• Conservative author and commentator William F. Buckley Jr., a graduate of Yale University, once made the following controversial remark: “I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.”
• The first auctions in recorded history were held in 450 B.C. in Babylon. Sadly, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the items up for sale were humans.
• The Goodyear company, known today for its automobile tires, was originally founded to produce rubber clothing and, oddly, musical instruments.
• Ellen Axson Wilson is reported to have exchanged approximately 1,400 love letters with her husband, President Woodrow Wilson, during their marriage.
• You might be surprised to learn that in 1952, the CIA conducted a study of UFO sightings, and concluded that the objects were a threat to national security. The report stated, “the reports of [sightings] convince us that there is something going on that must have immediate attention.”
• If you’re family is like one-third of families across the country, you have a Scrabble game in your home.
• It’s been reported that the world’s oldest piece of chewing gum is more than 9,000 years old. After that long, though, I wonder how they could tell what its original use was.
• Experienced boot makers reportedly can get three pairs of the footwear out of a single ostrich hide.
• When Ruth and Fred Midler were naming their newborn daughter in 1945, the were inspired by classic film actress Bette Davis. But they changed the pronunciation.
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Thought for the Day: “I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” — Mark Twain
(c) 2010 King Features Synd.