Alexander Hamilton Quiz Answers

Hamilton is a musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  The show, inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow, achieved both critical acclaim and box office success.

Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Alexander Hamilton in the hit Broadway musical.

Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Alexander Hamilton in the hit Broadway musical. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

 

1. Where was Alexander Hamilton born?

a. Puerto Rico
b. Nevis Island
c. Philadelphia
d. Florida Keys

Answer: b.  Correct! You really know your history! You can still visit Alexander Hamilton’s birthplace, but you’ll need a boat or a plane to get there. Hamilton was born on Nevis Island in the West Indies. Today, the two-story stone house is the site of the Alexander Hamilton Museum and hosts the Nevis House of Assembly on the second floor.

2. Which of the following versions of U.S. currency has Alexander Hamilton never appeared on?

a. $100 bill
b. $2 bill
c. $20 bill
d. $1,000 bill

Answer: a. That’s right! You should work for the Library of Congress! In addition to the $10 bill, the former Secretary of the Treasury has graced numerous notes over the years, including versions of the $2, $5, $20, $50 and $1,000 bills. However, he never appeared on the $100 bill.

 

3. Which of the following did Alexander Hamilton help create?

a. The United States Revenue Cutter Service
b. The United States Postal Service
c.  The United States Marines
d. The Department of Defense

Answer a. Alexander Hamilton founded the United States Revenue Cutter Service (USRCS), a predecessor to the United States Coast Guard. USRCS ships were charged with patrolling the waters near port cities to ensure that cargo was offloaded legally and not smuggled through customs.

 

4. What was the name of the infamous location where Alexander Hamilton dueled with Aaron Burr?

a. The O.K. Corral
b. Dealey Plaza
c. Weehawken
d. Ford’s Theater

Answer c.  You can visit the Weehawken Dueling Grounds, site of the infamous Hamilton-Burr duel and see a statue of Hamilton and a stone that the mortally wounded Founding Father allegedly rested on.

An inscription on the rock reads:
“UPON THIS STONE RESTED THE HEAD OF THE PATRIOT, SOLDIER, STATESMAN, AND JURIST ALEXANDER HAMILTON AFTER THE DUEL WITH AARON BURR.”

 

5. Where and when did the first recorded duel in America take place?

a. 1608 in Jamestown, Va.
b. 1804 in Weehawken, N.J.
c. 1775 in Philadelphia, Pa.
d. 1621 in Plymouth, Mass.

Answer d.  Edward Doty and Edward Lester, of the Massachusetts colony, fought a duel using swords near Plymouth Rock in 1621, less than a year after the Mayflower arrived in America.

 

6. After Hamilton passed away, did dueling decline or increase in popularity?

a. Increased in popularity
b. Decreased

Answer a. Dueling in the United States increased in popularity in the years following Hamilton’s death. However, by the time the Civil War began, its popularity began to wane as public opinion searched for more effective ways to solve grievances.

 

7. Where are the Hamilton-Burr dueling pistols stored today?

a. The Hamilton Grange National Memorial in New York City
b. The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
c. The JP Morgan Chase & Co. archives in New York City
d. Alexander Hamilton Museum on Nevis Island

Answer c. The Hamilton-Burr dueling pistols are housed at the JP Morgan Chase & Co. archives, but they cannot be viewed by the public at this time.

 

8. How did Alexander Hamilton’s son, Philip, pass away?

a. During battle
b. In a duel
c. Drowned at sea
d. Smallpox

Answer b. Sadly, three years before Alexander met his fate, Philip, like his father, was shot at the Weehawken Dueling Grounds.

 

9. Which of Alexander Hamilton’s family members helped raise funds to construct the Washington Monument?

a. His daughter, Angelica
b. His son, Alexander Jr.
c. His wife, Eliza
d. His son, John

Answer c.  Eliza, Alexander’s wife, outlived her husband by 50 years. Ever-devoted to her spouse and his accomplishments, she worked tirelessly to promote his legacy. Later in life, she also helped raise funds to construct the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital. Eliza passed away in 1854 at the age of 97 and is buried alongside her husband at the cemetery behind Trinity Church in New York City.

 

Click here to find out “5 Things You Didn’t Know about Alexander Hamilton” from History Channel’s website from his many accomplishments to being party to one of America’s first highly publicized political sex scandals.

 

Rabbit Facts

  • Contrary to popular belief, rabbits main food source is hay and leafy greens, not carrots!
  • Because of the position of their eyes, rabbits are able to see close to 360 degrees all around! However, they have a blind spot in front their nose.
  • Adult Rabbits have 28 teeth including 4 incisors. Their teeth grow continually for their entire life, but they are normally worn down through constant chewing.

Source: Animal Planet.  Check out Animal Planet’s Live Bunny Cam.  

Karl Szmolinsky and his rabbit "Robert", the World's Largest Rabbit

EBERSWALDE, GERMANY – Pensioner Karl Szmolinsky, who raises a breed of rabbits called giant grays, shows Robert 2, an 8.5kg giant grey who is 74cm long and has ears 25.5cm long, in the backyard of his house on January 15, 2006 in Eberswalde, Germany. Szmolinsky said his rabbits reach a maximum weight of 10.5 kg (23.1lbs.). (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Top 20 Facts about Rabbits

Here is a list of the top 20 interesting facts about rabbits…

1. The World’s Largest Rabbit named “Darius” weighs approximately 50 pounds and is currently 4 feet, 3 inches. Although this might sound unbelievable, “Darius” is indeed a real rabbit that currently lives with its owner Annette Edwards from the UK. It has been reported that Darius thinks he is a dog.
2. The “most valuable” rabbit on Earth, “Darius”, is currently insured for around $1.6/million and has his own personal caretaker aka body guard. (Not that anyone would be brave enough to mess with a 50 pound rabbit anyhow.)
3. In the wild some female rabbits can produce about eight litters of bunnies per year.
4. The largest litter of bunnies every reported consisted of 24 kits.
5. Rabbits are natural runners and can reach speeds of up to 30 to 40 mph.
6. Domesticated rabbits that people raise do not open their eyes until they reach about 2 weeks of age.
7. Baby domestic rabbits are actually born fur-less.
8. Rabbits have 28 teeth.
9. The World’s oldest rabbit on record lived to be 16 years old.
10. The average lifespan of a domesticated rabbit is around 5 to 8 years.
11. Pet rabbits generally live longer than rabbits used for production and those living in the wild.
12. With the right guidance rabbits can be trained to live indoors perfectly.
13. In the UK the rabbit is the third most popular pet option.
14. The average heart rate of a rabbit ranges between 130-325 beats per minute.
15. It is estimated that over 2 million U.S. households own a pet rabbit.
16. Thousands of rabbit shows take place annually in the Continental United States alone, each year.
17. Male rabbits are referred to as “bucks” and female rabbits are referred to as “does”.
18. Believe it or not, a rabbit’s teeth never stop growing throughout its life.
19. Rabbits can jump up to 36 inches or higher.
20. In general rabbits are very clean animals that will groom themselves and even each other.

Check out this article on the topic of raising rabbits.

 

Spring has Sprung! The Vernal Equinox

By Cameron Macphail and Rozina Sabur for The Telegraph

When does spring start in 2016?
The astronomical spring in the Northern Hemisphere begins today, Sunday, March 20.
The Spring (vernal) equinox in the Northern Hemisphere is also known as the March equinox. It’s called the “autumnal (fall) equinox” in the Southern Hemisphere.

The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north.
This happens on March 19, 20 or 21 every year.

Why is it Called “Equinox”?
Since night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world the event is called the equinox, which in Latin, literally means ‘equal night’ (equi – equal and nox – night).
In reality though, equinoxes do not have exactly 12 hours of daylight.
Solstices and equinoxes mark key stages in the astronomical cycle of the earth. In a year there are two equinoxes (spring and autumn) and two solstices (summer and winter).
The dates of the equinoxes and solstices aren’t fixed due to the Earth’s elliptical orbit of the sun. The Earth’s orbit around the sun means that in early January, the sun is closest (known as perihelion) and in early July it is most distant (aphelion).
What happens on an equinox?
The Earth’s axis always tilts at an angle of about 23.5° in relation to the ecliptic, i.e the imaginary plane created by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
On any other day of the year, either the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere tilts a litte towards the Sun but on the two equinoxes, the tilt of the Earth’s axis is perpendicular to the Sun’s rays.
The equinox happens at exactly the same time around the world.
The equinox occurs at the exact moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s Equator – from south to north. At this moment, the Earth’s axis is neither tilted away from nor towards the Sun.
In 2016, this happens at 4:30 am UTC (GMT).

The March equinox has long been celebrated as a time of rebirth in the Northern Hemisphere. Many cultures celebrate spring festivals and holidays around the March equinox, like Easter and Passover.

The Easter Bunny
Rabbits and hares have been associated with spring since ancient times. It is thought that the Ango-Saxon Goddess of Spring, Eostre, had a hare as her companion, which symbolised fertility and rebirth.
It’s hardly surprising that rabbits and hares have become associated with fertility as they are both prolific breeders and give birth to large litters in early spring.

Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, Eostre

Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, Eostre

The legend of the Easter Bunny is thought to have originated among German Lutherans, where the ‘Easter Hare’ judged whether children had been good or bad in the run-up to Easter.
Over time it has become incorporated into Christian celebrations and became popular in Britain during the 19th century.
Many children believe that the Easter Bunny lays and hides baskets of colored eggs, sweets and sometimes toys in their homes or around the garden the night before Easter Sunday – much like Father Christmas delivering gifts on Christmas Eve.
This has given rise to the tradition of the Easter egg hunt which is still popular among children today.

 

 

4-Leaf Clover

4 leaf clover

The four leaf clover is the world most well recognized good luck symbol.

Here are 25 facts you may not know about the popular Four leaf clover:

1. A Four Leaf Clover is actually an mutation of the shamrock (a three-leaf clover), it can only happen in approximately 1 in 10,000 shamrocks.

2. Four leaf clover, rabbit’s foot, and horseshoes are the most common good luck charms of North America.

3. According to Irish legend, St. Patrick used the Shamrock’s three leaves to teach the pagans about Christianity. It symbolized the Holy Trinity with each leaf representing the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. When it’s found with the additonal fourth leaf represents God’s Grace.

4. The Largest Four Leaf Clover Collection is by George J. Kaminski (b. 1951) who has single-handily collected 72,927 Four Leaf Clovers since 1995. They were collected from fields within prison grounds in Pennsylvania, USA.

5. The new world record for the Most Four Leaf Clovers Found in the Fastest Time is May 20th, 2010 by John Christian Stokes, 10, who found three Four Leaf Clovers within 20 minutes while playing with his brother outside his home in Dickson. The world record was sponsored by USA Laboratories, Inc. Burns, TN.

6. The Guinness world record for the largest collection of Four Leaf Clovers belongs to Edward Martin Sr. from Cooper Landing, Alaska, USA, with 111,060 Four Leaf Clovers, as of May 2007, which he has been collecting since 1999.

7. On March 17th, 2010, Fox News reported “Irish Shamrock Shortage Has St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations on Shaky Ground”, and since there is only one Four Leaf Clover in every 10,000 shamrocks, this makes the Four Leaf Clover almost impossible to find.

8. Steve Colbert was quoted on March 17th, 2010, “That the shamrock represent the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit “That is why the Four Leaf Clover is so Lucky — You Get a Bonus Jesus”

9. “The world record for the most leaves on a clover stem is 18 and was discovered by Shigeo Obara of Hanamaki City, Iwate, Japan on May 25, 2002. ” Guinness World Records 2010

10. A 21-leaf clover discovered on June 3, 2008 by Iwate prefecture farmer Shigeo Obara and has shattered the Guinness world record for most leaves on a clover stem.

11. A shamrock is considered to be a young clover. Clovers are in the same family as peas.

12. “The Cloverleaf Interchange” is named for the resemblance of the leaves of a four leaf clover when viewed from air” – Wikipedia

13. The Four Leaf Clover has been successfully cultivated. There are clover with more than five leaflets, but they are extremely rare. It’s generally thought that more leafs; the luckier it is.

14. “A best friend is like a Four Leaf Clover: hard to find and lucky to have.” -Sarah Jessica Parker of popular TV show “sex in the city”.

15. Children in the Middle Ages believed that they could see fairies if they found a Four Leaf Clover.

16. It’s good luck to find a Four Leaf Clover. Clover protects human beings and animals from the spell of magicians and the wiles of fairies, and it brings good luck to those who keep it in the house.

17. It is believed that finding a Four Leaf Clover, it will bring you fame, health, wealth and a faithful relationship.

18. According to legend of western cultures, each of the four leafs represent hope, faith, love and luck.

19. The late US President, Abraham Lincoln, was said to have carried a Four Leaf Clover everyday except on the night of his infamous visit to Ford’s Theater the day he was assassinated.

20. The late French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped assassination when he stooping down to pick up a “Lucky Four Leaf Clover“.

21. The Four Leaf Clover is one of the most popular tattoo themes for body art. It represent “good luck” or an Irish pride or ancestry. It is often interchangeable with shamrock.

22. Youth organization 4 H Club using a green four leaf clover with a white H on each leaf standing for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. The white symbolizes purity and the green represents growth.

23. The French Lotto logo is a four leaf clover icon for good luck.

24. There are several popular song recorded with the titled – four leaf clover, Abra Moore – four leaf clover, Badly Drawn Boy-Four Leaf Clover, Touch a 4 leaf clover – Erykah Badu and Stryper – 4 Leaf Clover.

25. Metallica an American heavy metal band recorded “NO LEAF CLOVER” in 1999 as opposite the meaning of “Four Leaf Clover”, the song lyrics describe an unexpected change from good luck to bad.

Happy Birthday, Barbie! (March 9th)

20 Surprising Things You Don’t Know About Barbie

All those years spent playing together and you didn’t even know her real name.

Barbie®

Barbie® is a doll!

posted on May 20, 2013, at 2:20 p.m.
by Brian Galindo, BuzzFeed Staff

  1. Barbie’s real name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
  2. In 1959, the first Barbie doll sold for $3.00 (that would be the equivalent of $23.97 today)
  3. The first Barbie doll was available as either a blonde or a brunette.
  4. The first Barbie dolls were manufactured in Japan and their clothes were hand-stitched by Japanese workers.
  5. Barbie isn’t from Malibu, she is actually from (fictional) Willows, Wisconsin.
  6. Barbie was originally a 17-year-old “Teen Age Fashion Model.”
  7. Over the years, Barbie has had seven siblings: Skipper, Stacie, Chelsea, Krissy, Kelly, Tutti, and Todd.
  8. She has had more than 130 careers; they have included being an elementary school teacher, a business executive, a McDonald’s cashier, a doctor, an astronaut, and yes, even a rapper. Plus, she’s vied for the Presidency of the United States.  Barbie first ran for the office in the early 1990s and hasn’t showed signs of quitting.
  9. Ken is two years and two days younger than Barbie (he was introduced in 1961). Also, his full name is Ken Carson. Ken® doll was named after the son of Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler.
  10. Ken has never put a ring on it (he and Barbie have never officially been married).
  11. The very first Barbie car was a 1962 Austin Healy roadster.
  12. Barbie’s first pet was a horse named Dancer. Since then, she has had more than 50 other pets, including 21 dogs, 6 cats, a chimpanzee, a panda, a parrot, a lion cub, a giraffe, and a zebra.
  13. Brown is the color most frequently used for Barbie’s eye shadow.
  14. In 1985, Andy Warhol created a silkscreen painting of Barbie. According to his posthumous book, The Andy Warhol Diaries, he hated it and cringed when he unveiled it for the President of Mattel.
  15. Totally Hair Barbie

    Totally Hair Barbie© came with Dep® hair styling gel for her owner.  (Via images.businessweek.com)

    Totally Hair Barbie (1992) is the best-selling Barbie doll ever.

  16. In 2004, after breaking up with Ken, she had a rebound relationship with Blaine, an Australian surfer. Ken and Barbie got back together on Valentine’s Day 2011.
  17. Barbie has never been pregnant (only her best friend Midge has).

    Dr. Barbie© alongside her best friend Midge and Midge's family

    Dr. Barbie© was in the delivery room with her best friend Midge.  Here she poses with Midge, her husband, Alan, and kids.

  18. Aqua’s 1997 song, “Barbie Girl,” was the subject of the lawsuit Mattel v. MCA Records. In 2002, Mattel lost the lawsuit, a Court of Appeals ruled that the song was protected under the First Amendment as “parody and a social commentary.”  In 2009, despite the lawsuit, Mattel released a music video of Barbie singing, “Barbie Girl” (a re-recorded version with modified lyrics).
  19. If Barbie were a real-life person, she’d be the same age as other celebs born in 1959, like Emma Thompson, Marie Osmond, and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.
  20. Presidential Candidate Barbie

    Barbie is not afraid of politics. She first ran for U.S. President in the 1990s.

    Like any baby boomer, she’s witnessed plenty of historic moments and changes in the modern era.  Barbie’s life can only be described as colorful. She came into existence around the era of old-school glamour, became an astronaut during the space race, discoed her way through the 1970s, broke the “plastic ceiling” as a woman in business in the 1980s, entered politics in the 1990s, and even survived a high-profile breakup in 2004. She’s gone from just a pretty face to becoming an athlete, teacher, vet, and even a Naval officer. She really has proven she won’t be confined by a box.

Facts via: Barbie MediaDoll Diaries, and Huffington Post

Family & Friends

Barbie’s family tree may look like a giant Sequoia, but the Barbie Dream House always has room for friends and family, including:

Sisters

Barbie® has three sisters: Skipper, Stacie, Chelsea

Friends

Barbie® has lots of best friends, but her oldest friend is Midge® (shown here), who she grew up with in Willows. Barbie was even Midge’s maid-of-honor at her wedding to Alan in 1991.

Ken© and Barbie©

Like every couple Barbie® and Ken® have have had some bumps in their relationship but have managed to stay together for over 50 years. However, they have NOT been officially married!!!

Barbie® doll’s boyfriend, Ken®, debuted two years after Barbie® in 1961. Ken® doll’s official birthday is March 11, 1961 – making Ken® 2 days and 2 years younger than Barbie®. Starting out with nine outfits, a skinny frame and fuzzy crew cut, he’s always stood by Barbie.

Barbie® doll was named after the daughter of Mattel Founders Ruth and Elliot Handler and Ken® doll was named after their son.

Barbie doll® creators Ruth and Elliott Handler pose with their children, Kenneth and Barbara.

Barbie doll® creators Ruth and Elliott Handler pose with their children, Kenneth and Barbara.

Ken® and Barbie® broke up on Valentine’s Day in 2004 after being together more than 43 years, they rekindled their romance announcing their reunion after seven years of being apart on Valentine’s Day 2011.

June Bride – Wedding Facts, Superstitions and Trivia

According to Pawsome Cats.com – Black Cats: Good or Bad Luck?, in Japan a black cat is thought to improve your love life. Superstition says that a woman with a black cat can expect to have many suitors, which means many a man keen to marry them.

It is also believed that a bride will have a happy married life if a black cat sneezes near her on her wedding day.

Black cats are often given as wedding presents to bring the newly wedded couple good luck, often in the form of ornamental black cats purchased as wedding gifts, rather than a living black cat.

Bride and black cat by LIFE photographer Gjon Mili
Photo by Gjon Mili

Photographer Gjon Mili believed black cats were quite lucky, especially his own kitty.  “Blackie,” Gjon’s muse and feline companion, was featured in many Life magazine photos.

 

50 Wedding Facts, Superstitions and Trivia

by The Knot – Wedding Traditions, Trivia and Superstitions

Everyone’s got a know-it-all in the family: the uncle who spits out World Series stats at the drop of a hat, the sister who can list all the James Bond flicks in reverse chronological order, the reptile-enthusiast cousin. We’re proud to be your wedding equivalent — here are 50 wedding facts to ponder as you plan your big day:

Good Luck and Bad Luck

1. Hey, brides, tuck a sugar cube into your glove — according to Greek culture, the sugar will sweeten your union.

2. The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck. Yikes!

3. In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the “best day” to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health.

4. The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below.

5. Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. Funny — it’s the most popular day of the week to marry!

6. Ancient Romans studied pig entrails to determine the luckiest time to marry.

7. Rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck, according to Hindu tradition!

8. For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day. Ouch!

9. Middle Eastern brides paint henna on their hands and feet to protect themselves from the evil eye. Find out about Muslim wedding rituals.

10. Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice.

11. A Swedish bride puts a silver coin from her father and a gold coin from her mother in each shoe to ensure that she’ll never do without. Learn more about Swedish wedding traditions.

12. A Finnish bride traditionally went door-to-door collecting gifts in a pillowcase, accompanied by an older married man who represented long marriage.

13. Moroccan women take a milk bath to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony. See more Moroccan wedding customs.

14. In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds’ home as a symbol of fertility and luck.

It’s Got a Ring To It
15. Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart.

16. About 70% of all brides sport the traditional diamond on the fourth finger of their left hand.

17. Priscilla Presley’s engagement ring was a whopping 3 1/2-carat rock surrounded by a detachable row of smaller diamonds.

Elvis Presley's bride, Priscilla, had a 3.5 carat diamond engagement ring encircled by 21 smaller diamonds and diamond chips.

Elvis Presley’s bride, Priscilla Presley, had a 3.5 carat diamond engagement ring encircled by 21 smaller diamonds and diamond chips.

18. Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the fifteenth century.

19. In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness.

20. A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because its shape echoes that of a tear.

21. One of history’s earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time.

22. Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States!

23. Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England — the coils winding into a circle symbolized eternity.

24. Aquamarine represents marital harmony and is said to ensure a long, happy marriage.

Fashionable Lore
25. Queen Victoria started the Western world’s white wedding dress trend in 1840 — before then, brides simply wore their best dress.

26. In Asia, wearing robes with embroidered cranes symbolizes fidelity for the length of a marriage.

27. Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier wed, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco, April 19, 1956.

28. On her wedding day, Grace Kelly wore a dress with a bodice made from beautiful 125-year-old lace.

29. Of course, Jackie Kennedy‘s bridesmaids were far from frumpy. She chose pink silk faille and red satin gowns created by African-American designer Ann Lowe (also the creator of Jackie’s dress).

30. In Japan, white was always the color of choice for bridal ensembles — long before Queen Victoria popularized it in the Western world.

31. Most expensive wedding ever? The marriage of Vanisha Mittal, daughter to the steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal and Amit Bhatia, an investment banker, on November 18, 2004. The price tag? $78 million.

32. In Korea, brides don bright hues of red and yellow to take their vows.

33. Brides carry or wear “something old” on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past.

34. In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits!

35. The “something blue” in a bridal ensemble symbolizes purity, fidelity, and love.

 

 

Food and Family
36. In Egypt, the bride’s family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can…relax.

37. In South Africa, the parents of both bride and groom traditionally carried fire from their hearths to light a new fire in the newlyweds’ hearth.

38. The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake.

39. The custom of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over an ever-higher cake without knocking it over.

40. Queen Victoria’s wedding cake weighed a whopping 300 pounds.

41. Legend says single women will dream of their future husbands if they sleep with a slice of groom’s cake under their pillows.

42. An old wives’ tale: If the younger of two sisters marries first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband.

Show Off at a Cocktail Party
43. In many cultures around the world — including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings — the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple’s commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase “tying the knot”).

44. The Roman goddess Juno rules over marriage, the hearth, and childbirth, hence the popularity of June weddings.

Victoria in 1867, portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Victoria in 1867, portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

45. Princess Victoria established the tradition of playing Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” during her wedding processional in 1858.

46. The bride stands to the groom’s left during a Christian ceremony, because in bygone days the groom needed his right hand free to fight off other suitors.

47. On average, 7,000 couples marry each day in the United States.

48. Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve are the two busiest “marriage” days in Las Vegas — elopement central!

49. The Catholic tradition of “posting the banns” to announce a marriage originated as a way to ensure the bride and groom were not related.

50. Stag parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor days goodbye with a raucous party.

 

D-Day: Did You Know?

The following information can be found on PBS.org/American Experience.

The invasion of France on June 6, 1944 was a triumph of intelligence, coordination, secrecy, and planning. The bold attack was also a tremendous risk. Ultimately it succeeded because of individual soldiers’ bravery in combat. Learn some of the basic facts about D-Day.

The Meaning of the “D”
Ever since June 6, 1944, people have been asking what the “D” in “D-Day” means. Does it stand for “decision?” The day that 150,000 Allied soldiers landed on the shores of Normandy was certainly decisive. And with ships, landing craft and planes leaving port by the tens of thousands for a hostile shore, it is no wonder that some would call it “disembarkation” or “departed.”

There is not much agreement on the issue. But the most ordinary and likely of explanations is the one offered by the U.S. Army in their published manuals. The Army began using the codes “H-hour” and “D-day” during World War I to indicate the time or date of an operation’s start. Military planners would write of events planned to occur on “H-hour” or “D-day” — long before the actual dates and times of the operations would be known, or in order to keep plans secret. And so the “D” may simply refer to the “day” of invasion.

D-Day’s Impressive Numbers
Convoy of ships crossing the English ChannelAn invading army had not crossed the unpredictable, dangerous English Channel since 1688 — and once the massive force set out, there was no turning back. The 5000-vessel armada stretched as far as the eye could see, transporting over 150,000 men and nearly 30,000 vehicles across the channel to the French beaches. Six parachute regiments — over 13,000 men — were flown from nine British airfields in over 800 planes. More than 300 planes dropped 13,000 bombs over coastal Normandy immediately in advance of the invasion.

War planners had projected that 5,000 tons of gasoline would be needed daily for the first 20 days after the initial assault. In one planning scenario, 3,489 long tons of soap would be required for the first four months in France.

By nightfall on June 6, more than 9,000 Allied soldiers were dead or wounded, but more than 100,000 had made it ashore, securing French coastal villages. And within weeks, supplies were being unloaded at UTAH and OMAHA beachheads at the rate of over 20,000 tons per day.

Captured Germans were sent to American prisoner of war camps at the rate of 30,000 POWs per month from D-Day until Christmas 1944. Thirty-three detention facilities were in Texas alone.

Tuning in to D-Day
In the pre-television era, Americans got their breaking news from their radios. London-based American journalist George Hicks made history with his radio broadcast from the deck of the U.S.S. Ancon at the start of the D-Day invasion. “…You see the ships lying in all directions, just like black shadows on the grey sky,” he described to his listeners. “…Now planes are going overhead… Heavy fire now just behind us… bombs bursting on the shore and along in the convoys.” His report, including the sounds of heavy bombardment, sirens, low-flying planes, and shouting, brought Americans to the front line, with all its chaos, confusion, excitement, and death.

An American Noah
Allied landing craftLouisiana entrepreneur Andrew Jackson Higgins first designed shallow-draft boats in the late 1920s to rescue Mississippi River flood victims. Higgins tried for years to sell his boats to the U.S. military, but he was rejected repeatedly. At last, the Marine Corps selected the flat-bottomed landing craft for troop landings on Pacific beaches. Higgins, who had paid heavily out-of-pocket to promote his boats, finally landed the government contract — and his factories produced 20,000 of the versatile craft for the war effort — including D-Day.

Happy Birthday Mr. President – JFK

10 Facts about President John F. Kennedy

May 29, 2014 by NCC Staff

On the occasion of President John F. Kennedy’s birthday, here’s a look at one of the most documented figures of the 20th century.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1917, and died while in office on November 22, 1963. He spent a good portion of his life as a public figure, from one of the wealthiest, most well-connected families in New England. After his tragic death, most of his life has been written about in great detail.

From among the wealth of knowledge about President Kennedy, here are 10 interesting facts about the 35th president.

1. His family was very, very rich.

The Kennedy family

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., is shown surrounded by his family. Clockwise, from bottom left: Robert, Eunice, John, Kathleen, Joe Jr., Rosemary, wife Rose, Teddy, Patricia and Jean. (AP Photo)

President Kennedy was the richest president ever, based on the estimated value of his family’s fortune. In fact, his part of that fortune may have been worth $1 billion at the time of Kennedy’s death. His father, Joseph Kennedy, was involved heavily in Wall Street and other investment opportunities.

2. His father was near a terror attack just after JFK was born.

Joseph Kennedy escaped the infamous 1920 Wall Street bombing. An unknown group of anarchists planted a bomb in a wagon full of lead weights on the street. The explosion killed 38 bystanders on Wall Street. The elder Kennedy was thrown to the ground by the blast, but was unharmed.

3. He grew up partly in the Bronx.

The stereotype of Kennedy is that he was a born-and-bred Bostonian. In reality, Kennedy spent the first 10 years of his life in Brookline, in suburban Boston, until his family moved to the Bronx. The future president spent his middle-school years in the Bronx area until his family sent him to private school in Connecticut.

4. President Kennedy played the role of movie producer.

Warren Beatty almost played Kennedy in the movie PT-109, which was based on the sinking of Kennedy’s boat in the Solomon Islands. President Kennedy wanted Cliff Robertson to play a young Lieutenant Kennedy in the war movie, but the first lady wanted Beatty. The president’s choice wound up appearing in the 1963 movie, which also features a lot of familiar faces who wound up on baby boomer TV shows. Kennedy also helped pick the movie’s director.

JFK receives the purple heart

War Hero: June 12, 1944 – The presentation of the Navy and Marine Corps medal for Gallantry in Action to Lt. John F. Kennedy during a simple ceremony at Chelsea Naval hospital in Massachusetts. Jack had also received the Purple Heart. Later in June, he underwent his first back surgery, but would suffer lifelong discomfort.

5. He was the only president to win a Purple Heart.

Kennedy was awarded the Purple Heart for his service in the Pacific during World War II. Two recent presidential candidates, John Kerry and John McCain, were Purple Heart recipients.

6. Kennedy wasn’t the youngest president ever.

That title goes to Theodore Roosevelt, who was a little more than nine months younger than Kennedy, at the age of 42 years, 10 months, when he succeeded William McKinley as president in 1901. However, Kennedy was the youngest person elected president, at the age of 43 years, seven months, when he became president in 1961. Bill Clinton was the third youngest president, as 46 years of age.

7. Kennedy was an experienced politician at a young age.

In 1946, Kennedy ran for the House of Representatives at the age of 29 and won. His older brother had been expected to be the family’s political standard bearer, but he was killed in action during World War II. Kennedy was elected three times to the House and two times to the U.S. Senate before becoming president, and he had more national political experience than our two most recent presidents. Health problems did keep Kennedy from attending Congress for some periods.

8. Kennedy’s popular vote win over Richard Nixon was very, very narrow.

Kennedy defeated Nixon in the 1960 election when votes were counted in the Electoral College, by a margin of 303 to 219. But in the popular vote, Kennedy won by 112,000 votes out of 68 million cast. Also, arguments persist to this day about vote-counting in two states: Illinois and Texas. If Nixon had won those two states, he would have defeated Kennedy by two votes in the Electoral College.

9. JFK recorded conversations in the White House.

Actually, Kennedy wasn’t the first president to record private conversations in the White House (that was President Franklin D. Roosevelt). One theory for the Kennedy taping system was that the president had already written two books and wanted the tapes for when he wrote his memoirs after leaving office. Many of the tapes have been declassified over the past decades.

10. Kennedy almost died twice before he became president.

Not including his run-in with a Japanese ship on the PT-109, Kennedy long suffered with health problems. Today, those health issues are well-documented, and two incidents resulted in a priest giving Kennedy last rites in a hospital. In 1948, when Kennedy was in Great Britain, his health looked dire after he was diagnosed with Addison’s disease, according to author Robert Dallek. And in 1954, Kennedy nearly died from an infection after back surgery.

 

Happy Birthday, Mr. President from Marilyn

Answers to the Earth Day Trivia Quiz

Earth Day HistoryEarth Day - April 22

Ever wondered how Earth Day started? This observance arose from an interest in gathering national support for environmental issues. In 1970, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration. McConnell chose the spring equinox (March 21, 1970) and Nelson chose April 22. Millions of people participated, and today Earth Day continues to be widely celebrated with events on both dates. The most common practice of celebration is to plant new trees for Earth Day.

 

1. Earth Day was first celebrated in:
A. 1960
B. 1965
C. 1970
D. 1975

If you read the paragraph above, then you know the year was 1970.

 

2. Which household appliance uses the most energy?
A. Refrigerator
B. Toaster
C. Dishwasher
D. Washing machine

The answer is A — Refrigerators use about 11% of household’s total energy consumption.

Refrigerator

Refrigerators use about 11% of a household’s energy consumption…. especially when you keep the door open for a long period of time deciding what you want to eat!

Take Action: Buy Energy Star endorsed refrigerators, which will use less energy and save you money. Also, make sure your refrigerator is set to optimal energy-use temperatures (between 2°C and 3°C).

 

3. What country has the greatest number of coal-powered generators?
A. Canada
B. Russia
C. U.S.A.
D. China

The answer is D — China requires a great deal of energy to power their rapidly developing economy. Unfortunately, burning coal causes pollution.

 

4. “Phantom carriers” is a term used for electronic devices that:
A. Move from room to room
B. Continue to consume electricity even when switched off*
C. Are really expensive
D. Are energy efficient

The answer is B — “Phantom carriers” are products that draw power 24 hours a day. Appliances that have a clock or programming displays, such as coffee makers, DVD players, computers, printers and stereos, are considered phantom load carriers. 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.

 

5. What percentage do heating costs rise by for every degree above 20°C that you set your household thermostat in the winter?
A. 2%
B. 4%
C. 5%
D. 7%

The answer is C — Don’t overheat your home in the winter. Put on a sweater and dress accordingly in order to save money and to use less energy.

Save energy like this pooch who is snuggling under some blankets.

Save energy like this pooch who is snuggling under some blankets.

6. Your residential water heater uses of ________ your home’s energy and produces approximately two tones of carbon dioxide annually:
A.5%
B. 10%
C. 15%
D. 20%

The answer is C
Take Action: Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to reduce energy consumption. Often the level is set unnecessarily high for regular use. If you go on holiday or away for a long period of time, you can turn off the heater since the water does not need to be constantly heated when no one is home to use it.

 

7. Recycling 1,000 kg of aluminum saves enough energy to heat a/an ________ for 10 years.
A. Typical home
B. Elementary school
C. Corner store
D. Restaurant

The answer is A Recycling 1,000 kg of aluminum saves the equivalent of 10,000 L of gasoline.

 

8. What household appliance uses the second most amount of energy (the first is the refrigerator)?
A. Hair dryer
B. Clothes dryer
C. Microwave
D. Computer

The answer is B
Take Action: Whenever possible air-dry your laundry. You can use an outdoor clothes line or purchase a drying rack to use indoors. Air drying can save $85 in energy costs per year and help reduce your impact on the environment.

 

laundry room

Save energy in the laundry room.

9. What is the most energy efficient cycle to wash and rinse your clothes on?
A. Cold-cold
B. Warm-cold
C. Hot-cold
D. Warm-cold

The answer is A
Take Action: Use cold water to wash your clothes. If every household in Canada did this, it would reduce approximately 1.5 billion kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions yearly.

 

10. Which energy source produces the greatest amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide?
A. Natural gas
B. Nuclear
C. Oil
D. Coal

The answer is D — Gases emitted from coal burning plants contribute to acid rain and global warming.

11. What type of sector uses the greatest amount of electricity?
A. Commercial and industrial
B. Restaurant and fast food
C. Residential
D. Institutional

The answer is  A — The commercial sector uses almost 70% of all electricity produced.
Take Action: When at home or at work, make sure to turn off lights, computers and other energy-consuming equipment when not in use.