Today in History: November 1

“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”—President John Adams

On this date in 1800, President John Adams moved into the newly built, but still unfinished, White House. The rooms were damp and drafty. He arrived unannounced with two aides to see the building.

The historian David McCullough describes The White House in 1800: “The immense house was still unfinished. It reeked of wet plaster and wet paint. Fires had to be kept blazing in every fireplace on the main floor to speed up the drying process. Only a twisting back stair had been built between floors. Doors were missing. … Later, supper finished, Adams climbed the backstairs candle in hand and retired for the night.”

During his second day in his new reidence, he wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, which included the above words, which were cut into the mantlepiece of the State Dining Room during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, and remain there.
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Today in History: October 1

Years after the event, Babe Ruth recounted his “called shot” of October 1, 1932, as something planned almost from the start of the at-bat, the game, his life.

What certainly took place is this: with the New York Yankees tied with the Chicago Cubs 4-4 in Game 3 of the World Series, Ruth came to the plate in the fifth inning, and after two strikes, he held up his hand and pointed … somewhere.

At the pitcher? At the Cubs dugout? Towards center field?
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Zing! Went the Strings of My Wallet

In honor of #NationalCoffeeDay: ‘Zing! Went the Strings of my Wallet’ by The Gad About Town. #Starbucks #PSL

The Gad About Town

“But what is it?” my friend asked.

I repeated what I had just said: “It’s a Starbucks ‘Caramel Apple Spice.'” (I think I even said “Starbucks,” even though we were at that moment sitting in a Starbucks and we certainly knew where we were, because it is impossible to mistake a Starbucks for any other anything. But sometimes when I open my mouth, an advertisement flies out.)

“Yes, but caramel apple spice what? Coffee? Tea? Soup?”

I did not have an answer. What is it indeed? “I don’t think it’s coffee.” I fell back on the charm of insane repetition, something I have not perfected over the years: “Its a Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice,” and I used my eyebrows to tell my friend that she wanted her own cup of one, too. (Picture Groucho Marx.)

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