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Old 12-07-2015, 08:49 AM   #1
statler
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Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

A certain forum member (we won't name names) enjoys regaling fellow members in threads with seeming random bits of trivia and historical tidbits. As a service to that member (and to the rest of us), I figured we could have one thread dedicated to these wonderful antidotes so that they will have there own home and so they won't get lost in project threads.

Did You Know: There was once a molasses flood in Boston!

Did You Know: The Harvard Bridge is measured in Smoots!

Did You Know: There is a spot on the BU Bridge where a plane can pass over a car which is passing over train which is passing over a boat!

Did You Know: Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado was possibly based on a story he heard while serving at Castle Island!

Did You Know: The bridge over the lagoon in the Public Garden was once the world's shortest suspension bridge!

Did You Know: The title Boston Brahmin is based on the Hindu caste system where a Brahmen is a member of the highest caste!

So that's just few to get us started. Feel free to add your own.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:22 PM   #2
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

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As a service to that member (and to the rest of us)
You're doing the Lord's work here. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:23 PM   #3
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

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You're doing the Lord's work here. Thanks.
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Old 12-07-2015, 03:50 PM   #4
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

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Originally Posted by statler View Post
A certain forum member (we won't name names) enjoys regaling fellow members in threads with seeming random bits of trivia and historical tidbits. As a service to that member (and to the rest of us), I figured we could have one thread dedicated to these wonderful antidotes so that they will have there own home and so they won't get lost in project threads.
So you're saying that this thread is the antidote to the anecdote?
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

D'oh! I'll leave that there as a monument to my eternal shame.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:35 PM   #6
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

This is a well-worn recitation, but, it's worth pointing out for the umpteenth time how much of Boston's trivia, myth, legends and stories converge at 60 Tremont Street:

--Parker House: where Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh served as busboys
--Parker House: inventor of the Boston Cream Pie
--Parker House: where the first American performance of Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' took place
--Parker House: where John Wilkes Booth stayed a week before assassinating Lincoln
--Parker House: where JFK had his bachelor party, proposed to Jackie Kennedy, and announced his run for Congress
--Parker House: where James Michael Curley brawled in his ward heeler days
--Parker House: site where the Saturday Club (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Charles Sumner, etc.) convened

I'm sure one could go on and on and on. It's highly likely that the Secret Six, who financed John Brown's Harpers Ferry raid, hung out at the Parker House, given its proximity to the Park Street Church and Tremont Temple Baptist Church. In a sense, then, the Parker House was Boston's true Cradle of Liberty--where the Revolution of 1776-83 was finally redeemed by the wild-eyed abolitionists who ignited the Revolution of 1861-65.
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:33 AM   #7
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

I've never been able to verify whether this is true or not, but there's an old railroad story that a home run (depending on the teller of the story, often off the bat of Ted Williams) cleared the Monster and ended up in a passing freight car - and was found in a freight yard in New York.

The tracks are exactly 500 feet from home plate, the same as Williams' 502-foot record. If the ball cleared Landsdowne, it could have bounced along the rooftop before falling onto the tracks.
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:11 PM   #8
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

Maybe common knowledge but I heard for the first time that debris from the Great Fire of 1872 was used for landfill along Atlantic Avenue.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Boston_fire_of_1872
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:19 AM   #9
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

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It has been discovered that on the extreme left of the façade front of the new [Boston] Public Library building are chiseled in tablets the following names: Moses, Cicero, Kalidasa, Isocrates, Milton, Mozart, Euclid, Æschylus, Dante, Wren, Herrick, Irving, Titian, Erasmus. These names form an acrostic, the first letters spelling the names of the firm of architects which has furnished the plan for the building. A representative of the architects [McKim, Mead and White] says he can assign no reason for it except that it was ‘a prank of some of the boys in the office.’ Three of these names, Dante, Milton and Titian, appear on the other tablets and in their proper places. This duplication is another proof that the acrostic was intentional.

– The Critic, June 4, 1892
(After a public outcry, the inscription was removed.)
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:33 PM   #10
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

Question: Is it true about that one point on the BU Bride being the only spot in the country (world?) where a plane can pass over a car which is passing over a train which is passing over a boat?

It seems like all you would need is a train truss under a car bridge over a body of water which can't be that uncommon.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:21 PM   #11
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

Yeah, that's an old myth. There are a number of double-decker bridges with rail on the lower deck.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:50 PM   #12
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

If subway counts as train, then the Manhattan Bridge jumps to mind. Or the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge.

You could have plane over car over boat over train (Orange Line) at the Zakim bridge.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:58 PM   #13
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Re: Boston's Trivia, Myths, Legends and Stories

Turns out we had the first UFO sighting, back in 1639!
http://www.celebrateboston.com/ufo/f...o-sighting.htm
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