The Wonderful World of Completely Random Facts — Issue 56

Daniel Ganninger
Fact World
Published in
9 min readFeb 5

A City That Lost Its Letter

Cleveland, Ohio, was founded on July 22, 1796, and named after a surveyor of the Connecticut Land Company named Moses Cleaveland. But when did the city of Cleveland lose its “a?”

One explanation was that the “a” got taken off by one of the city’s newspapers, the Cleveland Advertiser, which dropped the letter because the name with the “a” wouldn’t fit on the newspaper’s masthead for its first issue in 1831. The newspaper printed an explanation in a box, saying, “Our subscribers will notice we are spelling it without the second ‘a’ because we think it’s superfluous.” The Cleveland Herald and The Cleveland Gazette followed suit and changed the city’s spelling within a year of the Cleveland Advertiser doing so.

The name without the “a” was adopted in 1836 when the city was incorporated, but the “a” had been “lost” even before the newspapers decided to take it off. Members of Cleaveland’s surveying team had kept the “a” off on maps they had drawn in the 1790s, as shown on two maps from the time now housed at the Western Reserve Historical Society. Source, Source

The Invention of the Chicken Nugget

During World War II, the production of chickens increased dramatically, but in the years following the end of the war, demand began to fall, as did the price of chicken. Chickens had been sold whole, but they were too big for one person and too small for an average-sized family. In addition, the ways chicken had to be cooked didn’t fit into the new busy schedules of women who had entered new job markets.

An agriculture scientist named Robert C. Baker came up with a new invention in a laboratory at Cornell University in 1963 that made cooking chicken easier, incorporated less-used parts of the chicken, and fit in with the new busy schedules women were faced with. Baker used ground chicken without the skin, mixed with vinegar and salt, and then covered it with a batter of powdered milk and grains that wouldn’t expand when fried or shrink when frozen. Baker had invented the first…

Daniel Ganninger
Fact World

The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew and the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books. Connect at and