Oh, Say Did You Know?: The Secret History of America's Famous Figures, Fads, Innovations and Emblems, from Ben Franklin's Turkey to Obama's BlackBerry

Overview

With wit and charm, Oh Say Did You Know serves up 300 intriguing events and ideas that helped shape the United States. Gain valuable insight into the intricacies of every period of American history, from colonial days to the historic election of the first African American president. Five chapters cover a variety of topics, including government, politics, economy, commerce, science, education, innovation, medicine, daily life, and arts and entertainment.

Myth-debunking sidebars ...

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Oh, Say Did You Know?: The Secret History of America's Famous Figures, Fads, Innovations & Emblems

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Overview

With wit and charm, Oh Say Did You Know serves up 300 intriguing events and ideas that helped shape the United States. Gain valuable insight into the intricacies of every period of American history, from colonial days to the historic election of the first African American president. Five chapters cover a variety of topics, including government, politics, economy, commerce, science, education, innovation, medicine, daily life, and arts and entertainment.

Myth-debunking sidebars and fun tidbits about lesser-known historical figures are dispersed throughout the book, along with lists such as "Cup o'Canary, Wench!" (long-forgotten drinks serves in colonial taverns) and "America's Ten Highest-Grossing Movies" (from Gone With the Wind to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs). Whether you're a history buff or a lover of miscellany, you won't be able to get enough of these fascinating anecdotes. You'll find engaging tales and facts, including these examples:

*"Gambling in the Colonies"-Gambling was a fact of life in early America, and the governments of all 13 colonies used lotteries to help finance road building and numerous other public projects.

*"The Costly Epizootic of 1872"-Less than a decade after the Civil War, a fast- moving equine influenza swept down from Canada into the United States, crippled virtually all of the nation's horses, and left the economy in ruins.

*DIDN'T HAPPEN sidebar: "Betsy Ross's Flagging Reputation"-Sheer hearsay put Betsy Ross into history books as the person who designed the American flag. The more likely designer was Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

*OUR NATIVE TONGUE sidebar: "Atomic Slang"-Words and terms coined in the early years include go ballistic, more bang for the buck, blast (a great party) and bombed (seriously inebriated). REVIEW

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606520352
  • Publisher: Reader's Digest Association, Incorporated, The
  • Publication date: 9/3/2009
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred DuBose, a native Texan, is a writer, editor, and book developer in New York City. He served as an editorial director of Reader's Digest Illustrated Reference Books and is the author of an eclectic collection of books with subjects as varied as the tomato, grandparents, cooking, and wine.

Martha Hailey, a journalist who has lived and worked in Belgium and Australia, is a former film critic and advertising executive. Now living in her native Tennessee, she is the author of a number of books, including an Edgar- nominated critical history of women writers of detective fiction.
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