23 October 2012

Crazy homework assignments

Have you ever wondered how librarians came to know so many random facts? Or how they came to be such a wealth of information (some of it seemingly useless)? Well, I'll tell you. They give us homework assignments in school to purposefully find out random information. I'm in the midst of working on my first set of "sample reference questions" that are designed to teach me more about searching for answers and the possibilities that different sources provide. This sounds like a fun assignment right? Well, it's difficulty is precluding it from being much fun. I've been working on it all day and I still have about 4 of 15 questions left. But I have learned all kinds of interesting stuff today:
  • Did you know that that holiday we celebrate in February isn't actually called President's Day? When Congress passed Uniform Monday Holiday Bill in 1968, they debated changing the name to President's Day from Washington's Birthday, but the proposal was rejected. Even though we popularly call it President's Day, its official name is still Washington's Birthday. Also, with the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill it was arranged so that this holiday will never actually fall on Washington's birthday, it is always the week before. (and yes, I'm sending you to Wikipedia for more info, but the Encyclopedia Brittanica, didn't have as good an article about the bill.)
  • Did you know that Labor day was the original Monday holiday?
  • Did you know that the first ice cream cones were served at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904?
  • Did you know that there is an association for people who collect political ephemera and memorabilia?

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