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.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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