It was poor Richard who said “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Is that true even today? In 1733, in a book entitled “Poor Richard’s Almanac”, Poor Richard worked hard with his little sayings to impart words of wisdom to his readers. Of course, there was no such person, Poor Richard, that was the name Benjamin Franklin wrote under. But, here’s the question – is a penny still worth anything today? Well, which would you rather have, 1 million dollars cash in hand, or 1 penny doubled every day for one month? Of course, the million in hand, right? Here’s the shocker. Receive 1 penny on day one, 2 pennies on day two, etcetera, each day doubling the day before and at the end of 30 days, will you have more than a million dollars? You’ll have almost 11 million dollars. WOW!
In 1626, a tribe of American Indians made a deal to sell some land. And the results? When a group of Dutch settlers came to the New World, America, in 1626 they settled on an island inhabited by a tribe of Indians known as the Canarsie tribe. Well, the settlers ventured to not just occupy the land, they wanted to buy it. So, Peter Minuit, representing the Dutch West Indian Company, approached the tribe’s leaders and bought the entire island for beads and trinkets valued at about $24. The island? Manhattan Island, New York. So, here’s one interesting twist to the story. Today, the real estate value of Manhattan Island is approximately 23 billion dollars. If the Indians had invested those 24 dollars at 6% interest today, they would have almost 28 billion – they could buy Manhattan Island back. WOW!
In the mid 1830’s, two sisters, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris, along with their father, started a business. What happened to the business? In 1836, Olivia and Elizabeth Norris started their own business. They each had beaus, William and James, both immigrants. Not long after, Olivia and Elizabeth married William and James and brought their husbands into the business with their convinced efforts and talents, a great business was born and within 20 years, it was a great success with sales exceeding 1 million dollars. What was the business? Who were these two men? Mr. Proctor and Mr. Gamble, ad they made soap. But they did something else – in the early days of radio, they sponsored radio dramas which came to be known as “soap operas”.
Question – what number does each person living in America have? Of course, your social security number. We all know that. But, there’s something about that number you may not know. Each person living in America is issued a social security number at birth and that number stays with that person until death. But of all your years of having that number, have you ever wondered what the code means? Ok, here goes. The first three numbers tell the government what part of the country you applied from. Each area has a designated code. The next two numbers show in code the year you applied. And the last four numbers indicated your citizens number kept on file by the government. Do you have a piece of trivia worth sharing? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re like me, as you go about your daily business, all day long you’ll see our U.S. flag. But how much do you really know about our flag. Recently, I cam across some information about the flying of our flag which I believe says a lot. For example, at what locations around our country is the flag always flown at ½ mass? Arlington Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. And when is the flag to be flown? From Reveille, usually about 6:30am to retreat, usually 5pm. But it can be flown at night if it is well lit. Finally, when can our U.S. flag be flown upside down? In only one instance – in a time of emergency it can be flown upside down as a distress signal. Which way should our flag be flying today?
We all know the colors of our U.S. flag – red, white and blue. But here’s the question, “why did our Continental Congress pick these colors”? Why are the colors of our flag, red, white and blue? Interestingly enough, the Continental Congress that made the decision left no written reason. But, later, when the same colors were chosen by congress for the Great Seal of the United States, they said why. They said, “White stands for purity and innocence, red stands for valor and hardness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice”. These are all noble qualities that any nation, any people should set as standards to follow. But, the question, “How are we measuring up”? You tell me.
It has been said that every person has a least 1-million-dollar idea, and each year billions of dollars are spent on invention ideas. But can something be invented by pure accident? In 1862, a Detroit pharmacist, James Vernon, was working to create a new beverage to help soothe a person’s queasy stomach. He was working on one mix, but then he was called to serve in the Civil War – he was gone for 4 years. When he returned, he remembered his mix and decided to taste it – it had been in storage for 4 years. It was good and had a sort of ginger taste to it – and it did work to calm an ailing queasy stomach. What did James Vernon do? He began selling the new mix as Vernor’s Ginger Ale. Wow!
In 1776, when the 56 members of that continental congress signed our American Declaration of Independence, the first to sign was John Hancock. But, when he signed that document, he signed it so big. Why? Well, some say John Hancock was an egomaniac, looking only to build himself up. He signed the way he did just to show off. But the truth is this: The King of England, King George III had already made it perfectly clear to all Americans – “Resist my rule and I will crush you”. So, eyewitnesses that day tell us that when Hancock signed his name so big, after signing, he said, “there, I guess King George will be able to read that, even without his glasses”. You see, John Hancock was not some egomaniac, he was a brave patriot willing to die for the cause of freedom and a country that he loved so very much. But the question is this: given those same circumstances, would you have signed? Think about it.