1James K. Polk
James K. Polk is the only US president who pledged to serve only one term during his campaign. He was known for fulfilling all his major promises and died 3 months after his term ended, making his retirement the shortest. He is also the only speaker of the house to be elected as president.
2. Joseph Strauss, the engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge, mandated that a net be installed under the bridge for safety while being built. This was revolutionary at the time. The net caught 19 men who fell, saving all of them from certain death.
3. In 2016, a Japanese ice cream company created a commercial to publicly apologize about needing to raise the price of their ice cream bars for the first time in 25 years from 60 yen to 70 yen.
4. Nearly 70% of Icelanders have Costco membership and there's only one Costco in the country.
5. Since 8-track tapes have a loop-play function, where after the end the tape is played from the beginning once again, the 8-track version of the Pink Floyd album “Animals” was changed for playing on repeat, a guitar solo connecting the first and the last song on the album was added.
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Marvel used to issue paychecks to their creatives with vouchers on the back saying that the one signing it renounced all rights to whatever they created. They couldn't sign the paycheck without also signing the voucher.
7. Breaking Bad character Mike Ehrmantraut was created because Bob Odenkirk (Saul Goodman) was unavailable for one of the episodes of Breaking Bad as he had to shoot for How I met your mother.
8. Judith Love Cohen, who helped create the Abort-Guidance System which rescued the Apollo 13 astronauts, went to work on the day she was in labor. She took a printout of a problem she was working on to the hospital. She called her boss and said she finished the problem and gave birth to Jack Black.
9. Elouise Cobell (“Yellow Bird Woman”) founded the first Native American-owned bank. As treasurer of the Blackfeet Nation, she tried to resolve accounting discrepancies regarding leases on Indian Land which led to a $3.4 billion class-action settlement against the US government.
10. A CIA intelligence officer named Darrell Blocker working undercover in Uganda became a minor celebrity as the lead singer of a popular local band known as the "Kampala Jazz All-Stars."
Sorrell Booke, the actor who played Boss Hogg on Dukes of Hazard went to Columbia and Yale, spoke 5 languages, and was a counterintelligence officer during the Korean War.
12. Japan burns a portion of its garbage and uses the resulting ash in land reclamation. As of 2012, Japan has created over 250 square kilometers (96 square miles) of new land using this method.
13. When your immune system fights an infection, it cranks up the mutation rate during antibody production by a factor of 1,000,000 and then has them compete with each other. This natural selection process creates highly specific antibodies for the virus.
14. When, in 1993, the US postal service issued a commemorative postage stamp honoring Elvis Presley's 58th birthday, fans mailed envelopes with first-day issues of the stamp to fictitious addresses so that they would receive their letters back, marked with the words "return to sender."
15. Baby owls sleep down on their stomach because their heads are too heavy. They do that until they are large enough to sleep upright.
Saunas are such a deeply ingrained part of the Finnish culture, that Finns will even build them in war. Custom dictates no titles or hierarchies are allowed in the sauna, including military ranks in saunas built and used by soldiers.
17. Fred Gwynne who played Herman Munster in the CBS sitcom The Munsters wore face paint that was actually a bright violet color because it captured the most light on the black-and-white film.
18. Every year Ancient Romans used to crucify dogs while geese sat upon purple and gold pillows and watched. This was because when the Gauls attacked Rome in 390 B.C.E., the geese raised an alarm while the guard dogs were silent.
19. Dogs and cats circle around before bedding down as a throwback to their wild ancestors. Their survival instincts provoked them to position themselves in the direction of the wind to pick up predator scents and choose the best angle for keeping an eye on the environment.
20. A young Tina Fey provided voices for a pinball machine called Medieval Madness in 1997 as two princesses. The dialogue for the game was written by her future 30 Rock co-star Scott Adsit.
Beverly Hills, California is named after Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, which was named after the town Beverley in Yorkshire England, which came from the name "Beverlac" in the 10th century, meaning "beaver lake," because of all the beavers in the nearby river.
22. British breweries donated free beer to soldiers during World War 2, but after D-Day, there was no room for it on the ships going across the English Channel. Spitfire mechanics and pilots worked together to modify pylons to carry beer kegs and deliver brews to the troops. Flying high enough chilled it.
23. REM's song "What's the Frequency Kenneth?" is about the mugging of Dan Rather. His attacker kept repeating "Kenneth, what's the frequency?" as he kicked Rather. The case was solved when the attacker stormed NBC studios 11 years later to find out the frequency used to "beam signals to his brain."
24. Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky hated to conduct by his own admission. He became obsessed with the fear that his head was going to fall off while he conducted. In 1868, when Tchaikovsky conducted his own Dances of the Hay Maidens, he held his head in place with his left hand while he conducted with his right.
25. Early sections of San Francisco were built upon ships abandoned by prospectors during the California Gold Rush. Many were intentionally run aground to become bars and hotels. Now, hundreds of wooden ships lay beneath the city streets and a portion of their subway goes through the hull of one.