WTF Fun Fact 12661 – The Beatles Refuse To Play In Segregated Florida Stadium

The Beatles had it written into their contract in the 1960s that they would never play in segregated stadiums.

The first time they encountered the problem was in Jacksonville, Florida in 1964 when they found out that their 32,0000-seat show at the Gator Bowl was going to be race-segregated. They said they’d rather lose the money than play for a segregated audience, forcing the city to back off the policy. It was the height of Beatlemania, and the band agreed to play once they desegregated the stadium.

“We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now,” said John Lennon. “I’d sooner lose our appearance money.”

But The Beatles didn’t want to have to back out of contracts with the possibility of losing money anymore, so they had it written into their contract that a crowd had to be desegregated for them to play a show and that they would still be paid if they found out at the last minute that the city hadn’t heeded this obligation. – WTF Fun Facts

Source: “The Beatles banned segregated audiences, contract shows” — BBC News

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WTF Fun Fact 12610 – The Rules Of the Aquatic Road

Manatees are often called “sea cows” because they’re big, slow, and gentle. And perhaps other animals have just learned to respect them for it.

We were surprised to find out that not only do manatees native to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea migrate to Florida each year for winter, but they become a well-respected part of the aquatic ecosystem.

In fact, even alligators will treat them like guests and give them the right of way if they swim through each other’s paths. There have been no recorded attacks on manatees by alligators, even though manatees can get a bit pushy when they don’t get their way. They’ll even swim up to and “bop” an alligator that does not yield.

While the alligators don’t know this, their gesture is helping save the endangered creatures, who have died in droves over the last decade.

And even Florida politicians seem to respect the manatees. In 1979, Florida Governor Bob Graham designated November as Manatee Awareness Month. Every governor has renewed the proclamation during their tenure.

If you’d like to see how well these creatures get along, check out the video below – WTF fun facts

Source: “8 things you didn’t know about manatees” — PBS

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WTF Fun Fact 12451 – The Bishop of the Moon

Archbishop William D. Borders was the founding bishop of the Diocese of Orlando, established in 1968. It covered 13 counties and nearly 10,000 square miles of central Florida. And possibly the moon.

Now, the Catholic Church has made no claim at all to the moon, but Borders’ territory happened to include Brevard, Florida, home to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that is where the U.S. launches its space missions.

At the time of the moon landing in July of 1969, many religious leaders praised the space program, seeing it as proof that God’s creation was neverending.

But for Borders, the moon landing was a little more personal. According to the 1917 Code of Canon Law (aka The Pio-Benedictine Code), which was in effect until 1983, any newly discovered territory was to be placed under the jurisdiction of the diocese from which the expedition that discovered that territory originated.

In other words, since the Apollo 11 mission launched from Cape Canaveral and that was in Borders’ territory, it was technically under his jurisdiction. A couple of other bishops joked that they might have dibs, but it was all in good fun.

In fact, to keep the joke going, Bishop Borders mentioned this to Pope Paul VI on a visit to the Vatican in late 1969. The pope had watched the moon landing with great interest (the Vatican has one of the best observatories in the world), but we’re not quite sure what he thought of the claim.

The story of their meeting comes to us via Renae Bennett, Orlando’s diocesan archivist, who wrote:

During his visit, Bishop Borders mentioned to the pope that he was the ‘bishop of the moon.’ Responding to the pontiff’s perplexed reaction, Bishop Borders explained that according to the 1917 Code of Canon Law (in effect at that time), any newly discovered territory was placed under the jurisdiction of the diocese from which the expedition that discovered that territory originated. Since Cape Canaveral, launching site for the Apollo moon missions, was in Brevard County and part of the Diocese of Orlando, then in addition to being bishop of 13 counties, he was also bishop of the moon,” Bennett wrote. That would add more than 14.6 million square miles to the Diocese of Orlando, making that diocese the largest in the known universe.”

Of course, it all means very little, but that’s what makes it a fun fact.

Another fun fact: This would all make the current Bishop of Orlando, John G. Noonan, not only bishop of the moon but also of the International Space Station, which launched from Kennedy Space Center. – WTF fun facts

Source: “A Catholic bishop of the moon?” — The Catholic Weekly

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WTF Fun Fact 12439 – Alien Abduction Insurance

After noticing his homeowners insurance didn’t cover alien abduction, Florida insurance agent Mike St. Lawrence (of the St. Lawrence Agency) decided to offer it. You can purchase limited coverage for $19.95 or comprehensive alien abduction insurance for $24.95.

St. Lawrence has sold over 6000 policies to those who “want to believe.”

According to WFLA News, “Each policy includes $10 million worth of coverage as well as outpatient psychiatric care, sarcasm coverage, and double identity coverage. Policyholders can claim to be eligible for double the standard coverage, but that payout would be based on verifiable and extreme circumstances.”

“I take a very opened mind approach to this, whether it’s happening or not. But if you get one of our policies, show you have a sense of humor about it,” said St. Lawrence. 

In order to start the process of filing a claim, a person will have to obtain a signature from an “authorized, on-board alien.”

“Some way, you have to be able to prove it, and I have had a couple exceptions where they didn’t get a signature,” St. Lawrence told WFLA.

Alas, there’s another downside hidden in the fine print. The payout to you or your beneficiaries comes in the form of $1.00/year for 10 million years.  

Believe it or not, St. Lawrence has paid at least two claims. He told WFLA that a policyholder submitted a Polaroid picture with alleged aliens as proof.  – WTF fun facts 

Source: “Don’t sweat alien threat” — SF Gate

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