Here are some dad-related facts you can use around the grill this weekend. They’re probably better than another mug or keychain anyway.
1. Halsey Taylor invented the drinking fountain as a tribute to his father, who succumbed to typhoid fever after drinking from a contaminated public water supply in 1896.
2. George Washington, the celebrated “Father of Our Country,” had no children of his own. Researchers believe that childhood illnesses may have rendered him sterile. He did adopt the two children of his second wife, Martha Custis.
3. In Thailand, the King’s Birthday also serves as National Father’s Day. The celebration includes fireworks and acts of charity and honor – the most distinct being the donation of blood and the liberation of captive animals.
4. A.A. Milne created Winnie the Pooh for his son, Christopher Robin. Pooh was based on Robin’s teddy bear, Edward, a gift Christopher had received for his first birthday, and on their father/son visits to the London Zoo, where the bear named Winnie was Christopher’s favorite. Pooh comes from the name of Christopher’s pet swan (of course).
5. Kurt Vonnegut was (for a short time) Geraldo Rivera’s father-in-law. Rivera’s marriage to Edith Vonnegut ended in 1974 because of his womanizing. Her ever-protective father was quoted as saying, “If I see Gerry again, I’ll spit in his face.” He also included an unflattering character named Jerry Rivers (a chauffeur) in a few of his books.
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