On national television tonight, Barack Obama told a campaign audience that his adopted hometown of Chicago was exuberant over the Cubs winning their third World Series on Wednesday night in a 10-inning nail-biter in Cleveland.
The Cubs, Obama said, had been in a winless Series drought since 1908 — 108 years ago. And once again, he tried in vain to rewrite history.
“I was watching something on television,” Obama gushed. “They explained that the last time the Cubs had won, Thomas Edison was alive, and they hadn’t even invented sliced bread yet.”
Indeed, Edison the famous inventor was still breathing in and breathing out in 1908. He died in October 1931.
But John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich and a British statesman who lived to be about age 74, is reputed to have come up with putting a piece of meat between two pieces of bread — so that he would not have to leave his gaming table one night to eat supper. Montagu died in 1792. That’s 116 years BEFORE the Cubs won their second World Series in 1908.
Perhaps Obama was thinking about Otto Frederick Rohwedder, of Davenport, Iowa, who is credited with inventing the first loaf-at-a-time bread-slicing machine in 1928. Or perhaps Obama wasn’t thinking at all when he passed along this piece of misinformation to a mass audience.
Splitting hairs here? I do so in the interest of accuracy and keeping the record straight. Let’s give credit where credit is due. In this case, it’s due to Montagu. Kind of makes you wonder how many other times the Campaigner-In-Chief has shared erroneous information.