Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido

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Stupid History 21-24 May 2010

"At the end of every rainbow you'll find a pot of gold." It's something we all think about one time or another when we see a rainbow, but that's not how the original saying went. In the thirteenth century, a common saying was, "One would be as likely to find a pot of gold as to find the end of a rainbow," which makes sense. The Irish borrowed from this saying and crafted it into their leprechaun mythology.

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In 1937, consumption and sale of cannabis (as hemp for clothing and rope and in cigarette form) was illegal without the purchase of a federal tax stamp. Congress didn't think it had the authority to outlaw a plant, so they imposed a hefty tax instead. Then, to legally make marijuana illegal, Congress simply stopped issuing the tax stamp--and without a tax stamp, it was illegal to buy or sell cannabis.

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The first message sent by Morse code was, "Everything worked well," not "What hath God wrought?" That came in a later public demonstration on May 24, 1844. It wasn't even Morse's idea to send that particular memorable message--it was Annie Ellsworth, the daughter of the commissioner of patents, who suggested it.

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