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Strange But True



• It was French playwright Albert Guinon who made the following sage observation: “There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves.”

• Most people at all familiar with the name Max Schmeling know him as the Great Nazi Hope, the boxer produced by Adolf Hitler in the 1930s to defeat Joe Louis, supposedly proving Aryan superiority. (He did defeat Louis in a match in 1936, though he lost a rematch in 1938.) What most people don’t realize, though, is that Schmeling did not subscribe to Hitler’s beliefs — he wasn’t even a member of the Nazi party. In fact, during World War II, Schmeling risked his life to save two Jewish children.

• For reasons that are unclear now, the Supreme Court in 1893 declared that a plant eaten during a main course was a vegetable and one eaten afterward was a fruit.

• What do King Henry VIII, science-fiction author H.G. Wells, English naturalist Charles Darwin, American author Edgar Allan Poe and composer Sergey Rachmaninoff have in common? They all married their cousins.

• The 1958 film “Gigi,” starring Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier, has the distinction of having the shortest title of any film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

• The home of sitting U.S. presidents, the White House, didn’t become widely known as the White House until 1902, during Theodore Roosevelt’s term in office. The building was originally called the President’s Palace, but the word “palace” was deemed to be too royal-sounding, so the name was changed to the Executive Mansion.

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Thought for the Day: “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(c) 2010 King Features Synd.


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