The “G” stands for Gamaliel

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MULLETT OVER BY JAMES WHITEThe Mayflower landed near what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts in November of 1620. A few days after the Pilgrims came ashore, the new arrivals were having an outdoor meal when a Native American walked up and stated in simple clear English “Welcome, Englishmen.” Astonishment hardly describes the reaction of the pilgrims. The “Indian” was Samoset and he had learned to speak English from British fishermen who had frequented the eastern coastline for several years.

Andrew Jackson’s wife, Rachel, regularly smoked tobacco in a pipe while she was First Lady.

Warren G. Harding was the first U.S. President to ride to his inauguration (1921) in an automobile (shiny Packard). The “G” stands for Gamaliel.

A short time ago in Canton (New York): Late one evening at O’Leary’s Funeral Home, the wife of the local funeral director noticed bare knees protruding from a casket. Further investigation revealed a 20 year old man sleeping soundly in a previously unoccupied coffin. Police arrested the intruder for aggravated invasion of a business and suspicion of public intoxication.

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder were once engaged to be married. It was during the betrothal period that Mr. Depp had a tattoo reading “Winona Forever” inked onto his right shoulder. After a somewhat bitter breakup, Johnny had the tattoo altered to read “Wino Forever.”

From about 1820 until the early 1860’s, London endured an era known as the “Big Stink.” Raw sewage seeped from thousands of domestic dwellings. A disgusting mass moved and grew somewhat like the monster from the iconic movie “The Blob” as it eased into an increasingly fetid Thames River. Queen Victoria had some of her ablest men working to alleviate the intensity of the pungent predicament. Typhoid, cholera and diarrhea were rife in the city. The situation was considered by many to be “unpleasant.” An unlikely hero named Joseph Bazalgette designed an innovative sewage system and new health regulations were put in place. By 1865, the Big Stink period had pretty much ceased to be. However, it was probably never forgotten by those who lived through the pongy epoch. Epochs can be most foul.

The American Revolution formally ended when a treaty, known as the Peace of Paris (negotiated by American delegates Ben Franklin, John Adams and John Jay) was signed by officials from the United States and Great Britain on February 3, 1783. Well, I advise caution and forethought when resolving what and where to tattoo. Have a great week.

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