Opinion

Moments in Time

The History Channel

• On March 30, 1820, Anna Sewell, author of “Black Beauty,” is born in Norfolk, England. “Black Beauty,” first published in 1877, was the first significant children’s story in the English language to focus on animal characters and was was made into a movie at least three times.

• On March 27, 1912, in Washington, D.C., the wife of President William Taft and the wife of the Japanese ambassador plant two Yoshina cherry trees near the Jefferson Memorial. After World War II, cuttings from the trees were sent back to Japan to restore the Tokyo collection that was decimated by American bombing attacks during the war.

• On March 29, 1927, Major Henry O’Neil de Hane Segrave becomes the first person to break the 200-mph barrier. Driving a 1,000 horsepower Mystery Sunbeam, Segrave averaged 203.79 mph on the course at Daytona Beach, Fla.

• On March 26, 1937, Crystal City, Texas, unveils America’s first monument to a comic-strip hero when a 6-foot-tall statue of Popeye is unveiled in Popeye Park during the city’s second annual Spinach Festival.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

By Samantha Weaver

• Studies show that the average visitor to the crown jewel of the United States national park system spends just 15 minutes actually looking at the Grand Canyon.

• The next time you’re drinking to someone’s health, you can tell your fellow imbibers that the word “toast” originated in ancient Rome. It was the custom there to put a small piece of spiced and burned bread into a cup of wine in order to absorb any sediment and improve the drink’s taste.

• Experts on ants claim that the insects hate vinegar.

• It was American novelist, short-story writer and essayist Flannery O’Connor who made the following comment on her craft: “Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.”

• Those who study such things claim that hot water weighs more than cold water does.

(c) 2008 King Features Synd. Inc.

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