West Wing Continuity Guide
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Where and how did the term "Red Tape" originate?
Although some people wrote in saying the information on the original of red tape wasn't true, none wrote back with references to books or websites to back up their assertions. And when we went to the Internet to check on the term, we didn't find much either.
  • Civil War Minutes claims "This legal document, General Orders No. 95 from the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, October 8, 1863, contained the verdicts of the trials for those soldiers facing criminal charges. It was required that these records be kept for reference. The term 'red tape' is derived from the ribbon that was used to bind them together." This seems similar to what the episode claimed and may be the source of the comment made.
  • Government Executive Magazine's West Wing Watch says "President Bartlet had a little problem with the derivation of the term "red tape," saying it comes from Civil War veterans' documents being bound in red tape. But the practice of binding legal and government documents in red tape is a traditional practice in England and dates back well before the Civil War. To be fair, though, it looked like Charlie was about to set the record straight, but stopped himself."
  • Merriam Webster Claims it was further back than the Civil War. We discovered this while perusing The West Wing Episode Guide which lists related links on their pages on each episode.
  • National Geographic refers to documents from the Vatican Secret Archives like "the petition on behalf of Henry VIII seeking an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Attached are the seals of 85 clergymen and nobles in England, an attempt to persuade the pope of the justness of Henry's request" and claims that "The reams of red ribbon like those attaching the seals are said to be the root of the term 'red tape.'" --- this link was sent to us by John M Blow

Information on the censure of Andrew Jackson.
Tim DeBruyne sent us a link to the United States Senate's page on this part of American history. with a quick overview of both the censure (including the 34 words of the text) and how and why the Senate reversed its earlier censure. This page also offers additional sources of information on the subject.

Could someone have brought chess to the Court of Charlemagne in 760AD?
John Spiers emailed us, "According to my Western Civilization book, Charlemagne did not become king of the Franks until 768 AD, and therefore could not have been ruling in 760 as Bartlet claimed." Indeed our Britannica says that Charlemagne's father ruled until his death in 768 and so there was no Court of Charlemagne in 760.
Where did chess originate?
Our Encylopaedia Britannica (1994) claims that "The game originated in India or China during or before the 6th century from ancient forms...." But some other sources go for one or the other of these:
And what is the Evans Gambit?
Lorne Gula emailed us saying, "Bartlett plays chess with Toby, and after Toby's first move he says 'ah, the Evan's Gambit'. The Evan's Gambit, however, can't be identified until seven moves have been made (four by white and three by black) which Toby correctly alludes to by saying 'I moved my pawn'. But!! they do proceed to play the opening seven moves of the Evan's Gambit (which could not be forced by Barlett alone, Toby must make the appropriate moves in response...but he suggest that he didn't even know this opening existed!)." Lorne also sent the link to more information about this gambit.

What really did happen to Yamamoto?
Jeny Carlson sent us the following link on the 347th Wing's downing of Yamamoto
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