Historical Facts

Historical Facts

There are 169 Historical Facts!

  • 41
    A singing birthday card has more computing power than the allied forces in 1945.
  • 42
    The University of Oxford (teaching since 1096) predates the Aztec empire (1428 - 1521).
  • 43
    Leonardo Da Vinci made a robotic lion in 1515 that would walk, sway, open its mouth and move its tail - it even had a compartment that opened to present flowers.
  • 44
    The handbook issued to US soldiers in Britain during WW2 included the line "The British don't know how to make a good cup of coffee. You don't know how to make a good cup of tea. It's an even swap."
  • 45
    In the Victorian era, they had special tea cups that protected your moustache from getting dunked in your tea.
  • 46
    No one knows who invented the fire hydrant, because its patent was burned in a fire.
  • 47
    There are pictures of Knights fighting Snails in old Medieval manuscripts - and nobody knows why.
  • 48
    In 1918, after the treaty of Versailles (end of WWI), the French Commander-in-chief said "This is not a peace. It is an Armistice for 20 years." 20 years and 65 days later, WWII happened.
  • 49
    In 1542, French aristocrat Marguerite De La Rocque survived being marooned for 2 years alone on a remote island off the coast of Quebec.
  • 50
    Romans used a plant called Silphium as contraception. They had so much sex that they drove it into extinction.
  • 51
    Pierre Jaquet-Droz, a watchmaker, 240 years ago invented a robot that could write, and the parts could be interchanged to say whatever you want.
  • 52
    During the Black Plague, it was thought that bad smells were the cause of the plague. "Plague Doctors" therefore wore masks with long beak-like noses stuffed with flowers or smoke to hide the smells.
  • 53
    When Charles Darwin first discovered the Galapagos Tortoises, he tried to ride them!
  • 54
    Capt. Robert Campbell, a British officer captured during World War I, was granted leave to visit his dying mother on one condition - that he return to captivity. He kept his word and returned, only to try escaping as soon as he returned.
  • 55
    Genghis Khan exempted the poor and clergy from taxes, encouraged literacy, and established free religion, leading many peoples to join his empire before they were even conquered.
  • 56
    Tickling was a form of torture used in ancient China on nobility because it left no mark and recovery was quick.
  • 57
    In the 1830s, a Greek prime minister tried to spread the potato in Greece but people weren't interested so he put armed guards in front of shipments of potatoes so people would think they were important. People then started stealing these potatoes so much that the crop spread to all of Greece.
  • 58
    In 2011, archaeologists discovered the skeletal remains of a Roman couple who have been holding hands for 1,500 years.
  • 59
    After Germany surrendered in WW2, people in Moscow partied until the entire city actually ran out of vodka.
  • 60
    During World War 1, starving wolves amassed in such great numbers that Germans and Russians had a temporary cease fire to fight off the wolf attacks.
  • 61
    Queen Elizabeth II served as a mechanic and driver in World War 2.
  • 62
    The oldest stone tools found are dated from 2.7 - 2.9 million years ago. The species that made these tools is unknown.
  • 63
    "Yo momma" jokes/insults were invented by Shakespeare.
  • 64
    Allegedly, Chrysippus, the Greek philosopher, died of laughter after getting his donkey drunk and watching it try to eat figs.
  • 65
    Until the 1920s there was a profession called a knocker-up, which involved going from client to client and tapping on their windows (or banging on their doors) with long sticks until they woke up.
  • 66
    Mozart composed a song titled "Leck mich im Arsch" (English: "Lick me in the arse")
  • 67
    High Heels were originally made for men in the 16th century.
  • 68
    The first chocolate eggs were made in Germany in the 19th century and remain one of the most popular Easter candies today.
  • 69
    English sailors were referred to as "limeys" because sailors added lime juice to their diet to combat scurvy.
  • 70
    The Canadian province of New Brunswick (which was part of the UK at the time) had a bloodless war with the US state of Maine in 1839
  • 71
    In 1537, England's King Henry VII officially declared February 14th the holiday of St. Valentine's Day.
  • 72
    Beethoven, was told by a music teacher that he had no talent for music. In fact, this teacher once remarked, “As a composer he is hopeless.”
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  • 73
    Ching Shih, once a prostitute, became one of the most powerful pirates to have ever sailed. She commanded one of the most formidable pirate fleets in all of China during the early 1800s, with hundreds of ships under her command.
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  • 74
    There's no evidence that pirates made people walk the plank.
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  • 75
    Leonardo Da Vinci predicted the mass use of solar energy as long ago as 1447.
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  • 76
    The oldest glowing lightbulb was first switched on in 1901 and lives in fire stations in Livermore, CA. It is known as the Centennial Light.
  • 77
    Although Nostradamus died in the middle of 1566, his 1567 almanac was published because he had the foresight to prepare it before his death.
  • 78
    Ancient gladiators were mostly vegetarians.
  • 79
    The time interval from first sighting of the iceberg that sank the Titanic to impact was a little over 30 seconds.
  • 80
    The Titanic is about as long as the Empire State building is tall.
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