Fun Facts and Daily Trivia: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The 225 day of the year–140 days left to go 


  • National Motorcycle Week (Link)
  • Feeding Pets of the Homeless Week (Link)
  • National Resurrect Romance Week (Link)
  • Weird Contest Week
  • US Amateur Golf Week (Link)


  • 33rd Tuesday of 2019
  • 53rd day of summer–41 days until fall
  • International Lefthander’s Day* (Link)
  • National Filet Mignon Day* (Link)


1784: The Continental Congress met for the final time in Annapolis, Maryland. It moved a few more times, from Philadelphia, PA to New York City and, finally, to its permanent seat of government in Washington, DC. (Link)

1867:  Under the Gaslight, by Augustin Daly, opened in New York City. The show went on to become one of the most popular melodramas ever staged in America.

1889:  William Gray of Hartford, CT patented the coin-operated telephone (Link). 

1907: the first taxicabs hit the streets of New York City. 

1908: Music evangelist Ira Sankey died at age 68. He composed the music to the hymn “Faith Is the Victory (That Overcomes the World).”

1910: Nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale died at age 90. She had taken to her bed 34 years earlier, convinced she was dying of heart disease (See History Spotlight). 

1914: the first U.S. bus line was created.  Carl Wickman started Greyhound (read more). 

1918: Women enlist in the United States Marine Corps for the first time. Opha Mae Johnson is the first woman to enlist

1924:  The first country music record to sell one million copies reached that point on this day. It was The Prisoner’s Song, recorded by Vernon Dalhart. The Prisoner’s Song and songs like Molly Darling, Death of Floyd Collins and New River Train helped Dalhart outsell all others during his era (about 75 million records). He became a Country Music Hall of Famer in 1981 (Listen).

1930: Charles Chreighton and James Hargis backed their 1929 Model-A Ford Roadster into Los Angeles, having backed the 3,340 miles from New York City without once stopping their engine. Then, to celebrate, they backed back to New York, backing the entire round-trip in 42 days.

1934 – Cartoonist Al Capp began his famous comic strip, Li’l Abner. In those early days, the cartoon strip was carried in eight newspapers. Eventually, it would be in more than 500, and would be the basis for a Broadway play and a Hollywood movie, too.

1952: Big Mama Thornton recorded “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Hound Dog,” almost four years before Elvis did it. In 1953 Big Mamas version hit #1 on the R and B charts (Listen).

1961: East Germany closed the Brandenburg Gate and prepared to start building the infamous Berlin Wall. 

1966: David Houston hit the top of the Billboard country chart with “Almost Persuaded.” During the next decade, the song was recorded by 150 artists.

1993: Officials at a Birmingham, England, hospital were criticized for renting out their high-tech cancer scanner. Area farmers were scanning their pigs to make sure only the meatiest ones were allowed to breed.

1995: Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle died at a Dallas hospital of liver cancer at age 63 (read more).

1996: Forty monkeys escaped from a Vienna zoo and blocked a main Austrian highway screeching at stalled drivers. The long-tailed primates were faster than police, but finally got tired of playing chase and ran into the woods (read more).

1997: A 49-year-old man in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbing two banks while wearing a floral dress, pumps, and a red wig.

1998: Iowa honored longtime Governor Terry Branstad by having his likeness carved in a 150-pound block of Colby cheese. The bust was displayed in a cooler outside the cattle barn at the Iowa State Fair.

1999: Tennis player Steffi Graf retired from the sport she had dominated for two decades.

2001: Opening gifts at Dean and Marion Olphert’s wedding reception turned into a farce in Eynesbury, England. The couple opened 13 toasters. And they already had a toaster. To remember the occasion, guests made the couple a plaque that said, “To Dean and Marion – a toast to you both.”

2004: The Summer Olympic Games opened in Athens, Greece, with a record 202 countries and 10,500 athletes taking part.

2004: the cross-franchise monster battle “Alien vs. Predator” opened in movie theaters around the country (Trailer). 

2008: U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic gold medalist in history after picking up two more gold medals at the Summer Games in Beijing, China on this date to bring his career total to eleven.  A group of four athletes, including Americans Carl Lewis and Mark Spitz, previously held the old record with nine.

2009: rock ‘n roll legend Les Paul died on this date at the age of 94.

2011: a stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair was blamed for the deaths of at least four people and numerous injuries.  Strong winds brought on a storm in the Indianapolis area caused the rigging to collapse on the crowd in front of the stage.  The accident took place right before country duo Sugarland was scheduled to perform.  The band was unhurt.


Berlin divided (Taken from Link

Shortly after midnight on this day in 1961, East German soldiers begin laying down barbed wire and bricks as a barrier between Soviet-controlled East Berlin and the democratic western section of the city.


Florence Nightingale 

Her greatest achievement was to make nursing a respectable profession for women (read more)


ser·en·dip·i·tous  [ser-uhn-dip-i-tuhs]  


come upon or found by accident; fortuitous:

“Joey found the last piece of chocolate cake hidden behind the toaster. It was a serendipitous occasion”


Although God had given the Israelites the tabernacle, the Temple, priests, and prophets; He also wanted them to spread the faith through the family. 

“And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’ 27 you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the Lord who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes” (Exod 12:26-27). 

“You shall teach [the commands] diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut 6:7). 

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