Benjamin Franklin’s Fugio Cent: A Call to Focus on Affairs

The initial U.S. coin to officially circulate, known as the Fugio Cent, featured the phrase “Mind Your Business” rather than “In God We Trust.” Benjamin Franklin is thought to have designed the coin, according to some sources. As a prominent and accomplished entrepreneur, historians theorize that Franklin used the term “business” in its literal sense. The intended meaning was not the later idiomatic expression “mind your own business,” but rather “focus on your matters.”

Salisbury Steak: American Dish Inspired by European Tastes and Health Advocacy

Originating in the United States, Salisbury Steak was created to cater to the preferences of European immigrants and was named in honor of Dr. James Salisbury, an advocate of a meat-centric diet for improved health. Since 1897, the term “Salisbury Steak” has been associated with a main course featuring a ground beef patty.

James Salisbury, the creator of Salisbury steak, served as a physician during the American Civil War. He firmly believed that vegetables contributed to heart disease and mental health issues, and promoted the consumption of Salisbury steak thrice daily as a means of fortifying the body and facilitating weight loss.

Cadillac’s 1930s Policy Reversal: Embracing Diversity and Boosting Sales

In the beginning of the 1930s, Cadillac had a policy that prohibited the sale of cars to African Americans. However, in 1933, Nicholas Dreystadt, a mid-level manager at General Motors, boldly interrupted a GM executive committee meeting and persuaded them to abandon this policy, advocating for marketing efforts targeting the African American community. As a result, within just one year, Cadillac experienced a remarkable sales increase of 70%.

Bicycles: Catalyst for Women’s Liberation and Fashion Shift

Bicycles emerged as a key factor in the early women’s liberation movement, providing women with the opportunity to break free from their reliance on men for transportation. This sense of autonomy also played a part in the gradual shift away from corsets and long skirts during the early 20th century.

Puyi’s Journey: From Last Emperor to Humble Gardener

Puyi, the last emperor of China, had lived a life of luxury where he never had to perform basic tasks such as brushing his teeth or tying his shoelaces. At the age of 44, after being placed in a communist reeducation prison program in 1950, he finally faced these mundane chores for the first time.

Once deposed, Puyi was compelled to work as a street sweeper in Beijing. On his first day, he became lost and sought help from strangers, introducing himself as the last Emperor of the Qing dynasty and explaining that he was staying with relatives but couldn’t find his way home.

In the years leading up to his reeducation, Puyi had joined forces with the Japanese after their invasion of Manchuria, becoming the ruler of the puppet state of Manchuria. Following World War II, Puyi served a 10-year prison sentence as a war criminal. Upon his release, he found work as a gardener at the very palace where he had once reigned.

5 Fascinating Facts About the Mayflower You Never Knew

1. From Patuxet Village to Plymouth Colony:
Before the Mayflower docked on the shores of Massachusetts, a flourishing Patuxet village stood proudly on the coast. Tragically, a devastating epidemic wiped out a staggering 90% of the native population. When the pilgrims arrived, they transformed the deserted settlement into what would become the renowned Plymouth Colony.
2. The Miraculous Tale of John Howland and His Remarkable Descendants:
John Howland, an indentured servant aboard the Mayflower, survived an astonishing near-death experience when he fell overboard and was miraculously rescued. His legacy lives on through an impressive roster of descendants, which includes notable figures such as the Bush family, Franklin D. Roosevelt, authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, religious leaders Brigham Young and Joseph Smith, actor Chevy Chase, and over two million other Americans. In fact, it is estimated that around 35 million Americans can trace their ancestry back to the original 102 passengers who voyaged to America on the Mayflower.
3. Hollywood’s Mayflower Connection:
Did you know that several Hollywood icons have direct ties to the original Mayflower settlers? Alec Baldwin, Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Richard Gere, Katherine Hepburn, and Ashley Judd all share a remarkable ancestry linked to those early American pioneers.
4. Fleeing Dutch Influence, Not Just Religious Persecution:
Contrary to popular belief, not all Mayflower pilgrims sought refuge from religious persecution in England. Some of them were actually escaping the culturally liberal Dutch Republic, fearing its influence on their children and traditional ways of life.
5. A Thirst Brought Them to Plymouth Rock:
The Mayflower pilgrims were well-stocked for their voyage to America, with an unusual preference for beer over water. Captain Christopher Jones, commanding the Mayflower, made the decision to land prematurely at Plymouth Rock due to the ship’s dwindling beer supply. Prior to the discovery of pasteurization in 1864, beer was considered a safer choice for consumption than water, as the fermentation process offered some protection from contamination.

Behind the Scenes of ‘The Shining’: 5 Intriguing Film Facts

Delve into the mysterious world of ‘The Shining,’ one of the most iconic horror films of all time, with these five fascinating behind-the-scenes facts.

1. The iconic “Here’s Johnny” line from The Shining actually originated from The Johnny Carson Show. When Jack Nicholson spontaneously delivered the line during filming, director Stanley Kubrick almost chose another take, as he didn’t catch the reference since he had been residing in England.

2. During the filming of the well-known scene in ‘The Shining’, the production team initially used a fake door for Jack Nicholson to break through. However, they were forced to switch to a real door because Jack, who had previous experience as a Fire Marshall, broke through the fake one too effortlessly.

3. In the making of ‘The Shining’, director Stanley Kubrick deliberately distanced himself from Shelley Duvall and frequently engaged in arguments with her. Duvall had to endure 127 takes of the intense and draining baseball bat scene. As a result of the immense stress she experienced during filming, she even showed Kubrick clumps of her hair that had fallen out.

Overlook hotel

4. While Stephen King was inspired to create “The Shining” in a Colorado hotel that was slated for demolition, and the 1980 Kubrick adaptation took place in the same state, the movie’s exterior shots of the Overlook Hotel were actually captured at the historic Timberline Lodge in Oregon, situated near Mt. Hood. The lodge management asked Stanley Kubrick to avoid using room #217 from the book in the film, fearing it might discourage potential guests from staying there. As a result, Kubrick opted to use a made-up room number, #237, in the movie.

5. Danny Lloyd, the young actor who portrayed Danny in ‘The Shining,’ was carefully shielded by director Stanley Kubrick throughout the filming process. As a result, he remained unaware that he was part of a horror film until several years later. Since then, Danny has left acting behind and pursued a career as a science teacher.

Bonus fact: Stanley Kubrick received a nomination for “Worst Director” for ‘The Shining’ at the inaugural Golden Raspberry Awards, also known as the Razzies. The “honor” ultimately went to the director of ‘Xanadu.’ On two occasions, the Golden Raspberry Awards have made retractions. Bruce Willis’s Raspberry nomination was withdrawn upon discovering he was battling aphasia, while Shelley Duvall’s nomination was retracted in light of Kubrick’s mistreatment of her during the filming of ‘The Shining.’

Bob Norris: The Unsmoking Marlboro Man and the Legacy of an Iconic Campaign

Bob Norris, the very first Marlboro Man, had a chance encounter with fame when he was spotted in a photo alongside the famous John Wayne. Serving as the face of the Marlboro Man for 12 years, it’s surprising to note that Bob never actually smoked a single cigarette. As a responsible parent, he consistently advised his children against smoking. One day, when his kids questioned him about the contradiction between his job and his beliefs, he decided to leave his role as the Marlboro Man immediately.

Initiated in 1955, the Marlboro Man campaign became one of the most astonishing marketing strategies in the history of product promotion. Marlboro’s sales surged from a mere 1% to the fourth best-selling cigarette brand. Accompanying the renowned cowboy figure, the brand developed a second ‘Marlboro Man’ for advertising purposes. This character, a stylish, urban, African-American figure, was specifically designed to captivate the attention of the African-American audience.

A single creative mind, Leo Burnett, was responsible for the conception of numerous iconic advertising mascots, including the Marlboro Man, Jolly Green Giant, Tony the Tiger, Pillsbury Doughboy, and Keebler Elves, among others.

Tragically, several models who assumed the role of the Marlboro Man succumbed to smoking-related illnesses. Among them, Wayne McLaren, another Marlboro Man, passed away from lung cancer. In his final moments, he left a poignant message: “Take care of the children. Tobacco will kill you, and I am living proof of it.”

Government Cheese: A Controversial Chapter in US History

In the 1980s, the US government found itself with a massive surplus of cheese due to volatile milk production and federal support for the dairy industry. With over 500 million pounds of processed American cheese stored in warehouses across 35 states, the government struggled to find a use for it. When the public discovered the surplus, they criticized President Ronald Reagan for not distributing the cheese to struggling families.

In response, Reagan authorized the release of 30 million pounds of cheese through the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, targeting the elderly and low-income individuals. Dubbed “government cheese,” it became a symbol of hard times, with some grateful for the assistance, while others felt it stigmatized their socioeconomic status. The cheese distribution continued until the 1990s when dairy prices stabilized.

After the cheese distribution ended in the 1990s, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), the government-owned corporation responsible for the surplus, faded from the headlines. However, it resurfaced during the Trump administration when it was announced that the CCC would provide significant subsidies to offset the impact of trade wars with China, Canada, and the European Union.

In retrospect, the “government cheese” program remains a controversial and memorable chapter in US history. Some people remember the cheese fondly for the assistance it provided during difficult times, while others still associate it with the humiliation of revealing their economic hardships. The cheese itself, with its unique flavor and texture, has become a cultural touchstone, evoking memories of a challenging period in American history.

For those who have experienced the taste of “government cheese,” it leaves a lasting impression. The cheese’s flavor is often characterized as a mix between Velveeta and American cheese, evoking feelings of either humiliation or appreciation for those who relied on it for sustenance. Its distinctive pale orange hue and iconic five-pound blocks quickly set it apart from common cheddar or Camembert.