Fred L. Worth's Collection of Fun and Bizarre Trivia Part 2

A collection of random facts and fun trivia from oddity hunter Fred L. Worth including trivia about Sherlock Holmes, the Congressional Medal of Honor and the show Paladin.


Fred L. Worth's 10 Best Oddities

7. Literature. There is an endless list of books written about Sherlock Holmes, the greatest detective in fiction. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had no idea what a boon to the world of literature and trivia his creation would be. We all know that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson lived together in 221B Baker Street (in between the good doctor's marriages), but how many lovers of Sherlock Holmes know how many steps led up to Sherlock Holmes's second-floor apartment? The answer: 17.

8. Awards. The Congressional Medal of Honor, our country's highest award, was first awarded to six Union soldiers in the Civil War. Two presidents' sons have won the award--Webb Hayes and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Smedley D. Butler had the medal bestowed on him twice. Others who have won the award are Alvin York, Eddie Rickenbacker, James Doolittle, Audie Murphy, Billy Mitchell, and Charles Lindbergh. Two civilians who have won the award are George M. Cohan and Bob Hope. Now, with that background we come to the heroes of fiction. What two characters in fiction were presented the Medal of Honor by their creators? The answer--Doc Savage and Capt. James Tiberius Kirk.

9. TV. Paladin, the lonely drifter played on radio by John Dehner and later on televison by Richard Boone, had never been known by any other name but Paladin. His card, which read "Have Gun Will Travel, Wire Paladin, Hotel Carleton, San Francisco," began the joke that his first name was actually Wire. Not until 1972 did this Shelley-and-Yeats-quoting gunfighter, who resided in San Francisco's Carleton Hotel (room 314), finally reveal his identity. When Richard Boone began his new TV series on the Sunday Mystery Movie as the sheriff of New Prospect, Okla., he finally confessed that he, Hec Ramsey, was known as Paladin in his younger days. So there it is. Paladin is actually Hec Ramsey--"Wire Hec Ramsey, New Prospect, Okla."

10. Children. Some of the greatest authors of our time for various reasons wrote children's tales. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, wrote Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang. Upton Sinclair, Pulitzer Prize winner and creator of such earth-shattering works as The Jungle, wrote the Gnomobile for his granddaughter. Bongo the Wonder Bear who rides a unicycle in a number of movie cartoons was created by Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner Sinclair Lewis. An interesting footnote: All the stories or characters mentioned have appeared in movies. Walt Disney filmed all but Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, which United Artists made.

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