Monthly Trivia Archives: May 2011

Week of May 29 – Memorial Day Facts

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Memorial day was first celebrated on May 30, 1868. It was observed by placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers during the first national celebration.

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of those who have died serving our country

General John Alexander Logan ordered the Memorial Day holiday to be observed by decorating the war dead.

On Memorial Day, the flag should be at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff.

Red Poppies are recognized as the Memorial Day flower.

“Taps” is often played at ceremonies on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was first called “Decoration Day” because of the practice of decorating soldier’s graves with flowers.

New York was the 1st state to officially recognize Memorial Day.

Flowers and flags are the two most popular items people use to remember soldiers.

The South refused to honor the dead on Memorial Day until after World War I when the meaning of Memorial Day changed from honoring civil war dead to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war.

Memorial Day was declared a federal holiday in 1971.

When you see a person who serves (or served) in the military, thank them for their service to our country.

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Week of May 22 – Odds and Ends

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The 3 Wise Monkeys have names: Mizaru (See no evil), Mikazaru (Hear no evil), and Mazaru (Speak no evil).

The 1st Sneaker made was by the U.S Rubber Co. in 1916 – called KEDS.

The Australian Dragonfly is the fastest Insect in the world at 36 mph.

The Stars and Colors you see when you Rub your Eyes are called “Phosphenes.”

Approx 500 small meteorites fall to Earth every year.

Pablo Picasso’s full name: Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisma Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.

In 1874 Levi Strauss began selling Blue Jeans for $13.50 per dozen.

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Week of May 15 – “Firsts”

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First man to fly solo nonstop across the atlantic ocean – Charles Lindbergh in his plane The Spirit of St. Louis, on May 20-21, 1927

The first person to reach the North Pole was Robert Edwin Peary,who reached the pole on April 6 1909 along with his employee Matthew Henson.

Captain Matthew Webb was the first recorded person to swim the English Channel without the use of artificial aids on August 25, 1875 in less than 22 hours.

The youngest to win Olympic gold was Marjorie Gestring of the United States who, at the age of 13 years and 268 days, won the women’s three meter springboard diving event at the 1936 Games in Berlin.

In 1903, Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize – Nobel Laureate in Physics.

In 1851, Elizabeth Smith Miller was the first woman to wear pants which became known for the Bloomer costume, which she patterned after the Turkish trousers she saw on a visit to Europe.

Adrien Brody was 29 when he won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in The Pianist.

“First Dogs”   – George Washington owned 10 hounds called Mopsey, Taster, Cloe, Tipler, Forester, Captain, Lady Rover, Vulcan, Sweetlips and Searcher.

(The author of this blog’s first dog’s name was Shivers and her husband’s dog’s name was Bruin.)

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Week of May 8 – Animal “Lasts”

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Dodo: It was discovered in 1505 by Portuguese explorers on the island of Mauritius. This flightless bird weighed about fifty pounds. Introduction of non-native animals such as pigs, monkeys, and rats endangered their existence. The dodo’s eggs were fed upon by these introduced creatures. The last dodo was sighted in 1681.

Carolina Parakeet: This extinct bird was once abundantly found in large colonies in the swamps of Cypress across south Atlantic and Gulf States. They were slaughtered as pets, and were widely hunted for their feathers. Sighting of a small flock of this bird in the wild was last reported in 1920.

Bachman’s Warbler: This species of bird has recently become extinct. It lived in the forested swamps of the eastern United States. It has not been sighted since the early 1960s, and is listed as endangered animals.

The Great Auk: It is also known as Garefowl. It was widely found across the North Atlantic region ranging from Ireland to Greenland to almost to the Arctic Circle. It became extinct by mid 19th century as the sailors fed themselves on the eggs of this bird.

Labrador Duck: It was found on the coasts of Quebec in Canada. It became extinct in 1870s.

Quagga: They were native of the Karoo plains and Southern Free State of South Africa. A large-scale hunting of this animal by the ranchers in the mid 19th century caused rapid decline in their numbers. The last quagga was reported dead in 1883 in an Amsterdam zoo.

Caspian Tiger: It is also known as the Persian Tiger. Once found throughout the Central and southern Asia, this animal was hunted for its hides. It was often killed by the villagers to protect their livestock when attacked. It was last sighted in 1957.

Irish Deer: The Irish elk or the Giant Deer was the largest deer that ever lived on earth. It was found in Europe, and is believed to have lived about 10,000 years ago.

Tasmanian Wolf: It became extinct about fifty years ago. It was not a wolf, but a carnivorous marsupial considered to be a distant relative of wombats and kangaroos.

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Week of May 1 – British Royal Trivia

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The traditional “white wedding” came into vogue entirely because of one bride: Queen Victoria of England. Prior to her 1840 marriage to Prince Albert, it was common for brides to wear colorful dresses, and even black dresses. The concept of having a white gown that could only be worn for one day (unlike a gown in a color which would be more practical for future events) was a wild extravagance that was largely undreamt of before Queen Victoria.

The coronation of the new Sovereign follows some months after his or her accession, following a period of mourning and as a result of the enormous amount of preparation required to organise the ceremony. The coronation ceremony has remained essentially the same over a thousand years.  For the last 900 years, the ceremony has taken place at Westminster Abbey, London. The service is conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose task this has almost always been since the Norman Conquest in 1066.

The name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha came to the British Royal Family in 1840 with the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert, son of Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha. Queen Victoria herself remained a member of the House of Hanover. When George V came to the throne, he changed the family name to Windsor because of the anti-German feeling at the time.

The only time when there was no King or Queen in Britain was when the country was a republic between 1649 and 1660. (In 1649 King Charles I was executed and Britain became a Republic for eleven years. The monarchy was restored in 1660.)

In the British Monarchy, the husband of a female monarch does not have any recognized special status, rank or privileges.

The wife of a male monarch (e.g. the Queen Mother was wife of King George VI) takes on her husband’s rank and style upon marrying, becoming Queen.  She is known as the Queen consort (wife and consort of reigning king

King Henry VIII succeeded to the throne after his father’s death on 21 April 1509. He was 17 years old when he became king. He was handsome in his youth, but became bloated and fat (he had a 54-inch waist when he was 50).  He dressed lavishly, wearing a gold collar with a diamond as big as a walnut and many jewelled rings.  Henry VIII was famous for marrying six times and beheading two of his wives.

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