I'm learning something new about Central New York every day. Here's what I discovered today!

Was The Hot Air Balloon Scene in "The Wizard of Oz" Inspired by a Rome Resident?

There once was a gentleman named Professor C.C. Coe. He floated into the "Emerald City" in a colorful balloon to attend a race back in the 1800's.  Hundreds of folks showed up for the event and Frank Baum, author of the Wizard of Oz was most likely one of those individuals in attendance.

According to "The Encyclopedia of New York," in 1871, Prof. C.C. Coe of Rome landed his hot air balloon in downtown Syracuse's Clinton Square -- a scene likely witnessed by L. Frank Baum, who would later write about a similar episode in his classic, "The Wizard of Oz."

 

           Who Invented the 2 Piece Telephone?

We all know that Alexander Graham Bell is credited for giving us the first practical telephone, but it was former "Beeches" resident Dr. Potter who invented the first 2 piece handheld phone. I'm curious who the first person he called was. Do you think he dialed Revere Copper Company to obtain metal to make a scalpel?  Who knows, maybe he dialed 315-336-1775 to reserve a banquet room. The Beeches is now an upscale inn and conference center.

                    The Author of "Roots" lived in Rome

Alex Haley, writer of the popular book "Roots" resided in the Copper City.

The book was adapted by ABC as a TV mini-series of the same name and aired in 1977 to a record-breaking 130 million viewers. It had great influence on awareness in the United States of African-American history and inspired a broad interest in genealogy and family history.

His book became such a hit that it was eventually published in 37 languages. He also won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. Haley also was the ghost writer for the "Autobiography of Malcolm X."

Here's this morning's Just Jen segment!