2011.10.19 Have you had your daily ration of new factoids?

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY 

It’s not as bad as taking your medicine. Just read on and absorb a brand new batch of factoids. It can’t hurt. Really, it can’t.

The city of Cleveland, Ohio owes the spelling of its name to the typographical needs of a newspaper.  Calvin Noble, founder and publisher of the “Cleaveland Advertiser,” discovered his chosen name was too long to fit on one line on the paper’s front page in the type size he wanted.

His solution was to remove the first “a” from Cleaveland, enabling the rest of the paper’s name to fit. Over time, people came to accept the shorter version, permanently changing the spelling to Cleveland with only the second “a.”  

Isle Royale National Park, off the coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is the only place on Earth where moose and wolves co-exist without the presence of any bears. But a park with no bears doesn’t sound like a park I’d want to visit.

On February 9, 1964, The Beatles made their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” About 73 million viewers tuned in, at the time a record for a television program. For those other acts on the show forced to follow the Fab Four, it was practically a career killer. That is, except for one Broadway actor who probably had no idea at the time what effect the Beatles would have on his future.

The cast of the show “Oliver” also appeared on the Sullivan show that night, doing a short performance from the play. Just two years later, a television series starring a manufactured Beatles-like rock band hit the airwaves. “Oliver”  and Sullivan alum Davy Jones was hired to play one of “The Monkees,” who were for a time nearly as famous as The Beatles themselves.  

 Back in 1961, the Chrysler Corporation was looking for a new president. Several top executives from competitors were approached, as was American Motors Corporation president George Romney, who passed on the offer and instead successfully ran for governor of Michigan.

Next, the Chrysler search committee zeroed in on a famous public figure who was then out of work. Former Vice President Richard Nixon, who had recently lost an extremely close 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy, was offered the presidency-of Chrysler, not the United States. 

He turned down the offer, and the position eventually went to Chrysler vice president Lynn Townsend. But just think how history might have changed had Nixon taken the job instead of staying in politics. And how do you think today’s cars might have looked after years of Nixon’s influence?

Ever visit the state of Sequoyah? Obviously not, but the eastern part of present-day Oklahoma applied for statehood under that name in 1905. With the organization of surrounding states, a much larger Indian Territory was by 1890 reduced to just the current Oklahoma boundary, minus the panhandle region. During that year, the western part of Indian Territory was organized as Oklahoma Territory and the unorganized “Neutral Strip,” roughly 167 miles by 34.5 miles was added to the new territory, giving it a “panhandle.”

When citizens of the remaining Indian Territory tried to join the union, opposition by President Teddy Roosevelt and Congress killed the plan. Two years later, citizens of the Indian and Oklahoma Territories asked for admission as a combined single state. Now named simply “Oklahoma,” the joined areas were granted statehood in November, 1907.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway sits on a 963-acre parcel, bigger than either the principality of Monaco or Vatican City, as well as a few other countries. The 269 acres within the actual racetrack walls could contain Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, Churchill Downs, the Roman Colosseum and four Pentagon buildings at the same time.

At one period in its history, Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge factory contained 2,900 drinking fountains, all with water temperature kept between 55 and 60 degrees. I’m not sure about the Rouge plant, but it’s said the Indianapolis Speedway has 2,200 toilets. Pretty impressive, I guess, but hopefully Rouge workers didn’t have to travel that far for a bathroom. 

 That’s enough factoids for now. Until next time, feel free to make your own pit stop.

  • 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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