Archive for the ‘historical trivia’ Tag

08/04/2022 “More Historical Oddities”   Leave a comment

I’ll be the history fanatic today offering you a few facts that most people haven’t heard or read about. So, no run-of-the-mill stuff today. I hope you enjoy them.

1900

In Brussels, a young anarchist made an assassination attempt on the Prince of Wales. (Future King Edward VII). His Royal Highness reputedly explained, “Fuck it, I’ve taken a bullet.”, although he was in fact untouched.

1902

So numerous were the mistresses of Edward VII that at his coronation a special pew, known as the “loose box” was reserved for them.

1904

The French physician and psychiatrist, Madeleine Pelletier, A cross-dressing celibate feminist, became a Freemason, joining the Novell Jerusalem lodge.

1905

The 25-stone Chelsea goalkeeper, William “Fatty” Folkes, lifted a Port Vale forward off the ground and hurled him into his own goal. The penalty was awarded against Chelsea.

1905

Maurice Garin won the Tour de France, but four months later it was shown that he had traveled some of the route by train rather than by bicycle.

1909

On 12 December, King Leopold II of the Belgians married Caroline Lacroix, a prostitute who had borne him two sons. He died five days later.

1912

As soon as the Titanic went down, the White Star Line, the ship’s owners, stopped the wages of the crew.

1914

On November 4, a British attempt to capture the port of Tanga in German East Africa was repelled when the invaders were attacked by swarms of bees and were obliged to retreat into the sea.

1915

In New York, the French artist Marcel Duchamp submitted a work entitled Fountain to the Salon des Independents, which rejected it. The work comprised a porcelain urinal, signed by “R. Mutt”

07/30/2022 Odd America History   Leave a comment

I love reading about the history of this country. Not the big splashy headline making history but the odd or lesser-known history. Here are a few factoids you’ve probably never heard of . . .

  • The “American” log cabin got its start in Sweden, where such a building had been popularly used for centuries and was taken to America by the Swedish colonizers of new Sweden, which is now Delaware.
  • The name “United States of America” was coined by a man who lived the last years of his life in disrepute and his bodily remains eventually were lost – Thomas Payne. A chance meeting in London with Benjamin Franklin encouraged his move to America. Later, in 1776 he wrote his popular revolutionary tract Common Sense.
  • In the United States, about 48 billion metal cans, 26 billion bottles, 65 billion metal bottle caps, and 7 million automobiles are junked each year.

  • The United States has about 3,600,000 square miles of land, and on it more than 3,600,000 miles of highways of been constructed. That’s a mile of road to each square mile of land which if combined would pave an area as large as the state of West Virginia.
  • A replica of the head and the torch of the Statue of Liberty sat on the grounds of the Philadelphia Exposition celebrating the US Centennial in 1876, and later in Madison Square on lower Fifth Avenue in New York. A decade passed before enough funds were raised for the erection of the completed statue on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor.
  • The Pony Express, which has lived in American legend for more than a century, lived in fact for less than two years. Indian raids curtailed service on the 1,966-mile route between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, And the transcontinental telegraph finally eliminated it in late 1861.

HAPPY WEEKEND

05/03/2022 Do you know your history?   Leave a comment

I’ve been a history buff for most of my life. I would prefer to sit in a corner and read a book on history than just about any other topic except for science fiction. Unfortunately, many historical facts that were being taught in the school systems weren’t exactly accurate. Here are a few examples.

LIZZIE BORDEN
  • Lizzie Borden’s verdict was not guilty.
  • The first shots of the US Civil War were not at Fort Sumter South Carolina. On January 9, 1861, a battery of Confederate soldiers on Morris Island, South Carolina – cadets from the Citadel Military College fired 17 shots at the Star of the West, a civilian union steamship hired by the federal government to transport military supplies and reinforcements to Fort Sumter. Three months later is when the Confederate army fired on the South Carolina Fort.
  • The feminists did not burn their bras but wore them. The closest thing to bra burning happened at the 1968 Miss America pageant. On September 7, 1968, protesters of the pageant filled a “freedom trashcan” with bras, girdles, false eyelashes, men’s magazines, and other items they considered instruments of torture. Some people wanted to burn the items, but they were unable to obtain a burn permit.
  • President Lincoln’s first choice to lead the union armies was not General Grant but Robert E Lee, who rejected his offer because of his loyalty to Virginia.
  • President Andrew Jackson was called Old Hickory because of his walking stick.
  • George Washington’s false teeth were not made of wood but of hippopotamus and elephant ivory held together with gold springs. Real human teeth and bits of horse and donkey teeth were inserted into an ivory plate. By the way, his dentures are on display in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of History and Technology.
GEORGE’S TEETH
  • Contrary to the image of Daniel Boone popularized by actor Fess Parker on TV, the real Daniel Boone didn’t wear a coonskin hat, which he thought looked uncivilized. Instead, he wore a beaver felt hunters’ hat, a wide brimmed, Pennsylvania-style hat, which resembled the hat depicted on a box of Quaker Oats.
DANIEL BOONE

Just when I thought I had a good handle on our history I stumbled upon hundreds of items that needed clarification. I’ll send along more in the future because the more I find the more interesting they become.

04/12/2022 Historical Trivia   Leave a comment

I’m a lover of history, and I’m absolutely crazy about obscure historical trivia facts. I’ve collected quite a few over the years and I’m going to begin today with what I hope will be a number of postings with more of these little tidbits. Enjoy!

  • “Take this script,” Rudyard Kipling said to the nurse who cared for his firstborn child, “and someday if you are in need of money, you may be able to sell it at a handsome price.” Years later, when the nurse was actually in want, she sold the manuscript of the first Jungle Book and lived in comfort for the rest of her life.
  • After writing the runaway bestseller Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe was bombarded with hate mail. Out of one package that she received fell the ear of a slave.
  • The author of the best-known document in the United States, and perhaps in the world, published only one book. Thomas Jefferson’s answers to a set of 23 questions about the American continent, circulated in 1780 by the French emissary Fran├žois Marbois, appeared as Notes on the State of Virginia.
  • Walt Whitman was dismissed from his clerical post in the Indian Bureau of the Department of the Interior when the Secretary of the Interior, James Harlan, read a portion of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and deemed it “pernicious poetry”.
  • Heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney lectured on Shakespeare at Yale University.
  • The electric automobile self-starter, which was perfected in 1911 by Charles F Kettering, made it possible for women to drive without the companion previously needed for cranking the engine.
  • In the early 1860s, a New York firm offered a prize of $10,000 for a satisfactory substitute for ivory in the manufacture of billiard balls. The prize was won by an American inventor, John Wesley Hyatt, who devised for the purpose what came to be known as celluloid. It was the first synthetic plastic.
  • Somewhere out there in space, amid all of the junk, is the Hasselblad camera dropped during a spacewalk by the United States astronaut Michael Collins. It will orbit the earth indefinitely.
  • A manned rocket reaches the moon in less time than it took a stagecoach to travel the length of England.
  • In 1930, Ellen Church recruited seven other young nurses to work 5000 feet above the Earth. They were the first airline stewardesses, flying on Boeing’s San Francisco to Chicago route, a trip that, in good weather, took 20 hours and made 13 stops.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE HISTORICAL TRIVIA?

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