By Samantha Weaver - Weekender Wire Service

Strange but true: This president only gave three speeches during his presidency

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It was Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and biographer Carl Sandburg who made the following sage observation: “Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands, and goes to work.”

• Boon or bane? While DDT was first synthesized in 1874, it wasn’t until 1939 that Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Muller discovered its insecticidal properties. DDT was so effective in curbing the spread of insect-borne diseases such as malaria and yellow fever that in 1948, Muller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. However, with the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring,” the devastating environmental effects of widespread DDT use led to an eventual ban in the United States.

• You might be surprised to learn that, aside from his inaugural addresses, Abraham Lincoln gave only one speech during his entire presidency: the Gettysburg Address.

• In Venice at one time, every merchant who traveled to the Orient was required by law to bring back a piece of art and donate it to St. Mark’s Cathedral.

• It was all the way back in 1837 that modern multinational corporation Proctor and Gamble was founded, by candlemaker William Proctor and soapmaker James Gamble. During the Civil War, the company supplied candles and soap to the Union Army, in the process introducing its products to soldiers from all over the country.

• Those who study such things say that there are more possible iterations of a game of chess than there are atoms in the known universe.

Thought for the Day: “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist!” — Martin Luther King Jr.

Reach Weekender at [email protected]

By Samantha Weaver

Weekender Wire Service

Reach Weekender at [email protected]