The world is full of interesting facts. For example, did you know that Benjamin Franklin was a swimmer?
It’s true, and one of his first inventions was a pair of wooden hand paddles that he used to propel himself through the water. In fact, his aquatic exploits even earned him an honorary induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
In addition, Franklin was one of the last of the Founding Fathers to come out in favor of full separation from Britain. That’s because he had lived in London for several years and so, instead he pushed for a peaceful compromise and the preservation of the empire, and once wrote that, “Every encroachment on rights is not worth a rebellion.”
Meanwhile, do you have any clue where Sitting Bull is buried? Well, if you don’t, you’re not alone.
That’s because, two days after he was killed, Sitting Bull’s body was laid to rest at the Fort Yates post cemetery. And it remained there for more than 60 years until 1953, when a Sitting Bull descendant named Clarence Grey Eagle led a party that secretly exhumed and relocated it to a new grave in Mobridge, S.D. But to this day, most people think that Grey Eagle might have dug up the wrong body.
Now, there is no doubt that John F. Kennedy was one of America’s most popular presidents. In fact, his approval rating reached as high as 80%.
But did you know that he received last rites four times in his life: in 1947 after becoming gravely ill in England; in 1951 while stricken with a high fever in Japan; in 1954 following back surgery; and on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.
In addition, Kennedy was the target of at least four assassination attempts. One barely a month after he was elected president, when a retired postal worker loaded his car with dynamite and followed the president but was arrested. And two more failed assassination plots, one in Chicago and one in Tampa, Fla., were uncovered weeks before he was killed in Dallas.
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It’s also interesting to note that Kennedy gave all of his $100,000-a-year White House salary to charity. Of course, he was America’s richest president, worth $1.1 billion. And he is the only U.S. president whose grandmother lived longer than he did.
Also, did you know that senator and presidential candidate George McGovern was a World War II combat hero?
After Pearl Harbor, McGovern enlisted in the U.S. Army as a private and quickly rose through the ranks. He became the pilot of a B-24 Liberator and flew 35 combat missions over Africa and Italy.
On one occasion, in 1944, his plane was hit by enemy fire, and McGovern guided it to a safe landing in Yugoslavia. That earned him a Distinguished Flying Cross.
Years later, historian Stephen Ambrose made McGovern a central character in his book on World War II aviators, entitled "The Wild Blue."
And did you know that it was a surfing injury that led John Wayne into show business?
It was body surfing that wrecked his shoulder and caused him to lose his place on the University of Southern California football team, along with his athletic scholarship. So he had no choice but to leave school and take a job working on movie sets, and the rest is history.