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If you don't have any special information, you probably assume the Baby Ruth chocolate bar is named after Babe Ruth. The names sound alike. Baby Ruth has advertised widely at baseball games. They even had one campaign some years back featuring the face of Babe Ruth. And yet the makers of Baby Ruth, the Curtiss Candy Company, said that it wasn't named for the baseball player at all. It was named after President Grover Cleveland's daughter, Ruth.

Wow, that's a weird bit of trivia. Unless, you know, the company was just lying. 

Ruth Cleveland was indeed known as "Baby Ruth" when she was born, and it was a big deal for a sitting president to become a new father. That happened in 1891. Baby Ruth chocolate came out in 1921. Not only had it been a generation since the country went nuts over the First Baby, it had been 17 years since she'd died. That's right: Ruth Cleveland died at 12, of diphtheria, so if Curtiss wanted people thinking of the girl when they thought of the candy, it meant they wanted people thinking of child death.  

Babe Ruth, meanwhile, was a pretty big deal in 1921, and the Curtiss Candy Company had its headquarters on the same street as Wrigley Field. It sounds an awful lot like they did name the candy for Babe but just didn't want to say so, to avoid having to pay for his official endorsement. The irony is that in 1926 Babe Ruth then did officially lend his name to a chocolate bar, Ruth’s Home Run Bar. Curtiss sued, saying that the name infringed on the Baby Ruth name—and a court agreed, shutting the Home Run Bar down

Still, Baby Ruth chocolate brought joy to millions. Like in 1927, when a Florida sweets seller hired a stunt pilot to drop Baby Ruth bars all over town. The seller's 12-year-old son, Paul, rode as a passenger and tossed candy bars to spectators at a racetrack. This instilled in him a love of both chocolate and of dropping things from airplanes.

Paul grew up to be a pilot. Specifically, he was the pilot who dropped Little Boy on Hiroshima.

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For more chocolate origin stories, check out:

Screw These Hipsters And Their Hipster Chocolate

There Was No Tradition; You Buy Chocolate On Valentine's Day Because Of Cadbury

Cacao Was Rare, Used As Currency, And Counterfeited

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Top image: Famartin/Wiki Commons

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