Tag Archives: Daniel Hale Williams

‘Fancy That’ — Assorted Trivia With Anura Guruge [I].

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail..
by Anura Guruge

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In 2002, I had bought a cheap “cute dogs” wall calendar. It contained a pithy observation for each day. I soon realized that they had compiled quite a good collection. Come year end, and January 1, 2003 was when Deanna and I got married, I decided to hold onto the calendar so that I can preserve its content. I have held onto it for 12 years. I always knew where it was. So what I am going to do is transcribe 10 to 20 sayings from it, as often as I can, until I capture all of the good ones. There are a few that are a tad mundane. But I suspect that there has to be at least 300 good ones. I will number them as I transcribe so that we can all keep track. I was going to do them randomly but if I do, I might miss some. So I will start from January and go through the months.

I cannot vouch for the veracity of these items. I do NOT have the time to check them. I am just transcribing them for posterity. So be WARNED. Check the facts IF you intend to use it. IF I do check any of them out, I will add annotations at the bottom.

I also do not see any copyright on the calendar. IF the copyright genuinely belongs to someone and they can prove it I will immediately and gladly take all of this down. I have no desire, whatsoever, to infringe on anybody’s copyright.


1. Herbert Hoover was the first president to have an asteroid named after him.

2. The first roll of toilet paper was introduced in 1871.

3. When astronauts first shaved in space, their weightless whiskers floated up to the ceiling. A special razor that worked like a vacuum cleaner was developed.

4. Frank and Jesse James committed the first daytime bank robbery on February 14, 1866.

5. The first US marines wore high leather collars to protect their necks from sabers, hence the name leathernecks.

6. Florence Nightingale carried a pet owl in her pocket.

7. Bats are the only mammals that fly.

8. Annie Oakley shot a cigar out of Kaiser Wilhelm’s mouth while touring Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

9. According to law, stores cannot sell a toothbrush on the Sabbath in Providence, RI, but they are allowed to sell toothpaste and mouthwash.

10. Calvin Coolidge was sworn into office by his own father.

11. A black surgeon, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, performed the first successful heart operation.

12. Chinatown in San Francisco is the largest Chinese community outside of Asia.

13. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle was built by William Harley and the three Davidson brothers in 1903.

14. A stack of $1 dollar bills one mile high would be worth more than $14 million dollars.

15. During her husband’s presidency, Martha Washington was formally addressed as Lady Washington.

16. Twenty-five percent of the horses in the US died of a vast virus epidemic in 1871.

17. A mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet long in just one night.

18. A recent study conducted by the Shyness Clinic in Menlo Park, CA, revealed that almost 90% of Americans label themselves as shy.

19. Giants baseball catcher Roger Bresnahan introduced shin guards in 1907.

20. The satin shorts worn by Sylvester Stallone in the original Rocky movie fetched $16,896 at auction in New York City.