Facts - 17

  • In "Silence of the Lambs", Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) does not blink in any scene.
  • In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined.
  • In 1516, Friar Tomas sailed to the Caribbean bringing banana roots with him; and planted bananas in the rich, fertile soil of the tropics, thus beginning the banana's future in American life.
  • In 1638, Sweden founded a colony in the New World in the Delaware River Valley. It was called New Sweden.
  • In 1649, Massachusetts's Puritan government ruled the following: "Any childe over 16 who shall CURSE or SMITE their natural FATHER or MOTHER, or act in a STUBBORNE or REBELLIOUS manner shall be put to death."
  • In 1659 the state of Massachusetts outlawed Christmas.
  • In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts ordered that anybody caught feasting or laying off from work, or in any other way goofing off on any other day other than Christmas, would be fined five shillings for each such offense.
  • In 1670, Dorothy Jones of Boston was granted a license to sell coffee, and so became the first American coffee trader.
  • In 1727, as a result of seedlings smuggled from Paris, coffee plants first were cultivated in Brazil. Brazil is presently by far the world's largest producer of coffee.
  • In 1771 the kingdom of Poland was larger in are than any other European country except Russia and had a bigger population than any other European country except France.
  • In 1789, Morocco became the first country to recognize the United States.
  • In 1810 US population was 7,239,881. Black population at 1,377,808 was 19%. In 1969 US population reached 200 million.
  • In 1831, Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts, left on one of his many world voyages. Friends presented him with a flag of 24 stars. As the banner opened to the ocean breeze, he exclaimed, "Old Glory." He kept his flag for many years, protecting it during the Civil War, until it was flown over the Tennessee capital. His "Old Glory" became a nickname for all American flags.
  • In 1832 Abraham Lincoln ran for the Illinois legislature, and lost.
  • In 1836 the U.S. government had so much extra money that it repaid all its debts, and still had money left over.
  • In 1845, President Andrew Jackson's pet parrot was removed from his funeral for swearing.
  • In 1850, Michigan's state constitution included the following line: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime, shall ever be tolerated in this state." This inadvertently legalized slavery as an appropriate punishment for crime. It wasn't until 1963 that the grammar was fixed to outlaw slavery. The change required shifting the comma following "servitude" to the position after "slavery."
  • In 1853, Illinois passed a law that required any black entering the state and staying more than ten days to pay a fine of $50. If he could not pay, the person could be sold into slavery for a period commensurate with the fine.
  • In 1860, 'Godey's Lady's Book' advised US women to cook tomatoes for at least 3 hours.
  • In 1863, Paul Hubert of Bordeaux, France, was sentenced to life in jail for murder. After 21 years, it was discovered that he was convicted of murdering himself.
  • In 1865 opium was grown in the state of Virginia and a product was distilled from it that yielded 4 percent morphine. In 1867 it was grown in Tennessee: six years later it was cultivated in Kentucky. During these years opium, marijuana and cocaine could be purchased legally over the counter from any druggist.
  • In 1865, several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, Tennessee, called the Ku Klux Klan.
  • In 1879 during the term of Rutherford B. Hayes the first telephone was installed in the White House.
  • In 1886, Grover Cleveland became the only president to be married in the White House.
  • In 1889, the 1st coin-operated telephone, patented by Hartford, Connecticut inventor William Gray, was installed in the Hartford Bank.
  • In 1892, Italy raised the minimum age for marriage for girls to 12.
  • In 1894 there were only 4 automobiles in the US.
  • In 1899, a pharmacist named George Bunting blended his own cold cream, which, in addition to removing makeup and relieving sunburn, gained popularity for its ability to cure eczema. The product's claim of "No Eczema" led to its name, Noxzema.
  • In 1900 the average age at death in the US was 47.
  • In 1900, coffee was often delivered door-to-door in the United States, by horse-pulled wagons.
  • In 1900, Queen Victoria sent her New Year's greetings to the British troops stationed in South Africa during the Boer War in the form of a specially molded chocolate bar.
  • In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the only U.S. President in history to deliver his inaugural address without using the word "I". For the record, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower said "I" only once during their speeches.
  • In 1905, 18 men died from injuries sustained on the football field. President Theodore Roosevelt stepped in and instituted safety measures to make the game safer.
  • In 1908, figure skating became the first winter sport to be included in the Olympics.
  • In 1915, Winston Churchill fought in the front line trenches before he became the Minister of Munitions.
  • In 1920, 57% of Hollywood movies billed the female star above the leading man. In 1990, only 18% had the leading lady given top billing.
  • In 1920, Eugene Debs, a Socialist, received 920,000 votes for president of the United States even though he ran his entire campaign from prison.
  • In 1924, Pope Urban VIII threatened to excommunicate snuff users.
  • In 1925, the 1st motel -the "Motel Inn" -opened in San Luis Obispo, California.
  • In 1926, when a Los Angeles restaurant owner with the all-American name of Bob Cobb was looking for a way to use up leftovers, he threw together some avocado, celery, tomato, chives, watercress, hard-boiled eggs, chicken, bacon, and Roquefort cheese, and named it after himself: Cobb salad.
  • In 1930, the heaviest a female flight attendant could be was 115 pounds. They also had to be unmarried nurses.
  • In 1931, Charleston, SC was the first city in the United States to pass legislation establishing a historical district. The city has more than 1,000 buildings that predate the Civil War.
  • In 1932 James Markham obtained the 1st patent issued for a tree. The patent was for a peach tree.
  • In 1936, England became the first country in the world to provide regular public broadcasting on television.
  • In 1938 Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel sold all rights to the comic-strip character Superman to their publishers for $130.
  • In 1938, Hewlett-Packard became the first corporation to move to Silicon Valley.
  • In 1943, Navy officer Grace Hopper had no choice but to fix a computer glitch manually. The source of the problem? A moth. Hence the term "computer bug."
  • In 1945 a computer at Harvard malfunctioned and Grace Hopper, who was working on the computer, investigated, found a moth in one of the circuits and removed it. Ever since, when something goes wrong with a computer, it is said to have a bug in it.
  • In 1947, heavy snow blanketed the Northeast, burying New York City under 25.8 inches of snow in 16 hours; the severe weather was blamed for some 80 deaths.
  • In 1947, Toys for Tots started making the holidays a little happier for children by organizing its first Christmas toy drive for needy youngsters.
  • In 1950, UNIVAC became the first computer to tabulate the United States census.
  • In 1952, Mr. Potato Head became the first toy to be advertised on television in the U.S.
  • In 1957, the Shipping port Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went on line. (It was taken out of service in 1982.)
  • In 1959, the Soviet space probe "Luna Two" became the first manmade object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface.
  • In 1960, an estimated 4,000 people were over 100 years old in the U.S. By 1995 the number had jumped to : 55,000.
  • In 1962, the Mashed Potato, the Loco-Motion, the Frug, the Monkey, and the Funky Chicken were popular dances.
  • In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, home run.
  • In 1964 General Mills began marketing Lucky Charms cereal with pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers. The marshmallow bits (technically referred to as marbits) were invented in 1963 by John Holahan. The cereal is marketed using a leprechaun character named Lucky ( L.C. Leprechaun is his full name) that touts his cereal as being "Magically Delicious." Over the years the various shapes and colors of the marshmallow bits in the cereal have undergone many changes.
  • In 1964, Sandy Koufax, Elstom Howard, Jimmy Brown, Oscar Robertson, and Cookie Gilchrist were all voted MVP from their respected (MLB, NFL, NBA) leagues. Each of them wore the number 32.
  • In 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined together to become Tanzania.
  • In 1964, University of Oregon grad student Carolyn Davidson designed what became known as the Nike "swoosh" for a mere $35. She did it four years after Phil Knight and track coach Bill Bowerman founded the company they originally called Blue Ribbon Sports.
  • In 1965, Congress authorized the Secret Service to protect former presidents and their spouses for their lifetime, unless they decline the protection. Recently, Congress limited the protection of former presidents and their spouses (elected after January 1, 1997) to 10 years after leaving office. President Clinton, who was elected in 1996, will be the last president to receive lifelong protection from the Secret Service.
  • In 1965, LBJ enacted a law requiring cigarette manufacturers to put health warnings on their packages.
  • In 1968, "Apollo Seven," the first manned Apollo mission, was launched with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard.
  • In 1969 the US launched a male chimpanzee called Ham into space.
  • In 1969, Midnight Cowboy became the first and only X-rated production to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. (Its rating has since been changed to R.)
  • In 1970, 127 runners ran the NY Marathon. In 1998, 32,000 did.
  • In 1970, an Arizona lawyer named Russel H. Ansie filed a $100,000 law
  • In 1975, it cost only $180,000 to produce an hour-long TV drama.
  • In 1976, the average human had $5.60 of chemicals in their bodies. In 1946, that number was 98 cents.
  • In 1976, the first eight Jelly Belly® flavors were launched: Orange, Green Apple, Root Beer, Very Cherry, Lemon, Cream Soda, Grape, and Licorice.
  • In 1980, the only country in the world with no telephones was Bhutan.
  • In 1982, in the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device.
  • In 1984, a Canadian farmer began renting advertising space on his cows.
  • In 1985, Pete Rose became the first professional athlete to appear on the front of a Wheaties box.
  • In 1987 Playtex premiered the first US TV commercials with real lingerie models displaying their bras and underwear on national television.
  • In 1987, Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers became the first NHL goalie to score a goal. Actually, Ron Hextall was the first NHL goalie to score a goal by shooting the puck towards the opposing team's net in 1987. Billy Smith was the first goalie credited with a goal in 1979 when his clearing pass hit an opposing skater and went into the other team's goal.
  • In 1990, Bill Carson, of Arrington, Tennessee, grew the largest watermelon at 262 pounds that is still on the record books according to the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • In 1990, over 4 billion dollars of coffee was imported into the United States.
  • In 1991 Procter & Gamble won a $75,000 lawsuit against James & Linda Newton who were found responsible for spreading rumors that the company supported the Church of Satan. The two were distributors of Amway Products, a competitor of Proctor & Gamble.
  • In 1992, approximately 750 deaths occurred in the United States due to workplace violence.
  • In 1992, the best selling American-produced car in Japan was the Honda Accord. It was built in Ohio and exported to Japan.
  • In 1995, KFC sold 11 pieces of chicken for every man, woman and child in the US.
  • In 1996, people in the United States sent and received 182,660,700,000 pieces of mail domestically. By way of comparison, Japan ranked second on this list with just 24,971,279,000.
  • In 1997, Fourteen percent of the one million citizens of Nairobi, Kenya carry the AIDS virus. Some 20% of the Kenyan military is infected.
  • In 1998 OSHA reported 1171 construction related fatalities, the sixth straight year this number has increased.
  • In 1999, the most common food allergy was to nuts. 
  • In 2001, there were more than 300 banana-related accidents in Britain, most involving people slipping on skins.



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"Not Everything That Can Be Counted Counts... And Not Everything That Counts Can Be Counted!!!"
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G.A.

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