Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday Pooh

"Reprinted from "Contrary by Popular Belief" by Joey Green (Broadway Books), with permission. Copyright 2005 by Joey Green. For a copy of the book, go to this Amazon link.

"Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth; to see it like it is and tell it like it is; to find the truth, to speak the truth, and to live the truth." -Richard M. Nixon*

*Nomination acceptance speech at the Republican Convention, August 8, 1968

Last week I introduced this feature, the emphasis of which will be to explore the untruths of history and science. In the first installment you learned that George Washington was not the first President of the United States of America. You also were informed that the song "As Time Goes By" was not written for the film Casablanca .

So sit back and scroll down to find out just what else you've been taught in school that was an out and out lie!

Ah, the sandwich - That culinary delight that has been served to us for most of our lives !

{ The Earl of Sandwich did not invent the sandwich. }

History's first recorded sandwich is the Hillel sandwich, invented by Rabbi Hillel sometime between 70 B.C.E and 10 C.E. His sandwich, was eaten during Passover seders. It consisted of charosets, which was a combination of fruits, nuts, honey, and bitter herbs between two pieces of unleavened bread called matzah.

As early as the Middle Ages, Arabs have eaten meat stuffed inside a pocket of pita bread. Medieval Eurpoean peasants ate bread and cheese lunches in the fields.

John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), did eat sliced meats and cheeses between two pieces of bread so that he could keep one hand free while playing cards at the gambling table. This gave the sandwich its name, but not its origin.

{ Leap Year does not occur every four years! }

February 29 is added to the calendar year only when the number of the year is divisible by 4. This is the normal rule of thumb, except in centenary years not divisible by 400.

For instance, the year 2000 was a leap year, but the year 2100, while divisible by 4, will not be a leap year because it is not divisible by 400.

{ The Black Hills of South Dakota are not hills. }

( Pictured: Mt. Rushmore is located in the Black Hills. )

Hills rise less than 1,000 feet from the surrounding area, while mountains rise above that height. The Black Hills rise from 2,000 to 4,000 feet. Several peaks exceed 6,000 feet. The highest hill, Harney Peak, reaches 7,242 feet, which is higher than any peak in both the Appalachian and Ozark mountains.

The Sioux Indians named the mountains Paha Sapa ("hills of black") because from the plains, the pine trees covering the mountains appear black. Of course, the Sioux had no idea that geologists strictly distinguished between hills and mountains.

{ The Battle of Waterloo was not fought at Waterloo. }

In June 1815, Britain's Duke of Wellington led troops into battle against Napoleon Bonaparte and his troops in a small valley four miles south of Waterloo in Belgium. The battle took place between the villages of Plancenoit and Mont St. Jean.

The battle became known as Waterloo because Wellington slept in Waterloo the night before, and also because that after the battle he returned to Waterloo to write home with the news of the victory.

{ "Judy, Judy, Judy!" }

Cary Grant never said these words in any movie. In the 1939 film Only Angels Have Wings, he says, "Hello, Judy," "Come on, Judy," and "Now, Judy," but he never says "Judy, Judy, Judy." In the 1938 movie Bringing Up Baby, he does say, "Susan, Susan, Susan."

There you have it, that's just five examples of the POOH that has been shoveled upon us through the years. Come back next Thursday for some more jaw-dropping facts calculated to boggle your mind and to dispel the POOH that may have had you misinformed for all of these years.

(The above POOH was "borrowed" from the Random House publication "Contrary to Popular Belief" by Joey Green.)



Peter said...

Interesting to learn the truth about some "well known facts"

Hale McKay said...


Old friend, it's good to hear from you.

These could be a matter of semantics or just plain tongue-in-cheek, but they are fun and interesting facts.

Sandee said...

Well, everything you wanted to know about things you were wrong about all these years. Thanks for the history lesson.

Have a terrific day. :)

Christina said...

very interesting...