgomery Ward's Santa Claus, but they would have to wait another decade before the classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'' song would come out. Robert May's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, wrote the lyrics for the song, and singer/songwriter Gene Autry recorded it. Autry nearly passed on the tune, but his wife urged him to give it a shot. Since then, the song has gone on to sell over 150 million copies.

Johnny Marks Went On To Write Other Christmas Classics

Johnny Marks's contribution to the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer song started him on the journey to create other classic Christmas songs. After Rudolph, Marks went on to write "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Silver and Gold," "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," and "A Holly Jolly Christmas." The fact that Marks was Jewish makes the story even more interesting.

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Five Crazy Things U.S. Presidents Have Done

On January 8, 1992, in one of the most widely ridiculed and memorable gaffes in history, President George H.W. Bush vomited on the Prime Minister of Japan. Here are five crazy things that happened to U.S. presidents...

Overdosed On Cherries

After serving just 16 months in office, President Zachary Taylor died from eating too many cherries. Specifically, at a Fourth of July celebration in the capital in 1850, Taylor chomped down on large amounts of cherries washed them down with iced milk. The combination of the acidic cherries along with the milk is believed by some to have caused gastroenteritis, causing severe cramping, nausea, dehydration, and, eventually, death on July 9.

Lost The Nuclear Launch Codes

According to then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at one time during his presidency Bill Clinton lost the personal ID code needed to confirm nuclear launches (also known as the "nuclear biscuit") for months. "That's a big deal," said the chairman, "A gargantuan deal." In effect, without Clinton's "biscuit," as the personal identifier is called, the President would not have been able to initiate a launch order or confirm a launch order executed by someone else.

Threw Up On The Japanese Prime Minister

President George W. Bush was attending a dinner hosted by Kiichi Miyazawa, the then Prime Minister of Japan, and became ill during the meal. Unfortunately, he threw up in Miyazawa's lap and then fainted. Regaining consciousness, he apologized. It was later explained that he had suffered an attack of acute gastroenteritis, but felt much better after he took a drug to counter his nausea.

Personally Conducted An Execution

Grover Cleveland was one interesting guy. When Cleveland served as the sheriff of Erie County, New York, he apparently took his duties personally. When a man named Patrick Morrissey was convicted of killing his own mother, Cleveland opted to hang the guy himself. As the Times said of the incident, "Thus it was that Sheriff Cleveland, standing behind a screen, some twenty feet away from the law's victim, pushed the lever that dropped the gallow's trap upon which poor Morrissey stood."

The Didn't Call Him Johnson For Nothing

Lyndon Johnson was the kind of politician you wouldn’t want to get into a pissing contest with. LBJ loved to pee. Lyndon B. Johnson was an earthy man with no problems “letting himself go” in public. According to Robert Caro, his biographer, he urinated outside the House Office Building in the parking lot when he needed to. He once asked a Secret Serviceman to shield him while he peed outside, but that's not the strange part—LBJ apparently purposely peed on the agent's trouser leg. When the agent mentioned how gross that was, LBJ was unapologetic, apparently saying, "I know. That's my prerogative."

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Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Apple_2

On January 9, 2007, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, which propelled Apple into becoming one of the richest companies in the world.  Here are 5 fascinating facts you may not know about Apple…

Apple Offered The First Digital Camera To The Public

Apple produced the first digital camera in color back in 1994, when existing models still used flashbulbs. It was named the Apple QuickTake 100 and was sold for around three years, from 1994 to 1997. Unfortunately, there was no preview screen, the camera only took eight pictures, and to view them, you had to plug it into your computer. Because the camera was expensive and the photo quality was poor, it never really caught on with the public.

At One Time, Apple Had More Operating Cash Than the US Treasury

In 2017, Apple showed nearly $250 billion in operating cash, while the U.S. Treasury showed about $171 billion. In other words, the company was holding enough money to purchase, at the time, more than 3,000 Gulfstream G650 airplanes and even have enough for gas money. If Apple had been interested in expanding, they could have used that money to purchase Facebook, Twitter, Uber, or, well . . . pretty much anything they wanted. Maybe U.S. government should have started selling iPads.

You Probably Will Never Work There

It’s nothing personal!  Before November 14, 2009, when Apple opened the doors to its store on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, the company received 10,000 jobs applications. It turns out that Apple only hired 2 percent of those applicants (200 people). While it’s wildly different to apply to the most prestigious university in the world, for what it’s worth, Harvard’s acceptance rate was 7% that year.

Famed Astronomer Carl Sagan Sued Apple

Engineers at Apple in 1994 had developed a computer code for their Power MacIntosh that they were privately calling “Carl Sagan.” Although the moniker was only used internally, Sagan was unhappy about it, saying he was not selling his endorsement. The engineers changed the name to “BHA,” which reportedly stood for “Butt-head Astronomer.” Sagan then sued for defamation but lost.

Siri Sends Your Information to Apple

Siri remembers everything, or, at least, Apple does because it stores everything you say for as much as two years. The questions a consumer asks Siri are analyzed, and a number, minus an individual's name and personal information, is generated to represent each user. When the voice recordings have been held for six months, Apple removes the number but hangs onto the clip for up to a year and a half to improve Siri.

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Five Things You Didn't Know About The Grand Canyon_2

On January 11, 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declared the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument.  Here are 5 things you didn’t know about one of the world’s natural wonders...

Teddy Roosevelt Named the Grand Canyon A National Monument

In 1903, Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon, and it must have made a big impression on him because he signed the bill to name it the Grand Canyon Game Reserve in 1906. Two year later, he named it as a national monument, saying “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it.”  A photo of President Roosevelt taken during his trip to the Grand Canyon in 1903 is held by the Library of Congress.

The Grand Canyon Is Bigger Than The State Of Rhode Island

The park surrounding the Grand Canyon measures 1,904 square miles, while Rhode Island encompasses 1,212 square miles, making this splendid natural wonder much larger. The Grand Canyon itself has a width of 18 miles, a length of 227 miles, and measures one mile in depth. One of the viewing areas that is popular among visitors is Hopi Point, which overlooks wide vistas and the majestic Colorado River below.

The Canyon Is So Large that It Can Influence The Weather

The Grand Canyon itself can influence the weather. The Grand Canyon has an elevation spanning from around 2,000 feet to over 8,000 feet, allowing it to experience a variety of weather conditions. As a result, the temperature generally increases by 5.5 degrees with each 1,000-feet loss in elevation. In 2013, a rare 
meteorological event called total cloud inversion filled the canyon with with a sea of fog making the Canyon not visible. Such events are so rare that National Park officials said the phenomenon is a once-in-a-decade occurrence.

The Most Remote Town in the Country Lies at the Bottom of the Canyon

There is a small town at the bottom of the Grand Canyon named Supai Village, which is a part of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, but visitors have to be physically fit and hike a total of about 10 miles to get there. The population is around 208 people. Mail is still delivered to local residents via pack mule to navigate the tricky slopes. 

The Grand Canyon Was Carved Over 6 Million Years Ago

The Grand Canyon was formed by erosion from the Colorado River and geological activity more than six million years ago. It is one of the most studied landscapes in the world, with extensive fossil records, a multitude of geologic features and rich archeological history. An estimated 5.9 million people visit the Grand Canyon a year, making it the second most popular national park following just behind the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. It’s a far cry from the annual visitation of 44,173 in 1919 when the park was created.

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Five Things You Didn't Know About All In The Family_2

On January 12, 1971, the first episode of "All in the Family" premiered on CBS.  Here are 5 fascinating tidbits you might not have known about this groundbreaking show...

It Was Based On A British Comedy

Norman Lear is one of TV’s most prolific creators, but All In The Family wasn’t entirely his idea. Lear purchased the rights to the British comedy Till Death Do Us Part, a series that appeared on BBC from 1965 to 1975. In the British series, a bigoted, conservative Alf Garnett lives with his wife and daughter, as well as his liberal son-in-law. Sound familiar?  Both shows were huge hits in their home countries, with Till Death Do Us Part running ten years and All in The Family running nine.

Archie Bunker Went By A Different Name

The original script pilot episode named the show Justice for All and starred Carroll O'Connor as Archie Justice and Jean Stapleton as his wife, Edith.  They then cast Kelly Jean Peters and Tim McIntire for Gloria and Richard (Michael's original name), but ABC passed on the show saying that the older cast lacked chemistry with the younger actors. ABC passed again after seeing the second pilot, renamed Those Were the Days, with different actors playing Archie and Edith. Fortunately, CBS picked up the show, and the cast we know came to be: Sally Struthers and Rob Reiner as Gloria and Michael, and Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton as Archie and Edith Bunker.

Archie Bunker Was Inspired By Lear's Father

Norman Lear's parents served as templates for Archie and Edith. His father, Herman Lear, often told his son that he was the lazy, and called him "Meathead." He also referred to his wife as "Dingbat" and told her to "stifle herself" on several occasions, catch phrases we all remember well from the show. Mr. Lear also had a chair in the living room that no one else was allowed to sit in. Sound familiar again?

Mickey Rooney Turned Down The Role Of Archie

Veteran actor Mickey Rooney read the script after being offered the role as Archie and turned it down. He said he thought the show would fail because of all the racist comments, and even Carroll O’Connor was skeptical of the show, saying that CBS would cancel it after six weeks. Harrison Ford, the future Star Wars star, was once offered the role of Michael “Meathead” Stivic, but turned down the chance to play Archie's ultra-liberal son-in-law.

Many Calls Came in Regarding the Theme Song

Although the network was ready to receive lot of calls once the sitcom aired, they expected them to be complaints about the program content. Instead, most people wanted to know what the words were to one of the lyrics in the theme song. The line so many people could not understand was “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great,” so O'Connor and Stapleton re-recorded the track before the third season and enunciated the mystery line. The LaSalle was a high-end General Motors car that was made between 1927 and 1940.

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Five Things You Didn't Know About The American Flag_2

On January 13, 1794, President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union. Here are 5 surprising facts that you may not know about the flag of the United States of America...

Betsy Ross Probably Didn't Design The First American Flag

Although Betsy Ross is often credited as the designer of the initial American flag, there is little evidence to support that claim. The only records that support her involvement consist of affidavits from family members presented in Philadelphia to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1870. Instead, many historians believe that Francis Hopkinson deserves the credit, because early journals from the Continental Congress are said to explicitly name him as the flag's designer.

The Current American Flag Was Designed By A Teenager

17-year old high school student Robert G. Heft, designed the modern American flag for his history class. Heft created the 50-star flag as part of a history project (for which he received a B-) before submitting it to Congress for consideration. In August of 1959, President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Heft's design over 1,500 other applicants and informed him of the news over the phone. (Heft's teacher also changed his grade to an A.)

There Have Been 27 Official Versions Of The Flag

The first official flag carried thirteen stars and thirteen stripes to represent the original thirteen colonies. The flag has changed twenty-seven times since then, including in 1794, when two additional stars and stripes were added when Vermont and Kentucky became states, resulting in a 15-stripe flag. After 1818, the number of stripes went back to thirteen, while stars were added to represent the new states. The last changes made in 1960 (see fact above) when Alaska and Hawaii became states.

The American Flag Flies At Half-Staff In The First Season Of Gilligan’s Island

During the opening sequence of the first season of Gilligan’s Island, the flag appears flying at half-staff (at about 22 seconds in). Russell Johnson, the actor who played Professor Roy Hinkley in the sitcom, said it was because the filming for the pilot was completed on November 22, 1963 — the same day President Kennedy was assassinated. 

There Are Important Rules For Flying the Flag

Some rules for flying the American flag include raising it quickly and lowering it slowly if it’s on a flagpole, and it cannot be displayed after dark unless illumination is provided. The flag should never be carried horizontally or used as clothing apparel. In addition, the flag should never be used for advertising purposes or impressed on disposable items such as paper plates or boxes.

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Five Things You Didn't Know About Benedict Arnold_2

Benedict Arnold, whose name became an epithet for traitor in the United States, was born on this day in 1741. Here are five things you may not know about this controversial figure in American history.

Arnold Was An American Revolution Hero

Prior to his defection to the British, Benedict Arnold was hailed as on of the best generals in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. He was instrumental in capturing Fort Ticonderoga, which held a large amount of artillery. He also led around 1,000 men to march through the backwoods of Maine in an effort to capture Quebec. According to the British Secretary of State, Lord Germaine, Arnold was considered the "most enterprising and dangerous” general in America.

Arnold Used His Own Money to Pay His Troops

Congress failed to pay Benedict Arnold’s troops, so he paid them from his own pocket, despite the fact that his shipping business was hard hit by the British blockade. Congress failed to pay Arnold as well, but expected him to keep exact records of any funds he advanced. Later it would charge that he owed the United States £1,000.

Arnold's Treason Was Fueled By More Than Just Money

Arnold's treasonous act is perhaps what is most well-known about him. And one of the big motivating factors was certainly money. But that wasn't the only driver of his acts. Arnold had also started to lose faith in the underlying cause of the revolution. He believed he had been overlooked by the Continental Congress when it came to promoting junior officers. He also believed that some fellow soldiers had attempted to take down his reputation and take credit for Arnold's battlefield successes. Some historians also believe that Arnold’s second wife, Peggy Shippen, who came from a loyalist family, influenced his actions and change of heart.

George Washington Plotted to Have Him Kidnapped

As a result of Arnold's treason, General George Washington enlisted a Continental Army sergeant major named John Champe in a daring mission to capture Arnold from behind enemy lines. The plan required Champe to stage a defection from the colonials and join up with the British. Once behind enemy lines, Champe would get close with Arnold and haul him away to New Jersey where Washington would deal with him. The plan almost worked. Champe fooled the British and even won an introduction to Arnold, who asked him to join his unit. Yet on the very same night that Champe and his accomplices were scheduled to make their move, Arnold was ordered to leave town on a campaign against the southern colonies. With his plan foiled, Champe had no choice but to join in on the mission. He would continue to masquerade as a redcoat for several months before finally sneaking back to the Continental lines.

Despite His Treason, There’s A Monument Of Arnold’s Boot At Saratoga

Arnold may have been guilty of treason, but his previous history as an asset to the American Revolution has not been forgotten. Perhaps that is why a monument of Arnold's boot was built on the site of the Saratoga battlefield in 1887 by a General from the New York Militia of the Civil War. The boot was symbolic of Arnold's leg injuries sustained earlier throughout his battles. That said, the memorial does not bear his name. It is the only American war memorial that does not bear the name of its honoree.

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6 Things You Didn't Know About Don McLean's "American Pie"_2

On January 15, 1972, “American Pie,”, an epic poem in musical form hit #1 on the Billboard charts. Few songs embrace American culture more than Don McLean's famous tune, "American Pie." Here are six surprising facts you might now know about this classic song...

It's The Longest Song To Ever Top the Billboard Hot 100 Chart

At a lengthy eight minutes and thirty-six seconds, "American Pie" is not only a very long song, but it's also the longest tune to have ever reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In fact, the song is so long that the 45 RPM single had to be divided into two parts, and some DJs only played one side or the other, although most acquiesced and played the uninterrupted album version, due to the song's phenomenal popularity. The song includes no fewer than six verses.

The Song Was Voted #5 In A Survey Of The Greatest Songs Of The Century

As the 1990s drew to a close, a poll, jointly sponsored by the National Endowment For The Arts and the RIAA, was conducted to determine a list of the best songs of the century, and "American Pie" came in at number five. The track beat out some classic songs of the 20th century, including the likes of "Respect," "Over The Rainbow," and "This Land Is Your Land."

The Real Meaning of Many of the Lyrics Remain a Mystery

While we can speculate what all of the lyrics to the classic song might mean, no one will really know for sure. That's because McLean continues to refuse to talk about the meaning behind most of the lyrics. "As you can imagine, over the years I've been asked many times to discuss and explain my song 'American Pie,'" McLean wrote in an open letter to fans in 1993. "I have never discussed the lyrics, but have admitted to the [Buddy] Holly reference in the opening stanzas. I dedicated the album American Pie to Buddy Holly as well in order to connect the entire statement to Holly in hopes of bringing about an interest in him, which subsequently did occur... You will find many 'interpretations' of my lyrics but none of them by me. Isn't this fun? Sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence."

"American Pie" Covers Don't Have a Good Track Record

Considering how popular "American Pie" has been over the decades, it should come as no surprise that the song has been covered a handful of times. Unfortunately, some covers have not been well-received and have actually been named some of the worst covers ever. The first major cover version was done by the Brady Bunch for their first album, Meet the Brady Bunch in 1972. The group was criticized for failing to capture the true essence of the song. But other covers have also been hailed as some of the worst covers too, including pop star Madonna's version. Rolling Stone magazine even named Madonna's version as the third-worst cover of all time.

4 Famous Singers Participated In The Background Chorus

Among the uncredited singers in the background chorus included James Taylor, Carly Simon, Pete Seeger, and Livingston Taylor. This all-star chorale were simply named as the "West Forty Fourth Street Rhythm and Noise Choir'' on the album sleeve. "It was quite a star-studded cast, and one that I really should have photographed," said producer Ed Freeman.

The "Jester" Lyrics Were Likely About Bob Dylan

The line, "The jester on the sidelines in a cast" has been assumed to be about singer Bob Dylan and is potentially in reference to Dylan's motorcycle accident. The incident left him injured and caused him to take a leave of absence from his craft to heal. Further, McLean also sings that the jester appears "In a coat he borrowed from James Dean," referring to Dylan's cover photo for his Freewheelin' album where he poses in a jacket similar to the one worn by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. "And while the king was looking down/The jester stole his thorny crown" would seem to refer to Dylan supplanting Elvis Presley as messiah to the masses.

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Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About "Bonanza"

The final episode of Bonanza was broadcast on Tuesday, January 16th, 1973. Bonanza, which ran for more than a decade, was one of the best-known television shows of its time and amassed a huge cult-like following. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Bonanza.

The TV Show Inspired A Restaurant Chain

Dan Blocker, who played Eric "Hoss" Cartwright on the show, opened a chain of restaurants named—you guessed it— Bonanza. The first Bonanza opened in Westport, Connecticut.  After he sold the chain, the name changed to Ponderosa, and, like a wagon train, the restaurant just kept on going forward. 

A Theme Park Was Created Because of The Show

The fictional ranch, Ponderosa, was shown on a map during the show’s credits, and drew fans to the site hoping to catch a glimpse of the Cartwright homestead. Bill and Joyce Anderson, who lived near the supposed site, teamed up with NBC and David Dortort, a co-creator of the show, to create the Ponderosa Ranch theme park in 1968. It featured a full replica of the ranch house where the Cartwrights lived, sold “Hoss” burgers, and staged robberies as entertainment. The park closed in 2004.

Producing a Show in Color Was Expensive

Bonanza almost got cancelled early on because of its larger budget.  This is because it was the first show shot and broadcast in color, and RCA (which owned NBC at the time) used the show to drive interest in color televisions. A move from a Saturday time-slot to a Sunday spot allowed the series to flourish.

They Have A Christmas Album

The holiday season may have just passed, but remember to put this on your playlist for next year. In 1964, the four Cartwright cast members came together to release Christmas at Ponderosa. The festive album features Christmas staples like "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells."

The Bonanza Theme Song Had Lyrics

You wouldn’t know if from the opening credits, but the theme song did have lyrics. In fact, it had multiple sets of lyrics, one even penned by series star Lorne Greene. Johnny Cash wrote and recorded his own version of the lyrics and released it as a single called "Bonanza". The song briefly touched the Pop chart at #94 before dropping off.  A sequence was actually filmed for the pilot episode that had the cast singing the song, but it didn't make the final cut.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Corvette

On January 17, 1953, a prototype Chevrolet Corvette made its debut at the Motorama auto show in New York City.  Here are five things you probably didn’t know about this iconic American muscle car...

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. With a single tier of guns, the warships still remain popular with modern Navies to this day, with the ships now having a better design and more armor.

The Company Had To Change The Original Logo

The Chevy Corvette's logo is an iconic part of the car. The Corvette’s first logo featured a checkered flag crossed with the American flag. While it looked good, there was a major problem. The company learned that using the American flag commercially on a product is actually illegal and had to be changed. Only four days before the car debuted, Chevrolet replaced the design with the checkered flag, which is still used today.

There Is Only One 1983 Model

Chevrolet ran into problems with their 1983 Corvette, and as a result, no Corvettes were released that year. Although forty-three Corvettes were manufactured in 1983, all but one of them ended up being destroyed, with that final car now displayed in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at the National Corvette Museum.

It Is The Official Car Of Kentucky

In 2010, the Chevrolet Corvette was named as Kentucky’s official sports car. This may not be much of a surprise, as the last Corvette factory in the country happens to be located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The factory at Bowling Green gets consistent business and is a staple of Kentucky now, with people knowing about the location from far and wide.

The Fastest Corvette Isn't The Newest

Corvette is not only a sharp-looking sports car, but it's often sought out by those who want speed in a vehicle. Although many people probably believe the newer models are faster because of advancements in technology, it isn’t true. To date, the fastest Corvette Stingray ever made was back in 1968 with the LT-2 with a top speed of 200 mph.

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Five Things You Didn't Know About The South Pole_2

On January 18, 1912, Robert F. Scott, the British explorer, made it to the South Pole, only to find out that Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian explorer, had gotten there first. Find out five things you didn’t know about the South Pole.

It Wasn't Seen by Humans Until 1820

The Russians first spotted Antarctica in 1820, but they didn’t stop by to visit its icy barrenness. It was a Connecticut seal hunter named John Davis who first landed on the shores of Antarctica, supposedly in search of prey to hunt. A Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, arrived on Antarctica in 1911, followed by an expedition led by Englishman Robert F. Scott. 

Antarctica Has No Time Zones

It isn’t possible to colonize Antarctica because it doesn’t belong to any country, and the weather is so inhospitable that only scientists and tourists go there for short stays. In the past, a number of countries claimed it—including Great Britain, France, Australia, and Argentina—but those claims were never approved by other countries around the world. However, fifty-three countries have joined the Antarctic treaty (signed in 1959)—a peaceful agreement that allows all to study the continent.

The Largest Desert iI The World is in The Antarctic

When we think of deserts, we usually think of the Sahara, the Gobi, the Kalahari, etc. Deserts tend to be very warm and sandy. However, the technical criteria for an area to qualify as a desert is just for there to be very little precipitation — less than 25 centimeters per year, to be precise. Most of Antarctica is too cold to allow for precipitation in the form of rain or snow, so approximately 5.5 million square miles of the continent is a desert — the largest desert in the World, in fact. It’s even theorized that some parts of the Antarctic desert haven’t had any form of precipitation for two million years.

The Seasons At The South Pole Are Reversed

When it is summer in the northern hemisphere, it’s winter at the south pole. This is because the seasons between the northern and southern hemispheres are reversed, which means New Zealand and Australia's seasons are also opposite from countries the lie north of the equator. Another weather phenomenon? Since the south pole sits at the extreme southern end of the planet, it has only has two seasons: winter and summer.

The Lowest Temperatures On The Planet Have Been Recorded At The South Pole

It gets so cold at the south pole that it even beat its own record for the lowest temperature on earth. A temperature of of -89.2C was recorded back in 1983. But in August 2010 (wintertime in Antarctica), satellites recorded a new low of -94.1C. These temperatures explain why almost no vegetation exists there, and the only inhabitants are penguins because they have adapted to the frigid climate.

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Five Things You Didn't Know About Janis Joplin

On January 19, 1943, rock, blues, and soul singer Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas. After releasing just three albums, Joplin died of a heroin overdose in 1970, becoming part of rock and roll's infamous "27 Club." Here are 5 facts you didn't know about Janis Joplin...

She Bought A Tombstone For Bessie Smith

Joplin’s ultimate idol and her greatest influence was Bessie Smith, aka the “Empress of the Blues” — she even told friends that she believed she was Smith’s reincarnation. Joplin was furious when she found out that Smith was buried in an unmarked grave in Pennsylvania following her death in a car accident at the age of 43. She and Juanita Green, the daughter of one of Smith’s employees, paid for a tombstone for Smith, with the epitaph, “The Greatest Blues Singer in the World Will Never Stop Singing.” 

A Whiskey Company Gave Her An Expensive Fur Coat

Joplin loved to drink, and her alcohol of choice was always Southern Comfort whiskey. When her followers decided to emulate Joplin, sales of the liquor skyrocketed.  In recognition of this endorsement, the distillery gave her a fur coat in appreciation. The coat probably went well with her Porsche, which was painted in psychedelic colors with a bright mural of birds, butterflies, floating eyes, landscapes, mushrooms and skull-like faces.  In 2015, the Porsche Joplin bought in 1964 broke records when it sold at auction for $1.76 million. It was the highest price ever paid for any Porsche 356 at auction.

She Once Broke A Bottle Over Jim Morrison’s Head

Joplin and musician Jim Morrison had a love of drinking in common.  At a party held by producer Paul Rothchild, Joplin rejected Morrison’s advances, but he persisted — until Joplin broke a bottle of Southern Comfort over his head. Morrison seemed to not take it personally because the following day he asked Paul Rothchild, the record producer, for Joplin's number so that he could call her. She was not interested, and it was reported that Morrison was heartbroken by the rejection. 

She Was One Of The First Members Of The "27 Club"

Three weeks before Joplin’s death at the age of 27, another 27-year-old musician, Jimi Hendrix, died from an overdose. Since then, many other celebrities have died at the same age, leading to the collective name, “The 27 Club.” In 1971, Jim Morrison died, age 27, in his French apartment. Other members of the morbid club include Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, British singer Amy Winehouse and artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Her Last Recording Was a Birthday Greeting for John Lennon

The last recordings Joplin completed was a birthday greeting for John Lennon. On Oct. 1, 1970, Joplin recorded the old Dale Evans cowboy tune ‘Happy Trails’ for the former Beatle, which is sort of spooky given the lyrics are “Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.” The tune was titled ‘Happy Birthday, John (Happy Trails). Lennon told talk show host Dick Cavett that her musical greeting arrived at his home after her passing.

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Five Things You Didn't Know About Donald Trump

On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Whether you love him or hate him, here are five things you probably didn’t know about the controversial billionaire businessman turned 45th president...

He Launched His Own Board Game

Donald Trump launched a board game in 1989 called Trump: The Game, and it is no surprise that it was about making money in real estate. The PR for the launch read – “Parker Brothers and Donald Trump are challenging consumers to determine whether they have the brains and the brawn to be the next Donald Trump.” The monopoly-like game was ultimately discontinued after dismal sales and poor reviews.

Trump Restored The Central Park Skating Rink

The famous Wollman skating rink in Central Park, New York, was undergoing renovations in 1986 but had reached a standstill due to a financial drain. Trump, who could see the construction from his office window, persuaded then mayor Ed Koch to let him take control and he completed the project fast and on the cheap. He became a real hero in New York as he completed the work two months ahead of schedule, and under budget.

Trump Appeared in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Donald Trump was the owner of the famed Plaza Hotel when the movie was filmed. In one of the scenes from the film,  little Kevin walks into the Plaza Hotel and asks Donald Trump for directions. According to director Chris Columbus, Trump only allowed filming in the hotel lobby if he could appear in the movie. 

There Is A Donald Trump Action Figure

If you want a 12 inch Apprentice Donald Doll to tell your employee that he or she is fired, just order the Donald Trump doll sold on Amazon.com. This doll was used comically by children mocking him in a scathing Ted Cruz political ad. Hero Builders also produced an action figure of Donald Trump in a tuxedo with a removable toupee.

He Owned A Pro Football Team

In 1983, Donald Trump, who played varsity football in high school, purchased the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League for a reported $9 million. Within one year of his purchase, he turned the flailing team into one of the best in the USFL. Trump tried to merge the league with the National Football League but was unsuccessful.  The USFL soon folded. 

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5 Things You Didn't Know About The Little Rascals

On January 21, 1959, Carl Dean Switzer, best known as the actor who played Alfalfa in the Our Gang comedy film series, died at the age of 31 in a fight that was allegedly about money. In honor of the hours of joy his early work brought to millions of people, here are 5 facts about Our Gang and The Little Rascals.

There Were Over 200 Short Films In The Our Gang Collection

Using 41 different child actors, Hal Roach created 220 short Our Gang films for MGM between the 1920s and the 1940s. After purchasing the rights to the film shorts from MGM, Roach repackaged 79 of the Our Gang films for television and renamed them The Little Rascals. That bold move made much-loved characters such as Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Buckwheat, and Froggy household names for generations of children to come.

Mickey Rooney And Shirley Temple Failed Their Auditions

Hal Roach had a clear vision for what he wanted in terms of his child stars, and simply being talented didn't necessarily mean you could make the cut. As it turns out, both Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple, two incredibly talented child actors by any standard, failed their auditions. Of Rooney, Roach said in a book entitled The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang: "I remember the kid. I just didn't think he'd fit into the gang." 

George "Spanky" McFarland's Final Role Was A Cameo On "Cheers"

George McFarland, the actor best known as Spanky on The Little Rascals, made his last appearance in a cameo on the TV show Cheers. At the beginning of the episode "Woody Gets an Election," Cliff and Norm spot McFarland drinking alone at the bar. McFarland would die months later in the summer of 1993. He was one of just two Rascals to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, along with Jackie Cooper, who went on to play Perry White in 1978's Superman.

Petey The Pup Had A Famous Make-Up Artist

Who can forget Petey, the adorable and long-suffering dog that accompanied the gang on their madcap adventures? It turns out that the makeup legend Max Factor added the ring around the eye of Pete. Maksymilian Faktorowicz, better known as the founder of Max Factor, drew the iconic circle around Petey's eye that gave him his signature look.

Petey's Distinctive Look Changed A Bit Over Time

Petey's ring moved from his right eye to his left after the original dog died. In 1930, Pal the Wonder Dog was sadly poisoned and died, or so it is told. One of his offspring inherited the role of Petey. The young pup was named Lucenay's Peter in real life. His eye circle mysteriously moved to the other side. That dog's final appearance came in 1932's The Pooch, after which a string of dogs filled the role.

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