Now You Know
Why do we say,“I heard it through the grapevine”?
During the American Civil War, a Colonel
Bee set up a crude telegraph
line between Placerville and Virginia City
by stringing wires from trees.
The wires hung in loops like wild grapevines,
and so the system was
called the “Grapevine Telegraph,” or simply
“the grapevine.” By the time
war news came through the wires it was often
outdated, misleading, or
false, and the expression “I heard it through
the grapevine” soon came to
describe any information obtained through
gossip or rumour that was
Where did croissants, or crescent rolls,
In 1683, during a time when all the nations
of Europe were at
war with each other, the Turkish army laid
siege to the city of
Vienna. The following year Poland joined
Vienna against the
Turks, who were ultimately forced to lift
the siege in 1689. As a
celebration of victory, a Viennese baker
rolls, or “croissants,” copying the shape
of the crescent Islamic
symbol on the Turkish flag.
During the American War of Independence,
which country contributed the most soldiers
to fight alongside the British?
The country that contributed the most soldiers
to fight with the British
against Washington was America itself. By
1779, there were more
Americans fighting alongside the British
than with the colonists.
Washington had about thirty-five hundred
troops, but because onethird
of the American population opposed the revolution,
up to eight
thousand loyalists either moved to Canada
or joined the British Army.
What exactly is a last-ditch stand?
In the sixteenth century, when an army attacked
a walled city or
fortress, they would advance by digging a
series of trenches for protection
until they were close enough to storm the
walls. If there was a successful
counter-attack, the invaders would retreat
by attempting to
hold each trench in the reverse order from
which they had advanced
until they might find themselves fighting
from the “last ditch.” If they
failed to hold that one, the battle was lost.
Where did the expression “the whole nine
yards” come from?
During the South Pacific action of the Second
World War, American
fighter planes’ machine guns were armed on
the ground with .50 calibre
ammunition belts that measured exactly twenty-seven
feet, or nine
yards, in length before being loaded into
the fuselage. If, during mortal
combat, a pilot gave everything he had by
firing all his ammunition
at a single target, it was said he’d given
it “the whole nine yards.”
From The Book Titled "Now You Know"
by Doug Lennox