A friend in my Facebook presidential trivia group said something today, one of those things I knew but never thought about, that made me say “Wow!”: When did the last Democratic president die? Do you know?
That’s not today’s question, it just made me decide that today is a presidential trivia question. Can you rank the political parties by order of the number of presidents they claimed? Here’s a hint: there are more than two.
Yesterday’s question was: The entertainment industry gives a slew of awards. We have the Oscar and the Emmy for movies and television, the Tony for stage plays, the Grammy for music, the Hugo, Edgar, and Pulitzer for literature, and scores more. Do you know who (or what) those seven are named for? And which organizations, specifically, do the awarding? How about when they were first awarded?
The answers are:
Oscar: more properly known as the Academy Award of Merit, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences began handing them out in 1929. The Academy officially adopted the nickname “Oscar” in 1939, though its origin is disputed. Claims of its origin include then-president of the Academy Bette Davis naming it after her husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson. Another story claims that Academy executive secretary Margaret Herrick said it reminded her of her Uncle Oscar (Oscar Pierce).
Emmy: The Emmy Award is presented by three related organizations: the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. They were first awarded in 1949. The name is a derivation of the word “immy,” itself a nickname for the image orthicon tube, which was a key piece of television cameras from the 1940s until the 1960s.
Tony: More formally known as the Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, they are presented by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League, and have been since 1947. The awards were founded by producer and director Brock Pemberton (1885–1950) and named for Mary Antoinette “Tony” Perry (1888–1946), who was an actress, director, and co-founder of the American Theatre Wing.
Grammy: Originally called the Gramophone Award (named for the early record player which the award trophy depicts), they have been presented by the Recording Academy since 1959.
Hugo: Originally and more formally known as the Science Fiction Achievement Awards (in the early 1990s, they dropped the longer title), they are awarded by vote of the members (attendees) of the World Science Fiction Convention. They were first handed out in 1953, and then every year since 1955. Their namesake, Hugo Gernsback (1884–1967), was born as Hugo Gernsbacher in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg. He emigrated to the United States in 1904, and founded the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926.
Edgar: More formally known as the Edgar Allan Poe Awards, they were named after the American writer (1809–1849), and have been awarded by the members of the Mystery Writers of America since 1946.
Pulitzer: The Pulitzer Prize was established in 1917 under the provisions of Joseph Pulitzer’s will. Pulitzer (1847–1911) was born in Hungary, and immigrated to the US in 1864. He is best remembered as the publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York World. He also served two brief terms in the House of Representatives. The Pulitzer Prizes (for journalism, literature, and musical composition) are administered by Columbia University.
Ian’s Tough Trivia is a daily feature of this blog (Monday’s category is History; Tuesday is Arts; Wednesday is Science; Thursday is Entertainment; and Friday is Grab Bag). Each day, I post a tough question, as well as the answer to the previous day’s question. Simply comment on this post with your answer. I’ll approve the comments after the next question is posted. Sure, you can probably find the answers by searching the web, but what’s the fun in that?
And if you’ve got a favorite trivia question—or even just a topic for which you’d like to see a question—let me know! Reader participation is warmly encouraged.
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