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30 Fugitive Facts

Before the internet, librarians needed a way to get quick answers to patrons' frequently-asked questions. To accomplish this, many libraries, including CPL, used a small file called a "Fugitive Fact" file. Below are 30 highlights from CPL's ready reference file:
  1. Indian Place Names — United States
    • Alabama — I clear the thicket
    • Arizona — Small Spring
    • Arkansas — Meaning--unknown
    • Connecticut — Long River
    • Idaho — Light on the mountains
    • Illinois — Tribe of men
    • Iowa — This is the place
    • Kansas — Swift wind
    • Kentucky — Land of tomorrow
    • Massachusetts — At the great hill
    • Michigan — Great water
    • Minnesota — Sky-colored water
    • Missouri — Meaning--unknown
    • Nebraska — Flat water
    • New Mexico — after Aztec war god
    • North Dakota — Friends
    • Ohio — Great river
    • Oklahoma — Red people
    • Oregon — Meaning--uncertain
    • South Dakota — Friends
    • Tennessee — Meaning--unknown
    • Texas — Friends
    • Utah — High in the mountains
    • Wisconsin — Gathering of the waters
    • Wyoming — Upon the great plain
  2. Radio: Frequencies (1992) for Mobile Radio Station
    621.384 E: The TAB handbook of radio communications. In appendix - back of book
  3. Vice President — U.S. (of American Indian origin)
    Q: What U.S. vice-president was part American Indian?
    A:
    Charles Curtis (under Herbert C. Hoover, 1929-1933)
    Source: Encyclopedia Americana
  4. Baby Shoes — Copper Plated
    600 S.
    Sweeney, K.M.
    Formula, methods, tips & data for home and workshop
  5. Cousins
    All right, take a look at your family tree. You grandmother had two daughters. They are sisters. They each married and had one son each. Those boys are first cousins.
    Each of those boys married and had a daughter. Those daughters are second cousins. But what relation is the man to his cousin's daughter? They are first cousins, once removed. That is, they are first cousins, but a generation apart — thus, once removed.
  6. Equestrian Statues
    Four feet on ground = Soldier died a natural death
    One forefoot raised = Soldier died of wounds
    Two forefeet raised = Soldier killed in battle
    Detroit News 9-22-44
  7. Ergotism
    Q: What is 'ergotism' and what is its connection to the Salem Witch Trials?
    A: a fungus
  8. Canton — Origin of Name
    REF 977.433 Michigan History
    Bastian, M.
    Time in its flight
    p. 9
  9. Michigan — Highest Mountain
    Group helps Mt. Arvon reach new heights [Detroit News, 6/29/1992, page 1B]
    By Tom Greenwood
    Although it wouldn't rate a Sherpa's second glance, Michigan has a new mountain to look up to.
    The Michigan Department of Transportation has announced that Mt. Arvon, in the northwest Upper Peninsula, has replaced Mt. Curwood as the state's mightiest peak.
    By one whole foot.
    Actually, "peak" is stretching it. At 1,979 feet, Mt. Arvon is more like a woodsy mound.
    We previously listed Mt. Curwood as 1,980 feet tall, when actually it's 1,978 feet tall," said MDOT cartographer Dennis Knudsen.
    "Mt. Arvon checks in at 1,979 feet, so now that's the tallest mountain in the state. And we have the Highpointers Club, from Mountain Home, Ark., to thank for that bit of information."
    The Highpointers, a group whose goal is to climb each state's highest point, learned of the discrepancy through the government's latest geological survey data — obtained from satellites with laser imaging. The group wrote MDOT about the error.
    Mt. Curwood was named for Michigan writer/naturalist James Oliver Curwood, a popular adventure novelist. The source of Arvon's name remains shrouded in mystery.
    Sort of like the view from its peak.
    "When you get to the summit, you're surrounded by woods, so there's nothing to see but trees," said Lee Haynes, district field manager for the DNR.
  10. Time
    "A.M./P.M. in regard to noon & midnight." from: 428 Bernstein. Dos, don't of English language.
    A.M., P.M.
    (The correct time.) If one minute before noon is written "11:59 A.M." and one minute after noon "12:01 P.M.," is 12 noon written as "A.M." or "P.M."? Neither; you write it as either "12 noon" or simply "noon." You could make it "12 M.," with the "M." standing for the Latin meridies or noon, but that is not customary. Midnight is written as either "midnight" or "12 P.M. midnight." Incidentally, if you are speaking of one minute later than 11:59 P.M. Saturday, it's midnight Saturday, not midnight Sunday. "Midnight" belongs to the expiring day, not the new one.
    12/80 DS.
  11. Bats
    What is a baby bat called?
    Answer: According to the University of Michigan School of Natural Science it has no specific name [note: this is actually untrue. Baby bats are called pups.]
  12. Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
    And now, again, the Four Horsemen ride through the skies of Asia, where their richest pasturage has always been found. They grow sleek, the brothers War, Famine, Pestilence and Death, on the blood of multitudes, on the starved bodies of little children. Their horses tread the way of hatred, and it leads them around the world.
  13. Great Lakes — Number of Gallons In
    Answer: 67 Trillion Gallons [note: According to numerous online sources, the Great Lakes actually contain 6 quadrillion gallons of water.]
  14. Pig Latin
    First letter of a word and add it to the end of a word and add a long ay.
    Example: Sandra = Andra-say
  15. Child Restraint System
    a.k.a. Child seat belt law
    To see the law itself look in
    Michigan Public and Local Acts
    1981 Act #117 page 722
  16. Erin Go Bragh
    Means "Erin (or Ireland) forever."
    Was an ancient battle cry of the Irish
  17. Fish — United States
    What is the dominant species of fish in each state?
    REF 973.03 W
    Worldmark Encyclopedia of the States
  18. Gallimore, James
    Q: Who was James Gallimore? (Gallimore School named after him)
    A: He was the Director of the Plymouth School Board who donated a lot of money to the Plymouth Schools in the 1940s and 50s
    Source: Canton Historical Society
  19. Hawaiian Alphabet
    How many letters in the Hawaiian alphabet?
    Answer: 12
  20. Irish Blessing
    May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again may God hold you in the palm of his hand.
  21. John R Street (Detroit)
    Q: Who is the street John R (in Detroit) named after?
    A: John R. Williams, mayor of Detroit
    Source: Burton Historical Library (DPL)
  22. Michigan — Local Government
    Counties — 83
    Cities — 265
    Townships — 1245
    Villages — 266
    School Districts — 579
  23. Michigan — State Mammal
    [Ann Arbor News 6-11-97, via The Associated Press]
    Whitetail deer will be state mammal
    LANSING — The whitetail deer will become Michigan's official state game mammal now that Gov. John Engler signed a bill Wednesday for which a classroom of Zeeland elementary school students had lobbied.
    The students traveled several times to the state capital to lobby lawmakers, and were there when Engler signed the bill among the deer, geese, and peacocks at the Potter Park Zoo.
  24. One Dollar Bill
    How much does it cost to manufacture one $1 dollar bill?
    Answer: A little over 2½ cents
    Source: Bureau of Engraving, Washington D.C. (2-27-1991)
  25. Palindromes
    Words spelled the same forward and backward.
    e.g. civic, level, radar, rotor, madam, tenet, refer
  26. Petitions
    Q: Where can you obtain a petition?
    A: Wayne County Clerk Office
  27. Plymouth — Altitude
    728 ft. above sea level
    Latitude 42 N 22
    Longitude 83 W 28
  28. "RCA" Dog
    What is the name of the dog in the RCA logo?
    A: Nipper
    Source: REF 338.74 E (Index Table) Everybody's Business
  29. Round Table (King Arthur)
    Dimensions: 20ft interior diameter, 21 ft height, 28 ft out diameter
    King Arthur by Norma L. Goodrich
  30. Tongue, Length of
    Average length of human tongue (from the tip to the larynx)
    Male: 7.3 centimeters
    Female: 7.2 centimeters
    Source: Taubman Medical Library, University of Michigan