"Turnip" used to be a U.S. slang expression for a pocket watch.
An observation about film-making from director Peter Bogdanovich: "John Ford said that the best things in pictures happen by accident. And Orson Wells said that a director is a man who presides over accidents."
Nature's totem, the awe-inspiring, 325-foot spire of Chimney Rock in Nebraska, informed Pony Express riders and frontiersmen they had crossed the American plains and that mountains lay ahead.
Potato chips are the Number 1 selling snack in the United States. Statistics show that they accompany lunch 32 percent of the time and dinner 18 percent of the time.
Camels were used as pack animals in Nevada and Arizona as late as 1870.
In the pilot episode of the American televison show The Partridge Family, the group of musical siblings convinces their mother to help them out by singing with them as they record a pop song in their garage. Through the efforts of the 10-year-old son Danny, they find a manager who helps make the song a Top-40 hit. After some more convincing, Mom...Read more
While in Fraunces Tavern in New York City, George Washington bid farewell to his officers in 1783.
A few years ago when McDonald’s wanted to open new restaurants in India, it had to eliminate the portion of its menu that Americans equate with the fast-food giant: hamburgers. Hindus, who make up a large portion of India’s population, consider the cow a sacred animal and its slaughter a sacrilege. Indian customers at McDonald's can instead ...Read more
Candy made from pieces of barrel cactus was outlawed in the U.S. in 1952 to protect the species.
In the United States, Birkenstocks were first popular among young adults, a group traditionally associated with American liberalism; in the early 1990s "Birks" enjoyed a surge of popularity among college-aged Generation Xers. During the 2004 U.S. presidential primary, some conservatives derided Howard Dean's supporters as "Birkenstock liberals."...Read more
The first person ever awarded a gold record was Glenn Miller for "Chattanooga Choo-Choo."
The Romans had three words for kissing: basium was the kiss exchanged by acquaintances; osculum, the kiss between close friends; and suavium, the kiss between lovers.
Floor cleaning products in Venezuela have ten times the pine fragrance of U.S. floor cleaners. Venezuelan women won't buy a weaker fragrance. These fastidious homemakers may wet-mop their tile floors twice a day, leaving windows and doors open so the scent can waft out to the street to send the message that their houses are clean.
In Armenia, the traditional Christmas Eve meal consists of fried fish, lettuce, and spinach. The meal is traditionally eaten after the Christmas Eve service, in commemoration of the supper eaten by Mary on the evening before Christ's birth.
The Sun is colossal. It contains 99.8 percent of the total mass of the solar system. More than one million Earths would be required to match its volume.
To show support for the war, Hormel even created a mascot named Slammin’ Spammy. The scowling, bomb-tossing, cartoon pig was painted on planes, depicted on posters and silk-screened onto T-shirts. Oddly enough, Spammy was more upset about the war than the fact that nearly 20,000 of his piggy pals were being slaughtered every day to make the ...Read more
Mary Phelps Jacobs, a New York socialite, patented the first brassiere in 1914. The garment, made out of ribbons and handkerchiefs, was made for her own personal use as an alternative to the corset.
The Lincoln Monument in Edinburgh's Old Carlton Cemetery (Scotland) was the first statue of an American president to be constructed outside the U.S.
A "duffer" is Australian slang for a cattle thief.
The godfather of film actress Winona Ryder was the late Dr. Timothy Leary, LSD guru of the 1960s. Winona’s father, Michael Horowitz, served at one time as Leary’s archivist and ran a bookstore called Flashback Books. Additionally, her parents were politically active intellectuals, and Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was a good family friend.