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Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Steve Cole ponders things that famous people never said, and other things that they did say but nobody understands.

 1. "Let them eat cake!" Supposedly, French Queen Marie Antoinette said this when told that the people (holding a festive riot in the city) had run out of rye bread. What she actually said was "Let them eat wheat bread" which she didnĀ¹t realize was more expensive and hard to get. (Her not realizing this was proof that she was out of touch.) The other problem is that it was another princess who said this when Marie was 10 years old and not even in France and the revolution had not even started.

2. "I can see Russia from my house!" While 75% of Americans think Sarah Palin said this (and that it proves she was stupid or a liar) she never said any such thing. An actress on Saturday Night Live said it while making fun of her.

3. "I am a citizen of Berlin!" Sorry, Jack Kennedy never said this. His phrase was badly mis-translated into German (Ich bin ein Berliner) and when translated back into English actually meant "I am a pastry filled with fruit." What his staff meant him to say was "Ich bin ein Berlinisher."

4. Astronaut Neil Armstrong said "That's one small step for man," then hesitated before saying "one giant leap for mankind." The problem is that he left out the word "a" in the first half. The two pauses are when he realized his mistake and was mentally trying to find a way to fix it without starting over. Since his foot was already on the Moon there was really no going back.

5. President Richard Nixon did indeed say "I am not a crook" and most Americans think that since he apparently was involved in a few things (discussing whether to have the FBI investigate political enemies, deleting 18 minutes of tape, covering up a third-rate burglary) he must perforce be a liar. He was actually talking about rumors that $10,000 in cash found with the body of Dorothy Hunt (killed in a plane crash) was some kind of payoff. (Mrs. Hunt was the wife of one of the Watergate burglars. The burglars were looking for the list of prostitutes which the Democrats provided to big money donors, not secret campaign plans.)