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What famous French writer was part Negro?

June 5, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

Alexandre Dumas the elder (1802-1870), author of The Count of Monte Cristo and other romantic novels, was of part Negro blood. His father, General Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie Dumas, was a mulatto, the son of a French nobleman named Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie and a full-blooded Negro woman of Santo Domingo. General Dumas took the name Dumas from …

Why are policemen called cops?

May 28, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

Cop as applied to policemen is believed to be derived from the old English verb to cop, meaning to catch, to get hold of, to nab. This meaning of cop survives in the slang expression to cop off, which signifies to grab or to make away with something sought by others. In England a policeman is still …

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What is the “codfish aristocracy”?

May 24, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

Codfish aristocracy is now often applied to persons who, lacking in real culture, make a vulgar display of recently acquired wealth. Sometimes the term is also applied to families who were once rich and who still “put on considerable dog,” but who actually are so poor that they must live economically to support their pretensions. Originally codfish aristocracy was …

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Are any Americans buried in Westminster Abbey?

May 23, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

No persons of American birth are interred in Westminster Abbey. The deans of the Abbey, however, have thus far consented to the specific recognition of three Americans of distinction. James Russell Lowell (1819-1891), poet and essayist, is commemorated by a stained-glass window in the vestibule of the Chapter House, which is known as “the cradle …

Why are the people of Georgia called crackers?

May 16, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

Cracker is applied in the South, especially in Georgia and Florida, to poor whites and hill dwellers. The term in this sense dates back at least to the time of the Revolution. Although early uses leave the origin of the term in doubt, most authorities regard it as a shortened form of corncracker, which refers …

How are death masks made?

May 11, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

A death mask is made by applying some kind of plaster, such as plaster of Paris, to the face after the skin has been treated with oil to prevent the plaster from adhering too closely. After the plaster has hardened it is removed, and into the mold thus formed fresh plaster or some other material …

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What is the philosopher’s stone?

May 3, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

A person looking for a short-cut to riches is said to be searching for the philosopher’s stone. In Poor Richard’s Almanac Benjamin Franklin said: “If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.” The ancient alchemists believed that somewhere in nature there existed a substance that would transmute all …

Why are June marriages considered lucky?

March 27, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

In the United States and Canada as well as in many other countries June is the favorite marriage month; in New Zealand and Australia as well as some other countries in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, the favorite marriage month is December. The belief that June marriages are likely to be lucky …

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Why are ship compartments called “staterooms”?

March 26, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

According to a popular story, stateroom as applied to the compartments containing the berths on a steamship originated as follows: In 1815 Captain Henry Miller Shreve, after whom Shreveport, Louisiana, was named, made the first steamboat voyage up the Mississippi and Ohio as far as Louisiana. For many years Captain Shreve had charge of the …

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Who, invented the postal card?

March 23, 2017 | Author: | Posted in General Knowledge

The use of postal cards was first suggested in 1865 by Heinrich von Stephan (1831-1897) when he was director of the Royal Prussian Post. Later Stephan became the first postmaster general of the German Empire and founded the International Postal Union, which became operative July 1, 1875, and which nearly all countries later joined. His …

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