Party at the White House! The Time the Roosevelts Threw a Toga Party

Becoming President of the United States of America comes with a certain set of expectations regarding decorum and diplomacy. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that the 44 men who’ve held the position knew how to party—and how to handle their haters.

Despite his public health struggles, Franklin D. Roosevelt was no exception on either count. While in office, the Democrat regularly entertained guests over cocktails, smoked, and threw an annual birthday bash to reunite with his campaign staff and close advisors, known affectionately as the “Cuff Links Gang.”

In 1934—only a year into his presidency—Roosevelt was under scrutiny from conservatives who called him a “dictator.” The president and first lady, Eleanor, responded by turning FDR’s 52nd birthday party into a “Caesarian” themed bash (what a non-head of state might call a toga party).

That year, on January 30, the White House hosted past and present staff, as well as friends, who all dressed to the nines in accordance with the cheeky theme. FDR played Caesar, Eleanor was the Delphic Oracle, and Louis Howe, longtime adviser, dressed as a Praetorian Guard. Marion Dickerman, a suffragette and friend of Eleanor’s, wore a muslin toga garment that is now at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

It looked like quite the affair.


This Just In
Fictional Place Names Are Popping Up On Road Signs in Didcot, England

Driving along the highway in Didcot, England, you may notice something strange: the road signs point the way to places like Neverland and Middle-earth.

The names of these and other fictional locales from literature were seamlessly added to road signs by an artist/prankster using Transport Medium, the official font of British road signs.

After some sleuthing, BBC News found the man responsible, who spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity. He told the BBC that he's been orchestrating "creative interventions" all over England for about 20 years under different pseudonyms, and that this project was a reaction to Didcot being labeled "the most normal town in England" in 2017, which rubbed him the wrong way. "To me there's nowhere that's normal, there's no such thing, but I thought I'd have a go at changing people's perceptions of Didcot," he said of the town, which he describes as a "fun" and "funky" place.

Oxfordshire County Council isn't laughing; it told the BBC that although the signs were "on the surface amusing," they were "vandalism" and potentially dangerous, since it would be hard for a driver who spotted one not to do a double take while their eyes were supposed to be on the road. Even so, thanks to routine council matters, the signs are safe—at least for now—as the Council says that it is prioritizing fixing potholes at the moment.

Jackie Billington, Didcot's mayor, recognizes that the signs have an upside. "If you speak to the majority of people in Didcot they're of the same opinion: it's put Didcot on the map again," he told BBC News. "Hopefully they'll be up for a couple of weeks."

There are five altered signs in total. If you fancy a visit to the Emerald City, you're pointed toward Sutton Courtenay. Narnia neighbors a power station. And Gotham City is on the same route as Oxford and Newbury (and not, apparently, in New Jersey, as DC Comics would have you believe). If you want to go see the signs for yourself before they disappear, you'll find them along the A4130 to Wallingford.

See the signs here and in the video below.

[h/t BBC News]

Prepare to Be Stumped By This Math Problem Meant for Fifth Graders

Math is hard. Just ask Mumsnet user PeerieBreeks, who posted a ‘simple’ math riddle meant for fifth graders to the parenting website, and ended up with more than 500 comments—many of them from adults struggling to come up with the correct answer. Here’s the riddle:

For the most part, the problem-solvers who shared their answers all believed that the man made a profit, but whether it was $10, $20, or $30 seemed to be in hot dispute. Can you figure it out? (Scroll down for the answer. We’ll give you a minute …)






The wording of the riddle, not the math, seems to be what’s throwing most people off. Because the transactions in question relate to the same horse, people are looking at it as a single, four-part transaction—buys, sells, buys, sells. But the correct way to look at the problem, and figure out the answer, is to look at it as just two transactions: a man bought a horse and sold a horse. A man bought a horse and sold a horse. (The man could just as easily have bought and sold a dog in one of those transactions and it wouldn’t change the outcome.)

All of which is to say that the correct answer is: The man made a $20 profit.


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