Tag Archives: World War II

Jackie Coogan: Uncle Fester Was Kind of a Badass

“Holy shit, I can’t believe I got killed by Uncle Fester.”

~An Actual Murderer

coogan

“Actors aren’t as tough as they used to be” sounds like a sentence you’d hear an angry old man shouting from his porch, possibly to children gliding down the sidewalk on Heelys.  But there is some truth to it.  Sure, a lot might have to do with the times we live in, but it’s easy to forget that Hollywood wasn’t always full of glamour and George Clooneys.  The Golden Age of Hollywood was pretty much fueled by animal deaths on set and carefully regimented drug cocktails forced upon strung out teenage actresses off it, and if you managed to pull through that minefield relatively successful and sane, then you had to be made of some pretty solid stuff.

We mention that because while we (correctly) look back at groundbreaking actors such as Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, and Humphrey Bogart as visionaries and badasses, there’s one actor who probably was the toughest son of a bitch to step in front of a camera (yes, we know that list includes Danny Trejo) if for no other reason than the fact that his childhood, we’re pretty sure, was haunted.  Which probably helped him prepare for the role of Uncle Fester.

Yes, we’re going to talk about Jackie Coogan, who could totally beat you up.

Jackie Coogan:  Uncle Fester Was Kind of a Badass

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AFFotD Book Review: 1943’s “You’re Going To Employ Women” by the US War Department

“Holy…welp, the 40’s were…a different time.  Goddamn.”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt

you're going to employ women

Wow.  Just look at that for a second, everybody.  Let it really sink in.  Don’t worry, there’s a reason behind it.  We’ll get to that in a moment.

While it’s easy to assume that AFFotD exists as a singular location for all the fatty food and alcohol adoration articles you can hope to find from a website whose logo prominently features a shotgun toting Grizzly Bear, we occasionally do read.  Shocking, we know.  Sometimes, a book even strikes our fancy enough that we decide to do a full-scale book report on it (usually because they’re short and don’t employ any metaphors).  Books are important, and not always because they get turned into much better, easier to digest movies.  Okay, most times they are, but sometimes, books can teach us about ourselves.  Or, in this one particular case, they can teach us to be embarrassed by ourselves.

Yes, that last link takes us to the 1943 War Department pamphlet, “So You’ve Decided to Hire a Woman and Train Her Like a Monkey or a Seeing Eye Dog to do Simple Tasks” (we may have taken some liberties with the misogyny we interpreted from the title).

Yup, it was a different time for the Greatest Generation.  All the men had gone to war, and all the dogs had gone to war, so all the women had to be counted on to make things.  The horror!

Anyway, fasten your seat belt, and prepare your “cringing at now comically outdated and borderline-offensive beliefs of the past” face, as we review this sumbitch for you.

AFFotD Book Review:  1943’s “You’re Going To Employ Women” by the US War Department

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Archibald Roosevelt’s Knee Fought For Freedom

“Well, you know what they say about us Roosevelts.  We have powers and we can destroy you with a thought.”

~Teddy Roosevelt

We at America Fun Fact of the Day have enjoyed bringing you our series on Teddy Roosevelt’s children, Teddy’s Tots.  You’ve learned so far about Alice’s pet snake, Teddy Jr.’s storming of Normandy with a cane, Kermit’s desire to explore Indiana Jones settings, and Ethel’s humanitarianism.  It’s safe to say that every Roosevelt child was able to be exceptional in his or her own special way.  Which is why, before we address the impressive achievements of Archibald Roosevelt, the fifth of six Roosevelt children, we must protest the sorry state of his Wikipedia entry as of the writing of this fun fact.

We like our Americans like we like our women- strong, empowered, and easily looked up on Wikipedia (here’s looking at you, Barbara Bush).  That’s why we shudder to think that the writer of Archibald Roosevelt’s early life section is either illiterate or, worse, foreign.  Just look at this screen grab.

We mean, come on Wikipedia editors, this is a Roosevelt we’re talking about here.  Listen, we’re no fans of grammar here, but we at least try to avoid sentances that make you feel like you’ve had a stroke when you read them out loud.  Honestly, “Growing up Archie was very close to his brother Quentin and favorite of all times”?  Do you mean to say that Archie was closer to his younger brother Quentin more than his other siblings?  “But Ted Jr. for Ethel would tell their mother, Edith, and she would be in big trouble for that”?  Uh…we can’t even piece that out.  Do you understand?  Our editor in chief is related to the person you are talking about in this article and even he doesn’t know what’s going on!

“As for his smartness, Archie was an avid reader and very smart at putting puzzles together pretty fast and such”?  Okay now you’re just fucking with us, Wikipedia.  Is this because we won’t listen to your founders “passionate plea” for donations for the third time in four years?  You know what, we don’t want to dwell on this, it’ll just ruin our day, so why don’t we just cut right to the good stuff with this, part 5 of our 6 part Teddy’s Tots series…

Archibald Roosevelt’s Knee Fought For Freedom

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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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The Civil War’s Most Glorious Mustaches

“Prrrrfftt plabber prrrftt sorry my glorious mustache was in my mouth, you see.”

~Ambrose Burnside

Every great war leaves behind a cultural legacy.  The Vietnam War spurned on counter-culture and PTSD.  World War II developed and hardened the so-called “Greatest Generation.”  The Korean War led to M*A*S*H*.  The impact of these conflicts have been scorched into our memory, making irreplaceable connections in our minds.  So, while we were riffling through the Smithsonian website looking for blueprints (we heard they have the Fonzie’s jacket there, and we fucking want it) we stumbled across this little item regarding the Civil War.  Because, when you think of the Civil War, clearly the one thing you associate with it is slavery glorious facial hair.

We were going to do a fun fact on the importance of office safety, ever since we had to send [REDACTED] to the hospital when he started shouting, “GONZO JOURNALISM” and licking our supply of poison arrow frogs, but really, we figure this is more important.  So, let’s rate some facial hair, everyone.

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Chuck Yeager is Faster Than Sound

“Listen, if this plane probably won’t explode in the air, why the hell do you want me to fly it?” 

~Chuck Yeager

America is a land of advancement through the idiotic risks of others.  If someone hadn’t ignored “conventional wisdom” and eaten tomatoes when they thought it was poisonous, where would we get our pizza sauce from?  If Neil Armstrong had been worried about the very real threat of Carnivorous Moon People, we wouldn’t have the most famous example of someone fucking up a prepared speech in the history of the world (seriously, “one small step for A man,” get it right.)  If Sam Adams hadn’t gotten drunk and decided to make a bunch of people throw tea in a harbor, we wouldn’t know what to call his beer.  Dumb decisions always work out for you if you’re an American, but someone has to have the parachute-sized sack to go out and make those dumb decisions.  One of those men is renowned testicular giants was Chuck Yeager, test pilot.

That smile means he just shot down a German fighter

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Chewing Gum, Surprisingly American, Reliably Delicious

“Chewing gum is a lot like heroin, since both are incredibly enjoyable.”

~William S. Burroughs


 Chewing gum is an enigmatic American invention.  While it combines ancient history, American ingenuity, and tooth decay, it is not considered to be as awesomely American as alligator wrestling or cage matches (or any combination of the two).  But, in reality, chewing gum is an underappreciated yet surprisingly American commodity.

First, ask yourself a question.  Who makes chewing gum?  Wrigley’s of course.  And where do the Chicago Cubs, America’s most American loveable losers play?  Wrigley Field.

Did you know:  Those two are named after the same fucking guy.

Once you pick up the pieces of your exploded cranium, the America Fun Fact of the Day presents to you…

Chewing Gum:  More American than your immigrant grandparents

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John Wayne’s Pretty Darn American, Pard’ner

“Well listen here, pardner, she was just a stripper, she had no family, she can just disappear…”

~John “Marion” Wayne

In the classic song, “A Boy Named Sue,” Johnny Cash tells the story about a boy who had been given the unfortunate first name of “Sue” by a deadbeat father who he had never met.  Throughout the course of this epic piece of American music, Cash describes how the boy named Sue was forced to fight his way through school, due to the ridicule he received for his name, until he grew up to be a hardened man who could take on anyone.  Little did Johnny Cash know, but he was actually describing the story of another famous American who was born with a girl’s name.

That man would be Marion Mitchell Morrison, a.k.a. John Wayne.

This is the look of a man who has had sex with women he shares the same name with

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John F. Kennedy: America’s Most Fertile President?

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask…hey, who’s the blonde?”

~John F. Kennedy

It is a sad but simple truth that not all of our American heroes live a full life.  Some are fixed in the cosmos, shining beacons of glory, while others pass through like a shooting star, all-too-brief, but spectacular for its short time among us.  And sometimes, a shooting star will see another shooting star and bone it.

John F. Kennedy was one of those sex craved  shooting stars.

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