How Did You Know Katie Wnuk?

First, a hearty congrats to the several dozen of you who got all the answers correct this month. As always, thanks for all the little notes of encouragement in your emails... I'm glad you enjoyed the latest trivia hunt. Also as always, a couple of you really impressed us with your answer gathering strategies and information recording techniques. We'll be in touch about some consolation prizes shortly.

Now on with the big news: We have a new champion and a new record! Katie Wnuk from Plover, Wisconsin, took this week's How Did You Know? in just under 2 minutes, shattering the previous record of 9 minutes and securing the gold crown (if only...).

Congrats and best of luck defending your title next month during the next How Did You Know? Remember: if you can hold onto it for two more months, you'll win our grand prize!

I'll post Katie's answers and logic after the jump, but first a little about our winner:

Growing up in Wisconsin, in the city which holds the record for the world's largest annual trivia contest, I've always had a fondness of random facts and trivia games. I'm a Junior at the University of Wisconsin, trying to earn a potentially useless liberal arts degree in French. In my free time I love reading, playing video games with friends, and spending time with my cat and pet mice. I also have a wonderful boyfriend Aaron whose immense knowledge contributed greatly to my answers to this month's contest.

Thank you so much!

Day Five
1. sport
2. defense
3. control (CL is chlorine, knew)
4. ball
5. Baseball

The only major American sport where the defense controls the ball is BASEBALL.

Day Four
1. Geriatric (all discovered with sheer brain power)
2. Control
3. Battery
4. Umbrella
5. Toys
6. Slang

[ed note: we also would have accepted popgun or toy gun for #5]

Day Three
1. A Cinderella Story, knew
2. Cinderella Man, googled "cinderella+fight+movie" "“ first hit "“ matched movie posters
3. Cinderfella, wikipedia "Cinderella" - Adaptations "“ films "“ matched movie posters
4. Ever After, knew
5. The Glass Slipper, wikipedia "Cinderella" "“ Adaptations "“ films "“ matched movie posters

Day Two
1. Monty Python's Flying Circus, Defense Against Fruits, knew
2. 5 min Life Videopedia, Fire Without Matches or Lighter, title given
3. 5 min Life Videopedia, 5 min Chess Tips with Igor & Gleb, title given
4. The Autumn Defense, "Winterlight," title given
5. The Fountainhead, searched for "the confession of Peter Keating" which led to the Fountainhead, IMDB confirmed

Video 2 is not like the others which all deal with "defense"
1. "defense" against fruits
3. chess "defense" moves, specifically the Sicilian Defense
4. song by the Autumn "Defense"
5. Peter Keating's "defense" at his trial

Day One
1. Coach Carter, googled first line of the quote, found author was Marianne Williamson, wiki-ed her which linked to Coach Carter
2. Heaven Can Wait, searched "Joseph Pendleton" in characters on IMDB which linked to Heaven Can Wait
3. Bad News Bears, knew
4. The Big Lebowski, knew
5. Wimbledon, knew, IMDB confirmed

Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington Library in San Marino, California
The Concept of the American 'Backyard' is Newer Than You Think
A home in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
A home in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington Library in San Marino, California

Backyards are as American as apple pie and baseball. If you live in a suburban or rural area, chances are good that you have a lawn, and maybe a pool, some patio furniture, and a grill to boot.

This wasn’t always the case, though. As Smithsonian Insider reports, it wasn’t until the 1950s that Americans began to consider the backyard an extension of the home, as well as a space for recreation and relaxation. After World War II, Americans started leaving the big cities and moving to suburban homes that came equipped with private backyards. Then, after the 40-hour work week was implemented and wages started to increase, families started spending more money on patios, pools, and well-kept lawns, which became a “symbol of prosperity” in the 1950s, according to a new Smithsonian Institution exhibit.

A man mows his lawn in the 1950s
In this photo from the Smithsonian Institution's exhibit, a man mows his lawn in Long Beach, California, in the 1950s.
Maynard L. Parker/Courtesy of The Huntington
Library in San Marino, California

Entitled "Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Back Yard," the exhibition includes photographs, advertisements, and articles about backyards from the 1950s and 1960s. The traveling display is currently on view at the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum in Temple, Texas, and from there it will head to Hartford, Connecticut, in December.

Prior to the 1950s, outdoor yards were primarily workspaces, reports. Some families may have had a vegetable garden, but most yards were used to store tools, livestock, and other basic necessities.

The rise of the backyard was largely fueled by materials that were already on hand, but hadn’t been accessible to the average American during World War II. As Smithsonian Insider notes, companies that had manufactured aluminum and concrete for wartime efforts later switched to swimming pools, patio furniture, and even grilling utensils.

A family eats at a picnic table in the 1960s
A family in Mendham, New Jersey, in the 1960s
Molly Adams/Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Maida Babson Adams American Garden Collection

At the same time, DIY projects started to come into fashion. According to an exhibit caption of a Popular Mechanics article from the 1950s, “‘Doing-it-yourself’ was advertised as an enjoyable and affordable way for families to individualize their suburban homes.” The magazine wrote at the time that “patios, eating areas, places for play and relaxation are transforming back yards throughout the nation.”

The American backyard continues to grow to this day. As Bloomberg notes, data shows that the average backyard grew three years in a row, from 2015 to 2017. The average home last year had 7048 square feet of outdoor space—plenty of room for a sizable Memorial Day cookout.

[h/t Smithsonian Insider]

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