“Serutan spelled backwards spells Nature’s.”

On October 23, 1934 the company Healthaids, Inc. filed a trademark application for an advertising slogan it was using to promote its laxative product, Serutan. Early cans of Serutan (and later bottles) featured the words “Read It Backwards” under the product’s name. The trademarked ad slogan, which quickly became famous, made the point more directly: … Read more

First they came for the Communists – or was it the Industrialists?

On October 14, 1968, Congressman Henry S. Reuss of Wisconsin made some remarks on the floor of Congress that included what became a very famous quotation – or, more accurately, a very famous misquotation. The “quote” Reuss read was recorded in the Congressional Record as follows: “When Hitler attacked the Jews, I was not a … Read more

“Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

In 1950, Bette Davis was a highly-regarded actress. But she was starting to be viewed as an “aging” actress and her career seemed to be fading. That year, the multitalented writer, producer and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz gave Bette a plum role in a film that helped revive her popularity with critics and audiences. Ironically, … Read more

Dan Quayle is no Jack Kennedy – and Lloyd Bentsen is no Michael Sheehan…

It’s not often that debates between candidates for Vice President of the United States generate a famous quotation – or even much attention. But there are some notable exceptions. One is the October 13, 1992 vice-presidential debate, in which Independent Ross Perot’s V.P. pick, James Stockdale, said “Who am I? Why am I here?” (It … Read more