Rumkin Trivia

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  • 2005-11-03: Dracula was based upon a nobleman named Vlad Tepes. He was the sadistic and cruel Governor of Romania during the 15th century. He was nicknamed "Vlad the Impaler" due to his nasty trend of killing his enemies by impaling them.
  • 2005-10-31: Nevada was admitted as the 36th state of the United States on October 21, 1864.
  • 2005-10-31: The first atomic bomb was detonated on the Marshall Islands on October 31, 1952.
  • 2005-10-31: The address that Freddy Kruger visited in "Nightmare on Elm Street" was 1428 Elm St.
  • 2005-10-31: The movie "Halloween" was made in only 21 days on a very limited budget.
  • 2005-10-31: The movie "Halloween" was filmed in the spring and used fake autumn leaves.
  • 2005-10-31: Michael Meyers used a William Shatner mask painted white in the movie "Halloween."
  • 2005-10-31: Jamie Lee Curtis played Laurie Strode in the movie "Halloween," which was the name of John Carpenter's first girlfriend.
  • 2005-10-31: In the movie "Halloween," the town is set in Illinois, but the cars have California license plates.
  • 2005-10-31: Vanilla Ice, the white-boy Canadian rapper, was born on Halloween.
  • 2005-10-31: Frankenstein was based on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, which was written in 1818 as part of a bet between her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Lord George Byron. (more)
  • 2005-10-31: Bobby Boris recorded "The Monster Mash" in 1962.
  • 2005-10-31: A poltergeist is a ghost that performs pranks.
  • 2004-10-28: Orson Welles' adaptation of H.G. Wells' story The War of the Worlds was broadcast on October 30, 1938. It was intended as a Halloween joke, but it caused panic in many areas because people believed that aliens were landing at Grover's Mills, NJ.
  • 2004-10-28: By the early 1970's, the U.S. public was urged to replace all candy with non-edible treats, mostly toys. Not surprisingly, this campaign was paid for by the American Toy Association. By 1977, traditional animated Halloween shows that portrayed receiving unwrapped treats, such as Charlie Brown, were dropped from network schedules.
  • 2004-10-28: In the U.S. in 1970, a 5 year old child died after eating Halloween candy laced with heroin. The media had a field day with the story and parents everywhere became terrified. What was not publicized as well is the discovery weeks later that the heroin came from the child's uncle, and it was not in a Halloween treat.
  • 2004-10-28: In the U.S. in 1974, the father of an 8 year old child alleged he died of cyanide poisoning after eating a Halloween treat. A media circus ensued. The parents even appeared on television and tearfully appealed to the world to stop all children from trick-or-treating. What did not make the headlines was that the child's father was found to have put the cyanide in the candy himself, after taking out a $20,000 life insurance policy on the child, unbeknownst to his wife.
  • 2004-10-27: Pope Gregory III moved All Saints Day to November 1st to try and absorb the pagan holidays of Samhain and Taman. Initially, it was just to honor the saints of St. Peter, but was soon adapted to include the saints of all churches under Roman rule. After Gregory tried to remove All Souls Day, it was later moved and encouraged by the Pope if it was done only in conjunction with All Saints Day.
  • 2004-10-27: Most Americans gave little thought to Halloween as an actual holiday until All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve were printed on calendars. The first year that was done, the newspapers and magazines made a big fuss about it and the number of people that celebrated grew from less than 5% to over 50% in just that year.
  • 2004-10-27: In the U.S., the city of Anoka, Minnesota, held the first city-wide Halloween celebration in 1921 with two parades, a Pumpkin Bowl, and a huge and costumed square dance. In 1922, the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania followed suit and New York City started in 1923.
  • 2004-10-26: Trick-or-Treating is an Irish tradition. Wealthy land-owners would give food to the poor people of the village on Halloween night. They believed the ghosts that came out would look favorably on them for doing so and therefore spare them from mischief.
  • 2004-10-26: The word witch comes from the Saxon word wicca, which means "wise one."
  • 2004-10-26: Black cats, those customary Halloween icons, were originally believed to be witches' familiars. They would protect the witches' powers from negative forces.
  • 2004-10-25: Halloween is said to have originated from the Druid's festival of Samhain. Dating back to 700 BC. (possibly even earlier, though undocumented), they celebrated the end of harvest and a time to honor the dead. It was celebrated on October 31st throughout France, Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales. It was believed that on the night of the festival, deceased relatives could walk the earth, and large bonfires were lit to guide the souls. Also, the Celts believed that the gods told the sun to disappear from the Earth in the fall, killing their crops and causing cold weather. To calm the gods, the Celts build bonfires and dressed up in animal costumes.
  • 2004-10-25: The Feast of Taman is the Celtic New Year celebration and it follows Samhain. It has somewhat been rolled into Halloween. Many years ago, the new year would start on November 1st and the Celts believed that if they celebrated on this day, the next growing season would be bountiful.
  • 2004-10-25: One of the festivals that have been rolled into Halloween is the Feast of Pomona. It was a Roman harvest celebration for Pomona, the goddess of orchards.
People used to worship evergreen holly as a sign of eternal life because it did not brown or die in winter. Holly is also said to represent the sun's return after a long winter. Tyler Akins <>
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