1.  The first phone book was published in 1878.  (The same year as Anna Karenina – really, the similarities are astoubnding!)

2.  It was only one page long and listed 50 businesses in New Haven, CT.  (New York is so jealous that New Haven was ahead of them on this one.)

3.  The first British phone book came along in 1880.

4.  The yellow pages?  They got started in 1886 in Chicago, courtesy of the Reuben H. Donnelly Company.  (Chicago may have had the yellow pages first, butNew York got there first in the yellow journalism area.)

5.  The Guinness world record for the most telephone books ripped in half from the spine in two minutes is 33, set by Cosimo Ferrucci in 2010.  (Not sure why we have this two-minute rule here…)

6.  Government contact information is usually printed on blue pages.

7.  The City of Raleigh states that “even though the paper in telephone books has been recycled many times already and it no longer can be made into a paper product, they will be separated out at our contractor’s sorting facility to be recycled into other products such as animal bedding or insulation.”  Just thought you should know.

8.  The 1950s musical Bells Are Ringing is said to have been inspired by the cover of a particular Manhattan phone book. (Some critics would argue with the use of the word “inspired,” but I stick by it!)

9.  Especially brilliant actors are said to be able to give inspired readings even of the phone book.  (Not recommended for community theatre actors, high school drama students or Ashton Kutcher.)

10.  Phone books are often associated with political filibusters, primarily due to the fact that Strom Thurmond used one in his historic longest Senate filibuster (24 hours, 18 minutes).  (He was attempting to stop passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, BTW.)

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