Trivia about money, jobs,
budgets, credit, debt, and anything related to personal finance.
|*James Buchanan's nickname became "Ten-Cent
Jimmy" after he unwisely said in public that he considered ten
cents a day a fair wage for manual laborers.
presidents had no written will: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson,
Ulysses Grant, James Garfield
|*As a boy Jimmy Carter considered himself lucky
to have the Sears catalog in his home which was used in place of
|*In 1799 George Washington earned $7,500 for
manufacturing and selling 11,000 gallons of rye whiskey, noting
that demand for his whiskey was "brisk".
|*Dolly Madison's father went bankrupt, a sin that
got him ejected from the Quaker church.
|*John Tyler was so poor 5 years after he was
President that he couldn't pay a $1.25 bill.
|*The President earns a $400,000 annual salary,
along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable
travel account and $19,000 for entertainment.
|*Mary Todd Lincoln claimed she was haunted during
her life, and sewed money into clothes to foil the invisible
|*Retired U.S. Presidents now receive a pension
based on the salary of the current administration's cabinet
secretaries, which is $191,300 each year as of 2008.
|*(President) Buchanan earned a mere $938 during
1813 as a new attorney and $1,096 the following year.
|*On July 18, 1782, James Hoban was awarded $500
for his design of the White House (called the President's House
back then) and was also asked to oversee its construction. He beat
out many competitors for the prize money, including Thomas
Jefferson who had entered the competition under a different name!
|*When Ben Franklin was 7 years old he blew all of
his money (several pennies) on a whistle. He was so excited about
the whistle that he forgot to ask how much it was and offered the
merchant all the pennies he had in trade. His brother reprimanded
him when he got home and said that Ben had overpaid for the
whistle and could have got a whistle and candy as well. Source:
Four great Americans: Washington, Franklin, Webster, Lincoln By
|*Dick Clark got his big break at age 26 when the
host of Bandstand was fired for drunk driving and they
hired Clark to replace him.
|*Oprah was the first female black billionaire in
|*When 18 year old Bruce Lee arrived in America in
1959 he had $100 in his pocket, barely spoke the language, and had
no employment prospects.
|*Marilyn Monroe's first modeling job paid only $5.
|*Channing Tatum's big break was being cast in
Ricky Martin's video for "She Bangs," where he was paid $400 for a
|*Samuel Colt, the famous gun maker, paid the
equivalent of $400,000 in today’s money for his wife’s wedding
dress and accessories.
|*Macaulay Culkin was the first child ever to be
paid a million dollars for a role. The film was My Girl in 1991.
wrote Rocky in 1975 he had $106 left to his name. Even so he
refused to sell the script to the movie studio for $360,000.00.
|*Dun and Bradstreet says that not only did Woody
Harrelson once temp for them as a receptionist, but that Abraham
Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland and William McKinley
all worked for them as a credit analysts as various times.
|*Red Skeleton, a national radio and television
comedian between 1937 and 1971, once paid for a home with $135,000
in cash he pulled out of his bathing trunks. His only condition:
the family had to move out that afternoon. (They did!) Page 159
|*Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball's husband, had one
weakness: gambling. However, he didn't always lose. One time he
won $18,000 in an all night gin rummy game. The loser offered Desi
two adjacent lots valued at $9,000 each in lieu of cash. Desi
accepted and later spent $150,000 building a vacation home on the
|*When Larry King was 9 his father died from a
heart attack and there was no life insurance money or savings. The
remaining 3 family members moved into an apartment that cost $34 a
month and paid for it with the money they received from government
"Relief". Page 13
|*In 1913 Clarence Crane the inventor of 'Crane's
Peppermint Life Savers' sold his rights to the popular candy for
|*Paula Deen started her business with $200.
Today, she is worth $16 million.
|*At age 21 Bill Gates was arrested for speeding
in his Porsche 911 and immediately posted bail from his wallet
full of cash.
|*John D. Rockefeller was the Depression era
industrialist who liked to
hand out nickels to poor children.
|*In 1953, Mary Kay Ash used her life savings of
$5,000 to start Mary Kay Cosmetics. Today the company is worth
over $2 billion.
|*In 1900, 25 year old J.C. Penny failed his first
business: a butcher shop.
|*In 2007, according to the labor economist Sylvia
Allegretto, the six Walton family members (the original owners of
Wal-Mart) on the Forbes 400 had a net worth equal to the bottom
30% of all Americans.
founder of Little Debbie snacks, used a pawn shop as his "bank" in
the 1930s for short term cash needs.
|*Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper company
for lacking creativity.
|*22 yr old John Marriott opened a small root beer
stand in Washington DC with $1,500 of his own saved money and a
$1,500 loan long before opening hotels.
|*Frank Mars, creator of the Milky Way candy bar
once had to pay $20 a month in child support but couldn't afford
|*Wally Amos, founder of Famous Amos chocolate
chip cookie company once worked for Saks Fifth Avenue as a stock
clerk. Even though he was promoted to supply manager in 1961 and
given a salary of $85 a week he dreamed of higher achievements.
Newsmakers 00, 2001 page 8
|*On November 12, 1892, William Heffelfinger was
paid $500 to participate in an American football game for the
Allegheny Athletic Association. With this transaction,
Heffelfinger became the first person to be paid to play football.
|*Babe Ruth's highest annual salary was $80,000.
Andrew Carnegie Barack
Dick Van Dyke
Ulysses Grant Wally
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