Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Feb 17, 2014
February 17, 2014
Happy President's Day!
GERALD R. FORD was the first unelected Vice President to become President and the only President drafted to play in the NFL (by both the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers).
President BENJAMIN HARRISON was the first President to hire a woman at the White House and also the first President to use electricity in the White House. Reportedly, neither he nor his wife would touch the light switches. They were afraid of them.
George Washington's salary as president was $25-thousand; these days PRESIDENT OBAMA pulls down a $400-thousand annual salary, along with a $50-thousand annual expense account, a $100-thousand nontaxable travel account and $19-grand for entertainment expenses.
Most valuable autograph?
The signature of one of our lesser-known presidents, WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON. A Harrison signature penned while NOT in office is worth around $1-thousand. But since he was in office for only 31 days before he died of pneumonia, fewer than 50 documents signed during his presidency are known to exist and are each worth at least $70-thousand!
Behind Harrison's 'John Hancock' in value are (in order), material from GEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMAS JEFFERSON, ABRAHAM LINCOLN and JOHN ADAMS. Value: from $2,500 to $10-thousand. (Lincoln is not higher on the list because he was a president in wartime and signed hundreds of official documents and sent hundreds of letters and cards, so there's a fair amount of his paper out there.)
Bottom line: the ultimate value of a piece of presidential paper is determined by three things: rarity, then popularity or historical ranking, and condition.
On, off and way-off Broadway:
Guess who showed up at the first preview of the Broadway show, "Rocky"? None other than SYLVESTER STALLONE.
The surprise appearance reportedly shocked audience members at the Winter Garden Theatre when he showed up at the end of the show and even stepped into the ring.
The NY Post reports Sly posed alongside actor ANDY KARL --who plays "Rocky" in the stage production-- as TOM HANKS led the audience in a 'Rocky' chant.
While the new musical "Rocky," based on the SYLVESTER STALLONE movie, is in previews at Broadway's Winter Garden Theater, there is some related competition right next door. JIM PETERIK, the ex-keyboard player for SURVIVOR is performing at the Iridium on February 27th. Jim co-wrote the theme song for "Rocky III," "Eye of the Tiger," and you can bet he'll be singing that one.
FYI: Jim was also guitarist and lead singer for IDES OF MARCH and that Chicago band's 1970 hit, "Vehicle." (Marino)
Those figure skaters over in Sochi look hot when they hit the ice and there's a very good reason for it --the poor athletes have spent a mint on their wardrobe! Yahoo.com reports costumes for the men's competition can run up to $3,000 while it's not uncommon for the females to drop a cool five-grand or more. A lucky few like ALEXANDER MAJOROV from Sweden managed to finagle a deal with H & M, while JORIK HENDRICKX stashed a buck or two with a coach that doubles as a designer. The Belgian competitor spent $1,000 on materials and stones, but saved another thousand on labor. (Lee)
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