Friday, September 16, 2005

Fact-checker wanted found

In thinking about what it means to lose New Orleans, I'm reminded that as a schoolgirl I "learned" that there were four "unique cities" in the nation: New Orleans, San Antonio, San Francisco, and Boston. Thanks to Google, I "learn" that it was Will Rogers who told us so. The trouble, though, is that it's only in the context of San Antonio. San Antonio's tourist industry has done a remarkable job in spreading the word that this is something Will Rogers said. But it never says where he said it (can't find it here), and besides, none of the other three cities seem to be making the claim.

A Texas tall tale?

Santa Fe apparently wants a bit of the action, substituting itself for Boston.

UPDATE: I gave up too soon. The answer is on the "Stumpers" listserv: Will Rogers did indeed call San Antonio "unique," but along with only two other cities: San Francisco and New Orleans. "They each got something that even the most persistent chamber of commerce can't standardize."

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