Nazis left behind so many of their Karabiner 98k rifles at the end of WW2 that they ended up being used for the rest of the 20th century all over the world, and some were even used in Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Somewhere out there, an 80-year-old Nazi rifle is still used in warfare. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kar…
Inuit in northern Greenland were using iron blades for centuries without knowledge of metallurgy. They made them by breaking pieces off of a huge iron meteorite and shaping them with heavy stones. They built their settlements close to the meteorite and used its iron for generations. now.ku.dk/documents/Meteo…
In the 20th century, the phrase "He never married" was a euphemism used by British obituary writers to imply that the deceased man in question was homosexual. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Con…
The Antikythera Shipwreck of the First Century BCE, discovered by Greek sponge divers, yielded artifacts including art, jewelry, a statue of Herakles, coins, but most importantly the Antikythera Mechanism, interlocking gears that computed the movements of the sun, the moon, and eclipse dates whoi.edu/know-your-ocean/…
The Fruit orange was first called orange by the French dating back to the 13th century. then 200 years later the orange color was announced by the Oxford dictionary. So the fruit came before the color. rd.com/article/orange-wor…
Eccentric 18th-century American businessman Timothy Dexter authored a book complaining about politicians, the clergy, and his wife. The book contained no punctuation, so in the second edition, he added a page with 11 lines of punctuation marks, for the readers to distribute them as they pleased en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim…
Nineteenth century New Orleans socialite Delphine LaLaurie was discovered to have been torturing several slaves in her home for months on end. In public life, she put on a facade of politeness toward black Americans and bragged about taking good care of her slaves. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Del…
In the mid-18th century, Americans were so used to yellow milk, tinted with lead chromate to disguise the bluishness of watered-down dairy, that people refused to purchase white milk, thinking it had been coloured discovermagazine.com/mind…
Today I learned of Cymburga, a 15th Century Polish princess who became the female ancestor of all later Habsburgs. She was "renowned both for her beauty and for her ability to drive nails into oak planks with her bare fists." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cym…
Today I learned of Wei Jie. A frail youth who lived in 3rd Century AD China, he was considered to be so beautiful that hordes of admirers mobbed him/his home all day, which caused him to die of stress. "Wei Jie died of stares" is now a Chinese idiom describing celebrities who have very obsessive fandoms. ecns.cn/learning-Chinese/…
Today I learned about Sanada Masayuki, the head of Sanada clan in the 16th century, sent his older son to join the Tokugawa army and his younger son to the opposing army at the Battle of Sekigahara, the turning point in feudal Japan, to ensure the survival of the clan, regardless of the outcome. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San…
In the 9th century AD, a viking named Halvdan carved his name on a marble in Hagia Sophia. The runes he carved reads "Halvdan was here" which are still visible today. fellowprimo.com/the-bored…
900 year old African coins were found of the coast of Australia, making them the oldest foreign artefacts found on the continent, predating the Europeans by centuries. australiangeographic.com.…
In the early 19th century the US Senate's desks were updated to make them more usable (i.e. a writing box and an extra drawer). Daniel Webster refused to update his desk, thinking it was a waste of money. The desk is still used as nobody wants to get rid of it since it belonged to Daniel Webster mentalfloss.com/article/8…
Some 19th century Japanese artwork depicted westerners with the whites of their eyes as blue because the artists were confused about which part of the eye was supposed to be blue. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mat…
18th century France developed a visual telegraph system. Using a series of towers topped with adjustable beams that would display a message and instructions on the next tower to relay it to, messages could be sent across the country in a mere matter of hours, long before electricity. bbc.com/news/magazine-229…
The Can-Can was a particularly scandalous dance in the 19th century because women wore pantalettes, which had an open crotch, and the high kicks were intentionally revealing. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Can…
In 1920 a 4th century lead tablet was discovered in which Silvanus asked the god Nodens to curse the thief that stole his ring. The ring, interestingly, has been identified as one found 130km from the tablet 200 years prior. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rin…
The concept of deviled eggs dates all the way back to 4th and 5th century AD. history.com/news/the-anci…
In 19th-Century America, popcorn was eaten with milk and sweetener as a breakfast cereal. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pop…
The 19th-century Countess of Castiglione, mistress of Napoleon III, was so desirable that the famously stingy Lord Hertford offered her 1 million francs for one night, on the condition that she had to do anything he wanted. She agreed, and they later avoided each other, out of "mutual respect" brightyellowblossoms.com/…
Horses evolved on the great plains of North America. They migrated across the Bering land bridge to Asia, and all remaining horses died out in America. When the Spanish brought horses with them in the 16th century, they were returning them to their native ranges. britannica.com/animal/hor…
Nose jobs were performed in ancient India. The earliest example was in 6th century B.C. where a piece of the patient's cheek was used to fashion a new nose. Nose jobs didn't become normal in the west until syphilis came about as advanced syphilis leaves a hole in the sufferer's face/nose. smithsonianmag.com/smart-…
Today I learned of the Weihnachtsgurke, or Christmas Pickle tradition of German-Americans. It's a pickle ornament hung on Christmas trees. While claimed to be a tradition from Germany, it's more likely that it was an American invention from the 19th century that has since been exported to Germany. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chr…
Christianity did not develop from Rabbinic Judaism. Instead, the two movements emerged side by side from diverse Jewish teachings in the 1st century and only began to become truly separate religions after the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in the year 70 CE. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jew…
In the early 17th century, the royal standard of France became a plain white flag, which was intended to symbolise purity rather than surrender. The French troops fighting in the American Revolutionary War fought under the white flag. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whi…
For centuries after his death there was a persistent legend that Roman emperor Nero would return to life and reconquer the empire. This led to a number of fake Neros, one of whom was so widely accepted as real that it almost led to war en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ner…
The origins of Chicago's nickname of the Windy City has NOTHING to do with weather- it actually stems from a late 19th century description that its residents were β€œwindbags” and β€œfull of hot air" rd.com/article/chicago-wi…
China's 17th-century Tianqi Emperor suffered from a learning disΠ°bility, and was illiterΠ°te. However, he was an outstanding carpenter and craftsman, spending vast amounts of time on woodworking, and he instructed his servΠ°nts to sell his creations undercΠΎver, to see how much they were worth en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tia…
The potato was 1st domesticated in the region of modern-day southern Peru & extreme northwestern Bolivia between 8000 & 5000 BC. It arrived in Europe sometime before the end of the 16th century by two different ports of entry: the first in Spain around 1570, and the second via the British Isles. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His…
Disney's Lady and The Tramp (1955) is based on a 19th century painting depicting the meeting between Alexander the Great and Diogenes, where Alexander asked if there was anything the sunbathing philosopher wanted from him, with Diogenes famously responding "You could get out of my sunlight" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dio…
The English language term "smoking" was coined in the late 18th century; before then the practice was known as "drinking smoke". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smo…
British sailors on the HMS Dolphin in the 18th century discovered that native Tahitian women were eager to exchange sex for iron, and they began pulling nails out. The resulting trade became so extensive that the loss of nails started to threaten the ship's structural integrity. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS…
James Cook, the famed 18th century British explorer, was killed on the beach in Hawaii after he tried to kidnap the island's monarch, KalaniʻōpuΚ»u. hawaiihistory.org/index.c…
A guy in 19th Century China managed to convince over 30 million people he was Jesus Christ's brother, and attempted to rebel against the Chinese Government, starting one of the bloodiest civil wars in human history en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hon…
In 2012, Angamuco, a "lost" ancient city in Mexico with more buildings that Manhattan, was uncovered. It was built by a civilization that was rivals to the Aztecs, and remained buried under vegetation for centuries. news.com.au/technology/sc…
The classic English dish of Fish and Chips has Jewish and Belgian origins. Battered and fried fish was introduced to England by Jews in the 16th century. Deep fried potatoes originate from Belgium. Restaurants that sold fish and chips have existed in London since atleast the 1860s en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fis…
Around 650 residents in the town of Coria del RΓ­o, Spain have the surname JapΓ³n (Japan). They are the descendants of 6 samurai who traveled to Europe in the early 17th century and set up an embassy: wikipedia.org/wiki/Coria_…
The very first sci-fi novel, A True Story, was written in ancient Greek in the 2nd century AD. It featured space travel, aliens, robots, artificial atmospheres and more en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_T…
In the 15th century, you could legally marry wherever you wanted without the presence of a priest or witness, just a notary had to be present youtu.be/5eE-Yu0HVgU
The oldest known oil paintings were found inside caves in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. Dating from the 6th century AD, the paintings show scenes of Buddhas in vermilion robes and mythical creatures. Oil wasn’t added to paint in Europe until the 13th century. reuters.com/article/us-af…
Judensau was the art (mainly sculptures) which Jews are shown in obscene contact with a sow (female pig). The images appeared during the 13th century and it intends to mock Judaism since the religion prohibits eating pork, considering it to be an "unclean animal". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jud…
Telephone Party Lines Were Once High Entertainment - neighboring family's had to share 1 phone line in 20th century up in north country area due to telephone company's saying it was too expensive for individual installation. Each family had own 'ring tone' and could listen in on each other. adirondackalmanack.com/20…
Today I learned of the Sophia Loren - Jayne Mansfield photo that caused an international sensation in 1957. Loren was being welcomed to Hollywood by Paramount at a dinner at Romanoff's in Beverly Hills. 20th Century Fox was promoting Mansfield as the blonde-bombshell successor to Marilyn Monroe. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay…
10th century Norwegian Viking ruler King Haakon the Good made the household production of JuleΓΈl (Christmas Beer) a law. Families that did not have beer at their Christmas feast were issued a fine. vinepair.com/articles/chr…
The "queen" in chess used to be the "advisor" which could only move one square diagonally. It wasn't until chess was brought to Europe and the rise of female monarchs during the 15th century was the "advisor" replaced with the "queen". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Que…
Construction workers at the new World Trade Center site in NYC stumbled upon the hull of an 18th century Philadelphia sloop active in colonial-era Caribbean trade. Tree-ring scientists at Columbia University found that the wood used to build the ship were felled in 1773. history.com/news/tree-rin…
The song Over the River and Through the Wood is actually about Thanksgiving, and although we don't usually associate Thanksgiving with snow, at the time it was written, in the early 19th century, New England was going through the Little Ice Age. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ove…
The Byrds' 1965 recording of "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)" holds the distinction in the U.S. of being the # 1 hit with the oldest lyrics. Nearly all the lyrics are taken from the book of Ecclesiastes, traditionally ascribed to King Solomon in the 10th century BC en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tur…
Today I learned of "Lost Dakota"- a small portion of the Dakota Territory that was not given to any state in the late 19th century and was subsequently forgotten for five years. It was later annexed by Montana and is uninhabited to this day, although it is reportedly "infested with grizzly bears". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los…

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