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Q&A: Merger led to Fifth Third Bank name

Fifth Third’s name came from a bank merger a century ago in Ohio.

Associated Press

Fifth Third’s name came from a bank merger a century ago in Ohio.

Name created by merger

How does a bank get a name like Fifth Third Bank?

By merger, of course.

On June 1, 1908, the Third National Bank acquired the Fifth National Bank to create the Fifth Third National Bank of Cincinnati.

Interestingly, the name Third Fifth Bank was considered but rejected because it sounded too much like three "fifths" of alcohol at a time when the idea of Prohibition was gaining popularity.

The bank owners kept buying banks over the years and adjusted the name slightly over the years, but in 1969 finally settled on the name Fifth Third Bank.

Fifth Third entered the Florida market in the 1990s, and in November it opened four branches in Bradenton after taking over Freedom Bank.

At 70, Ray Stevens on tour

Is Ray Stevens still alive and singing?

He is. His latest album, New Orleans Moon, released in 2007, is a tribute to the city, devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. The Georgia native has a house on the Gulf of Mexico in Alabama, which also sustained damage from Katrina.

Ray Stevens was born Harold Ray Ragsdale in Clarkdale, Ga., on Jan. 24, 1939. Everything is Beautiful was his first No. 1 pop hit and won him a Male Vocalist of the Year Grammy in 1970, but he's probably best known for his comedy hit, The Streak.

Stevens is performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville this month, and appears at 7:30 p.m. March 4 at the Florida Strawberry Festival ( in Plant City.

Student loans date to WWII

What year did student loans first come out?

Federal funding for post-secondary education began in 1944 with the Servicemen's Readjustment Act, known as the GI Bill, to help World War II veterans.

In 1965, Congress passed the Higher Education Act creating the Guaranteed Student Loan Program. The federal government agreed to insure student loans issued by states and nonprofits and to pay interest on the loans while the student was in college. In 1992, the program was renamed the Federal Family Education Loan Program. FFELP is a public-private partnership that provides affordable private sector financing for students and their families seeking postsecondary education.

From 1966 through 2008, more than $650 billion in federal student loans were written.

Familiar voices on commercial

Is Steve Buscemi the voice for AT&T's commercial depicting the gingerbread man?

Yes. The actor is the gingerbread father who deals with his son and others eating his house. Comedian Norm Macdonald is the son.

Q&A: Merger led to Fifth Third Bank name 02/22/09 [Last modified: Sunday, February 22, 2009 9:27pm]
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