triva

The White House, designed by James Hoban, has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms and 6 levels in the residence. This includes 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators. When the president or his family wants to have some fun, they can use the tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater (officially called the White House Family Theater), putting green or bowling alley!

Blue was the color originally associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick’s color was blue, not green, say historians. The hue — St. Patrick’s blue, can still be seen on ancient Irish flags. The blue flag of the Kingdom of Ireland was officially used from 1542 until 1801. That all changed in the 17th century. The association with the color green on St. Patrick’s Day began during the 1798 Irish Rebellion, when the clover became a symbol of nationalism. That evolution, combined with the idea of Ireland’s lush green fields, eventually made blue a thing of the past.

Each year we all dress in all the green we own—but have you ever stopped and wondered why? The truth is, Saint Patrick didn’t wear green. In fact, his color of choice was a light blue, so if anything we should be wearing that. But, when the nationalists who won Ireland its independence adopted a green flag in the late 18th century, people began associating that green we all know and love with the Irish holiday.

Each year we all dress in all the green we own—but have you ever stopped and wondered why? The truth is, Saint Patrick didn’t wear green. In fact, his color of choice was a light blue, so if anything we should be wearing that. But, when the nationalists who won Ireland its independence adopted a green flag in the late 18th century, people began associating that green we all know and love with the Irish holiday.

You might raise a pint in his honor each year, but who exactly is the man we all celebrate on March 17? Saint Patrick was born in Britain and joined a monastery at the age of 22 after spending six years as a slave. Patrick studied at the monastery for 12 years before embarking to Ireland in an effort to help convert the country to Christianity. Though legend has it Saint Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland; it appears that was more of a metaphor for his overwhelming success converting the Irish people: Ireland’s climate is too cold for amphibians. 

The first known celebration was held in 1737 in Boston when some Irishmen got together for a dinner.  Twenty-five years later, Irish New Yorkers kicked off the first Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the world. Today, more than 200,000 people march down 5th Avenue in the heart of New York City to celebrate Irish culture and heritage. Other major cities celebrate in their own way: Chicago famously dumps 40 tons of green dye into the Chicago River each year, temporarily turning the winding waterway a bright, Kelly green. 

When people think St. Patrick’s Day, they think green. But they also think booze. Plenty of people ring in the holiday with a brew or too, and roughly 13 million pints of Guinness go down the hatch every year. But St. Patrick’s Day is a religious holiday that falls in the middle of Lent. And all the drinking and revelry that was happening wasn’t sitting right with a lot of folks in Ireland. So the country passed a law requiring pubs to close on March 17th. A law that wasn’t repealed until 1961. That’s right, if you went to Ireland before 1961, St. Patrick’s Day was the hardest day of the year to get a brew at a pub. And it wasn’t because of the crazy lines.

M&M’s were first introduced by Forrest Mars, Sr. in 1941. He got the idea for the candy after observing soldiers eating chocolate pellets with a hard shell during the Spanish Civil War. The candy was made with a hard shell so that soldiers could carry the chocolate during warm weather. M&M’s were quickly adopted by the U.S. Armed Forces, which saw the invention as a way to allow soldiers to carry chocolate in tropical climates without it melting. During World War II, the candies were exclusively sold to the military. Shortly after wartime quotas ended, the candies were made available to the general public.

Elvis Presley placed a down payment on Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. With a $1,000 cash deposit against a sale price of $102,500, Elvis Presley agreed to purchase the house on March 19, 1957. Today it is preserved precisely as Elvis left it when he passed away in the upstairs master bathroom in 1977. His daughter Lisa Marie inherited Graceland on Elvis’s death, and in the years since then, it has become one of the nation’s most popular tourist attractions—the second-most-visited house in America after the big white one on Pennsylvania Avenue.

There was really nothing preventing John Lennon and Yoko from being married, but they had a difficult time actually finding a place that would allow them to tie the knot. They had tried to get married in France and Germany, but each country required engaged couples to live in the country for a few weeks before going ahead with the ceremony. They tried a cross-channel ferry, but they found out the captain was no longer allowed to perform weddings. Finally, they were able to get to Gibraltar, which, since it was a British colony, meant that the couple didn’t have to jump through hoops to finally wed.

It’s fairly common in the UK for people to not know how to drive; after all, many cities there have excellent public transportation. John Lennon avoided learning to drive until 1965, and then he stopped in 1969 because apparently, he was a terrible driver. He got himself and his family into a bad accident in 1969, which finally convinced him that he should leave the driving to others.  He and Yoko mounted the wrecked car on a pillar at their home in England. He always used a chauffeur or driver after this incident.

John Lennon Was the Only Beatle Who Never Became a Full-Time VegetarianGeorge Harrison was the first Beatle vegetarian; according to most sources, he became an official vegetarian in 1965.  Paul McCartney joined the “veggie” ranks a few years later. Ringo became a vegetarian not so much for spiritual reasons, like Paul and George, but because of health problems. John had toyed with vegetarianism in the sixties, but he always ended up eating meat, one way or another.

John Lennon Loved to Play MonopolyDuring his Beatles days, Lennon was a devout Monopoly player. He had his own Monopoly set and often played in his hotel room or on planes. He liked to stand up when he threw the dice, and he was crazy about the properties Boardwalk and Park Place. He didn’t even care if he lost the game, as long as he had Boardwalk and Park Place in his possession.

Lennon was cremated after his tragic murder on December 8, 1980. Fans have theorized that his ashes were spread at Strawberry Fields – is a section of Central Park that Lennon often visited and which was posthumously named for his famous Beatles song. However, this has never been confirmed or denied by Ono, and the location of his ashes is still unknown.

The Virginia Conventions were a series of five meetings that were held in which representatives from the colonies gathered to decide the future relations between the colonies and England. The second convention met in Richmond, Virginia, for a one-week period in 1775. At the convention, Patrick Henry initiated a program for defensive action and presented his celebrated “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, which inspired the colonists to follow the cause. It was on this day in 1775, Henry declared, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Bush Brothers & Company is best known for its Bush’s Best brand canned baked beans and produces approximately 80% of the canned baked beans consumed in the United States. In 1995, the company developed an advertising campaign for their line of baked beans which focused on the “secret family recipe”, and introduced Jay Bush and his talking golden retriever named Duke. The campaign was a huge hit for Bush Brothers, who saw a dramatic spike in baked bean sales. As a result of the ad campaign, Duke became an instant celebrity.

If you’ve taken the tour at Graceland before, you’ve probably noticed that the second floor is strictly off-limits. Two armed security guards monitor the staircase leading up to Elvis’s room 24/7 and the double-door entryway is padlocked, only accessible to Elvis’s wife, Priscilla, and daughter, Lisa Marie. Even President Bill Clinton was denied access to the mysterious bedroom and bath where Elvis spent his last few hours on Earth. There is one person outside of Elvis’s family who has been inside the room, though: Lisa Marie’s ex-husband, actor Nicholas Cage. Cage is reportedly a huge Elvis fan, and after marrying Elvis’s daughter, he was granted the only known private tour of the 2nd floor ever.

Despite the fact that more than 40 percent of Elvis’s record sales were outside the U.S., The King never made any visits to foreign countries to perform (outside of a few select showings in Canada in 1957). Why? Rumor has it that Elvis’s long-time manager and mentor, Colonel Tom Parker, was an illegal immigrant who feared he would not be readmitted to the U.S. if he left. As a result, Parker turned down many lucrative offers to have his client play abroad.

The King is Related to Two U.S. Presidents.That’s right—you can trace Elvis’s family tree to both Jimmy Carter and Abraham Lincoln. Granted, both are pretty distant cousins, but it’s still pretty cool. Also included in Elvis’s family tree: Robert Townsend, a member of the Culper Spy Ring that reported on British troop movements to George Washington in the Revolutionary War and Ed Helms, the actor and comedian known for his roles in The Office and The Hangover movies.

Though he recorded more than 600 songs before passing away in 1977, The King of Rock n’ Roll never wrote a single one of them. Elvis admitted so himself in a 1957 interview, saying “I never wrote a song in my life. I’ve never even had an idea for a song. Just once, maybe.” Of course, that doesn’t mean The King didn’t have talent. Outside of being an amazing performer, Elvis also was a perfectionist in the studio. One story from the recording of “Hound Dog” says that Elvis demanded 31 takes before being satisfied with the recording.


He Refused to Dance at His Senior Prom.
Elvis the Pelvis didn’t always know how to shake those hips. His senior prom date recalled the story of an 18-year-old Elvis clad in blue suede shoes (seriously) refusing to get on the dance floor. Instead, he chose to sit on the sidelines, sip soda pop, and chat with his date. It’s not the only time The King got cold feet before hitting it big. In 1947, at the age of 12, Elvis refused the opportunity to sing live on local radio because he was too shy.

Starboard is a nautical term which refers to the right side of a ship as perceived by a person on board facing the bow (front). At night, the starboard side of a vessel is indicated with a green navigation light. Conversely, port is the left-hand side of a vessel or aircraft, facing forward and indicated with a red navigation light. Since port and starboard never change, they are unambiguous references that are independent of a mariner’s orientation, and, thus, mariners use these nautical terms instead of left and right to avoid confusion.

“The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. The phrase refers to the fact that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions. The expression is said to have originated from the game of poker. Truman received the sign as a gift from a prison warden who was also an avid poker player. It is also the motto of the U.S. Naval Aircraft Carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75).

Most people know the details of King’s 1968 assassination by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. But few recall that a woman named Izola Ware Curry made an attempt at King’s life a whole ten years before James Earl Ray took down the civil rights hero. King was signing copies of his first book at a department store in Harlem when he was approached by Curry. After a brief exchange, Curry stabbed Dr. King in the sternum with a 7-inch letter opener. After being rushed to the hospital and undergoing emergency surgery, doctors noted the tip of the blade had been resting on King’s aorta. Had he so much as sneezed, it likely would have punctured the artery and killed him.

Dr. King’s father, Michael King Sr., named his baby boy born on January 15, 1929, “Michael Jr.”—not “Martin Luther.” It wasn’t until Michael Sr. learned of the original Martin Luther, a leader of the Protestant Reformation, that he decided to change his own name and that of his five-year-old son. 

Despite his well-known stance as a non-violent activist, Dr. King drew a lot of attention from law enforcement. All 29 arrests were misdemeanor charges for violations like civil disobedience incurred during King’s many marches and protests. But, The Reverend also saw his fair-share of trumped-up ridiculous charges, too. For example, in 1956, police arrested and jailed Dr. King for driving 30-miles-per-hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone. 

MLK was so smart that he skipped 9th and 12th grade completely, landing him at Morehouse College—his father’s alma mater. He graduated from Morehouse with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, but decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps and was also ordained while in school. MLK went on to receive a divinity degree from Pennsylvania’s Crozer Theological Seminary and his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston University (hence the “Doctor” title).

When President Ronald Reagan signed a bill naming the third Monday in January “Martin Luther King Jr. Day” in 1983, he elevated MLK to a level of prestige only offered to one other American in our country’s history—George Washington. And Washington now has to share his birthday with all the other presidents on President’s Day! 

 While most of the satellites orbiting other planets take their names from various mythologies, Uranus’ moons are unique in being named for Shakespearean characters, along with a couple of the moons being named for characters from the works of Alexander Pope. To date 27 moons have been discovered around Uranus, those named after characters from Shakespeare include Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Ariel (The Tempest), Miranda (The Tempest) and Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Back in 2014, then-62-year-old Putin earned his third black belt in karate. Not only does the Russian president have a 5th-degree judo black belt and 9th-degree black belt in taekwondo (the highest rank possible, granting him the prestigious title of “Grand Master”), he also has an “8th Dan” black belt in Kyokushin-kan karate. So, yeah, why don’t you go tell him he can’t run for a fifth term as president.

Every powerful world leader needs an eclectic sidekick. Kim Jong-Un of North Korea has Dennis Rodman, and Vladimir Putin has none other than Nico Toscani himself—Steven Seagal. The two have a storied friendship stemming from their mutual love of martial arts. Seagal once called Putin “one of the greatest living world leaders.” Putin repaid the compliment by attempting to get Seagal named an honorary delegate to Russia in California and Arizona (a request that President Obama reportedly scoffed at and said, “You’ve got to be kidding.”)

Only about three percent of Russians today are fluent in English—President Putin is not among them. Putin generally refrains from speaking English in public settings due to his lack of comfort with the language. Get him in a room with a German dignitary—like Chancellor Angela Merkel for example—and he turns into a regular jabber-jaw. Putin speaks perfect German having spent time in East Germany during his time in the KGB (he was there when the Berlin Wall came down). 

Putin is known for his feats of manliness that range from catching 46-pound pike fish in Northern Russia to shooting a whale with a crossbow. Putin has openly admitted that some of his adventures have been fake stunts, but here’s one you can’t fabricate: sitting behind the wheel of a Formula One car with a top speed of 230 MPH. Putin reportedly drove a Formula One racing car—by himself—in 2010. According to witnesses, Putin topped out at 150 MPH before skidding to a halt. 

Most of us only dream of having a superhero molded after us on the pages of a comic book. President Putin gets to live it every day. You can check out SuperPutin online, where the Russian president can be found karate chopping terrorists and going head-to-head against a horde of zombies. He also held a gallery showing of some of the comics in Moscow back in December 2017 after announcing his plans to run for a fourth presidential term. 

Yogi Bear was the first breakout cartoon character created by Hanna-Barbera, and was given his own show, The Yogi Bear Show in 1961. Yogi Bear had a number of catchphrases, including the phrase, “I’m smarter than the average bear!” Art Carney’s Ed Norton character on The Honeymooners was said to be Yogi’s inspiration; his voice mannerisms broadly mimic Carney as Norton. Yogi’s name was similar to that of contemporary baseball star Yogi Berra, who was known for his amusing quotes. Berra sued Hanna-Barbera for defamation, but Hanna-Barbera claimed that the similarity of the names was just a coincidence.

Morris the Cat is the advertising mascot for 9Lives brand cat food, appearing on its packaging and in many of its television commercials. A large orange tabby tomcat, he is “the world’s most finicky cat”, eating only 9Lives, and making this preference clear with humorously sardonic voice-over comments when offered other brands. Every can of 9Lives features Morris’ “signature”. Three different cats have played Morris the Cat. The original Morris was discovered in 1968, at the Hinsdale Humane Society, a Chicago-area animal shelter. His picture still hangs on the wall of the local pound.

Brando won an Oscar for his 1972 role as Don Vito Corleone in the movie. However, the studio originally wanted Laurence Olivier to play the role. The director, Francis Ford Coppola, insisted on Brando, but the studio placed restrictions on the actor’s appearance in the role. The studio insisted that Brando perform a screen test, act in the role for free and put up his own bond in the event the production was delayed because of his bad behavior.

He was tricked into doing the screen test, being told it was a test for makeup. After seeing the screen test, the studio relented on the other two demands. Brando ended up being paid $250,000 for his role, along with a percentage of the gross profit, which was thought to be over $2 million.

He refused in sympathy with how poorly he thought Native Americans were treated by the film industry. Instead of appearing at the awards in person, he sent a Native American woman named Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse the award and read a lengthy letter. The reasons given for Brando’s refusal included a recent standoff at the site of Wounded Knee between Native Americans and federal officers, that Native American roles were usually given to whites and that Native Americans were generally hired only as extras for films.

Coppola wasn’t the studio’s first choice as director, and he had doubts about the movie because he wasn’t impressed by the Mario Puzo book until he read further into it. Until then, he wasn’t sure the film would be successful. However, The Godfather was a huge success, grossing about $245 million, and it was so popular that two sequels were made, The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Part III.

George C. Scott was the first actor to turn down this Academy Award in 1970 for his role in Patton. He had previously turned down an Oscar nomination in 1962 for The Hustler. Scott disliked the idea of competing with other actors and stayed home the night he would have been presented the 1970 Oscar.

The Stratosphere Las Vegas is a hotel, casino, and tower located on Las Vegas Boulevard just north of the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. The property’s signature attraction is the 1,149 foot Stratosphere Tower, the tallest freestanding observation tower in the United States, and the second-tallest in the Western Hemisphere, surpassed only by the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario. It is also the tallest structure in Las Vegas and in the State of Nevada. The top of the tower has two observation decks, a restaurant known as “Top of the World” (revolving restaurant), and four thrill rides.

Martin Van Buren was born December 5, 1782, in Kinderhook, New York, and was elected as the eighth president, serving in the office from 1837 to 1841. Because all of the previous presidents had been born before America gained its independence, they were all considered British subjects.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky, to Thomas Lincoln, a carpenter, and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Kentucky had become a state in 1792, and Hardin County was formed the following year. All the earlier presidents had been born either in areas under British rule or in states that were a part of the original 13 colonies.

Which President Was Elected Four Times?Franklin Delano Roosevelt first served as president in 1933 during the Great Depression. He was the first president to address the nation by radio and instituted measures to drag the country out of The Great Depression and provide programs for employment. Roosevelt was reelected three times and died of a stroke while in office on April 12, 1945. He was 63.


Which Adventurous President Was the First to Take an Airplane Ride?
Although he had left the office of the presidency in 1909, Teddy Roosevelt was known for his daring acts and became the first to fly in an airplane. In October 1910, Roosevelt was invited by Arch Hoxsey, an aviator employed by the Wright brothers, to come fly in a plane in St. Louis, Missouri. Although reluctant at first, Roosevelt took the seat next to Hoxsey, and the plane took off, making several laps around a field, while people sitting in the grandstand watched. Roosevelt waved at the crowd as the plane flew by, and the plane landed safely.


What President Was the First to Electricity While Living in the White House?
In 1891, electricity was installed in the White House during Benjamin Harrison’s administration. Wires were strung across the White House lawn, and round switches were installed inside with the wiring buried underneath the plaster in the rooms. However, the president and his wife were terrified of being electrocuted by this ten-year-old invention and did not use the switches. Most sources say that the servants in the White House turned the lights on and off.

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, “Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On April 11, he returned to the White House.

Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. The term jerk spice (also commonly known as Jamaican jerk spice) refers to a spice rub. The word jerk refers to the spice rub, wet marinade, and to the particular cooking technique. Jerk cooking has developed a following in United States, Canadian and Western European cosmopolitan urban centers with Caribbean/West Indian communities. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken.

On Monday, April 2, 2018, First Lady Melania Trump will host the 140th annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House. The White House Easter Egg Roll is a timeless tradition that dates back to 1878. The first annual White House Easter Egg Roll was held on April 22, 1878 after President Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to open the White House grounds on Easter Monday to children who want to roll Easter eggs. Successive Presidents continued the tradition, and the event has been held on the South Lawn ever since.

No one knows for sure, but all signs seem to point to France in the 1500s. Here’s the story: It’s 1582 and France is making the switch from the Julian calendar over to the Gregorian calendar (the one we all use today). When that happened, the New Year reset to January 1 from its previous date sometime around the March equinox. A small group of stubborn Frenchmen refused to accept the new date, at which point they were referred to as “April fools,” and the new Gregorian-savvy French folk played tricks on their foolishly stubborn neighbors. April Fool’s Day is still celebrated in France today, where it’s known as “Poisson d’Avril,” or “April Fish.” Kids will stick a paper fish to the backs of their unexpecting friends and yell “Poisson d’Avril” when they discover the prank.


Back in 1957, the BBC aired a documentary-style April Fool’s segment that showed a Swiss family harvesting spaghetti crops. The segment was narrated by a distinguished BBC broadcaster and showed a woman carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and then laying them in the sun to dry. The broadcaster then comments about how March is such an anxiety-ridden time for spaghetti farmers as frost can ruin the crop. At the time, spaghetti wasn’t widely eaten in the UK, and the station received more than a few calls from excited home cooks and gardeners interested in growing their own spaghetti trees.

Google has developed quite a reputation for April Fools’ Day pranks. They used April 1st to announce such fictional products as Google Nose (lets you search for smells online), a Google Fiber Bar, and, our favorite, Gmail paper which allowed you to print your e-mails and have them delivered to your home.  But you know what they say about the boy who cried wolf: When something actually happens, no one believes you. So Google probably wishes that one of their employees’ 3-foot pythons named Kaiser had chosen a different day to escape from his cage than April 1st. When employees at the company received the memo about the python on the loose, many ignored it and thought it was a joke. Luckily for all involved, no one was hurt.


What Happened on April Fool’s Day in 1946 that People Thought Was a Prank (but It Really Happened)?
The earthquake off the coast of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. The 8.6 magnitude earthquake occurred the morning of April 1, 1946, and sent tsunami waves as far south as Hawaii, which was hit completely off-guard. 165 people lost their lives. Initial reports of the earthquake and massive tsunami were thought to be April Fool’s pranks on the news. In 2005, comedian Mitch Hedberg’s death was thought to be an April Fool’s hoax. Sadly, the comic had died the night before.

Kinder Surprise Eggs are a chocolate treat widely available throughout Europe, Mexico and Canada. The eggs are a made of a chocolate shell, and inside is a plastic container containing a toy, which usually needs assembling. Unfortunately, Kinder Surprise eggs are banned in the United States. They’ve been outlawed in the states since the 1930s because of an old act which deems it violates both Consumer Product Safety Commission and FDA regulations. It outlines that any food with a ‘non-nutritive object embedded’ is strictly illegal. Americans have been so eager to get their hands on the treat that 60,000 smuggled eggs were seized by border officials in 2011, according to the US Customs and Border Protection.

There were a total of approximately 76 million births in the United States from 1946 to 1964, the 19 years usually called the “baby boom.” The aging of the baby boomers has created a dramatic shift in the age composition of the U.S. population. The Census Bureau currently projects that the baby-boom population will total 61.3 million in 2029, when the youngest boomers reach age 65. By 2031, when the youngest baby boomers reach age 67, the baby-boom population is projected to be even lower, at 58.2 million.

Howard Hughes was staying in the Desert Inn penthouse when he was asked to leave because the hotel needed a place to put everyone coming for New Year’s Eve. The story goes that Bob Maheu – who worked for Hughes and handled many of his business dealings – jokingly suggested that Hughes buy the hotel so he could keep staying there. Hughes apparently wasn’t laughing because he did exactly that. Bought the Inn for $13 million. Of course, Hughes wasn’t done, he ended up buying quite a significant amount of property on and off the Las Vegas Strip.

Buying a hotel because he didn’t feel like checking out wasn’t the only time he bought a business the way most of us buy a donut. Hughes was an insomniac, and while in his room in Vegas, he was disappointed to realize that there was no TV station showing movies all night long. So, he did what any of us would do… actually, scratch that, he did what none of us would do: He bought a TV station. He purchased KLAS for $3.6 million and turned it into a 24/7 channel that showed movies late at night. Just like that, problem solved.

If you couldn’t tell from his willy-nilly buying of every business in sight, Hughes was crazy rich. And when he died, no one could find a will. He had no children and no spouse. And you know what that means: It’s time for every single person in the country to come out and claim they’re related to Howard Hughes. Fake wills started to emerge including one from a gas station attendant who said he was entitled to 1/16 of Hughes’ money because he the attendant gave him a ride one time when he was stranded on the side of the road. 

Making matters more difficult, Hughes was … umm … eccentric. So was it plausible that he’d give 1/16th of his money to a guy who gave him a ride when he needed one? Sure. The guy bought a TV station because he didn’t have anything to watch at night. Was it possible that the reason no one had heard of him marrying any of the women who claimed to be his former wives was because he was a total recluse? Absolutely. Considering all the affairs he had, could he have tons of undocumented children out there? Why not? While plenty of people’s claims were rejected, about 1000 people (200 of them supposed relatives) have split what is estimated to be $1.5 billion of Hughes’ money. 

Confucius was an influential Chinese philosopher, teacher and political figure known for his popular aphorisms and for his models of social interaction. One of the most frequently visited landmarks in Chinatown is the 15-foot bronze statue of Confucius. Sculpted by Liu Shih, the statue was presented by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association as a token of appreciation, and to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial. At its base, a Confucian proverb is inscribed aside an American Flag, praising a just government with remarkable leaders of wisdom and ability.

Before she was the famous star of the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie was studying dance and trying to make a name for herself. Her entrance to the entertainment world wasn’t through singing or dancing, but voice work. As a child in the 1980s, Ferguson was the voice of Sally Brown in two made-for-television Peanuts cartoons, It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown (1984) and Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown (1985), as well as on four episodes of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show. According to Fergie, there are many similarities between her and the “Sally Brown” character

Lady Gaga was born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta on March 28, 1986. Now known as Lady Gaga (the inspiration for her name came from the Queen song “Radio Ga-Ga”), she has become an international pop star. She is known for her unconventionality and provocative work as well as experimentation with new images. Her debut album, The Fame, was a huge success, and the single “Poker Face” topped charts in almost every category, in almost every country. Having sold 27 million albums and 146 million singles, Gaga is one of the best-selling music artists in history.

 Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun. As such, it circles the sun faster than all the other planets, which is why Romans named it after their swift-footed messenger god. Its orbit around the Sun is very elliptical, like a stretched out circle, compared to those of the other planets. Mercury’s distance from the Sun ranges from 28.6 million miles to 43.4 million miles. Ironically, the planet closest to the sun is not the hottest planet; that honor is reserved for Venus.

On this day in 1865, at Appomattox, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. Forced to abandon the Confederate capital of Richmond, blocked from joining the surviving Confederate force in North Carolina, and harassed constantly by Union cavalry, Lee had no other option. General Grant told his officers, “The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.” Although scattered resistance continued for several weeks, for all practical purposes the Civil War had come to an end.

t may surprise you that the Confederacy actually had three capitals during the war. The first was in the heart of the deep South in Montgomery, Alabama, lasting only four months. On May 8, 1861, the decision was made to name the Richmond, Virginia as the new Capital of the Confederacy. Richmond served as the capital of the Confederate States of America for the vast majority of the Civil War. The last capital of the Confederacy was Danville, Virginia which lasted a whopping seven days. Richmond, obviously, held on to the title the longest.

Obviously, the White House will never be for sale, and there are no true comparables for this historic structure. However according to Zillow, the White House Zestimate is $397,817,836. Home to every American president except George Washington, the White House is rich in history and tradition. The complex sits on 18 meticulously landscaped acres, and includes: six stories and 55,000 ft2 of floor space, 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases, 3 elevators, a tennis court, a (single-lane) bowling alley, a movie theater, a jogging track, a putting green, and a swimming pool.

The iconic French fashion designer “Coco” Chanel is one of the most significant designers in the fashion industry. She was the founder and namesake of the Chanel brand. The concept of “Little Black Dress” is often attributed to Chanel as she took a color most associated with mourning and popularized it for evening wear, stressing how chic the color looked in many of her designs. Chanel herself vowed that in 1920, while observing an audience at the opera, she would dress all women in black. She is the only fashion designer listed on TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

On April 13, 1743, Thomas Jefferson was born and grew up to become one of the most important figures in early American history

Jefferson owned at least three violins throughout his life and had started taking violin lessons as a child, so he was somewhat accomplished. As the story goes, his musical ability during his courtship of Martha Skelton may have discouraged other suitors for her hand. Even while he was in Williamsburg, Virginia, attending law school, Jefferson was known to play during weekly concerts with Governor Fauquier and others.

Considering there were 15 different types of English peas planted in the vegetable gardens at Monticello, we can safely assume that Jefferson was an English pea lover.
The peas in the garden were planted at different dates, ensuring they would be available for about two months during the late spring and summer.

Apparently, Jefferson loved music so much that, in 1772, he began keeping mockingbirds as pets for their beautiful songs. The following year he bought more mockingbirds, but the birds only knew birdsong from those that were in and around Charles County. Jefferson once took along a mockingbird on a trip he made to France, and when he returned the birds had added the sound of creaking ship timbers to their repertoire of songs.

Jefferson was a fan of good foods and wines, and ice cream made from his own handwritten recipe was served at the president’s house while he was in office. Jefferson’s ice cream recipe is the first known instance of a recipe for ice cream found in the United States. Rumor has it that he obtained the recipe while in France. The recipe is one of ten written in Jefferson’s own handwriting.

According to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, John Adams noted that he had never heard Jefferson speak publically during their time together in the Continental Congress. Margaret Smith, a friend of Jefferson’s, noted that during his first inaugural address, Jefferson spoke in such a soft voice that almost no one could hear him. His second inaugural address wasn’t much better: written copies had to be distributed as soon as possible to allow people attending the event to read what he had said.

One of the most famous quotations by Benjamin Franklin is: “Our new Constitution is now established, everything seems to promise it will be durable; but, in this world, nothing can be certain except death and taxes.” So why is Tax Day on April 17 this year? It’s due to a combination of the 15th falling on a Sunday and a holiday unique to Washington, D.C., hitting on Monday the 16th. The nation’s capital celebrates Emancipation Day to mark the date that President Abraham Lincoln freed slaves there in 1862

On April 17, 1790, one of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, passed away in Philadelphia at the age of 84. How much do you really know about this American icon? Here are five interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the man on the $100 bill…

Talk about a big family. Ben’s dad, Josiah Franklin, had 17 children between two different wives. Ben was child #8 for his dad’s second wife and the 15th overall kid in the bunch. He was Josiah’s youngest son and by far the most successful member of the family. Ben’s older brother, James, owned the print shop where Ben got the start that would eventually lead him to own the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 22.

Most of us know Benjamin Franklin was responsible for bifocals and the lightning rod. But, did you know he also invented the wood-burning stove? How about the armonica (a glass instrument used by both Mozart and Beethoven)? America’s first Renaissance man also invented the modern urinary catheter (yikes). And here’s a really random one: at just 11 years old, he invented swim fins. All of this in addition to being a leader of the American Revolution. Needless to say, the man was busy.

Known as a man who always looked for ways to be more efficient, Franklin had his fair share of issues with the English alphabet. He hated the redundancy of several letters—namely C, J, Q, W, X, and Y—and published a proposed phonetic alphabet with six new letters to replace the ones he felt were unnecessary. Needless to say, the experiment was not one of his big successes. 

Move over Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker—here’s the real-life version of the dark-side versus the light. Ben’s illegitimate son, William, was an outspoken British loyalist who spent two years in a New Jersey prison before running off to England at the end of the Revolution. While Ben himself was slow on the revolutionary uptake himself (he was an advocate for peace and compromise all the way until 1775), William’s betrayal was enough to get him cut completely out of his father’s will.

Though Franklin did own two slaves during his lifetime, his old age brought on some new wisdom, and in 1787—three years before his death—Franklin took over the presidency of a Pennsylvania abolitionist society. Before he died in 1790, Franklin presented a petition to Congress calling for the freeing of slaves. Congress ignored the petition (slavery wouldn’t end for another 75 years), but Franklin was undeterred. When he died a few months later, his will stipulated that his two legitimate children free their slaves in order to receive their inheritance. Well played, Ben.

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