Tolkien wrote yearly letters to his children as if they were from Father Christmas. They started off as simple Happy Christmas letters but grew more complex including a polar bear sidekick, the man on the moon, goblins, snow-elves, pictures, and he even developed an Arktik language. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
The USPS used to burn letters sent to "Santa". Now nonprofit organizations respond to children's letters on behalf of Santa smithsonianmag.com/smiths…
There is a 1000 years old Japanese poem about the fleetingness of existence, which uses each letter of the Japanese alphabet exactly once. The poem was used as a way to order the alphabet until the Meiji restauration themathesontrust.org/libr…
Today I learned about Jimmy the Crow who appeared in over 1,000 features from the β€˜30s through the β€˜50s. He was trained in an assortment of tricks, such as typing, opening letters, and even riding a tiny motorcycle. Jimmy Stewart said he was the β€œsmartest actor” on the set of It’s A Wonderful Life. wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_…
In the 1960’s, Paul Klipsch was found in his office, stripped down to his skivvies with the thermostat set to high. He was trying to determine why early calculators would quit when operated at high temperatures. He later sent a letter to the manufacturer, explaining the source of the problem. madmikesamerica.com/2010/…
Non-vowel letters of the English alphabet have official spellings (e.g. H = "aitch", Q = "cue") grammarist.com/spelling/l…
Lion Feuchtwanger, an anti-nazi German author in exile, had applied for US citizenship but the Committee on Un-American Activities scrutinized him for being a "premature antifascist". The letter confirming citizenship reached him the day after his death. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exi…
The letters in US military aircraft names follow a set nomenclature (A-Attack, B-Bomber, C-Cargo, F-Fighter, X-Experimental, etc). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/196…
A number of roman era wooden tablets were found in Hadrian's wall in 1973. They contain correspondence of soldiers stationed there, including a birthday invitation written by a woman and a letter from a soldier's mom, telling him that she sents new pairs of underpants and socks petersommer.com/blog/arch…
Helen Keller learned how to talk through the work of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Sullivan taught her by placing one of Anne’s fingers over Sullivan’s throat, one over her mouth, and one on her nose so that she could feel the vibrations of all the different letters and replicate them herself sus.org/1930-rare-footage…
Ming emperor Hongwu had a secretary flogged for writing a 17,000-word request to the emperor. However, when the flogging was carried out, the emperor had only gotten to the 16,370th word, and when the emperor finished reading it he praised it as an example of a very well-written letter. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mem…
I 1984, a boy wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan asking for federal funds to clean his bedroom after his mother called it a"disaster area". lettersofnote.com/2012/06…
From 1999 to 2009 (at minimum), the number of people killed by venomous spiders each year correlated with the number of letters in the winning word of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. This fact is deliberate illustrative example of data dredging AKA P-hacking. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dat…
In 1997 the second highest rated Chess player in America was a prisoner who played largely through letter correspondence. He was accused of inflating his rating by fixing matches against other inmates, and briefly escaped prison after bolting when permitted to attend a chess tournament. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cla…
Cigarette packaging in Australia is plain and standardized with pictures of the diseases it causes with the name of the disease in big bold letters on the front. theguardian.com/science/s…
Fred Rogers proposed to his wife Joanne via letter. When she received it, Joanne rushed to a payphone to respond. She was so nervous that when Fred answered the phone she was focused on the phone booth graffiti and greeted him by saying, "Shit." Fred laughed and she agreed to marry him. biography.com/news/mister…
In 1915 Joe Hill, the author of "Rebel Girl", was executed on a murder conviction in Utah. The evidence, used in the trial, was circumstantial, and it was thought to be a political trial. In his last letter to Bill Haywood, he was quoted "Don't waste any time mourning. Organize". encyclopedia.com/law/law-…
The subject of the Pulitzer prize-winning photo β€œBurst of Joy”, Lt. Col Bob Stirm, had received a β€œdear John” letter from his wife the same day he was released from custody as a POW. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bur…
At the request of Vanessa Bryant, the Staples Center cataloged all the items at the makeshift memorial fans made for Kobe and Gianna. Among the items were 1,353 basketballs, 14 banners, 25,000 candles, 5,000 letters, 500 stuffed animals. All the flowers were reused as mulch. nbcnews.com/news/us-news/…
Letters addressed to Santa through the USPS (that don’t already have a response letter written by a parent inside) are handled by Operation Santa where postal workers, members of the public, and organizations can "adopt" letters and respond to them or even grant the child's wishes insider.com/letters-to-sa…
The β€œn” in 7-ELEVEn is lowercase because the President’s wife thought the all-caps was too harsh and, with a lowercase letter, the logo looked more graceful. rd.com/article/7-eleven-l…
LeBron James decision to leave Cleveland to join Miami Heat was so disliked by the world at the time, that Osama Bin Laden's translator, who was being held at Guantanamo Bay prison wrote a letter to his lawyers saying "LeBron James is very bad man. He should apologize to the city of Cleveland." cbssports.com/nba/news/os…
Death from laughter is a recorded cause of death throughout history. One such instance, an English man laughed for 25 consecutive minutes at a joke on the TV show The Goodies. His widow wrote a letter to the show creators thanking them for making his last moments of life so pleasant. historycollection.co/10-p…
Sparta called itself Lacedaemon, which is why the symbol for Sparta is the Greek letter Lambda wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparta
. Children in Iceland are not allowed to have names with the letter "C" in them. All names must conform to rules of Icelandic language, which does not have the letter "C" theguardian.com/world/201…
Today I learned of β€œCow Tools,” a cartoon described as the most loathed Far Side strip ever, that confused so many readers the newspaper’s phones didn’t stop ringing for two days. The author, Gary Larson, issued a press release explaining the joke after receiving hundreds of letters. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cow…
Congressman Dan Burton attempted to launch an investigation into the letter-mailing habits of Socks, the White House Cat, and how he was funding his correspondence. mashable.com/2017/06/04/s…
The Spanish Inquisition was devoid of its own budget, meaning it depended exclusively on the confiscation of the goods of the denounced. Due to this organization and possibility of abuse, someone wrote a letter to the king saying of the inquisitors "if they do not burn they do not eat". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spa…
Mark Twain had a lifelong feud with the USPS. He called the cost of mailing letters to England "downright robbery," and remarked that "when England in 1848 invented stamps, my feelings were decidedly anti-English." atlasobscura.com/articles…
Lynyrd Skynyrd is named after a P.E. teacher called Leonard Skinner who had the band members in his class and was known for being very strict about enforcing the schools no long hair on boys policy so the band named themselves to mock Skinner and changed a few letters to avoid a lawsuit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo…
The place that hold the world record for the longest name is located somewhere on the North island of New-Zealand and has 85 letters. It’s name is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu. businessinsider.com/the-w…
British academics conducted an experiment with 6 monkeys & typewriters inspired by the famed "an infinite number of monkeys will eventually type out Shakespeare's plays" theory. After 4 weeks, the monkeys had typed out 5 pages, mostly of the letter S, then "got bored and shit on the keyboard" theguardian.com/uk/2003/m…
The Continental Congress may have considered electing a Prussian Monarch over the United States. Although widely denied by members, a rejection letter has been found in archives where Prince Henry of Prussia suggested they ask the French for a prince instead of him. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pru…
The treble clef is actually a fancy letter "g" that circles the line corresponding to the note g wikipedia.org/wiki/Clef
In 1990, Dr. Mary-Claire King discovered the human gene BRCA1 which is linked to breast cancer. Soon after, Myriad Genetics cloned and patented it. She was sent a cease-and-desist letter to stop researching it. Finally in 2013, the US Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented. hopkinsmedicine.org/resea…
The American Rock Band β€˜The Postal Service’ was sent a cease and desist letter by the United States Postal Service for trademark infringement of their name. After negotiations, the USPS allowed the band to use their name in exchange for playing a free show at their national conference. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Kanye West Cleared a Steely Dan Sample by Writing a Personal Letter to the Band ultimateclassicrock.com/k…
In April 1985, Sports Illustrated ran a story about a prospective baseball pitcher named Sidd Finch, who could throw 168 miles per hour fast ball. Eagle-eyed readers caught on immediately: The first letters in the words of the story's secondary headline spelled out "Happy April Fools' Day." si.com/mlb/2014/10/15/cur…
That the Japanese characters for letter, are the same as the Chinese characters for toilet paper. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
Following the Civil War Robert E Lee was stricken of his citizenship and had to apply for it back. Instead of the letter reaching the president it was given as a souvenir to a friend of the secretary of state. theimaginativeconservativ…
"Charlie" as used to refer to enemies in movies like Forrest Gump comes from the spoken alphabet, where the words "Victor Charlie" meant the letters VC = Viet Cong. As this was used a lot in radio communications, over time it became shortened to just "Charlie". elrelojdesol.com/en/jihad…
Getty Images, a company infamous for sending threatening letters requesting payment when their photos are used without permission, was sued for more than $1 billion in damages when they mistakenly demanded a β€œsettlement payment” from a photographer for her own work. latimes.com/business/hilt…
The reason why fake tv/movie phone numbers start with 555 is because phone companies never used that prefix. No major place names in the United States began with a combination of the letters J, K, and L (the letters assigned to the 5 key on a phone) mentalfloss.com/article/2…
Martin Luther, founder of Protestant Christianity, loved good beer - his wife, runaway nun Katharina von Bora, owned a brewery, his letters often discussed the quality of beer (hers and others'), and he often gave religious discourses at his dining table with tankard in hand npr.org/sections/thesalt/…
William O. Douglas, the longest serving US Supreme Court Justice, tried to continue serving as a Justice after his retirement. The 9 sitting Justices had to write a letter informing him that his retirement had ended his duties on the court. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wil…
After failing to elect a new Pope for 2 years, a hermit monk wrote an angry letter threatening divine punishment if one was not elected soon. They chose to elect him as Pope Celestine V. He initially refused, but after serving for 5 months, he made it legal for Popes to resign and resined. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop…
Today I learned of Operation Tamarisk, a Cold War spy op where Western agents dug through used Soviet toilet paper. In the GDR, Soviet troops weren't given TP so they used letters from home, or sometimes, military documents. In one case, British spies found a log with top-secret data on the latest Russian tank. atlasobscura.com/articles…
Mark Zuckerberg once lost a game of Scrabble to a teenager on a corporate jet. This frustrated him so much that he built a computer program to find him all the word options for his letters theguardian.com/technolog…
Today I learned about Hubert Blaine Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorff Sr who has held the longest personal name ever used. He has 26 given names, one for each letter of the alphabet, and his full surname has 666 letters. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hub…
In response to the Beatles's song "A Day in the Life" in which it was implied that the Royal Albert Hall has 4000 holes, the Royal Albert Hall sent a letter to the Beatles, heavily suggesting a change of lyrics as they viewed this claim as "particularly damaging". royalalberthall.com/about…

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