Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Strange But True, America by John Hafnor

September 19th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


Thanks to the author for sending this copy to review!


The richly illustrated book pulls few punches in redefining much of America’s heretofore

unquestioned folklore:

– A woman warrior of the Cheyenne tribe probably killed George Custer.

– If he hadn’t died at the Little Big Horn, Custer would have perished from advancing

arsenic poisoning associated with his favorite hobby of taxidermy.

– The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a noted Socialist.

– The Wild West’s famed “Hanging Judge” was privately against the death penalty.

– George Washington was one of two presidents killed by his own physicians. Shortly

after Washington’s death, the eminent Dr. Thornton proposed a “reanimation” of his

corpse, which had been packed in ice.

– Florida joined the Union thanks to the bite of one mosquito.

– The world’s oldest living tree was inadvertently killed by a student lover of trees.

– Dick Cheney had nothing over another sitting vice president, who not only shot but

killed an acquaintance.

I know this book is out of my normal areas of reading but when I saw the book blurb I couldn’t resist.  There were quite a few little tidbits that cracked me up.  The first half of the book goes state by state and talks about some sort of interesting story that not everyone might know about.  The second half covers a mix of shorter tidbits from various states (I notice the East and South have a lot of these, maybe since they are the oldest states?).  Some of my favorites were did you know at one time there were wild camels in America?   That made me laugh and I couldn’t believe it.  I also find things like the “bog people”, extremely well preserved bodies from ages ago found in peat bogs in Europe, interesting and I was amazed to find we had our own discoveries in Florida.  I don’t want to spoil the book so just my last favorite was about a young girl who was sent via the mail to visit her grandmother.  Can you imagine that?  If you find things like this interesting this is a great book to check out.

Posted in Books, Non-fiction

2 Responses

  1. L. Diane Wolfe

    I think I would really dig this book, too!

  2. Holly

    This one sounds fun! I love trivia.

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