Monday, November 26, 2012

10 People I'll Bet You Didn't Know Were From New Hampshire

DISCLAIMER: Before you go "wow" at my wonderful wordsmithery, please note that I copied much of the information below verbatim from each of these people's respective Wikipedia pages. I cannot claim that the verbiage is my own. (I did, however, write this paragraph in its entirety, so feel free to "wow" at the phrase "wonderful wordsmithery" all you want to.)

1)  Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE WAS:  This doughface Democrat (in pre-Civl War terms, a "doughface" denotes a Northerner with Southern sympathies) was a congressman and later a senator prior to joining the Army and taking part in the Mexican-American War, where he attained the rank of brigadier general prior to resigning his commission to return to politics. Franklin ran for President under the slogan "We Polked You In 1844; We Shall Pierce You In 1852!" And for some reason, it worked! His presidency was ultimately ineffective and quite forgettable. President Pierce was born in Hillsborough, New Hampshire.

2)  Dan Brown, novelist

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE IS:  The bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and several other thrillers, Brown is known for writing stories which are, in essence, treasure hunts typically taking place over the course of 24 hours and featuring the recurring themes of cryptography, keys, symbols, codes, and conspiracy theories. Dan was born in Exeter, New Hampshire.

3)  Mike Flanagan, baseball player

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE WAS:  Flanagan pitched for 18 seasons in the major leagues, 14 with the Baltimore Orioles and 4 with the Toronto Blue Jays. After his long career – in which he won 167 games and struck out 1,491 batters – Mike continued working for the Orioles as a pitching coach, executive vice president of baseball operations, and color commentator (though not all of these at the same time). Reportedly depressed and distressed about financial issues, Flanagan took his own life in August of 2011. Mike was born in Manchester, New Hampshire.

4)  Alan Shepard, NASA astronaut

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE WAS:  In 1961, Shepard became the second person – and the first American – to travel in space. Ten years later, he became the fifth person to walk on the Moon. In between his only two space flights, Shepard – whose flight status was interrupted for five years by Ménière's disease, an inner-ear disease which had to be surgically corrected – served as Chief of the Astronaut Office. Alan was born in Derry, New Hampshire.

5)  Ray LaMontagne, singer/songwriter

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE IS:  Folk rock/blues singer LaMontagne's music has been compared to that of The Band, Van Morrison, and Tim Buckley, among others. To date, he has released four studio albums, including Trouble, Till The Sun Turns Black, Gossip In The Grain, and God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise. Ray was born in Nashua, New Hampshire.

6)  H. H. Holmes, serial killer

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE WAS:  One of America's first documented serial killers, Holmes designed and built a hotel in Chicago in the late 1800s specifically with murder in mind. Holmes took an unknown number of his victims from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, which was less than two miles away, back to his "World's Fair" hotel where he mercilessly slaughtered them and disposed of their bodies. Holmes would later confess to 27 murders, though the actual body count is estimated to be as high as 200, based on missing persons reports in the vicinity at that time. H. H. was born in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.

7)  Sarah Silverman, comedienne

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO SHE IS:  Comedienne, actress, writer, singer, and musician, Silverman has just about done it all during her career. Sarah's satirical comedy addresses social taboos and controversial topics such as racism, sexism, and religion. Silverman first gained notice as a writer and occasional performer on Saturday Night Live. Later, she was the star and producer of The Sarah Silverman Program. Sarah most recently performed as the voice of "Vanellope von Schweetz" in the 2012 animated film Wreck-It Ralph. Silverman was born in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

8)  Bode Miller, alpine ski racer

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE IS:  Miller is an Olympic and World Championship gold medalist, a two-time overall World Cup champion (in 2005 and 2008), and can therefore be considered to be the most successful male American alpine ski racer of all time. Bode's 33 World Cup victories also rank him among the greatest racers ever. In the 2006 Winter Olympics, Miller stirred controversy when he spoke publicly about his Olympic experience not in terms of the sport itself so much as applauding the fact that the Games offered him the chance "to party and socialize at an Olympic level." Bode was born in Easton, New Hampshire.

9)  Ronnie James Dio, rock/heavy metal vocalist

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE WAS:  Over his fifty-plus years as a musician, Dio (born Ronald James Padavona) performed with bands such as Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, as well as his own band Dio. Ronnie often flashed "the sign of the horns" while performing, the use of which he is often credited with popularizing in heavy metal music. Though the symbol is also commonly associated with occult practices, Dio claimed that it was an Italian gesture used to "ward off the evil eye." Dio was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

10)  Horace Greeley, newspaper editor

WHY YOU MIGHT KNOW WHO HE WAS:  Founder of the Liberal Republican Party and outspoken opponent of slavery, Greeley is probably best-known these days as the man who popularized the phrase: "Go west, young man." Also a reformer and politician, Horace crusaded against the corruption of Ulysses S. Grant's Republican administration while running against Grant (as a Liberal Republican, of course) in the 1872 presidential election. Despite having the additional support of the Democratic Party, Greeley lost in a landslide – which is just as well, since he died before all the electoral votes had even been counted. Greeley was born in Amherst, New Hampshire.

No comments:

Post a Comment