Donald Trump - April 8, 2014

Yes, you read the heading correctly!  You see, if we could only use one word to describe the American Treasure Tour, that word would be eclectic.  Or fun.  Or supercool.  Okay, it's unfair to try to describe the ATT with one word, but eclectic does keep coming back.  We at the blog love to press that point by highlighting different elements of the tour every week day.  We seem to be coming back to the "Faces of the Tour" format, though, because it gives us the chance to talk about interesting celebrities.  We've talked about actors, musicians, and athletes so far.  Today, we stretch that a little bit and talk about another one of our faces, that of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump was born in 1946, the son of privilege and wealth.  His father, Fred Trump, was a successful real estate developer and passed that gene on to his young progeny.  The younger Trump's skill at turning failing properties into money-making real estate has done him well over the decades, and he has received quite a bit of attention for his projects, mostly in New York City and Atlantic City.  His publicity, both positive and negative, has brought him to the attention of the public, which has embraced him as a television personality, specifically for his reality program The Apprentice.  Not one to leave it at real estate tycoon and tv host, Trump has also dabbled in politics - encouraging rumors of his interest in the Presidency of the United States.  

QUESTION:

Donald Trump has been married three times:  to Ivana Zelnickova, Marla Maples, and currently to Melania Knauss.  In what country was Ivana Trump born?

a)  The United States of America

b)  Russia (formerly part of the USSR)

c)  Serbia (formerly part of Yugoslavia)

d)  Czech Republic (formerly part of Czechoslovakia)

e)  Bhutan

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

There have only been 27 amendments to the United States Constitution - and ten of those (the Bill of Rights) were approved by the 1st Congress back in 1791.  So it is a big deal when an amendment gets passed.  We mention that because today we celebrate the passage of the 17th Amendment!  (wait for applause)  Its passage on this day in 1913 gave the people the right to elect their federal Senators directly.  Prior to that, state legislatures selected their Senators.  It made our country a little bit more democratic, and we like to think that is a good thing (although those who disagree with that have every right to do so).

You may judge us, but there are many devotees within the American Treasure Tour staff who hold a special place in their collective heart for Laura Palmer and the residents of Twin Peaks. Director David Lynch and co-conspirator Mark Frost created a television show that revolved around the odd population of the town and the horrible murder of popular high school student Laura Palmer.  When the pilot episode aired - on April 8, 1990 - it was immediately obvious to viewers that this was no ordinary television program.  The incorporation of humor and mysticism in no way diminished the tragic loss of Laura to her family and friends, while surreal imagery kept the interest up long enough for it to be picked up for a second season.  The long-lasting influence of the show can still be seen 24 years later, notably with shows including The X-Files, Lost, Fringe, and anything else that allows the quirky to peak through.  Let us know if you're fans also. We won't judge you!

BIRTHDAYS:

We were just talking about how Americans love a scandal (although we prefer it to not be in our own country).  While Teapot Dome was over ninety years ago, today we get to celebrate the birth of a man whose scandal only happened within the last twelve years!  So we say happy birthday to Texan career politician Tom DeLay!  Born in 1947, the Texan worked tirelessly to support the party line, starting with his election to a seat in the state legislature in 1983, and ending with his retirement from politics in 2005, when he was House Majority Leader in Washington.  DeLay was accused of accepting bribes from high-profile lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the investigation that ensued caused quite a bit of bad press for DeLay and the Republican Party.  In 2010, the government ended its case against him with an acquittal, although the state of Texas continued.  Regardless, DeLay has spent his retirement writing, consulting, working with philanthropic causes, and as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars.

Another Texan celebrating a birthday today is not quite so controversial and, no offense to Mr. DeLay, much prettier.  Robin Wright was born in 1966, and has had a long, high-profile career. She started in the soap opera Santa Barbara but reached an international audience with the popular romantic comedy The Princess Bride in 1987.  From there, she has been in a number of critical favorites, including Forrest Gump, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Moneyball, and currently, the Netflix program House of Cards.  Happy birthday, Robin!

QUOTE:

We're no longer a super power.  We're a super duper power. - Tom DeLay

Answer:  d)  Czech Republic (formerly part of Czechoslovakia)