Oh, Say Did You Know?: The Secret History of America's Famous Figures, Fads, Innovations & Emblems

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Penguin, Oct 19, 2010 - Reference - 176 pages
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With wit and charm, Oh Say Did You Know serves up 300 intriguing events and ideas that helped shape the United States. Gain valuable insight into the intricacies of every period of American history, from colonial days to the historic election of the first African American president. Five chapters cover a variety of topics, including government, politics, economy, commerce, science, education, innovation, medicine, daily life, and arts and entertainment.

Myth-debunking sidebars and fun tidbits about lesser-known historical figures are dispersed throughout the book, along with lists such as "Cup o'Canary, Wench!" (long-forgotten drinks serves in colonial taverns) and "America's Ten Highest-Grossing Movies" (from Gone With the Wind to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). Whether you're a history buff or a lover of miscellany, you won't be able to get enough of these fascinating anecdotes. You'll find engaging tales and facts, including these examples:

*"Gambling in the Colonies"-Gambling was a fact of life in early America, and the governments of all 13 colonies used lotteries to help finance road building and numerous other public projects.

*"The Costly Epizootic of 1872"-Less than a decade after the Civil War, a fast- moving equine influenza swept down from Canada into the United States, crippled virtually all of the nation's horses, and left the economy in ruins.

*DIDN'T HAPPEN sidebar: "Betsy Ross's Flagging Reputation"-Sheer hearsay put Betsy Ross into history books as the person who designed the American flag. The more likely designer was Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

*OUR NATIVE TONGUE sidebar: "Atomic Slang"-Words and terms coined in the early years include go ballistic, more bang for the buck, blast (a great party) and bombed (seriously inebriated). REVIEW


 

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Contents

WHO KNEW?
FAITH AND PROFIT
TOBACCO BRIDES
A WONDERFUL WORLD OF WOOD
PESTERING THE PILGRIMS
THE GOODWIFE REBEL OF BOSTON
WAR WITH KING PHILIP
WHATS BLUE ABOUT BLUE LAWS?
SAVIORS NAMED SALK AND SABIN
ROCKET MAN
THEREALLYINTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
BILL AND PAULS EXCELLENT ADVENTURE
WWW
DESPERATELY SEEKING COMPANY
SPITS PINCHES DIPS
NEW YORKERS ON THE MOVE

SEX AND THE MARRIED PURITAN
CLASS WARFARE IN VIRGINIA
PAINTING THE COLONIES
THE WAR OF JENKINSS EAR
AN EARLY WIN FOR FREE SPEECH
THE POCKETBOOK REBELLION
THANKS BUT NO THANKS
THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF WILLIAM DAWES?
PERFECTING AMERICAS FIRST DOCUMENT
THE MAKING OF A COMMANDER
BLACK SOLDIERS ON THE FRONT LINES
A SHREWD PUBLIC RELATIONS GENIUS
WHEN PAYMENT WAS DUE
THE ALLAMERICAN BATTLE
HAS ANYONE SEEN RHODE ISLAND?
INAUGURATED NOT CROWNED
GEORGE WASHINGTON SETS THE TONE
MAD MONEY
THE NATION DOUBLES IN SIZE
AN EXPLORERS MYSTERIOUS DEMISE
RESTOCKING THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
FRIENDS AT THE END
ELECTORAL COLLEGE TWISTS AND TURNS
WHAT KIND OF DESTINY?
GOOD GUY FINISHES LAST
MAKE THATGALLANTOLD PARTY
DRAFT SCAMS CIVIL WARSTYLE
CIVIL WAR SPY
JIM CROW LAYS DOWN THE LAWS
PIUTE TRUTHTELLER
MARK TWAIN NAMES AN AGE
MRS OLEARYS COW PLEADS INNOCENT
THE FRONTIER IS NOW CLOSED
LOOKING FOR MR GOOD GOVERNMENT
THE TAX MAN COMETH
THE REAL EFFECTS OF PROHIBITION
SINGING AND SWINGING THROUGH THE BAD OLD DAYS
THE STAY OUT MOVEMENT
FDR AND THE RADIO
CANDY BOMBERS OVER BERLIN
THE STRATEGIST OF DESEGREGATION
HOW NOT TO DUMP A DICTATOR
THE MOON ROCKS OR NOT
CONTROVERSIAL WAR CONTROVERSIAL MONUMENT
THE PROMISE FULFILLED
INYOURFACE PRODUCTION IN THE COLONIES
OUR FIRST MILLIONAIRE
FINANCIER STARGAZER
KINGS OF THE RAILS
OUR PRINCIPAL WEALTH CONSISTETH IN SERVANTS
ENTER THE MINIMUM WAGE
OUR FIRST CASH CROP
FARMING TRANSFORMED
PROVING THE POINT
CURB MARKET TO WALL STREET
WHAT PUT THE ROAR IN THE TWENTIES?
THE WPA DOES THE JOB
THE OTHER SIDE OF TRAMPS AND HOBOES
TOBACCOS REJUVENATOR
OUR FIRST COMPUTER GEEK?
WELCOME HOME SOLDIERS
MARRIED IN THEIR BIRTHDAY SUITS ALMOST
EXTRA EXTRA WEDDING JUMPS THE SHARK
AMERICAS FIRST CELEBRITY BREAKUP
DOMESTIC GODDESSES
ORPHAN TRAINS
THE MANY MANY MANY BOOMERS
DONT DRINK THE WATER
HOW THE UPPER CRUST DINED
57 WAYS TO DO GOOD IN BUSINESS
THE FIZZIEST PLACE IN TOWN
PERIWIGS AND PONY TAILS
GIBSON GIRLS AND ARROW SHIRT MEN
THE SHOCKING MISS HEPBURN
LITTLE SHIRLEYS CURLS AND CRINOLINES
FAKE STOCKINGS WITH SEAMS
PERMING AT HOME
THE WAR ON SMALLPOX
THE HAZARDS OF WORK
MARCHING AGAINST POLIO
BURIED ALIVE
GOING OUT GREEN
ACTION CENTRAL
OFF TO THE FROLIC
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
SHALL WE DANCE?
TEN CENTS A DANCE
PLAYING THE LOTTERY
GAMBLING IN THE COLONIES
THE WACKY ST LOUIS OLYMPICS
FOOTBALLS FEROCIOUS START
NINTENDOS LOOK BACK
THE RISE OF LITERACY
THE ASTONISHING MRS CHILD
TWO MADEINAMERICA GENRES
THEATERS UPS AND DOWNS AND UPS
THE ASTOR PLACE RIOT
THE BROADWAY MUSICAL TAKES OFF
AN INVASION OF TALENT
AMERICANS TUNE IN
MOTHER OF ALL SOAPS
VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF
A DAY AT THE TROLLEY PARK
A DAY AT THE MUSEUM
THE WORLD OF P T BARNUM
THE OTHER WILD BILL
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