Cover image for Famous first facts, international edition : a record of first happenings, discoveries, and inventions in world history
Famous first facts, international edition : a record of first happenings, discoveries, and inventions in world history
Anzovin, Steven.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : H.W. Wilson, [2000]

Physical Description:
ix, 837 pages ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes indexes.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Clarence Library AG5 .A69 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
Dudley Branch Library AG5 .A69 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
Kenmore Library AG5 .A69 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
Audubon Library AG5 .A69 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

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For more than half a century, Famous First Facts has earned the accolades of reviewers and a place on library reference shelves nationwide. This International Edition of Famous First Facts expands coverage of first facts past the borders of the United States to chronicle important facts from all of world history. There are more than 5000 firsts from hundreds of countries, ranging in time from 3.5 billion years ago to the present. Five indexes permit the reader to find entries by subject matter, year, day, personal name, and geographical location.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Encyclopedic in coverage and comprehensive in scope, this reference work is "a record of first happenings, discoveries, and inventions in world history" and serves as a companion to Wilson's well-known Famous First Facts (5th ed., 1997). According to Anzovin and Podell (who, incidentally, are also responsible for the latest edition of Famous First Facts, Facts about the States, and other Wilson reference titles), Famous First Facts, International Edition was developed in response to suggestions from readers who requested that the format of Famous First Facts be applied to a reference book examining the world at large. Aimed at historians, researchers, librarians, students, and teachers, as well as the general reader, the book's content is accessible to almost any audience. The 5,000-plus entries are grouped under alphabetically arranged subject categories and, when needed, subcategories. For example, the subject heading "Food and Drink" is further divided into "Alcohol," "Coffee and Tea," "Cookbooks," "Dairy," and "Packaging," to name a few. Some subcategories contain even further subcategories. Entries are arranged chronologically within each category or subcategory, and each is assigned a four-digit indexing number, beginning with 1001. Length of entries varies from a single sentence (first espresso machine) to more than 250 words (first ball game). There are five indexes at the back of the book, taking up almost half of the volume's total pages. These include a subject index (abbey to Zulus) of topics mentioned in entries, an index by years (3.5 billion B.C. to 2001), an index by days, an index to personal names, and a geographical index, which is a listing of key modern locations (Afghanistan to Zimbabwe) by nation, state or province, and city. The "How to Use This Book" page is helpful to readers not familiar with the intricate arrangement used previously in Famous First Facts. The editors acknowledge the research assistance of librarians and others in their effort to compile the data included in the volume, though no specific works, print or electronic, are cited. It is conceivable that Web sites lacking authority and accuracy may have been used by those who submitted data, which is of course a concern. Although the information contained in this book may be found in numerous encyclopedias, almanacs, history books, and the like, this expansive, thorough, and accessible (not to mention time-saving) compilation is a valuable new reference tool recommended for purchase by most libraries.

Choice Review

Unlike its predecessors that focused primarily on US history, the latest volume in Wilson's "Facts" series selects historical events from all countries. Like its US-focused counterpart, Joseph Nathan Kane's Famous First Facts (FFF; 1st ed., 1933), this source compiles some 5,000 brief facts about discoveries, inventions, scientific and technological advancements (e.g., the cellular telephone system), and origins of ordinary objects such as chocolate and newspapers. The time period covered extends from 3.5 billion BCE to 2001 CE, the year the first building over 1,500 feet tall (World Financial Center, Shanghai) is to be completed. Using the same arrangement as the 5th edition of FFF (CH, Jul'98), this international edition arranges broad subject categories and subcategories alphabetically, with individual entries listed chronologically to show the development of a field or endeavor and numbered from 1001 (Agriculture) to 6138 (Weapons). Five indexes (subject, years, days, names, and geographical--nearly 50 percent of the book) help locate specific entries. Several entries from earlier FFFs are updated. A welcome companion to FFF, highly recommended for all levels of readers and a wide range of libraries, especially general reference collections. ; University of California, Berkeley

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