25 Strange Facts From History You Probably Didn’t Learn In High School.
History is as vast as it is fascinating. The reality is that many of of us have neither the time nor diligence to commit to studying it fully, and as a result, are left with what Churchill described as those stories written by the victors (Note: although the phrase is attributed to him, its origin is unknown). These, of course, are rather limiting.
Fortunately there are moments -- through mandatory study, sheer curiosity, or chance -- when we encounter people or old advertisements, books, letters, and videos, that open us to history's backdoor. It is only then that we realize that behind the brown loafers and dusty spectacles of our respected professors is a well-kept secret that history is entertaining, wild, and even titillating.
Below you will find 25 fascinating historical facts that will make you want to hit your local library and archives!
#1. We can purchase sweet tea at McDonald's for a buck, but it was originally considered a mark of the wealthy. Tea, ice, and sugar were all very expensive in the early 20th century.
#2. According to an interview with Genevieve Bell (Director of Intel Corporations Interaction and Experience Research) in the Wall Street Journal, the introduction of trains in the U.S. was met with a sort of moral panic. Many people believed that "women’s bodies were not designed to go at 50 miles an hour. [They feared their] uteruses [would] fly out of [their] bodies as they were accelerated to that speed.”
#3. In 1989, the Pentagon revealed that a one-megaton nuclear bomb had fallen into the Philippine Sea in 1965. It was carried by a United States Navy Douglas A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft on the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga. It still hasn't been found.
#4. One of the greatest pirates to ever grace the waters was a woman. Former Cantonese prostitute Ching Shih married well-known pirate Cheng I and took over after his death.
#5. Nahienaena of Hawaii, a high-ranking princess, was in love with her brother Kamehameha III.
Hawaii State Archives
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