Things We Didn’t Know, From Elvis Presley To Civil War Porn And Paul Revere

The Long March
U.S. Library of Congress


  • The Civil War “created an unprecedented demand for erotica,” according to a book review in the July issue of the Journal of Military History. A young infantry officer named Anthony Comstock came home from the war and campaigned for laws against shipping porn in the mail.
  • “Colonel” Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager, was actually born in the Netherlands, came to America as an undocumented alien, then enlisted and deserted from the U.S. Army. Supposedly Presley never played overseas (aside from a few shows in Canada, for which no passport was then needed) because Parker was afraid to apply for a passport for fear of being nabbed on the desertion rap.
  • One of the more impressive Naval aviators of World War II was the well-named Apollo Soucek. He had a brother named Zeus, like him a hotshot Navy pilot.
  • The U.S. Navy in 1934 had 5,790 commissioned officers. In 1945 it had 325,074.
  • The first CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) was Capt. William S. Benson, who was named to the job in 1915. He told his subordinates that in combat, “Time is everything, never waste it, keep ahead of it, deny it to the enemy.” Sounds like he was no slouch.
  • When Paul Revere died in 1818, his obituary in the Boston Intelligencer and Weekly Gazette made no mention of his midnight ride.”

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