Trivia

People Share Their Best Mind Blowing Facts And Stories Pulled From History

Most of us have some general history knowledge, some of the most incredible and fascinating things that have happened in history somehow manage to slip right under our noses!

Below are 26 mind blowing facts that aren't as widely known. Check them out!


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Napoleon once took a heavily fortified city by having his men casually walk across the bridge as if peace was just declared and Napoleons troops were just trying to pass through.

Submitted by: Fredfredbug4
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(2/26)

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Sunglasses were invented by the Chinese. They were not used to block out the sun however but instead they were used by judges in courtrooms to hide their emotions.

Submitted by: josserg
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(3/26)

During the 1916 Easter Rising (a battle to end British rule over Ireland), there was a ceasefire each day to allow the park-keeper of St. Stephen's Green to feed the ducks in the park.

Submitted by: daveyb86

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(4/26)

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During World War II, the Japanese outfitted special planes (some were designed to be launched from submarines) with enough range to reach the west coast of the United States. The goal was to use incendiary bombs to start wildfires in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. One pilot, Nobuo Fujita, successfully dropped his bombs over the forest near Brookings, Oregon. Fortunately, a storm the night before had dampened the forest, and the fire started by Fujita's bomb was quickly controlled by the Forest Service.

Eighteen years later, in 1962, Fujita returned to Brookings. He brought with him his family's heirloom, a katana that was over 400 years old. Fujita apologized to the townspeople for his actions during the war, and revealed that if the townspeople demanded it, he would ceremoniously commit seppuku with the sword to make reparations for his actions.

The townspeople would have none of it. Fujita was made an honorary citizen of the town and returned to visit it several times during his life, including one trip to plant trees in the forest he had bombed decades before. After his death in 1997, his daughter returned to Brookings and scattered some of his ashes there. The Fujita family katana is on display in Brookings, after being given to the town by Fujita as a token of friendship.

Submitted by: MrFuxIt

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(5/26)

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Albert Einstein was offered the role of Israel's second president in 1952, but declined stating that he had "neither the natural ability nor the experience to deal with human beings."

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Before he was president, Andrew Jackson rose to national fame for his victory in the Battle of New Orleans during the war of 1812. His "decisive victory against the British" occurred after the war was over, though the combatants didn't know that yet, and the victory would have been impossible had it not been for the support of a French pirate named Jean Lafitte, who was only siding with the Americans in exchange for a pardon from a number of war crimes he was accused of.

Submitted by: DanHam117

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(7/26)

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Adolph Hitler's remaining relatives made a pact to never have children, so that the family dies out forever.

Submitted by: karmanaut

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(8/26)

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The man who was to protect Abraham Lincoln on that fateful night shirked his duties to go drink at a nearby saloon. Ironically, the man who would shoot the president was drinking at that saloon probably getting up the courage.

Submitted by: waiting_for_rain
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(9/26)

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The word 'Kamikaze' means 'divine wind' in Japanese. The original Kamikaze was when the Mongols sent a huge invasion force to Japan. The Japanese would have been thoroughly defeated, but both times the Mongols tried to invade, a hurricane swept down and destroyed the Mongol fleet. The Japanese named this wind, 'Kamikaze.'

Submitted by: thestrongestduck

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(10/26)

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A plan to attack American cities to justify war with Cuba was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962. Rejected by President Kennedy, Operation Northwoods remained classified for 35 years.

Submitted by: PittsburghJon

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(11/26)

John Tyler's (the 10th president of the USA) grandson is still alive.

John Tyler was born in 1790 and had a son when he was 63. That son had his son when he was 75. Meaning John Tyler's grandson was born in 1928.

Submitted by: [deleted]

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(12/26)

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Julius Wagner-Jauregg won the Nobel Prize for curing syphilis by giving people malaria.

Submitted by: illibhau

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(13/26)

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Benjamin Franklin once played a practical joke that put England and France on the verge of war.


He was stuck in England as ambassador for some time and was bored. He wrote a letter to the biggest newspaper under a fictitious name, complaining that France needs to stop sending over all their prisoners, and England needs to stop accepting them. The British were outraged to learn this was happening, but of course it wasn't. At some point the French caught wind of the rumor, and took on the attitude that they could do that if they wanted to. "You think your country is too good for our prisoners?" It escalated through both governments and the military until leaders on both sides had to unilaterally convince the populations that none of this was true.


The only person who enjoyed the whole thing from beginning to end was Ben Franklin.

Submitted by: Scrappy_Larue

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(14/26)

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Despite the terrible nature of and damage caused by the 1666 Great Fire of London, only six people were killed. This is despite the fire destroying at least 13,500 houses.

Submitted by: Eloquentdyslexic

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(15/26)

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When the Allies stormed the beach in Normandy, Hitler was asleep. No general would make a move without him, and no one dared to wake him up.

Submitted by: xPlicitMike

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(16/26)

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Martha Washington rated Thomas Jefferson's visit to Mount Vernon as the second worst day of her life, being surpassed only by the death of George Washington. Now, bear in mind that George was Marthas second husband, so her list of painful occurrences went: 1. Second husband dying 2. Having Thomas Jefferson in her house 3. First husband dying.

Also: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams vandalized one of William Shakespeare's chairs to take bits of it home as souvenirs, and John Adams had a dog named Satan.

Submitted by: gcbriel

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(17/26)

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Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr, and Barbara Walters were born the same year: 1929.

Submitted by: thegoldeneel

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(18/26)

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Alan Shepard (the first American man in space), entered the atmosphere with wet pants. Knowing he was about to be a major part of American space history, Shepard drank coffee that morning, to try and keep himself calm. About three cups or so and barely anything else.

When astronauts are launched, often they sit at a 90 degree angle backwards, whilst experiencing intense vibrations. Also important to note, the crew don't just jump into their shuttle and immediately off they go. Often, crew sit and wait for a minimum of two to three hours on the launchpad, as final checks go through.

Back to Shepard, who is sitting on the launchpad, tilted backwards 90 degrees with a stomach filled with coffee. He mentioned his issue with MOCR, (ground control) and they pretty much told him that he can go to the loo and not do the launch, or try to hold it and become a part of history. Shepard chose the latter.

Submitted by: louise_sophie

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(19/26)

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In 1972, the Buffalo Sabres drafted Taro Tsujimito as the NHL's first Japanese player. Unfortunately, he didn't make much of a splash because the Japanese style of play didn't translate to the North American style and the fact that Taro Tsujimoto was completely made up. Turns out the team was annoyed with the length and complexity of the draft and this was their protest.

Submitted by: awsears25

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(20/26)

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The Star that the Three Wise Men followed that led them to Jesus actually existed, but as a rare moment of aligned planets.

Submitted by: Mr_Sarcasum

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(21/26)

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Oxford University predates the Aztec Empire by 250 years.

Submitted by: adeadhead

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(22/26)

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Alexander the Great literally changed the world. Permanently.

Tyre used to be a city on a island surrounded with giant walls which reached 200m 200 feet high (some of which are still there today). Alexander wanted to go worship at the temple of Ajax there (and for them to swear fealty to him) but they refused and locked the gates. Since he didn't have a navy they thought they were safe.

How wrong they were. He sent one half of his army down the coast all the way into Egypt to capture every port they could find and raise a small fleet, and the other half he had build a causeway a mile out into the Mediterranean to reach the island to assault it, and capture it. And slaughter the inhabitants of course, and sold 20,000 into slavery.

And permanently altered the geography of the region, creating what longshore drift turned into a tombolo which still connects the "island" to the mainland today. In building it, he also altered the flora of the region, deforesting the lowlands of the Lebanon to such an extent that thousands of years later it's still bare (of course their upland areas are still thickly forested in cedar Trees).

Submitted by: johnydarko

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(23/26)

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The last American Civil War veteran lived until 1956. From muskets and cavalry to jets and tanks.

Submitted by: paradoxpolitics

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(24/26)

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During World War II, the men of the 442nd unit scaled a 4000 foot cliff at the dead of night in order to launch a ambush on the German emplacement known as the Gothic Line.

Men would fall during this climb but none would let out a scream, they just silently plummeted to their deaths, in order to keep their position safe. After getting into position the group laid in wait for dawn to launch their attack. At dawn the attack began and the 442nd won the day and broke the Gothic Line in 34 minutes.

Submitted by: StarPike

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(25/26)

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The United States Air Force accidentally dropped two hydrogen bombs (each with a payload of over four megatons of TNT) over North Carolina in 1961, one of which was armed and battle ready. All trigger mechanisms worked as designed expect one basic low voltage switch which didn't move and prevented a nuclear catastrophe.

Submitted by: stevenmchill001
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(26/26)

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The United States of America was founded in 1776. About 150 years later, they were pretty much the number one power in the world. Men who fought in World War II had grandpas who fought in the Civil War. Men who fought in the Civil War had grandpas who fought in the the Revolutionary War.

In such a short time period, a somewhat small group of people grew into the most powerful nation in the world.

It also blows my mind that since North America was pretty much the last frontier that was conquered, it is so untouched by human hands. There are areas of the wild that have barely seen humans.

Submitted by: forman98

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Relationships are hard. Finances are hard. Making things work with someone from a completely different lifestyle than your own is hard. Being in a relationship with someone who has a lot more money than you can be like a perfect storm of "oh no." When that perfect storm slams into the fragile isles of masculinity and societial expectations ... well ...

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Famous and highly regarded people have delivered famous last words on their deathbeds for ages, and we can only hope to be as eloquent as them when our time arrives. I like to think I'll be too busy concentrating on my laborious breaths to focus on whether I'm being eloquent or prophetic, but you never know.

These people have certainly made their marks on the history books.

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Ignorance really is biased.

We always think we know what is right and what is wrong, what's the truth and what's a lie. The reality is that most of what we know is just an opinion or a partial truth that we've filled in with our own rational (or irrational) explanation. These opinions that we pass off as 'facts' are far from it and it takes a lot of courage to look at yourself and admit you were wrong or misinformed about something. Everyone likes to pretend they're on a different level, but the truth is you're not so different from the people you disagree with. Meditate on that.

Here are a some people admitting strong opinions they no longer have, and what it took to change those views. Redditor u/segafarm asks:

What is the strongest opinion you once held but no longer hold, and what make you change your mind?

Jade-Colored Glasses

I used to think that being cynical/negative was realistic and somehow smarter than being positive. I've since realized that a "be prepared for the worst but expect the best" is far better. We can't control the outcome of anything in life. Being negative makes you miserable rather than protected from bad things happening.

nanaimo

Cant' Have A Conversation With A Parrot

I used to be a conspiracy theorist. Believed that 9/11 was committed by the US government and that we never landed on the moon.

Once I started looking outside of the echo chamber I was in and started looking at alternate explanations, theories and listening to different viewpoints I soon realized how ridiculous those notions were.

Not-A-Real-Subreddit

A Big, Mysterious Universe

I used to be a strict, hardline atheist. I was the kind of bastard that would bring the subject up for no reason, just to argue. I don't know what the hell my problem was. Now I feel like, the universe is big, I don't know what all might be out there, I don't really care. I live as if there is no afterlife, because that makes sense to me. But if you don't, and you believe in one, that's perfectly fine, and maybe you're right. Who knows?

CDC_

Portrait Of An Artist As A Young Man

I used to believe anyone can be a successful artist if they just put the time and effort into it. There is no such thing as talent, only hard work.

What changed my mind: Art school. There were quite a few people that tried hard, but just weren't able to achieve professional level art.

berfica

You're Not Your Emotions

For the longest time, I thought my emotions were in a sense the most "real" part of me. I was always a very emotional person and I didn't make a real effort to control it as I thought it was a good thing, that I was just being honest with myself. Over time though, I started to become very depressed and the negative emotions just keep adding on and on. I thought "this is just how I am I guess". Unfortunately it started hurting other relationships I had, and everything changed when my girlfriend broke up with me. After a lot of reading I found that emotions are not who we are at all. They're just reactions and there's nothing that requires us to act on them or feed them. I'm learning to let it go through me instead of hanging on like I used to.

inca829

Don't Forget Big Willie Style

I used to think that hip hop was bland, repetitive, and all about clubbing and sh*t. Then one of my friends pointed me towards people like Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Nas and Run The Jewels, who all have great songs and clever lyrics, and I realized that Hip Hop is pretty great.

6quid

The A**holes Will Always Find A Way

I used to think that the catholic church was responsible for all of the hateful people in it. I gave people the chance to challenge my opinion and someone explained it very nicely to me. Basically, the hateful people use the church as an excuse, if you remove the church they will gladly find another excuse.

TianaLeFong

High Times

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I used to tell myself that I would never stop smoking weed, and that I'd be happy if my kids grew up to be pot smokers... Now I have a kid, don't smoke, and realize what an idiot I was when all I did was smoke all day. I could probably be in a much better position if I hadn't smoked all through college.

But I mean, I still think pot's okay... Just in moderation.

edgar__allan__bro

The Road Less Traveled

"All taxation is theft, man! I made my money without any help from public institutions or the infrastructure they support, I should be able to keep every last dime of it!"

Naturally that was when I was 18, living at home rent free, and working at Pizza Hut as a delivery driver who relied upon public roads for pretty much every cent I made.

ExtremelyLongButtock

All Those PSA's Didn't Do Much

The whole D.A.R.E anti-drugs. Yes crack and heroin is bad, but they over dramatized what happens when you do smaller drugs. Weed isn't even a gateway drug, alcohol is more of a gateway drug. When I saw weed for the first time I thought it was tobacco (This was after all the D.A.R.E training too). Letting the government teach you your morales and philosophy is a thing that sheep do. Don't be a sheep.

PlantTreesForToday

Where Would We Be Without The Kindness Of Strangers

I used to think people on welfare and state assistance just weren't trying hard enough. I grew up spoiled and entitled and it seemed like any kind of charity was a stigma.

Then, my husband became chronically ill, and the economy took a shit. My family has been close to homelessness more than once, and have relied on state insurance and assistance off and on throughout the past few years. There are definitely people out there who abuse the system, but some just get stuck in a horrible cycle of poverty.

I also work in a school that has a high number low income and refugee families. It has really opened my eyes to the struggles that some people face.

BuffyandtheHellcats

He's Still There For You, The Best He Can Be

I could go through life and could seek meaningful advice from my Dad who has always been there for me.

Now he has been reduced to a feeble condition, I am starting to understand I'm out there on my own, and even what he's sure of is suspect given his mental and physical facilities have been rapidly deteriorating in his late seventies. I feel horrible that I have noticed this long before he did - or at least admitted as much.

june606

Clear Your Mind

This was before I received an ADHD diagnosis. When my doctor referred me to an ADHD specialist, first of all I refused to believe him and was kind of slighted that he even suggested that I could possibly have ADHD.

I had a very strong opinion that if I get a diagnosis that I would refuse to take prescribed amphetamines because they are "bad" and "addictive" and that they would ruin my life.

Then I actually tried the prescription and it was like magic.

Xingua92

Going Through The Whole Spectrum

Used to be fairly open with my views on immigration policy. Then I worked for a while down near Corpus Christie doing immigration work. I'd say one out if every hundred people that came through our office was going to somebody who actually wanted to work and try to make a living here. So many people simply wanted to exist enough to get welfare. Many were young men who we would later defend against exportation as a result of their criminal activity. I began to despise the work of defending these men and wished they would be deported.

Now, I'm dating a foreign girl and we are in the legal immigration process. She has advanced degrees and skills, so that makes things a little easier. But it does make me resent people who just bypass the system. We can't bypass the system because I imagine my participation in immigration fraud could get me disbarred.

RogerDeanVenture



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