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  • 2011
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    • May
      • Ted Williams - baseball player for the Boston Red Sox
        Ted Williams had a reputation for having a disagreeable personality. Once when he was checking into a hotel under the false name of "G.C. Luther" the clerk asked him if he was really Ted Williams. Williams denied it and they went on to have a pleasant conversation about fishing. The clerk

      • Mae West-American actress (1930's)
        One friend of Mae's was overwhelmed when she saw a string of pearls around her neck."Goodness, Mae," she responded, "where did you get those pearls?" "Nevermind," countered Mae, "but you can bet goodness had nothing to do with it."

        When asked

      • Xerxes--King of Persia
        While retreating from Greece aboard a Phonecian ship, a dangerous storm blew up. The ship was overloaded with Persians and it looked as though the ship would sink. Xerxes asked the pilot if there was anyway to survive and was told that the ship's load must be lighted substantially. On hearing t

      • Prince Felix Yusupov--conspirator in the murder of Rasputin in 1916
        MGM produced a film called Rasputin and the Empress. They sought to avoid legal action by Prince Yusupov, so they changed his name in the film to Prince Chegodieff. Surprisingly, Prince Yusupov sued the film company for neglecting to give him credit for his role in Rasputin's murder. He won th

      • Mark Twain's pious remark
        Once a notoriously tough businessman told Mark Twain, "Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the Ten Commandments aloud at the top." Disgusted, Twain replied, "I have a better idea. You could stay at home in Boston and keep them.&

      • President Truman and his economists
        Tired of conflicting views from economists, Harry expressed his frustration and joked, "All my economists say, 'on one hand...on the other.' Give me a one-handed economist!"

      • Leon Trotsky--Russian Revolutionary
        Having emigrated to Austria during World War I, Leon Trotsky spent much of his time playing chess at the Cafe Central. Many viewed the Russian as docile, quiet man who kept to himself. In March of 1917, when told that revolution had broken out in Russia, the Austrian foreign minister could not belie

      • Prince Philip-Husband of Queen Elizabeth II

        Early on in their marriage, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were crossing the water to Vancouver Island in Canada. The weather was unsettled and the ship was rocking violent. Just as a young petty officer arrived in the royal suite, the ship lurched and the tray of tea cakes he was holdin

      • Leo Tolstoy - practical pacifism.
        Tolstoy was a great pacifist and was once lecturing on the need to be nonresistant and nonviolent towards all creatures. Someone in the audience responded by asking what should be done if one was attacked in the woods by a tiger. Tolstoy responded, "Do the best you can. It doesn't happen v

      • Franklin Delano Roosevelt and tedious small talk
        Roosevelt was often bored by the tedious small talk that was required of him at social functions. He often felt as if those with whom he conversed were seldom paying attention to what was said. To prove his point, sometimes Roosevelt would begin a conversation by saying, "I murdered my grandmot

      • Raphael (Italian Artist and Architect) responds to criticism.
        Once while working on a frescoe in the Vatican, Raphael became irritated by the constant criticism coming from a couple of observing cardinals. One complained that, "The face of the apostle Paul is far too red". Raphael answered back, "He blushes to see into whose hands the church has

      • Edgar Allan Poe: gross neglect of duty
        In 1831, Edgar Allan Poe was allegedly expelled from West Point for neglecting the dress code during public parade. It is said that he mocked the dress instructions by appearing naked, with a rifle over his shoulder, wearing a white belt and gloves. He was released from the academy for "gross n

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