It’s the little things that show up in our research that are often the most intriguing.
For reasons we can’t seem to remember, our Research Department found itself pursuing Washington, D.C.’s Evening Star of October 6, 1932. We found an interesting article concerning the adoption of a baby girl by Hollywood couple Frederic March and Florence Eldridge. There was also a piece about how Peter “Dynamite Pete” Cunniff was abandoning his career as a bomber because he “wasn’t getting any place” despite placing more than 200 bombs.
Then, almost as an afterthought, is a little snippet entitled “School Holds Girls for Debt.” There we learn:
Because parents failed to pay the fees for pupils in a school for girls in Torda in Transylvania, the school managers have sent notice to the parents that the pupils would be returned as soon as the school bills are paid. Most of the fathers are government employees, and they replied that they would be glad to settle as soon as they received their salary,
which is a year in arrears. All fathers declared that the school could keep the girls if it would take good care of them.
Despite our best efforts, we were unable to find any additional information about this situation. We don’t know how long it took (or if it ever happened) for the girls to be returned to their parents. Based upon the sentiments expressed in the final sentence, we suspect that some of the girls might still be in the school’s custody today, ninety years after the article was printed.
For several weeks in 1927, the residents of Santa Ana, California were glued to their newspapers, eager to learn the latest details of possibly the most curious case in Orange County legal annals. The case in question culminated in a three-day trial in county court. What was it that garnered multiple newspaper headlines and monopolized…
We are frequently asked where we get our ideas for Commonplace Fun Facts. The question suggests a scarcity of interesting topics. In reality, the bigger challenge is “what NOT to write about.” The research for nearly every article sends something to the “Future Article Ideas” folder. Nothing is more likely to generate ideas than a…
A headline is designed to capture the reader’s attention and draw him or her into the story. Sometimes that happens in entirely unexpected ways. Take a look at some of the most hilarious headlines to have graced the newspapers.