Sir Henry Cole sent the first Christmas card. It was the Christmas season in 1843 and he was too busy to write the usual greetings. He asked his friend, the painter John Callcott Horsley, to design a card with an image and a brief greeting that he could mail out instead.
In 2009, a quarter of RV owners in the U.S. owed more on the RV than it was worth.
The first use of asphalt as a road-making material was apparently in Babylon (reign of Nabopolassar, circa 625 BC). In the U.S., the first was in New Jersey, 1870, in front of the Newark City Hall.
Some people treat their dog's pain with medical marijuana.
Tom Selleck was originally cast as Indiana Jones but had to pull out due to his contract for Magnum, P.I. A writers' strike delayed production long enough that he could have shot Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Peanuts are not nuts; they're legumes.
The first Star Trek episode aired closer in time to the ratification of the 19th Amendment – giving women in the United States the right to vote – than to today.
The average NFL player lasts for just three years of service, according to NFL union head DeMaurice Smith.
Black Friday doesn't only apply to the Friday after Thanksgiving. September 24, 1869, was called Black Friday due to a crash in the gold market.
The first revolving door was installed in a restaurant called Rector's in Times Square in 1899. MIT researchers say revolving doors exchange eight times less air than swinging doors, which can add up to thousands of dollars in wasted energy costs per building per year.
A large percentage of the budget for Monty Python and the Holy Grail was donated by members of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
The last time a state willingly ceded territory was when Maine split from Massachusetts in 1820.
If you stir a cup of warm tea, you are adding kinetic energy to it, but not enough to heat it up. Stirring a cup of tea adds heat at a rate of about a ten-millionth of a watt and you'd be losing heat faster than adding it. You'd need at least 700 watts to make it boil.
Therefore means "for that reason," "consequently," or "thus." Therefor means "for that" or "for it."
For the pilot episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, show creator Stephen Hillenburg brought in a tank of helium for the voice actors to use to augment their voices. Fortunately for Tom Kenny, once he came up with the voice for SpongeBob using helium, he was able to voice it from that point forward without helium.
The first revolving door was installed in a restaurant called Rector's in Times Square in 1899.
Cheerleading was initially an all-male sport. Females were only added when large numbers of men were deployed to fight World War I.
The word "guy," as used to indicate a "man, fellow, person, individual, creature," didn't exist in 1605. In fact, even the name Guy, a name with Norman French origins given to poor Guy Fawkes by his parents in 1570, was relatively rare in England at the time, according to the book Remember, Remember by James Sharpe. "Guy" himself actually gave up the name in 1603 and went by the name "Guido" instead.
Convinced that the original Star Wars would be a flop, David Prowse – the man inside the Darth Vader suit – refused to allow his name to appear in the film's credits.
The rock hyrax, or Cape hyrax, a furry mammal resembling a guinea pig and weighing under 10 lbs., is the closest living relative of elephants.
The idea for an electronic monitoring device was inspired by a storyline in a Spider-Man comic in which one of his enemies, Kingpin, put an electronic bracelet on the superhero to follow his movements. After seeing the comic, in 1983, a district court judge persuaded a computer salesperson to develop a system to monitor five offenders in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Brett Favre's first completed pass as a Green Bay Packer was to himself.
For all five seasons, the Breaking Bad series was shot on 35mm film.
Because he used a wheelchair, President Franklin D. Roosevelt needed a specially shaped room in the White House and he helped design a new room – the Oval Office.
A tenter is a frame for stretching cloth to dry, and tenterhooks are the hooks or nails placed in it to hold the cloth. The phrase "on tenterhooks" refers to being stretched, therefore strained and nervous.
About half of the chocolate in the U.S. comes from the Ivory Coast, where forced child labor on cocoa farms persists despite a decade of pressure on chocolate companies to implement better oversight.
Matthew McConaughey is afraid of revolving doors.
Although tricks and treats have been a part of Halloween tradition for ages, Oct. 31 didn't become a candy-centric holiday until the Fifties.
Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 from a ruptured appendix due to a punch to the stomach from a fan (he was known for not feeling pain from such punches).
In the Seventh Century, Persian monks learned to refine sugar by boiling it with lime water and bullock's blood. They used the resulting sugar as a base for developing new medicines. When the Arabs invaded Persia, they developed a taste for candy and sweet Persian remedies, and they turned Sicily and Spain into sugar production centers. Enthusiasm for candy-based medicine spread across Europe.
In August 1957, Philadelphia Phillies slugger Richie Ashburn hit a fan with a foul ball, breaking her nose. A few minutes later, he hit the same fan while she was being taken out on a stretcher.
On average, you produce about 100 gallons of urine a year.
During World War II, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt communicated by radio telephone because there was no trans-Atlantic cable. Their first conversation using the setup was on July 15, 1943. There was a 55-ton scrambling device from Bell Telephone that took up most of the floor; Churchill spoke from a room so small it was nicknamed "Churchill's toilet."
Cats cannot taste sugar.
In 1965, actor Tim Matheson (Eric "Otter" Stratton in the 1979 film Animal House and Officer Phil Sweet in Magnum Force) was voicing the character Jonny Quest for Hanna-Barbera.
Over 5% of the entire U.S. potato crop goes to make McDonald's french fries.
David Cassidy and Elton John stayed at the same hotel in Auckland, New Zealand in 1974.
Minamata disease is a form of mercury poisoning first recognized in Japan in 1956. It was caused by the release of methylmercury in industrial wastewater. Cats who became affected by it would wobble and tilt, often falling into the sea to their deaths, so it was nicknamed "dancing cat fever."
After writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, starting in 1906, L. Frank Baum wrote a young adult series for girls called Aunt Jane's Nieces using the pen name Edith Van Dyne.
For most of two centuries, until 60 years ago, the U.S. population was the tallest in the world. Now the average American man is three inches shorter than the Dutch man, who averages six-foot-one. Japanese averages are also gaining on Americans'. Anthropologists tie these recent changes primarily to diet and lifestyle, as we've turned habitable wilderness into excess.
In June 1935, Vogue magazine ran an article titled "Dude Dressing," possibly one of the first stories on DIY denim distressing.
On Scooby Doo, Shaggy's real name is Norville Rogers.
The first U.S. government partial shutdown was on Sept. 30, 1976, when Gerald Ford vetoed a funding bill for the U.S. Depts. of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare. The Democratic-controlled Congress overrode the veto, but the shutdown lasted until Oct. 11.
Peter Sellers owned a manor in Surrey, England. He sold it to Ringo Starr, who sold it Stephen Stills. The gardener there was simply known as "John the Gardener," and he tended to the garden. He was the model for Sellers' character in Being There, and Stills wrote a song called "Johnny's Garden."
"Messiah" was one of the five fastest-growing male baby names between 2011 and 2012, says the Social Security Administration.
Gene Pitney was one of the first American musicians to play on a Rolling Stones record. He played piano on "Little by Little" from their debut album.
It's not uncommon for all gas stations in the same town in Ontario to charge the same amount of money per gallon of gasoline. Same in some towns in Mexico and Sri Lanka.
According to economists, it takes 34 minutes of working at minimum wage to earn a Big Mac in the United States, compared to 22 minutes in New Zealand and France, and just 18 in Australia. A worker in India would have to work about six hours.
The Oscar trophy is worth about $150.
Many Founding Fathers were younger than 40 years old in 1776, with several qualifying as Founding Teenagers or Twentysomethings.