Category Archives: Articles

The Many U.S. Presidents Before George Washington

Arthur-St.-Claire

Today I found out about the presidents before the U.S. Constitution went into effect. Schools in the United States teach children from an early age that the first president of the United States was George Washington. But teachers often forget to mention a small, kind of important detail- George Washington was the first U.S. president under the current United States […]

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The First Female Presidential Candidate of a Major Political Party in the United States

Margaret_Chase_Smith

On January 27, 1964, then three-term Senator Margaret Chase Smith put the first crack in the “hardest, highest glass ceiling” when she announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Although she never really came close to winning it, Senator Smith’s presidential campaign helped dispel centuries of chauvinism and paved the way for female political […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 48

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This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. What Ever Happened to Confederate President Jefferson Davis? Jefferson Davis was attending a Sunday church service in the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, when he heard the news. Union General Ulysses S. Grant had broken General Robert E. Lee’s defenses in […]

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A 17 Year Old Girl Survived a 2 Mile Fall Without a Parachute, then Trekked Alone 10 Days Through the Peruvian Rainforest

juliane-koepcke

Today I found out that a 17 year old girl survived a 2 mile fall from a plane without a parachute, then trekked alone 10 days through the Peruvian rainforest. On Christmas Eve, 1971, just a few hours after attending her high school graduation, 17 year old Juliane Koepcke and her mother, Maria, got on a flight from Lima, Peru […]

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A Brief History of Pi

pi

That the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter is constant has been known to humanity since ancient times; yet, even today, despite 2000 years of thought, theories, calculations and proofs, π’s precise value remains elusive. Ancient Civilizations Babylonian By the 17th century B.C., the Babylonians had a relatively advanced knowledge of mathematics, that they memorialized into […]

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A Brief History of Nike

nike

Very few people and even fewer brands have managed to become synonymous with pop culture in the 20th century. But in the last few decades, Nike has become a Titan of the sporting world, as well as part of the daily lives of millions of people everywhere. But during the 1960s, it was Germany’s Adidas and Puma sneakers that dominated […]

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Why Teachers are Associated with and Traditionally Given Apples

apple

Gloria N. asks: Why is the stereotype to give apples to teachers? Widespread publicly funded, mandatory education has only been around since about the 19th century. Before then, the responsibility of providing schooling to children fell primarily on their families. Upper- and middle-class families tended to hire tutors or send their children to a private school run by a schoolmaster. […]

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Why Don’t They Bother Putting the Apostrophe in “DONT WALK” signs?

dont-walk

Jared L. asks: Why aren’t there apostrophes in the Don’t Walk signs by street intersections when it’s spelled out rather than using pictures? No one is sure when exactly the first WALK/DONT WALK style signs were installed. Even the Federal Highway Administration isn’t sure, though it is thought that the first such sign was likely installed sometime in the early to […]

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What Ever Happened to Confederate President Jefferson Davis?

jefferson-davis

Cailin asks: What happened to Jefferson Davis after the Civil War? Jefferson Davis was attending a Sunday church service in the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, when he heard the news. Union General Ulysses S. Grant had broken General Robert E. Lee’s defenses in Petersburg, less than twenty five miles from Richmond. By nightfall, the evacuation of Richmond needed […]

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The First Commercially Successfull Video Game was Meant as a Training Exercise and Wasn’t Intended to Be Released

pong

Today I found out “Pong” was originally meant only as a training exercise for a new gaming developer at Atari, Allan Alcorn, and wasn’t intended to be released as a consumer product. When Alcorn was hired by Atari in 1972, Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari along with Ted Dabney, told Alcorn that he had recently signed a contract with GE […]

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The Only Major League Baseball Player to Openly Admit He was Gay During His Career Also May Have “Invented” the High-Five

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“They can’t say that a gay man can’t play in the Majors, because I’m a gay man and I made it.”- Glenn BurkeMajor League Baseball has been going strong now for well over a century. Many thousands of players have taken the field since the beginning of organized professional baseball, but only one, Glenn Burke, ever “came out of the […]

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Weekly Wrap Volume 46

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This is a weekly wrap of our Daily Knowledge Newsletter. You can get that newsletter for free here. Why There is Braille on Drive-Thru ATM Machines Mainly, it is because it is required by law, thanks to the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities.  There are certain exceptions, in terms of these requirements, when it comes to drive-up ATMs […]

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