What are some cool history facts you know?

#1

During the siege of the Castle of Weinsberg in 1140 king Konrad III. allowed the women to leave with everything they can carry while the men were promised to be killed.
He didn't expect that the women would carry the men out of town on their back.

Upon the critique of his nephew Friedirch that he shouldn'd allow that, it's told that he said "Let them go, we shouldn't be twisting a king's word."

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Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Sorry for the typos, got a new keyboard today

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#2

Jesus was not a white man. Cue religious zealots having a go about how he is. If you actually educate yourselves, he was born in Bethlehem (Palestine) to two Israelites from Nazareth "the Arab capital of Israel".

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

This is not going to upset anyone who went to my (Catholic) school. Why would he be from Scandinavia?

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#3

Frances Glessner Lee. Occasionally she'll pop up on a list like this one somewhere but it's really not that often and she was a COOL lady!

She was, basically, the mother of forensic science. She was born in 1878 in the US and was very affluent but definitely a trail blazer for her time. When she was 52, she finally found her path and is most known for her "Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death", which are a series of artistic diorama's of crime scenes. They were meticulously detailed and are still used to this day to help train detectives, etc. Check her out, she was awesome!

Yes, in today's times it's all about DNA and camera footage, etc. but if you've ever heard the phrase "walk the scene" in a book or on TV, her diorama's are what they're talking about. Being able to observe, to mentally construct what happened, etc. I love this woman.

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General Anaesthesia
Community Member
1 month ago

If she had been a man they'd have whole schools of thought named after her.

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#4

The history of USA and South Africa is almost identical and consequently we have very similar problems. Watch. 1. Dutch settlers arrive on the coast in the 1600s and make a five-pointed castle. 2. They do this because it's a trade route. 3. They trade, barter, religiously brainwash, and fight with, the local population that pre-existed. 4. The British get upset at the fact that the Dutch got that piece of land and invade in the 1700s. 5. The Dutch flee to surrounding areas. 6. A bunch of people get into animal-drawn wagons and head inland. 7. They genocide the native people as they go, set up farms, and claim it is "empty land" and "manifest destiny". 8. The British go inland to find gems and gold. 9. Civil war ensues in the 1800s, partly over mineral control but also partly over slavery. 10. Peace is established, however, the Union that follows is white-biased and racist laws are enacted. 11. In the 1960s, civil rights movements protest and cause trouble with violent clampdowns by white authorities. 12. Eventually voting rights and civil rights, and petty segregation, is ended on paper. 13. However, petty segregation persists in practice, and racism persists in practice, with most wealthy people being white.

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Caro Caro
Community Member
1 month ago

The word apartheid is Dutch, not something to be proud of !

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#5

Y’all not gonna believe this one. But… once upon a time, not so very long ago… in a faraway place called the United States of America, a majority of the general population figured that a narcissistic psychopath called Donald Trump might actually be fit to hold the highest public office in the world!And oh my, how the rest of the planet (and, according to some rumours, other planets) roared with laughter. Or cried with distress. Kid you not… true story. It’ll go down in history as one of the most painfully stupid things a population has ever done to itself.

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Um... No. It wasn't a majority, it was our stupid electoral college. And we definitively kicked him out the next election.

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#6

I hope prehistory counts. Well, here goes. Around 65.5 million years ago a very large space rock struck the earth near what is now the Yucatan Peninsula. Rafts of dead dinosaurs mixed with vegetation floated into the Cretaceous sea and sank about 100 feet down to the sea floor. Covered with sediment, the masses converted over time to produce a substance called Greensand Marl. A marl pit in Sewell, New Jersey in the USA has such a deposit. A very rich source of fossils, it is considered the finest fossil bed east of the Mississippi River. Recent testing revealed high concentration of the element Iridium, which is rare on earth but abundant in meteorites. This deposit is the smoking gun that ended the 170+ million year reign of the
dinosaurs. The site is now owned by a local university, but unknow to most is the deposit extends beyond the property and can can easily be accessed by a creek running through the site.

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jolie laide
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Huh, I hadn't heard that! Yet another rabbit hole I need to fall down, thanks for posting! One thing I always wished (looking back on my school days), was that they would've taught us about the different eras and its flora/fauna in relation to what Pangea was like during those times. We were taught about Pangea in general but only in terms of, "This was Pangea and then all the tectonic plates moved around and voila here we are today." They never connected it to the eras at all. They never went into the different seas, etc. Granted this was decades ago but I have a feeling a lot of schools still aren't connecting the two. For example, the number of people even today who read an article or hear about another fossil find still exclaim, "But they found it in the desert!" or "On top of a mountain!"

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#7

Battle at Itter Castle, May 1945
German Wehrmacht, American units, French prisoners and Austrian resistance joined forces to fight off the SS who were trying to retake the castle.

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TotallyNotAFox
Community Member
1 month ago

Not surprised, the Wehrmacht really never was on good terms with the SS

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#8

John Keller's heroics. This former 6' 8" Marine saved the lives of 240+ people at the American Can apartment building in New Orleans after the flooding of hurricane Katrina. He commandeered a kayak, and found food and medical supplies for the 170 elderly residents living there. When helicopter started flying overhead, he carried some of the elderly up five flights of stairs to put them on the roof to get the pilot's attention. When the helicopter couldn't land on the roof, he hot-wired a boat and started evacuating the people himself, 12 hours a day. He faced down a bandit who tried to steal his boat by pulling his own gun.

He was later interviewed and said, "It sure wasn't for money. It wasn't for recognition. It wasn't to be no damn hero. What made me stay was the old people. I just realized that nobody else in here could have gotten those people out. They would have sat in here for five more days. And they didn't have five more days."

(Will Smith was going to make a movie about him, but it fell through.)

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#9

Once during the reign of Napoleon, France asked Spain permission gor their army to cross the country in order to conquer Portugal. Spain being a rival of Portugual agreed. Obviously France decided that since their troops were already there they would also take Spain.

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jolie laide
Community Member
1 month ago

Some of the worst atrocities to happen during the Napoleonic wars happened in Spain. Salamanca and Badajoz spring to mind. I read a Napoleonic soliders journal once that was published, he was from Prussia and it was mainly about the march to, battles in, and retreat from, the Russia campaign. Two things I remember most about it, was his really sweet and poetic descriptions of the scenery, especially about this one pond with pretty blue frogs. The other was about marching in winter and how everyone was so frozen, including the horses, that you could supposedly "cut off a piece of horse flesh and the beast would be none the wiser" because the troops were starving. There's a lot of private journals that you can buy copies of but they're really expensive because it's usually a "pay to print" situation. So to spend $40 - 60 (depending) for a copy of a journal that might only be X amount of pages can be off putting.

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#10

- Albania was prevented from joining NATO for a while due to pyramid schemes. There's a condition that the applying country has to have a degree of stability to join, but since it got to a point where two thirds of the population was involved in one scheme or another and there was rivalries between them, they didn't have the required stability. Luckily they fixed that mess and are now in :D

- During the Nazi policy of Gleichschaltung (bringing all areas of social and political life under Nazi ideals) even the leaders of the National Rabbit Breeders Association were purged and replaced with Nazi-indoctrinated ones

- During the Paris Peace Conference (where the victors of WW1 decided what the post war Europe would look like), at one point, the Queen of Romania (and someone else, but I forgot who) were frustrated that they were being sidelined, so they got into a small plane, flew over Paris and threw down rolls of toilet paper onto the city.

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Pterodactyl in Disguise
Community Member
1 month ago

That’s how you toilet paper a city! 🧻 🧻 🧻 🏙 🏙 🏙

#11

Sharks are older than trees

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#12

On the day he was assassinated April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln created the Secret Service.

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jolie laide
Community Member
1 month ago

This is cool, when seen from the lens of modern times. But when the Secret Service was first created, it was because of rampant counterfeiting (money). The Confederate States, just before the Civil War broke out, created their own currency. Even before the war ended, the Confederate economy was collapsing so the currency was worthless before too long. When President McKinley was assassinated in 1901, the Secret Service got promoted to protecting Presidents, etc. full time. They still handle counterfeiting though!

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#13

Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones drowned at Christopher Robin's house. Author A.A. Milne bought Cotchford Farm in 1925, and immortalized it, along with his son, in his Winnie-the-Pooh books. Visitors can still wander Hundred Acre Wood and Poohsticks Bridge. Christopher was bullied about his role in his father's books, and grew quite resentful of all things Pooh, so when A.A. died in the 50s, Christopher sold the farm to the Taylors. The Taylors made a few changes, including installing a swimming pool.

In the mid 1960s, Brian Jones bought Cotchford Farm from them, and in 1969, drowned in the pool while likely intoxicated, feet away from where statues of Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, and Owl now all frolic in the rural idyll of a bygone time.

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#14

Cool fact about Poland: Having seen Britain and France use a technicality to avoid going against Hitler when he invaded (long list)? The Poles refused to surrender even one building. To do so would have triggered the technicality in the treaties of mutual defense ---- "surrender one thing and you're on your own", is the TLDR version. So Poland refused to surrender anything. At all. Fought for every bit.

It was *months* after the Nazi invasion before the British did anything besides "declare war". Actual *action*? Not till Denmark was invaded i spring 1940. (France invaded the Saar and then sat still.) thus WW2 is called "The Phoney War" by many due to the declaration but lack of hostilities against Nazi Germany.

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General Anaesthesia
Community Member
1 month ago

Correction: World War II is not called the Phoney War. Only the period between the British and French declaration of war after Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939, and the German invasion of France in May 1940 is called the Phoney War, or Sitzkrieg.

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#15

I just learned this recently, but in 1199 when King John ascended the English throne, a rather interesting set of events took place. King John’s brother, King Richard I, was the previous monarch who had burned through a lot of the monarchy’s wealth to find his failed Crusade. This left King John with no new land acquired and few resources to maintain his kingdom, especially the territories in Northwest France that they held at the time. The French were starting to break away too, so it was really urgent for John to find a way to counter this.

Enter the Muslim Caliph Al-Nasir. Al Nasir’s Caliphate had control over most of the Iberian peninsula at the time, but needed to defend that land from the Iberian kingdoms. So King John sent an envoy, the head of which was a man really cunning and always looking for a way to make “a quick buck”.

So the envoy was sent and met with Al-Nasir. The message of seeking an alliance was delivered, including the part where King John promised to convert his Kingdom to Islam. However, later on in private the head of the envoy told Al-Nasir that King John was a cruel tyrant who abused his power. Al-Nasir then rewarded him with gifts for his honesty and sent the envoy back to England. The head then showed the gifts Al-Nasir had given him, saying the mission had been a success. For this, King John showered him with even more wealth, and he happily went on his way. The alliance never solidified as King John died about a year later and Al-Nasir two years later. But it’s still crazy to think that England might have changed religions for the sake of keeping its territory.

Interestingly enough, later down the line a certain King had a dispute with the Catholic Pope and threatened to have England convert to Islam if he didn’t get his way, to which the Pope obliged.j

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Shannon Veillon
Community Member
1 month ago

cite your sources, I would like to look this one up. it's not that I don't believe you, I would just like to read more into this.

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#16

in 1620, the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts instead of further south because they had run out of beer.

Really! English water was horrible and dangerous. Beer was safer to drink and the English put in a store of it to make it across the Atlantic to the New World. Due to the jet stream, it took longer to go west to America than they planned and the beer ran out before they could get south of MA. By then, it was fall and they needed to make shelter before winter. So, they stayed in MA.

Good, safe water is one reason New England thrived. You no longer had a 10%-50% child mortality rate from unsafe water, so New England population boomed.

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bagels and beagles
Community Member
1 month ago

I can believe this given the quality of water in those days

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#17

As if being a beautiful, talented actress was not enough, Hedy Lamarr was also a gifted mathematician, scientist, and innovator. Alongside the famed composer George Antheil, Lamarr patented the "Secret Communication System" during World War II. Her idea (now referred to as "frequency hopping") pertained to a way for radio guidance transmitters and torpedo's receivers to jump simultaneously from frequency to frequency. Her invention sought to put an end to enemies' interception of classified military strategies, signals, and messages. While the technology of the time prevented the feasibility of "frequency hopping" at first, the advent of the transistor and its later downsizing propelled Lamarr's idea far in both the military and the cell phone industry.

Overall, Lamarr introduced the technology that would serve as the foundation of modern-day WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems. Her creation of "frequency hopping," which holds an estimated worth of $30 billion, led her to receive the Pioneer Award of the Electronic Frontier Foundation as well as the Invention Convention's Bulbie Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award.

Lamarr's impressive technological achievement combined with her acting talent and star quality makes "The Most Beautiful Woman in Film" one of the most accomplished and intelligent women in not only Hollywood but also STEM.

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Peter H
Community Member
1 month ago

It’s HEDLEY!

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#18

There's a big pandemic every 100 years

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#19

Ramses II of Egypt was nearly 90 years old (longest ruling Pharaoh) and fathered between 80-100 children by the time he passed in 1213 B.C. His eventual cause of death is suspected to be a badly infected tooth.

He created many temples, including Abu Simbel, which was relocated to higher ground in 1959 when a dam was created that would have flooded the previous location. Small statues of his children are around the feet of the larger sitting statues of him and his wife, Nefertari.

His love for his wife was evident from the number of statues that bear her resemblance since it is believed that, in order for someone to remain in the Field of Reeds (final resting place) their image or name must be present in the mortal world.

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#20

King Louis XIV of France rewarded the best brown-nosers. Some courtiers would place small wedges under statues so that the King could point out a slight tilt. Courtiers would then gush over the King's fantastic eye.

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#21

After one of Hitlers speeches everyone kept clapping for 5 minutes after he finished speaking. The first guy to stop clapping was captured that night by the police and imprisoned. after this they brought in a bell to tell everyone when to stop clapping.

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bagels and beagles
Community Member
1 month ago

Pretty sure that was actually Stalin…

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#22

They didn't mean to blow up the Bastille

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Jan Ahlmann
Community Member
1 month ago

Hate it when that happens!

#23

Shortest war in history was the Anglo-Zanzibar war. Lasted around half an hour.

Essentially Britain showed up and told the kind of Zanzibar to surrender by noon or they would declare war and blow up the castle. Noon came and went and no surrender so we did as we said we would and blew the mfers to pieces. One British soldier was killed and over 200 Zanzibar soldiers. Needless to say, the kind surrendered.

And that is another example of Britain conquering a country cuz they could.

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Dani Tuo
Community Member
1 month ago

The Kingdom of Zanzibar was a British Protectorate (the King retained power but was ultimately controlled by the British King). The declaration of war is because the incoming King didn't pledge themselves to the British Empire. I'm not saying in any way, shape, or form that British Imperialism wasn't wrong, but it was not "conquering a country cuz they could".

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