You first, O’Reilly

Jon Bauer, Herald staff

Turn off the porch lights, Michelle: Because of superstorm Sandy, President Barack Obama cancelled trick-or-treating at the White House.

Fox News was quick to criticize the president for declaring a “War on Halloween” and forgetting the true meaning of the holiday, but couldn’t find volunteers to T.P. the Rose Garden.

Where the “smoke-filled rooms” come from: A reader asks antiques columnist Terry Kovel about a pack of cigarettes with a picture of Dwight Eisenhower and the phrase, “I Like Ike.” Kovel explains that the pack, and a companion with Adlai Stevenson’s photo, were used as a kind of straw poll for the 1952 presidential election. Sales of the cigarettes were more accurate than political experts’ predictions, Kovel notes.

Now, of course, we have more scientific methods for determining the will of the electorate, but political polling remains a nasty and annoying habit.

Don’t know much about history: On this day in 1870, the United States Weather Bureau made its first meteorological observations.

After giving the bureau’s first weather report — an 80 percent chance of custard winds followed by intermittent gosling blasts — Willard Scott took a moment to wish a happy 100th birthday to Abigail Stevens in Portsmouth, Va.