2010.08.25 More fun and foolishness, straight from The Factoid File

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Here’s another batch of miscellaneous knowledge I’ve come across while looking for something else.

Only two of our first 37 presidents, James Garfield and Harry Truman, were left-handed. But of the seven most recent chief executives, only two, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, were right-handed. Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama don’t have much else in common, but they’re left-handed, every one.

In more gruesome presidential news, ever have a desire to see the blood-stained clothing Jackie Kennedy was wearing when President Kennedy was assassinated? I can’t imagine why most people would, but the items are being held at a National Archives facility in College Park, Maryland, in a humidity- and temperature-controlled vault.

I doubt anyone reading this will ever see the clothing, though, because an agreement with the Kennedy family bars it from public view until the year 2103. If you do live that long, don’t expect to see Jackie Kennedy’s pink pillbox hat on display. Its whereabouts is not known.

Back in the 1920s and until he was killed in an airplane accident in 1935 flying with aviation pioneer Wiley Post, humorist/comedian/author/actor Will Rogers wrote a daily newspaper column for several hundred newspapers around the country.

Always on the go, Rogers would usually write his column on a portable typewriter carried off to whatever movie location or personal appearance he was doing at the time. With some time on his hands before his next movie, he jumped at Wiley Post’s offer to accompany him to Alaska for a few days.

Rogers and Post died in what first looked like a minor crash after takeoff from near Barrow, along the state’s northern tip. Found among the luggage was Rogers’ typewriter, still holding his unfinished final column. The final word he had written was “death.”

In the early days after the introduction of Wheaties cereal, product endorsements from athletes were as important to the marketing mix as they are now. Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey were two early pitchmen of the cereal. And then there was Maria Rasputin.

Billed as “Europe’s Sensational Wild Animal Trainer—Fearless Daughter of Russia’s Mad Monk,” Miss Rasputin goes on to say, “To start the day right, I always recommend Wheaties.”

And who’s going to argue with her? She is pictured next to a lion which looks almost as mean as she. Somehow, I can’t keep from looking at her eyes. It has to be among the weirdest (and scariest) product endorsements of all time.

What? You’d like more presidential factoids? OK, here goes...

George Washington grew marijuana in his garden.

One of our presidents actually believed the world was flat. Think for a minute...no, Dan Quayle was only vice president, try again...give up? The winner is Andrew Jackson! And, our ancestors elected him twice!

Andrew Johnson taught himself to make clothes. After taking office after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, he made clothes for his cabinet, as well.

As noted earlier, President Garfield was left-handed, but apparently only as the writing of English was concerned. Other sources claim he could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other...at the same time!

Due to the large amount of threatening letters received by Eleanor Roosevelt at the White House after husband Franklin’s election, the Secret Service convinced the First Lady to carry a handgun in her purse.

Smokey Bear’s Zip Code is 20252. Let me know if he answers.

Supposedly, the only Civil War movie ever made without a battle scene is “Gone with the Wind.”

More popcorn is sold every day in Dallas than any other city.

The biggest-selling restaurant food is french fries.

If you wished to see as well as an owl after dark, you would need eyeballs as big as grapefruits.

And last, but not least, remember rubber bands always stay usable longer when stored in your refrigerator. That’s all for now!  Keep watching for more useless knowledge!

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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