It’s not hard to find interesting or useful facts when you crack open a book in the library.
Let’s see what fun facts Joel found when he browsed through the Reference stacks.
Charles Boycott’s name became famous overnight in the summer of 1880. He was the agent for absentee landlords in County Mayo [Ireland]. To bring in the harvest, he relied on local tenants, but he offered wages so low that summer that they refused to work. A series of confrontations ensued, culminating in the aggrieved tenants calling on everyone to have no dealings with Boycott or the members of his family. An American newsman publicized the use of the term boycott to describe this activity. FROM: Bulls, Bears, Boom, and Bust: A Historical Encyclopedia of American Business Concepts, p. 140-141. (REF HF3021.D59 2007)
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and other laws pertaining to NSA restrict its eavesdropping to foreign communication. The legislation has been interpreted to mean that one end of the communication can be in the United States – as long as the other end is in another country. The targeting of Americans is prohibited and, if any Americans’ names are picked up in the intercepts, the names must be deleted from transcripts and cannot be passed on to the CIA, FBI, or other government agencies. FROM: SPY BOOK: The Encyclopedia of Espionage, 2nd Edition, p. 465. (REF JF1525.I6 P65 2004)
Mormon pioneers set up camp in Florence, a small settlement north of Omaha in the winter of 1846-1847. Six hundred residents died during the harsh winter; the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery today contains a monument by sculptor Avard Fairbanks that marks this tragedy. Florence, later annexed by Omaha, served for years as a Mormon way station in the westward journey to Utah. FROM: The Encyclopedia of Nebraska, p. 154. (REF F666.E53 1999)
Unlike many other authors of celebrated novels, Bram Stoker lived a simple, conventional life. He was better known for his work as actor Henry Irving’s theater manager than for his literary efforts, even in his own time. By the later half of the 20th century, few people could even say who created the evil Count Dracula. The count had a life of his own, but the man who gave birth had been nearly forgotten. Today Stoker is one of the most written about and celebrated authors of horror fiction. FROM: The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters, p. 263. (REF BF1556.G86 2005)
Before G.I. Joe, no dolls were produced in America specifically for boys, and Joe’s manufacturers were careful to market him not as a doll but as a foot-tall “action soldier” and “America’s Moveable Fighting Man.” His rugged face, which bore a scar on the right cheek, was based on a composite of 20 Medal of Honor winners, and he was fully jointed with 21 moving parts that enabled him to crouch, salute and assume protective postures. FROM: Cold War Culture: Media and the Arts, 1945-1990, p. 123. (REF E169.12.S39 1998)
Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than Books, V. 20 No. 3, Summer 2017.