Indentured servant who disguised herself as a man

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The Grand Prix has long been a popular racing venue.  Organizers in France conducted the first contest in 1807. It was a spirited horse running competition over 4,000 “metres” (that’s the way the French spell meters). In 1894, France initiated the motor car race version. Since that time, dozens of automobile “Grand Prix” in various countries have evolved. Lagniappe: Each September, the French still conduct the horse Grand Prix, but have renamed the event “Prix Gladiateur.”

In 1913, London master thief Joseph Grizzard managed to deftly switch boxes in a mailbag and steal what was considered to be the most valuable necklace in the world. It featured 61 perfectly matched pink pearls and was dubbed “the Mona Lisa of Pearls.” Scotland Yard, led by Inspector Alfred Ward, was able to sort out the conundrum using very few clues. Grizzard was captured and the necklace was mostly retrieved. 60 of the 61 pearls were returned to the real owner. The 61st pearl has yet to be located – purportedly last seen (1913) being used in a game of marbles by a gang of never-identified “street urchins.”

In 1978, Pope John Paul II became the first non-Italian pope since Adrian VI was elected in 1522.

Some educators in California taught musical keyboard as an experimental subject to one preschool group over an eight month period. I.Q. tests administered before and after the keyboard course showed an average score increase of 46 percent. Obviously, I could have used keyboard lessons.

During WWI, officers commanding in the oft rained-on trenches wore long water-resistant overcoats. Ergo, these garments became known as “trench coats.” The garb later became quite popular with movie spies, Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart.

Since the 1960s, boomerang throwing has been an organized competitive sport. On even numbered years, somewhere on earth hosts The Boomerang World Cup. The 2014 event is scheduled for Perth in April (10 day event).

From 1892 through 1924, more than 16 million immigrants passed through the facilities at Ellis Island.

The only actor in the American Hall of Fame (NYC) is Edwin Booth – brother of assassin John Wilkes Booth.

Deborah Sampson (1760-1827) was an indentured servant who disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Continental Army under George Washington. Her gender was found out, but she had served so well that Deborah was granted a military pension. Well, be on the lookout for a pretty pink marble – and have a great week.

James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at