There are many reasons why I have an interest and love for History but today’s post I think will really highlight the entertainment one can get from learning about our past from those who lived before us. History is filled with quirky, shocking, and hilarious shenanigans that are almost unbelievable.
I have compiled a list of hilarious, interesting, and bizarre historical facts that you may not have known ranging from ancient history to early modern American history. They are quite the hoot. Please leave a comment with any crazy facts you would like to share with us. I would love to hear them!
This is just what I thought would be a fun post as we end 2022 and start a fresh new year. I hope everyone had a good holiday season. Please be safe while out celebrating on New Year’s Eve. No drinking and driving, safety in numbers always, and take care of yourself. Have fun and make some noise!
History Fact #1 – Woodrow Is America’s most educated President!
Despite the fact that he didn’t learn to read until he was 10 years old, Wilson is America’s most educated president. He is the only president to have earned a Ph.D., which he earned from John Hopkins University in political science and history. Woodrow would later become the 28th president.
History Fact #2 – Send that tomato to jail!
On September 25, 1820, Salem, NJ held a trial against…tomatoes. The general populace believed that tomatoes were poisonous, so Robert Johnson stepped in to prove them wrong. To do so, he bravely stood before a crowd at the courthouse and consumed a whole basket of the delectable fruit. Not dying after consumption, the trial was promptly dismissed.
History Fact #3 – The Honeymoon is over!
It was the accepted practice in Babylon four-thousand years ago that for an entire month after a couple’s wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the “honeymoon”.
History #4 – Mesopotamian traders worked smarter not harder!
To save the effort of sailing boats upstream, Mesopotamian traders built collapsible boats which they would sail downstream with a donkey on board. At the other end of their journey they would sell the frame and when they finished trading, they would use the donkey to return home.
History Fact #5 – Mary had a little lamb!
Mary did indeed have a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow, and yes it did follow her to school one day. In 1815, Mary Elizabeth Sawyer, then nine, was helping her father with farm chores when they discovered a sickly newborn lamb in the sheep pen that had been abandoned by its mother. After pleading, Mary was allowed to keep the animal, although her father didn’t hold out much hope for its survival. It lived against the odds.
History Fact #6 – Let it show! Let it show! Let it show!
In the Ancient Olympics, athletes performed naked! This was to achieve closeness to the gods and also help detox their skin through sweating. In fact, the word “gymnastics” comes from the Ancient Greek words “gumnasía” (“athletic training, exercise”) and “gumnós” (“naked”).
History Fact #7 – Premonition into the future!
A novella called “Futility” was published years before the Titanic seemed to have predicted the disaster. “Futility,” written by American author Morgan Robertson, was published in 1898, 14 years before the Titanic set sail. It centered around the sinking of a fictional ship called the Titan. Ironically in the novel. The ship is thought to be unsinkable but crashes into a massive iceberg and the ship doesn’t have enough lifeboats. Coincidence?
History Fact # 8 – That was a close call! A very close call!
In 1983, one man prevented a nuclear war between the USSR and the USA. Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported that a missile had been launched from the United States, followed by up to five more. Petrov judged the reports to be a false alarm, and his decision to disobey orders, against Soviet military protocol, is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States.
History Fact #9 – A Solar Eclipse Distraction!
The Battle of the Eclipseor Battle of Halys was fought in the early 6th century BC in Anatolia (present-day Turkey) between the Medes and the Lydians. According to ancient Greek historian Herodotus, the battle was interrupted by “day turning into night” – presumably a solar eclipse – and the result was a draw which led to both parties negotiating a peace treaty and ending a six-year war…. Thank you Solar Eclipse!
History Fact #10 – My how the tables turn!
Jean Laffite with his band of pirates, plundered British, American and Spanish vessels in the early 1800s while operating out of his stronghold at Barataria Bay, south of New Orleans. When Louisiana Gov. William C. C. Claiborne put a $500 reward on Laffite’s head, the pirate responded by offering $1,500 to anyone who delivered Claiborne to Baratria. The British sought to enlist Laffite on their side in the War of 1812, but he instead opted to fight alongside the Americans, helping Andrew Jackson secure victory in the Battle of New Orleans. As a result, he was pardoned for his crimes.
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