A Civics lesson from Letterman
It was Current Events night on the David Letterman show Thursday, June 18. A 'Late Show' audience member was shown a shot of picketing General Motors workers with the question, 'What do the striking GM workers want?' Her answer, of course, was 'More money.' But she was wrong. Letterman's correct response: 'Hondas.'
PARTIES WERE PREMATURE -Ford Motor Co. executives are rewriting history. In preparing for the company's 100th anniversary in 2003, Ford corporate historian Annette Wisne Green discovered Ford has been celebrating its anniversary on the wrong day. Ford staged its 50th and 75th anniversary parties on June 16, and books about Ford also cite that date. But Wisne Green found that while Henry Ford and his 11 original investors signed letters of incorporation in Detroit on June 16, 1903, the documents did not make it to the state capital in Lansing, Mich., until June 17. Ford officials have moved the 100th anniversary party to June 17, 2003 - exactly 100 years after the papers were stamped with Michigan's official seal.
FROM CAR SEATS TO HOUSE SEAT? - Leslie Touma, Lear Corp.'s director of communications, has taken leave from the seat maker to campaign for Congress. And she won a vote of support from someone who knows a little bit about Washington politics. Former President Gerald Ford wrote Touma, a Republican candidate in Michigan's 12th Congressional District, last month to express his 'enthusiasm' for her bid to unseat Democrat Rep. Sander Levin. Ford also sent along a $300 check, noting that he rarely makes direct contributions to candidates.
DIRECTOR HAS A BETTER IDEA - BMW has had success in promoting its cars in James Bond films. Now Zhang Yimou has become the first Chinese director to go the product-placement route in a made-in-China movie, by using the Ford Transit van. In 'Yi ge dou bu neng shao,' translated roughly as 'Not one fewer,' Zhang, maker of many of China's most popular films, portrays the problem of school dropouts in rural China. A key scene has the hero returning to his village in a China-made Transit.
ROCKET SCIENTISTS - Most engineers working for the auto companies have their eyes on the road, but at Nissan Motor Co.'s newest plant they're aiming a little higher. At the new Aerospace Division plant in Tomioka City, northwest of Tokyo, there are facilities for making and testing rockets and other aerospace and defense products - including the rocket boosters for Japan's H-II launch vehicle. Nissan didn't give the number of cupholders in that vehicle.