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The Quick 9: Nine Capitals of the United States

Washington, D.C., hasn't always been the political center of the United States. In fact, nine different cities across the country have served as the nation's capital at one point or another, even if only for a day (and technically, some of them can't be called capitals of the United States, but the capital of the colonies). Here they are:

carpenter1. Philadelphia, Pa., was the very first capital. The First Continental Congress had to meet in Carpenters' Hall (pictured) from September 5 to October 26, 1774, because Independence Hall was being used by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Philly has been home to Congress sessions on six separate occasions, making it the most frequent U.S. capital (although not the longest-used one).
2. Baltimore was briefly the capital when the Continental Congress decided it would be best to get out of Philadelphia since the British were coming, the British were coming!! (Sorry.) They thought Baltimore might be a good temporary home, but they were wrong: one delegate rudely called the town "an extravagant hole." They returned to Philly as soon as possible, but didn't stay for long. By September, the situation was taking a turn for the worse again"¦

3. Lancaster, Pa., has the distinction of being capital for merely a day. On September 27, 1777, the Continental Congress was forced to flee Philadelphia because the British had forced them out during the American Revolution. They met for just a single day before moving even farther away from the redcoats"¦

4. York, Pa. York is actually where the Articles of Confederation were drafted. York sometimes declares itself the First Capital of the United States because the Articles of Confederation are the first known legal documents to actually refer to the colonies as "the United States of America." The Declaration of Independence uses the phrase as well, but some historians say it wasn't a legal document at the time because the colonies were still under British rule.

nassau5. Princeton, N.J. "“ specifically, Nassau Hall "“ hosted the Congress of the Confederation from July through October 1783. Princeton University says that while Congress was here, they "congratulated George Washington on his termination of the war, received news of the signing of the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain, and welcomed the first foreign minister—from the Netherlands—accredited to the United States. The reason why Congress adjourned to Princeton is pretty interesting: they were mobbed at Independence Hall by a bunch of soldiers demanding payment for the Revolutionary War. Instead of paying them, Congress elected to move from town to town for the next few years.

6. The Maryland State House in Annapolis served a similar function from November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784, and a couple of historic events took place here: George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army, and the Articles of Confederation were ratified (although the latter was actually done a couple of years prior to Congress occupying the State House).

7. Trenton, N.J., would have been my choice of capitals just based on where the Congress of the Confederation held their meetings: the French Arms Tavern. But don't think that our early politicians were just slacking off an enjoying a pint or two "“ the building really was the most suitable based on its size. One historian called it "The handsomest and most commodious house in Trenton in its day." The handsomest and most commodious house in its day now houses a Wachovia Bank.

federal hall8. Federal Hall in New York City was home to Congress for a total of about four years. It's where Washington had his inauguration as the first President of the United States. In fact, when the First United States Congress met there in 1789, the first thing they did was tally the votes that would declare Washington Commander in Chief. In turn, Washington declared that a permanent housing solution for the frequently-traveling lawmakers was in order. You can still see Federal Hall to this day, by the way "“ it's on Wall Street and there's a big statue of George out in front. The Bible he was sworn in on is still there.

9. Washington, D.C. Finally, in 1790, the Residence Act was passed. This gave Washington the freedom to pick a spot for the permanent capital and allowed him to give builders 10 years to complete the job. He chose D.C. for its spot on the Potomac and to somewhat appease James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, who wanted a more southern location for the capital than New York, which is where they had been meeting for several years prior.

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10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes
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iStock

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.

1. THEY’VE BEEN AROUND SINCE THE 17TH CENTURY.

While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.

2. A GERMAN IMMIGRANT BROUGHT THE TRADITION TO THE STATES.

It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.

3. THEY HAVEN’T ALWAYS BEEN STRIPED.

Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.

4. THEY’RE A (RELATIVELY) VIRTUOUS HOLIDAY TREAT.

Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.

5. THEY DON’T ALWAYS FIT ON A CHRISTMAS TREE.

The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.

6. EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN WAY OF EATING THEM.

Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.

7. MORE THAN A BILLION ARE MADE EACH YEAR.

According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?

8. A PRIEST PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THE CANDY’S MOVE TO MASS PRODUCTION.

Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.

9. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN (ODDLY-TIMED) HOLIDAY.

December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.

10. THE PROCESS FOR MAKING THEM BY HAND IS MESMERIZING.

Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

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10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films
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1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.

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