Tag Archives: World War I

The American Life of Smedley D. Butler

“No.  Seriously.  I won’t lose.”

~Smedley Butler Playing a Game of Bullshit

smedley butler

We recently wrote an article that focused on the Medal of Honor—mainly, how the military’s highest honor, now given only to acts of almost impossible levels of valor, was sort of tossed around pretty willy-nilly in the years after the Civil War and before World War I.  In that discussion, we briefly mentioned a U.S. Marine named Smedley Butler, who straight up tried to turn down his first Medal of Honor (yes, he was later awarded a second one) because he didn’t think he deserved it.  We then came to realize that Smedley Butler, a badass with a kind of funny first name, isn’t really well known to the casual American—hell, we had only sort of stumbled across his career by accident.

And that’s some bullshit, because Smedley Butler died as the most highly decorated Marine in U.S. history, and served 34 years where he managed to collect medals, tropical diseases, and tactics for tricking the enemy like it was his job.  Well, it sort of was his job, he was a marine, but you get the picture.

So allow us to spend three thousand words or so gushing about Smedley Butler, The Fighting Quaker.

butler and his dogs

Ha ha, holy shit, this picture.

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The History of Doughnuts (Or Donuts. Or Whatever)

“I don’t care how it’s spelled, it’s delicious, give me more.”

~Webster’s English Dictionary

doughnuts

If you’ve ever had a donut from Dunkin’ Donuts or a doughnut from Krispy Kreme or a Canadian bump into you and apologetically hand you a free cup of coffee at a Tim Hortons, you’re well familiar with North America’s favorite fried ring-shaped treat that sometimes isn’t ring-shaped at all.  While we our never 1s to be stickelers for speling, there does seem to be a dispute on if we should call it a “doughnut” or a “donut.”  Doughnut seems to be the original term used all over the world, while donuts originated in America, which uses both terms interchangeably.  At the end of the day, we don’t care, because doughnuts (donuts) are delicious (yummy) and that’s true no matter what you call them.

But with doughnuts becoming increasingly popular, both in their native form and in the creation of ridiculous sandwiches, it’s time for us as Americans to take a step back and look at the history of our favorite deep fried sugar capsules.  Which is why we present to you…

The History of Doughnuts (Or Donuts.  Or Whatever)

all the donuts

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Harry Randall Truman: Unsuccessful Volcano Dodger

“Volcano Schmolcano.”

~Harry Randall Truman

 harry randall truman

Harry Truman was born in 1884.  He served in World War I before going into politics, where he became the 33rd President of the United States.  He held that office from 1945 to 1953, and he died at the age of 88 in 1972 in Kansas City, Missouri.  Harry Randall Truman was born twelve years later in West Virginia, also served in World War I, and went on to live a pretty similar life to his presidential namesake, only instead of leading the free world, he lived in a cabin near Mount St. Helens with 16 cats and got buried under hundreds of feet of mountain debris after stubbornly refusing to leave his home during the nation’s deadliest volcano eruption.  So, they’re pretty much the same dude.

And while there are hundreds of books about President Truman, there’s less literature on Harry Randall Truman, the man who became famous for a few months for saying, “Fuck you, volcano, come at me, bro,” until the volcano, you know.  Came at him.  Bro.  So let’s take a moment to recognize a proud American who loved his home while failing to fully comprehend how volcanoes worked.

Harry Randall Truman:  Unsuccessful Volcano Dodger

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Alvin C. York: The Rambo of World War I

“Okay, you got me, I might not be 100% on the definition of ‘pacifist.’”

~Alvin York

If there’s one thing to learn from the respective budgets and box office grosses of Terminator compared to Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it’s that sometimes the sequel is going to get more press than the original.  Such was the case with the World Wars.  While World War I was a massively horrific war, with over 15 million deaths, it tends to get overshadowed by World War II (which killed off 2.5% of the freaking world’s population).  So when we hear war stories, there tends to be a focus on the “Teddy Roosevelt’s son storming Normandy” and less on the “holy shit there were battles in World War I with nearly two million casualties” side of things.

But while World War II made for more daring tales of American badassery, we wouldn’t be doing our nation’s history justice without mentioning one of the arguably most famous American veterans of World War I.  That would be Alvin C. York, the former (boo) alcoholic (yay!) Sergeant who ended up being one of the most decorated American soldiers in the whole war.  Because while he considered himself a man of peace, as you can clearly tell, his moustache alone could clear an enemy machine gun nest.

That’s why we’re here to salute…

Alvin C. York:  The Rambo of World War

Boom.  Ladies, if you just stared into the eyes of this picture, you are now six months pregnant. 

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Ethel Roosevelt Derby: Nurse, Philanthropist, and Preserver of the Roosevelt Legacy

“I decided to sire a child every time I killed an elephant.  I’m sure my wife was glad that there were only six elephants in American zoos at the time.”

~Teddy Roosevelt

As you’ve seen in our three previous articles about the children of Teddy Roosevelt, the man did this country a service by creating a miniature army of super Americans.  Roosevelt children defied gender roles, stormed Normandy into their 50s, and navigated mysterious Amazonian rivers like it was nothing.  So as we continue our ongoing Teddy’s Tots series we look into the Roosevelt Daughter who shied away from the limelight…and in doing so still ended up being the first Roosevelt to show up for World War I.

Because you do not fuck with the Roosevelts.

Ethel Roosevelt Derby: Nurse, Philanthropist, and Preserver of the Roosevelt Legacy

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Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.: Businessman, Soldier, Politician, Badass American. So, Basically, His Father’s Son

“Let’s be honest.  You’d be more surprised if I had a kid that DIDN’T go on to do anything worthwhile.”

~Teddy Roosevelt

As we’ve discussed previously in our fun fact regarding Teddy Roosevelt’s surprisingly attractive daughter Alice, Teddy Roosevelt made it his duty to ensure that America had at least 6 carriers of the Teddy Roosevelt gene going around to make the world awesome.  Teddy Roosevelt’s children were blessed with advantages that many of us could only dream of.  Impressive moustache growing abilities.  The strength of five men.  The knowledge that it was physically impossible to be bullied during your childhood because every time someone tried to punch you, a mythic force known only as “Roosevelt Waves” would shatter every bone in the hand of the would-be attacker.

While some Roosevelts used this advantage better than others, they all still have given us enough reason to write about each and every one of them as we continue our series of Teddy’s Tots with a fun fact discussing Teddy Roosevelts second oldest child, and his eldest son.  All hail the man with the name that could open a thousand doors…

Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.:  Businessman, Soldier, Politician, Badass American.  So, Basically, His Father’s Son.

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April Fools, a History of Pranks

“Ha!  Your meatloaf has ground up glass in it!  April Fools’!”

~The World’s Best Prankster (now serving 25-to-life at a Federal Penitentiary)

Enjoy the seizures

The America Fun Fact of the Day office loves April Fools’.  That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to those of you who started reading while anxiously waiting for a terrifying monster face to pop up on the screen like those pranks that terrify little children on the youtube videos.  You, the reader, don’t have to be too concerned about any pranks in today’s post of course- we save most of our energy messing with local law enforcement and personal enemies.  Though, we did contaminate one batch of California grown spinach with a pretty nasty case of E. Coli, so next time you want to make spinach dip, and you start feeling like you need to go to the hospital, then April Fools’!  Ha ha!

Is it worth the risk?  Probably, that shit’s delicious

So don’t worry about being pranked while reading this, unless you’re reading this while peeling open a fresh naval orange (just one poisoned batch, that’s all it takes to panic the shit out of people).  And the ambulances might be tied up, depending on where you are, since most of our local branches have been performing “Shit the Joker did in The Dark Knight” type “pranks” all day long, so the emergency crews are going to have their hands full.  God, we love this day.

Ha haaa!

But we are not here to cause mischief to you, loyal readers.  In fact, we’re here to give you…

The America Fun Fact of the Day Guide to April Fools’ Day:  A History

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Ernest Hemingway Punches With His Writing Hand

“For me, bullfighting is much like driving.  I’m much better at it when I’ve been drinking.”

~Ernest Hemingway

American writers are a difficult group to pin down.  They can be champions of American virtues, the AFFotD-approved freelancers who punch bears and write sonnets, or they can be Dan Brown.  For every Mark Twain, there’s a Stephenie Meyer (who AFFotD staffers had to look up the name of several times by googling “that chick who wrote those shitty vampire books.”)  But when discussing American authors who were American, the entire AFFotD staff agreed that if there is a gold standard for American badass writers, the list would have to start with one Ernest Miller Hemingway, a writer so righteously American that, when we accidentally started to spell his name with two M’s instead of one, the ghost of his beard apparated and kicked Chuck Palahniuk so hard in the genitals that his balls penned a short story deriding materialism in society.

That’s right, Hemingway’s beard’s ghost is American enough to indirectly pen a short story good enough to get published in the New Yorker.  Not that we can say we were surprised.   Come on.  Look at that thing.

And with that look, seven French women just became impregnated.

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The American History of Teddy Roosevelt

“Shit shit shit, guys, it’s Teddy Roosevelt.  We’re fucked.”

~Cuba, 1898

While America has produced its fair share of mutant supermen, only one of the nation’s past presidents was actually allergic to electricity, due to the metallic nature of his testicles.  A man who once cut another man in half by blinking at him.  A man who didn’t like Spaghetti because it was “Too Italian”, so he only subsided on hamburgers and his enemies’ fears.  That man of course, is Theodore Roosevelt.

“Hi.  Do NOT fuck with me”

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