Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became the first non-Italian pope in 455 years on October 17, 1978. He was inaugurated six days later in a mass at St. Peter's Square, becoming John Paul II.
Mark Twain referred to the accordion as the "stomach Steinway."
Irving Berlin never learned to read music or to write it. He hummed or sang his songs to a secretary, who wrote them down in musical notation.
Ginger Rogers' famous backstage mother, Lela, was a marine sergeant during World War I.
Ten percent of men are left-handed and eight percent of women are left-handed.
Pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck's real name is Arnold Dorsey.
Married Catholics continue to be sexually active as they age: 50 percent of them have sex at least once a week when they are 55 years old or older, compared with 40 percent for other faiths.
Isaac Asimov wrote more than 500 books during his lifetime (1920-1992). He has the honor of being the only person who has authored a book in each of the Dewey Decimal System classifications.
Texas state commissioner of agriculture Jim Hightower, in a speech to the Dallas Chamber of Commerce in March 1986, and which was printed in the New York Times, declared the following: "The only difference between a pigeon and the American farmer today is that a pigeon can still make a deposit on a John Deere."
Pope John XXIII served as a sergeant in the Italian army during World War I.
Martha Jane Burke, better known as Calamity Jane, was married twelve times.
Goldie Hawn is a direct descendent of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence.
The 1990-91 edition of "Who's Who in America" contained 10 lines about former president Ronald Reagan. There were 28 lines devoted to his wife, Nancy.
Pope Julius II set the time of his coronation in 1503 according to astrological calculations, despite the fact that the church during the Renaissance frowned on the occult as bordering on heresy.
Martha Washington was referred to as "Lady Washington." Mary Todd Lincoln was the first presidential wife to be referred to as "The First Lady
Isaac Newton dropped out of school when he was a teenager, at his mother's request. She hoped he would become a successful farmer.
Goldie Hawn was a dancer until she was spotted in the chorus line of a 1966 Andy Griffith special. Her first acting role was as a gossipy neighbor in the one-season comedy series, Good Morning, World in 1967. From there, Hawn went to Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and stardom.
The Amish speak a dialect they call "Mudderschprooch" (Pennsylvania Dutch).
Popular American writer, Dr. Seuss, coined the word "nerd."
Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States, was the first to be born a citizen of the United States. He was born in 1782, six years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
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