Rhapsody in Blue: Gershwin’s Five-Week Miracle

On this date in 1924, George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” premiered during a showcase concert in New York City. Here are some things you may not have known about Gershwin and one of his masterpieces. George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1898. He was the second of four children. His older brother, Ira, would later become his […]

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Julia Child: Bon Appetit!

On this date in 1963, “The French Chef,” a cooking show starring Julia Child premiered on public television in the United States. Here are some things you may not have known about Julia Child and her television show. While her show was an early pioneer of the cooking-show format, it wasn’t the first one to be nationally broadcast. That honor […]

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Presidential Succession: Who’s Next?

Today is the 49th anniversary of the ratification of the 25th amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Here are some things you may not have known about presidential succession. Before the 25th amendment was ratified, the U.S. Constitution was unclear regarding presidential succession in cases of death, resignation or inability to serve. The first president to die in […]

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Mardi Gras: Dancing in the Streets

Today is Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday and Carnival among other celebrations around the world. Here are some things you may not have known about the festivities. The day celebrates the final day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Lent is a Christian period of fasting, prayer and penance which starts 46 days before Easter. The Sundays […]

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Hollywood Walk of Fame: Stars at Our Feet

On this date in 1960, construction began on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Here are a few things you may not know about the famous sidewalks. There are dueling accounts as to who had the original idea for the walk of fame. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce says it was E.M. Smart, who was the president of the association in […]

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Roosevelt and His Court-Packing Plan

On this date in 1937, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed a judicial reform bill that would have allowed him to appoint up to six new justices to the Supreme Court. Here are some things you might not know about what came to be known as Roosevelt’s Court-Packing plan. Roosevelt won the 1932 election on the basis of his New […]

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Postage: Making the Appointed Rounds

25 years ago today, first-class postage in the United States was increased from 25 cents to 29 cents. Here are a few facts about the postal service, stamps and stamp collecting. The earliest postal system in North America wasn’t much of a system at all. Ships would carry mail into port and advertise in the local newspaper the names of […]

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Day the Music Died: A Rock and Roll Tragedy

Today is the 57th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and the plane’s pilot. Here are some things you may not have known about The Day the Music Died. Buddy Holly and his band were playing a tour called the Winter Dance Party across the upper Midwest. Ritchie Valens and The Big […]

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Groundhog Day: History Repeating

Today is Groundhog Day in North America. Here are some things you may not know about it. First the basics: Groundhog Day is celebrated every February 2nd. Traditionally, if the groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day, it means there will be six more weeks of winter. If the rodent does not see its shadow, it means Spring will come […]

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Oxford English Dictionary: All the Words!

If you’re enjoying the show, please consider supporting it through Patreon.com Today is the 132nd anniversary of the publication of the first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary. Here are some things you may not have known about the dictionary. It’s a descriptive dictionary, meaning it describes word usage and variations. Descriptivism is the opposite of prescriptivism, which aims to establish […]

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