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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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1,568 Questions

1,568 Questions

April 27, 1937. "Capitol's busiest policeman. Besides being an arm of the law, a Capitol policeman has to also act as an information bureau. Frank Foley, officer on duty at the entrance of the Senate office building from 8 to 4, kept a record today of the number of questions asked him. At the end of his day's hitch the total showed 1,568 questions asked, and answered correctly and with a smile, if we must believe Mr. Foley. Miss Mildred Aitken of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the pretty sightseer in this picture, receiving directions from officer Foley." View full size.

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... which is exactly why my husband decided NOT to become an NSA or Supreme Court officer, and instead works as a county deputy. Not that those jobs don't get interesting occasionally, but he got depressed just watching the check-in and question-answering duty, so he decided he didn't want to go that route.


In eight hours with no lunch or bathroom breaks, Officer Foley was answering (and logging) better than three questions every minute of the shift. Pretty impressive.

The No. 1 question

I work part-time at a library. The number one question we are asked every day is "Where's the restroom?" I wonder how many times Officer Foley heard that one as well.

[You could also say that's the No. 2 question. - Dave]

Scene: Across from the potato display.

Cop: Hey! Lookit dem two dames havin' a donnybrook over a couple a p'tatoes!

Woman: Goodness gracious! Shouldn't you do something, officer?

Cop: Nah! Dey'll wear each udder out an' head back ta Portland sooner er later.

Among the answers

"That one there, the one with the funny shoes; that's a libertarian"

The best in town!

Look how enthusiastic that police officer is in answering that lady's question. And I bet you she asked the officer something for which he was well familiar.

"Where can I find the best donuts in town, officer?"

To the Batmobile!

Quick, Robin - Chief O'Hara and Catwoman are in unholy alliance!


What a perfect shot to show how things had changed in only 30 years! Amazing. Imagine poor Officer Foley confronted with about 12 or 20 visitors at one time. It was truly a more innocent time on so many levels!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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