Fun Facts and Daily Trivia: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The 142 day of the year–223 days left to go 

THIS WEEK IS

  • EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week (Link)
  • National New Friends, Old Friends Week
  • National Safe Boating Week (Link)
  • National Medical Transcription Week (Link
  • National Unicycle Week (Link
  • Brain Injury Awareness Week (Link
  • Healthy and Safe Swimming Week (Link
  • National Tire Safety Week (Link
  • World Schizophrenia Awareness Week (Link

TODAY IS

  • 21st Wednesday of 2019
  • 64th day of spring–31 days until summer
  • Victoria Day* (Link)
  • National Maritime Day* (Link)
  • World Goth Day* (Link)
  • National Vanilla Pudding Day* (Link)
  • Sherlock Holmes Day* (Link)
  • National Buy a Musical Instrument Day

ON THIS DATE…

1570: the first modern atlas was published in Belgium by Abraham Ortelius.  The atlas contained 70 maps. 

1803: the first public library opened in Salisbury, Connecticut. 

1807: A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason (Read more)

1819: The U.S. steamboat Savannah made the first transatlantic crossing.

1841: Henry Kennedy patented the reclining chair.

1843: the first wagon train left Independence, Missouri, for the Oregon Trail.  The wagon train consisted of about one-thousand colonists (See History Spotlight).

1849: President Abraham Lincoln is issued a patent for an invention to lift boats over obstacles in a river, the only patent ever issued to a U.S. President (Read More).

1868: the Great Train Robbery took place in Marshfield, Indiana.  Seven members of the Reno gang held up the train’s crew, unhooked the locomotive, and made off with 96-thousand dollars in cash, gold and bonds (Read more).

1899: “Cleveland Plain Dealer” reporter Charles Shanks became the first person to use the French word “automobile.”  He used the word in a series of articles he wrote about a road trip from Cleveland to New York with car magnate Alexander Winton.  The word soon became accepted in the U.S.. 

1933: John Mackay reported the first modern day sighting of the Loch Ness Monster (Read More). 

1939: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini signed a “Pact Of Steel” that linked Germany and Italy to a military alliance.  

1947: the first ballistic missile was fired.  

1958: Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin Myra (bio). 

1961: the Top Of The Needle restaurant in Seattle’s Space Needle opened as the first revolving restaurant.

1965: “Ticket To Ride” became The Beatles eighth consecutive number one hit. 

1967: “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” debuted on the Public Broadcasting System. 

1970: The Guess Who earned a gold record for their hit “American Woman” (Listen–long version). 

1977: Janet Guthrie became the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. 

1980: Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man (See Quick Trivia). .

1985: U.S. sailor Michael Walker was arrested aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz.  He and his father, John Walker, were later convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. 

1992: pop singer Michael Jackson paid for the funeral of a nine-year-old Los Angeles boy who was killed by a stray bullet fired during a drive-by shooting.  

1992: after nearly 30 years, Johnny Carson ended his reign as host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”  Carson’s final words to the audience were quote, “I bid you all a heartfelt good night.”  Jay Leno took over as host a week later (Bio).

1997: the Bugs Bunny postage stamp debuted. 

2002: “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” aired its series finale in syndication.  The WB series “Felicity” also ended its network run on this date.  

2002: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama found former Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry guilty in the deadly 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Baptist Church which killed four young black girls.  The verdict came almost 40 years after the crime.  Cherry, 71: was immediately sentenced to life in prison.  He was the last of a group of men to be brought to justice for the blast.  

2008: the much-anticipated “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” opened in theaters on this date (Watch Trailer).   

2011: An EF5 tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri, killing 162 people and wreaking $2.8 billion worth in damage—the costliest and seventh-deadliest single tornado in U.S. history (footage).

2017: United States President Donald Trump visits the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and becomes the first sitting U.S. President to visit the Western Wall.

HISTORY SPOTLIGHT

The first major wagon train to the northwest departs from Elm Grove, Missouri, on the Oregon Trail. (Source

Although U.S. sovereignty over the Oregon Territory was not clearly established until 1846, American fur trappers and missionary groups had been living in the region for decades. Dozens of books and lectures proclaimed Oregon’s agricultural potential, tweaking the interest of American farmers. The first overland immigrants to Oregon, intending primarily to farm, came in 1841 when a small band of 70 pioneers left Independence, Missouri. They followed a route blazed by fur traders, which took them west along the Platte River through the Rocky Mountains via the easy South Pass in Wyoming and then northwest to the Columbia River. In the years to come, pioneers came to call the route the Oregon Trail.

QUICK TRIVIA

On this day in 1980, Namco releases the highly influential arcade game Pac-Man (Source)

When Toru Iwatani hungrily stared into his pizza box, containing 2 slices short of a full pie, the idea for one of the greatest arcade games was born. At 27 years, the japanesse student came up with the idea for Pac-Man – a game that became legend, and spawned numerous sequals and clones. At the time, electronic gaming with a business with few success stories. Games like Asteroids, Space Invaders, Pong, and Break-out were all great games, but none of them were popular with main stream society. A year after the idea was conceived, the game was finally finished and released. It took the world by storm and soon became a household name.

Pac-Man Facts (Source)

1. There were only three core people involved in the development of the original Pac-Man. The planning and designs were done by Toru Iwatani, and there was one additional person who worked on programming development, and one focused on music.

2. Within 15 months of its U.S. release, Namco/Bandai sold more than 100,000 arcade units and fans spent more than $1 billion in quarters to spark the pop-culture phenomenon.

3. First released as “Puck-Man,” the name was later changed to Pac-Man. The original Japanese name was Puckman, which evolved from the Japanese word paku, meaning “chomp.” Given the closeness to a certain explicit four-letter English word, a lot of arcade operators at the time were worried that vandals would alter the letter P. Eventually, “Pac” was suggested as an alternate name. Hence the name “Pac-Man” came to be.

4. Pac-Man’s favorite snack pellets — the tiny dots he munches as he moves around the video game board — were originally cookies. The “power cookies” are now the larger pellets he uses to eat the ghosts.

5. Each of the four ghosts in the game has both Japanese and English names. In Japan they started as Fickle, Chaser, Ambusher and Stupid. Their English names are Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde.

6. Due to the game’s wild success, Pac-Man became an economic term. When a company that is about to be acquired instead takes over the hostile company that was attempting to acquire it, it’s called the “Pac-Man” defense. The name was coined after the role reversal that occurs when Pac-Man eats power cookies.

7. Pac-Man was created as a “cute” game designed to have both good and bad characters that were colorful and endearing. This was one of the first games to appeal to an audience beyond the traditional male audience.


8. Initially, the ghosts were referred to as monsters on the original arcade cabinets. It was not until later that they were known as ghosts. Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde were each created with their own distinct personalities so that the game would never get boring yet would have behaviors that players could learn. For instance, Blinky has a chaser personality while Pinky likes to ambush Pac-Man.

9. The 2010 Edition of the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition named Pac-Man the Most Recognized Video Game Character at 94 percent of Americans recognizing the distinctive yellow ghost gobbler.

10. In 2005 Pac-Man received the Guinness World Records award for being the “Most Successful Coin-Operated Game”.

WORD OF THE DAY

Risible

\RIZ-uh-buhl\ , adjective:

Capable of laughing; disposed to laugh.

Exciting or provoking laughter; worthy of laughter; laughable; amusing.

“Susie and her friends were prone to giggling; therefore mom knew that the Friday night sleepover would end up being a risible occasion “

INTRIGUING BIBLE FACT

Smiling is biblical and beneficial.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Prov 17:22).

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