BY JAMES K. WHITE | APRIL 10, 2013
Now you know
Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio. Now you know.
In 1885, Chicago’s Home Insurance Building (138 ft. tall) was the first building to be erected using a structural steel frame. The ten story high-rise was also the first to be called a skyscraper. However, the Home Insurance Building was not the town’s tallest structure in 1885. That would have been the Chicago Board of Trade clock tower (320 ft. tall).
Our oldest state capital is in New Mexico. Santa Fe was established in 1609.
Two of our states were once republics. Many are aware of The Republic of Texas (1836-1845), but are surprised to learn that in 1777 Vermont became an independent nation known as New Connecticut (1777-1791). New Connecticut neither sent out nor formally received diplomats. Nonetheless, the short-lived republic did issue its own coinage and autonomously established the New Connecticut postal system.
The U.S.A. dollar was backed by gold from 1879-1933. On June 5, 1933 the gold standard was abandoned as a result of directives from Franklin Roosevelt and a joint resolution from Congress. The government of Great Britain had ceased backing its currencies with gold in 1931. The theory reputed to be in use was one where more monies will go into circulation whenever existing currencies are inflated. The monetary printing presses have been kept busy.
In one of the biggest financial busts ever on Broadway, some “knowledgeable” scriptwriters and producers secured millions of dollars to back a Broadway version of the highly successful movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Established stars Mary Tyler Moore and Richard Chamberlain were cast for the lead roles. However, the stage version was a dark drama and not the light-hearted comedy that many patrons had anticipated. The play (1966) never had an official opening night.
After four presentations to previewing audiences, main producer David Merrick declared the “thing” to be a total disaster and closed the show “in order to save theater-goers from an excruciating evening.”
Most major (and lesser) rivers of the world flow south. A few (such as the Mackenzie of Canada) flow north. Then there is the Tonle River located in Cambodia. Perhaps the earth’s most schizophrenic waterway, the Tonle flows south for approximately six months and then reverses to flow north for six months. The river is reportedly the home of some very confused fish. Well, I hope that you stay clear of all “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” type investments – and that you experience a most pleasant week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.