Almanac: The Guinness Book of Records

August 12, 1925 marked the birth of twin brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter, who would create the fact-filled world record book aimed at settling arguments in pubs.

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And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: August 12th, 1925, 93 years ago today … a date truly for the record books.

For that was the day twin brothers Norris and Ross McWhirter were born in London.

The successful founders of a journalism research company, the twins were picked by the head of the Guinness Brewery to create a fact-filled book to settle arguments in pubs. The result: "The Guinness Book of Records," first published in 1955, which went on to become the multi-media company known today as Guinness World Records.

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Wow, that is a big burger!

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In 1965 the brothers appeared on the CBS game show "I've Got a Secret," and showed off their memorized mastery of their book to celebrity panelists, such as the holder of the record for honorary degrees (then held by former President of the United States Herbert Hoover, with 84).

Besides record-keeping, Ross McWhirter also lobbied for restrictions on Irish people living in Britain, and was assassinated by the Irish Republican Army in 1975.

His brother, Norris, died of a heart attack in 2004 at age 78.

But their creation, Guinness World Records, lives on. 

And over the years "Sunday Morning" has tracked down many of its superlatives, including Conor Knighton's visit last summer to Casey, Illinois – the site of multiple Guinness World Records, including the world's largest rocking chair, the world's largest pitch fork, and the world's largest golf tee.

When it comes to documenting the world's biggest, fastest, oldest, most popular, and more, Guinness World Records makes solid claim to being Number One.

       
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Story produced by Cai Thomas.