Why Did G.I. Joe Have a Scar on his Face?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about toys and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of all toy urban legends featured so far!

TOY URBAN LEGEND: The original G.I. Joe had a scar on his face so that Hasbro could trademark the figure’s design.

In 1964, Hasbro launched their G.I. Joe: America’s Movable Fighting Man, the first poseable doll targeted specifically to boys as an “action figure.”

The toy was a smash success and is still being produced to this day, albeit in a different form.

An interesting facet of the toy is that “Joe” had a scar on his face? What was the somewhat surprisingly practical reason for it being there?
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Does Disney Give Free Tickets for Life to Any Baby Born in a Disney Theme Park?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to amusement parks and whether they are true or false.

AMUSEMENT PARK URBAN LEGEND: Disney gives free tickets for life to any baby born in a Disney theme park.

Disney’s “Golden Pass” program (originally “Gold Pass”) is a fun little program that Disney has that allows access for free to nearly all Disney theme parks to its recipients (the only exception are the Japanese Disney parks, which are not owned by Disney). The recipients range from foreign dignitaries to “Disney Legends” like Sterling “Winnie the Pooh” Holloway and Adriana “Snow White” Caselotti. It also includes “normal” people like Dave MacPherson, the first paying customer at Disneyland back in 1956 and also, more recently, the two billionth Disney theme park customer, Emmalee Mason.

Here’s one once owned by TV producer Jack Wrather (who financed the first Disneyland hotel back in the day when Walt Disney’s credit line ran dry during the construction of Disneyland)…

Legend is that they ALSO give Golden Passes to babies that are born in Disney theme parks. Is that true?
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How Did the Tonight Show Save Twister From Oblivion?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to board games and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of all board game urban legends so far.

BOARD GAME URBAN LEGEND: Twister avoided going under by getting the game to appear on The Tonight Show.

Something that always perks my interest in a legend is when the dates don’t quite check out. In the case of this legend, the dates really don’t work. So I sort of surprise myself with my ultimate answer…

Twister, as you are all quite aware, is a very popular game for Milton Bradley where the contestants are the game pieces. You are randomly assigned colors on a board where you have to place your arms and legs.

The object, then, is to be the last person left standing.

The game has an interesting history…
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Which U.S. President Was on the Cover of Cosmopolitan as a Male Model?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to architecture and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the magazine urban legends featured so far.

MAGAZINE URBAN LEGEND: Gerald Ford was a male model who appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan.

Gerald Ford had an interesting (and impressive) path to becoming a career politician (before becoming the first President of the United States to never be elected either President or Vice-President, as he replaced Spiro Agnew as Vice President after Agnew resigned and then replaced Richard Nixon as President after Nixon resigned).

He paid his way through college at the University of Michigan by washing dishes in his fraternity house. He was also a star football player, helping to lead Michigan to two national titles in 1932 and 1933. Upon graduation in 1935, he got offers to play professional football but he turned them down to instead go to Yale to become a football and boxing coach. His intent was to enroll at their law school, but they initially turned him down due to his full-time coaching work. After attending Michigan’s Law School in the Summer of 1937, he was finally admitted to Yale’s Law School in the Spring of 1938.

After receiving his law degree in 1941, Ford started a legal practice with a friend but then his destiny (and that of many young men in America) was changed forever by the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States entering World War II. Ford enrolled in the Navy and after a year of training (where he rose in the ranks to Lieutenant), he went to the Pacific in 1943 and served his country well, receiving a number of medals. Before leaving to go overseas, however, he had an interesting chapter in his life…as a male model!
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Did Sir Thomas Malory Write Le Morte d’Arthur While in Prison?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about novels and novelists and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the novel urban legends featured so far.

NOVEL URBAN LEGEND: Sir Thomas Malory wrote Le Morte d’Arthur while in prison.

The very first Novel Legends Revealed that I did was about whether Cervanted wrote Don Quixote while in prison. That legend was not true (saved you a click, I guess), but reader Mike B. wrote in about ANOTHER famous novel that was supposedly written in prison!

Did Sir Thomas Malory really write the most famous book about King Arthur, Le Morte d’Arthur, while in prison?

Find out!
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Did Barbie Once Come With a Weight Loss Advice Book That Simply Read “Don’t Eat”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about toys and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of all toy urban legends featured so far!

TOY URBAN LEGEND: Barbie was once sold with a diet book that simply read “don’t eat”?

Something that anyone telling jokes has to keep in mind is that context is often king. Something that is clearly meant as a joke in one context could be read as something else entirely in another context. I believe that this is at the heart of the infamous story of the weight loss advice book that came with Slumber Party Barbie.
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Did Edwin Booth Really Save Robert Todd Lincoln’s Life a Year Before Booth’s Brother Assassinated Lincoln’s Father?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about theater and whether they are true or false.

THEATER URBAN LEGEND: Edwin Booth saved Robert Todd Lincoln from being hit by a train.

People often write about the American Civil War as being a war of “brother against brother.” In the case of Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, that was very accurate (well, except for the fact that neither served in the war, but you get my meaning). Both Booths were accomplished theater actors, but Edwin was a Unionist and John was a secessionist. Edwin even voted for Lincoln, a fact that really gnawed at his brother, who insisted to his brother than Lincoln was going to try to become the King of America.

Edwin Booth in 1879.

In any event, an interesting legend involving the older Booth brother has become very popular over the years, which is that Edwin actually saved the life of Abraham Lincoln’s oldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, a year before Booth’s brother assassinated the President.

Is that true?
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Was Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World Designed to Have a Secret Apartment Inside for Walt Disney?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to amusement parks and whether they are true or false.

AMUSEMENT PARK URBAN LEGEND: Cinderella’s Castle was designed with a secret apartment inside for Walt Disney’s personal use.

In the an earlier edition of Amusement Park Urban Legends Revealed, I discussed an urban legend involving Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom in Florida’s Disney World. Now here’s another one!

Walt Disney had a secret apartment in Disneyland in the Main Street Firehouse. So when designs were made for Magic Kingdom in Florida, did Disney want a similar apartment built in Cinderella’s Castle?
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Where Did the Liberty Bell in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square Come From?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to amusement parks and whether they are true or false.

AMUSEMENT PARK URBAN LEGEND: The Liberty Bell in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom is from a series of 50 replicas made of the Liberty Bell for the Bi-Centennial.

In Liberty Square in the Magic Kindom, there is a replica of the Liberty Bell…

Here’s how the story goes:

In 1976, 50 replicas were cast and molded in honor of our country’s 200th birthday. Each state would receive one and place it in a spot of their choice. However, the state of Pennsylvania had a problem. They already had the original Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Why would they want a replica? Years later, Walt Disney World realized Pennsylvania had the replica and asked if they could have it for Liberty Square. Pennsylvania agreed and on July 4th, 1989 the replica Liberty Bell was hoisted and lowered into its permanent spot inside Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom where it still sits today. Florida remains the only state with two of the 50 replica Liberty Bells.

Is that true?
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Did a Mute Man Speak for the First Time in Over Five Years After Riding the Cyclone?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends related to amusement parks and whether they are true or false.

AMUSEMENT PARK URBAN LEGEND: A man who had been mute for over five years spoke after riding the Cyclone.

Built in 1927, Coney Island’s Cyclone roller coaster is one of the most famous roller coasters in the history of roller coasters…

It had its perhaps most famous testimonial to its greatness in 1949 when a West Virginian coal miner named Emilio Franco rode the coaster.
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