Fact or Crap - 07-13-20

Fact or Crap


Phantom Facts



Our trivia contest is a combination of True or False statements from the game Fact or Crap and one or two serious trivia questions that we hope you'll find challenging and interesting. All correct answers will earn one point toward RRHS64 bragging rights and perhaps some yet-to-be-determined prize at our next class event.  New questions will be posted on Mondays and Thursdays, so check back often. Answers for Monday's questions must be submitted by midnight Eastern time on Wednesday and answers for Thursday's questions are due by midnight on Sunday.

Answers for 07-02-20:

1.   Benjamin Franklin founded the Saturday Evening Post in 1728.
Crap.  In 1899, SEP editor George Lorimar started running the phrase "Founded A.D. 1728 by Benjamin Franklin" on the cover below the title to sell more magazines. The Saturday Evening Post was actually founded in 1821, 31 years after Franklin's death. 
2.   The song "Yankee Doodle" was written to mock the British soldiers' fancy uniforms and sung by American colonists during the Revolutionary War.
Crap.  "Yankee Doodle" was actually written by a dapper British soldier, Dr. RIchard Shuckburg, in 1755 during the French and Indian Wars to ridicule the colonial miliitamen's clothes, equipment and training. Years later, British soldiers sang the song as they marched to the Battle of Concord to intimidate the Minutemen. When the colonists won at Concord, they adopted the derisive song as their own defiant anthem.
3.   The injustice of "taxation without representation" was one of the driving forces behind the American Revolution, and thanks to our Constitution, it no longer exists in the United States.
Crap.  If you've ever been to Washington DC, you may have noticed this phrase on their license plates.  Residents of the District pay the same Federal taxes as citizens of the 50 states but they do not have a voting representative in Congress, so as far as they are concerned, "taxation without representation" is alive and well in the US.
4.   The USS Constitution was called Old Ironsides because of the metal plates that lined the upper level of her hull and were reputed to actually repel cannonballs.
Crap.  Old Ironsides did in fact have cannonballs bounce off of her hull but no metal plates were involved. Her hull was made of white oak and live oak in three alternating layers with vertical live oak in the middle and horizontal white oak on the inner and outer layers. The softer white oak absorbed impact while the dense live oak center gave it an iron-like strength.
5.   As a boy, George Washington chopped down a cherry tree with a hatchet, then confessed when asked about it by his father.
Crap.  The story was not that he cut the tree down but that he chopped up the bark to such an extent that the tree died. In any case, this story was thoughtfully added to the Life and Memorable Adventures of George Washington by author Parson Mason Weems who attributed it to an unidentified woman allegedly associated with the Washington household. No evidence exists that it ever happened.
6.   On November 25, 1620, after surviving a harrowing voyage across the Atlantic in the Mayflower, the pilgrims made landfall at Plymouth Rock.
Crap (Are you seeing a pattern here?)  The Mayflower first made landfall on November 25, 1620 at Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod but deemed it an unsuitable anchorage. Captain Miles Standish and a scouting party set out in a small boat and visited Eastham on December 10, Clark's Island on December 19th and Plymouth on December 21, choosing the latter. The Mayflower finally reached Plymouth on December 26 but there is no mention of Plymouth Rock in their log or any of their diaries. In 1741, 120 years later, when the town proposed to put a wooden wharf over that namesake granite, resident Thomas Faunce said his father had told him that the pilgrims used the rock as a stepping stone to disembark.  It's worth noting, however, that Thomas was not born yet and his father had not yet arrived in Plymouth when the pilgrims came ashore. If you saw the rock today, you'd consider the story laughable. It's about the size of a decent pumpkin.
7.   On April 18, 1775, what Massachusetts patriot, upon seeing the lamp signal in the Old North Church, rode to Concord and alerted the Minutemen that the British were coming?
Samuel Prescott. Three patriots: Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott, responded to the lamp signal from the Old North Church and headed to Concord on horseback to warn the Minutemen. All three were captured by a British cavalry patrol around Cambridge but Dawes and Prescott escaped. Dawes was later thrown from his horse and had to walk back to Lexington. Only Samuel Prescott made it to Concord to deliver the warning. None of them was particularly famous for their effort until 85 years later when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow visited the Old North Church, climbed to the belfry and was inspired to write his famous poem. He opted to glorify the least successful participant, Revere, probably because his name was more easily rhymed that Prescott, who never saw any of the glory he so richly deserved.
8.   The Battle of Bunker Hill was fought primarily at what geographical location?
Breed's Hill, just south of Bunker HIll. The American commander William Prescott defended Bunker HIll by fortifying Breed's Hill instead because it lay in the path the British would have to take to reach his position. As is often the case, the battle was named for where the winning commander was sitting to monitor the action elsewhere. You didn't think Napolean and Wellington actually fought in Waterloo, did you?
9.   Who is the only signer of the Declaration of Independence buried in Arlington National Cemetery and what political term that we still use is based on his name?
Elbridge Gerry was a signer of the Declaration of Independence who served Massachusetts as a US Congressman and also as its Governor before becoming James Madison's Vice President. He is buried in Congressional Cemetery, originally part of the Episcopal Christ Church cemetery but purchased by the US government after Arlington National Cemetery was created and is administered as part of Arlington. He is the only signer buried anywhere in Washington, DC.  While Gerry was Governor, the state legislature did some redistricting to protect their seats and prompted the Boston Gazette newspaper to point out that Gerry's Essex South home district wound around like a salamander, which they dubbed the Gerry-mander. The term, albeit mispronounced, has been with us ever since.
10. Article II of the Constitution states that the President must be "a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution", must be 35 years of age and must have been a resident within the United States for 14 years. Based on those restrictions, what was the first date a natural-born citizen could have become President?  Who was the first one who did?
Since the country was created on July 4, 1776, no natural-born citizen could have reached the age of 35 before July 4, 1811. The first natural-born citizen to be President was Martin Van Buren, born in Kinderhook, NY on December 5, 1782. That's a bit ironic in that Van Buren was the only President for whom English was not his native language. Most of Kinderhook's residents, including the Van Burens, were descendants of the Dutch colonists who created New Netherland and who spoke primarily Dutch, or Netherlandish or Hollandaise or whatever it was called back then.
Answers for 07-06-20:
1.  Singer Bono of U2 took his name from a billboard ad for a hearing aid retailer.
2.  The recipe for Coca-Cola is locked in an Atlanta bank vault.
3.  Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa and Diana, Princess of Wales all won the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Crap. Princess Diana never won one.
4.  Are there any Americans in the Lower 48 states who live further north than half of the population of Canada, and if so, where?
Yes, Northern Maine. People in Caribou, ME, for instance, are north of Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and the entire Canadian shores of the Great Lakes all the way to Sault Ste. Marie. That's well over half of the population of Canada.
5.  in a 1988 American horror comedy classic, Micheal Keaton played the title character Betelgeuse, who could be correctly classified as an obnoxious, devious poltergeist. How is that character's celestial namesake correctly classified?
A Red Supergiant.  Betelguese is the name of the tenth-brightest star in the night sky and second-brightest star, after Rigel, in the constellation Orion.
Answers for 07-09-20:
1.  Tritium is the paint that makes watch and clock faces luminous.
2.  A giraffe can clean out its ears with its tongue.
3.  Steven Spielberg entered USC film school when he was only 16 years old.
Crap. He applied to USC twice but was rejected both times.
4.  Who was the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes?
Marie Curie, for physics and chemistry
5.  What did Toyota originally manufacture?

Automatic looms to weave cloth


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1)   Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith have a son named Colorado.

2)   John F. Kennedy once said "Forgive your enemies but never forget their names."

3)   The granddaughter of Bing Crosby had a recurring role in the TV series Touched by an Angel.

4)   What river flows through ten different countries?

5)   The Ashes Trophy is awarded for competition between England and Australia in what sport?