McDonald's had an offer to give away free big Mac's, French fries and drinks through scratch cards with every medal that USA wins during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. They lost millions of dollars because USSR and it's allies boycotted the event and USA unexpectedly topped the table.
The French soldier Jean Bernadotte became so popular in Sweden that they elected him king in 1818 when their own royal family was about to die out. The Bernadotte family still rules in Sweden todayโ€ฆ
In 1995, France found a man guilty of killing a teen girl, but he was able to avoid sentencing by hiding out in Germany. In 2009, the victim's father hired a team to kidnap the killer out of Germany and dump him in front of a French courthouse. It worked, and he is now serving 15 years.โ€ฆ
Bessie Coleman was an American Aviator and the first black woman to earn a pilot's license.Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry,she taught herself French and moved to France,earning her license from France's well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just 7 monthsโ€ฆ
Thomas Jefferson made his own version of the Bible, called The Jefferson Bible, by literally cutting and pasting passages from Greek, Latin, French, and English bibles that referenced Jesus' moral teachings, but left out his miracles.โ€ฆ
After the 2015 terror attacks in Paris, the German football team was advised not to leave the stadium they were playing in due to threats on their hotel, so they slept in the stadium on mattresses. The French team they had just played against stayed the night with them, out of solidarity.โ€ฆ
Comedian Eddie Izzard has performed stand-up in French, German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.โ€ฆ
A French family had a roof leak in 2011. Upon inspection, the culprit turned out to be a 4.5 billion year old meteorite that had smashed through their roof tile. the family's name? Commette.โ€ฆ
The Mediterranean island country of Malta has been inhabited since around 5900 BCE, and has been ruled by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, Knights of Malta, French and British, all before becoming independent in 1964.โ€ฆ
The last US President who was fluent in a language other than English is Franklin D. Roosevelt, who spoke good French and German. Roosevelt died in office in 1945โ€ฆ
In order for Voldemortโ€™s name to spell out to โ€œJe Suis Voldemortโ€ in the French translations of Harry Potter, they had to make his middle name โ€˜Elvisโ€™โ€ฆ
Some Californian red and white wines went up against French wines in a 1976 blind competition judged by the top wine experts in the world. It was considered a non-event... until the American wines won. And it changed the wine industry forever.โ€ฆ
The Nazis used meth to stay up 4 days to surprise ambush the French at the start of WWIIโ€ฆ
A gang of brilliant French thieves used a vacuum cleaner to steal $800K from a bunch of grocery stores. The stores used a pneumatic tube system to convey their cash payments to their safes. They broke in and used the vacuum cleaner to suck the money out of the store vaults.โ€ฆ
John Pierre-Adams, a French footballer, has been in a coma since 1982 due to a fault caused by an anesthesiologist during a surgery. His wife continues to care for him and refuses to consider euthanasia.โ€ฆ
A 34-yr-old French-UK woman named Emma Perrier was catfished by a 53-yr-old UK man who was using a 35-yr-old Turkish model's photos. She tracked down the real model, Adem Guzel, they hit it off via FaceTime; about a year later, he flew to London and they became a couple.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Marthe Cohn, a French holocaust survivor who served as a spy for the French army. In November 1944, she manipulated a SS officer into divulging the location of the Germany army, allowing the allies to avoid a major ambush. At 100, she is still alive today.โ€ฆ
To prevent English tech vocabulary from entering the French language, French officials suggested 'le mobile multifonction' (mobile multifunction) as an alternative to the English word 'smartphone.'โ€ฆ
In 2013 a French businessman died of a heart attack while having sex with a stranger while on a business trip. A French court subsequently ruled that this was an industrial accident and that his wife and family were entitled to compensationโ€ฆ
In the late 1860's, the Phylloxera (insect) destroyed almost all of the French vineyards and that Americans saved it by exporting some vines to be grafted, resulting in a pest-resistant vine, saving the French from a catastrophic loss.โ€ฆ
While American Sign Language is NOT universal and vastly different than even other English speaking countries, it is similar to French Sign Language because of frenchman Laurent Clerc who helped found the first school of the Deaf in America.โ€ฆ
Paris holds an annual contest to find the cityโ€™s best baguette. Around 200 bakers each submit two baguettes (must be eligible) to be graded on quality, look, smell, taste, and crunch. The winner wins โ‚ฌ4000 and a contract to supply the French president fresh baguettes every day for 1 year.โ€ฆ
A man from New Zealand memorized every french word in the french scrabble dictionary and won the French Scrabble Championship. He still doesn't speak any french.โ€ฆ
French queen Marie-Antoinette never said the infamous quote "let them eat cake" according to historians. The first recording of Marie Antoinette in relation to the phrase did not occur until 50 years after her death.โ€ฆ
The Rosetta Stone, the key to deciphering Ancient Egyptian, was found in 1799 during the French military expedition to Egypt, by a French Army engineer captain named Pierre-Francois Bouchard. Bouchard had been part of a unit tasked with restoring an old fort, where he spotted the slab.โ€ฆ
Because he was in exile for nearly 30 years, Hแป“ Chรญ Minh could speak fluently as well as read and write professionally in French, English, Russian, Cantonese and Mandarin as well as his mother tongue Vietnameseโ€ฆ
After a horse ran into No Man's Land during World War I and got shot, French soldiers decided to replace it with a fake papier-mache horse with a sniper inside. He also had a telephone wire so he could message back to the trenches on enemy movement. The ploy was discovered after three days.โ€ฆ
Instead of using the idiom, "It's all Greek to me," when something looks like gibberish, the Greeks themselves often say, "It's Turkish," Turks say, "It's French," the French say, "It's Hebrew," Hebrew speakers say, "It's Chinese," and Chinese people say, "This looks like its from Mars."โ€ฆ
Territory integral to the European Union can be found on five continents thanks to the outermost regions of European nations. There are the European countries, Cyprus is technically in Asia, French Guiana in South America, Guadeloupe in North America, and the Canary Islands in Africa.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Gilles de Rais, who was a leader in the French army and fought alongside Joan of Arc. He also happened to be a serial child murderer.โ€ฆ
The French government didn't admit to its complicity in the Holocaust until 1995, i.e. 40 years after the Nazis were defeated.โ€ฆ
Today I learned about the Icarians, a French-based utopian socialist movement in the United States, established by the followers of politician and journalist ร‰tienne Cabet, who invented the word "communism" in 1839.โ€ฆ
The French philosopher Michel Foucault was paid for his famous debate with Noam Chomsky in hashishโ€ฆ
Monty Python and the Holy Grail was originally planned to end with a massive battle between Arthur's forces, the French knights, and the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog. This was scrapped because the movie didn't have a big enough budget for it.โ€ฆ
French Guiana situated in South America and bordered by Brazil and Suriname is, in fact, an overseas territory of France and therefore part of the European Union and uses the Euro as it's currency.โ€ฆ
Today I learned about Henri Frenay, a Frenchman who initially supported the Nazis, but changed his mind immediately after the Nazi occupation of France, after seeing "the look of contempt on the faces of the Germans when viewing the French". He then joined the Resistance movement.โ€ฆ
The political terms "left-wing" and "right-wing" originated in the French Revolution,where anti-royalists would sit on the presiding officer's left in the French National Assembly, and the more conservative supporters of the monarchy sat to the right.โ€ฆ
Earlier, doctors used to tap the patient's chest to get clues about their medical condition. One 'gentleman' French doctor, reluctant to embarrass a young girl, rolled up a sheet of paper to make a tube and placed it on her chest. It worked, and as a result, the stethoscope was invented.โ€ฆ
In 2007, the hijacking of a Mauritanian flight was thwarted. Over the PA, the pilot instructed the passengers that he was about to make a bumpy landing, and they should attack the hijacker while he was off balance. He said this in French, which the gunman did not speak. The ploy succeeded.โ€ฆ
The inaugural winner of the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, William Grover-Williams, was a French secret agent responsible for organizing a resistance network who was executed by the Nazis.โ€ฆ
Thomas Jefferson spoke English, French, Latin, could read Greek and Spanish, studied and wrote on Old English, and studied other languages including German, Arabic, Irish, and Welsh.โ€ฆ
Le Pรฉtomane was a French professional farter. His act involved sound effects of cannon fire and thunderstorms, as well as playing "'O Sole Mio" and "La Marseillaise" on an ocarina through his anus. He could also blow out a candle yards away. His audience included royalty and Sigmund Freud.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Thomas de Mahy, an aristocrat who was sentenced to be hanged during the French Revolution after a two-month trial. Upon the reading of his death warrant, he remarked, "I see that you have made three spelling mistakes."โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Julie Dโ€™Aubigny, who was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer who once took vows at a convent just so she could have sex with another nun, and then set it on fire. When she kissed a women at a ball, she was challenged to a duel by 3 men and she then beat them all.โ€ฆ
The actor who played French WW2 POW Cpl LeBeau in 1960s sitcom โ€œHoganโ€™s Heroesโ€ is a French Jew who survived imprisonment in the Buchenwald Nazi concentration campโ€ฆ
The battle of Dien Bien Phu fought by the French against the Vietnamese was โ€˜the only pitched battle to be lost by a European army in the history of decolonisationโ€™ and it cost the French their Empire.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of the Ozark Medieval Fortress, a now defunct attempt to build a period authentic 13th-century French castle in northern Arkansasโ€ฆ
Joseph Pujol a French man who lived in the 1800s made a considerable fortune as a flatulist at the Moulin Rouge. He was so incredible at farting that he was the highest paid preformer at the club during his time. Apparently this was due to his ability to "inhale" air through his backside.โ€ฆ
A cat called Minou, mascot of the โ€˜16-34 ULM Clubโ€™ in French Guiana, took an unexpected ride on the wing of an open-air plane. The pilot guided the craft back to the ground as the kitty hung on. Video in article. The cat was safe.โ€ฆ
To reconstruct the Great Pyramid of Giza today, it would require about $5 billion, 5 years, 1,500 to 2,000 workers, and 2.3 million stones weighing 3 tons each, according to Jean-Pierre Houdin, a French architect who has helped create a virtual model of the ancient construction system.โ€ฆ
In 2013, a head injury left an Australian woman with a French accent. This is a case of foreign accent syndrome, which is a medical condition in which patients acquire a foreign accent through a stroke or head trauma.โ€ฆ
A civilian who went on a fly-along aboard a French Air Force Rafale B fighter jet was accidentally ejected during flight. He survived with back injuries and the pilot managed to land the jet with minor injuries to his hands from broken canopy glass but the cause of the error is unknown.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Martin Guerre, a French peasant in the 16th century, who was at the center of a famous case of imposture. Several years after he had left, a man claiming to be him appeared. He lived with his wife and son for three years, until he was suspected and tried. Guerre appeared during the trial.โ€ฆ
The Ocean sunfish (in french we call it: moonfish) is one of the heaviest known bony fishes in the world, weighing up to a ton, for an average length of 1.8 m (5.9 ft).โ€ฆ
In the Middle Ages, a nun in a French convent inexplicably began to meow like a cat, shortly leading to the other nuns in the convent also meowing. Eventually all the nuns would meow together for a certain period every day. This did not stop until the police threatened to whip the nunsโ€ฆ
In an effort to keep birds of prey away from airports, French scientists discovered that raptors were repelled by an LED screen featuring a "googly eyes" image that appears to enlarge. Screens at an airport with over 8,000 bird sightings successfully reduced raptor visits during a 5 week trial.โ€ฆ
France maintains the largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world, largely from many tiny overseas territories. It covers approximately 8% of the total surface of all the EEZs of the world, while the land area of the French Republic is only 0.45% of the total land area of the Earth.โ€ฆ
Lรจse-majestรฉ is a French term meaning "to do wrong to majesty", is an offence against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state. In Iceland for example, it can be punished by up to two years of imprisonment. For a very serious breach, the term can be extended to 6 years.รจsโ€ฆ
On 1816, after the French frigate ran aground the coast of Mauritania, 150 passengers and sailors went on a raft. They were found 15 days later, only 15 survived, the rest dying from drowning, hunger and violence from other survivors. Most had to eat human flesh to surviveโ€ฆ
Julia Child's (the author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking) guilty pleasure was baked bean sandwiches.โ€ฆ
Today I learned about the Cagots, a highly persecuted minority on the French-Spanish border, who were the same ethnicity and religion as their persecutors.โ€ฆ
Marthe Richard, a French prostitute, was the 13th woman to hold a piloting license, a spy during WW1 and the legatee of Rockefeller Foundation's financial director. After WW2 she started politics. A law named after her outlawed prostitution in France and 1,400 brothels were closed.โ€ฆ
Napoleon's first language was not French. He grew up speaking Corsican and Italian and did not learn French until age 10. Throughout his life he spoke French with a heavy Corsican/Italian accent and never mastered French spelling.โ€ฆ
The majority of the United States (49 states) uses common law as its legal basis. The only outlier is Louisiana, where state laws are based on French and Spanish civil law. However federal laws, which are based on common law, are also in effect in Louisiana because of federal Supremacy Clause.โ€ฆ
5,600 Americans died during the building of the Panama Canal, and 22,000 French workers died before the Americans took the job over.โ€ฆ
In addition to being the second largest country in Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo is also the world's second largest French-speaking country with its capital, Kinshasa, being the largest French-speaking city.โ€ฆ
From time syphilis first emerged, in the 1500s, countries blamed neighboring and sometimes enemy countries for the outbreak; Italy, Germany & the UK called it โ€˜the French diseaseโ€™, the French named it โ€˜the Neapolitan diseaseโ€™, and there are numerous other instance (Listed here, paragraph 3)โ€ฆ
Today I learned of John the Posthumous; a French king who ruled for the 5 days he lived in 1316. He was the youngest person to become King of France, the only one to be king from birth, and the only one to hold the title for his entire life. He has the shortest reign of any French king.โ€ฆ
Citizens of Monaco are a small minority of its population, with only 21%. In comparison, French citizens are 28% of the population.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Le Pรฉtomane, a French farteur, who could suck water up from a pan into his rectum and project it up to several yards along with playing "La Marseillaise" on an ocarina through a rubber tube in his anus.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Alexis Carrel, a surgeon who pioneered vascular sutures after other doctors claimed the French president Sadi Carnot could not have been saved after being assassinated with a knifeโ€ฆ
The French Marxist philosopher Guy Debord's first book 'Mรฉmoires' was bound with a sandpaper cover so that it would damage other books placed next to it.โ€ฆ
Today I learned about Navy Seaman Charles Jackson French who, after his ship the USS Gregory was sunk in WWII, swam for 6-8 hours towing a raft of 15 survivors through shark-infested waters. He later received the Navy Cross.โ€ฆ
The English horn is not english at all. Its name comes from a mistranslation "cor angle", which means "angled horn" in French, heard instead as "cor anglais."โ€ฆ
Arkansas and Kansas are derived from similarly named Native American tribes, but Arkansas took the French spelling while Kansas used the English spelling. The "s" at the end of French words is usually silent. This is why the two almost identical words are pronounced differently.โ€ฆ
Had it not been for the Norman Conquest of 1066, the English we speak today would have been much different and more restrictive. The merging of Old English and Norman French led to Modern English being sort of hybrid of the two, giving another shade of meaning to words such as "swine" vs "pork".โ€ฆ
French author Antoine Saint-Exupery actually wrote The Little Prince in Long Island, NY after fleeing France during the German Occupation in 1940. There was also a brief reference to New York in the original transcript that ended up getting cut.โ€ฆ
Today I learned about the French Bread Law of 1993, which outlines specific rules for the sale of bread in France. Specifically, baguettes can not be frozen before sale and must be made fresh with no additives. It even specifies a maximum pH level and bacteria counts for sourdough starters.โ€ฆ
The last US President to fluently speak a foreign language was FDR (French and German).โ€ฆ
J (Juliett) in the NATO alphabet is spelled with an extra T for French speakers who would otherwise pronounce it with a silent T if the extra one wasnโ€™t thereโ€ฆ
Today I learned of N-rays, a new form of radiation described by French physicist Prosper-Renรฉ Blondlot in 1903, sparking the publication of hundreds of scientific articles. Failing to detect them himself, physicist Robert Wood later found them to be illusionary after sabotaging a experiment by Blondlot himself.โ€ฆ
In 2016, French billionaire Pierre Papillaud demanded that Weed give up its spring water source so that his bottle water company could have more water to sell. Disconnecting from Beaughan Spring would leave Weed without public water.โ€ฆ
That, because of its establishment in the 16th century and because of its exchanges between only French and British hands, Canada is considered to be one of the oldest continuing monarchies in the world.โ€ฆ
The Germans saw the signing of the treaty of Versailles as humiliating defeat. The treaty was signed in the Compiรจgne Wagon. When the French surrendered to the Germans in 1940, Hitler had the wagon taken out of a museum and placed in the same spot for signing the new armistice.โ€ฆ
The hit Paul Anka song My Way recorded by Frank Sinatra '69 and later Elvis Presley '73 was copied note for note from a French song Comme d'habitude(As Usual) by Claude Franรงois '67 with the lyrics completely changed from the original love song.โ€ฆ
The melting clocks in Salvador Dali's famous painting "The Persistence of Memory" were inspired when Dali saw the look of a Camembert cheese- a soft French cheese- melting in the sunโ€ฆ
A 14-year-old boy who went missing in Belgium in 1999, was found alive and well 20 years later. He spoke little French, and had no contacts when he vanished. It turned out that heโ€™d ran away from home to make a new life for himself, and didnโ€™t want to have any contact with his old family.โ€ฆ
France in the 1950's invented a very French weapon system: A bazooka Vespa. The Vespa 150 TAP scooter was intended for use by French paratroops and armed with a 75 mm recoilless rifle.โ€ฆ
The word "Jeans" came from the french word for Genoa city, "Gรชnes", because French people of Nรฎmes were inspired by a type of pants invented in Genoa, to dress the sailors of the city.โ€ฆ
In the 1920s, fashion-designer Coco Chanel accidentally got sunburnt while visiting the French Riviera, she returned home with a sun tan. Because of Cocoโ€™s status and the longing for her lifestyle by other members of society, tanned skin became seen as fashionable, healthy, and luxurious.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of Vasilisa Kozhina, a Russian woman who lead a guerilla regiment of women and teenagers to slaughter "hundreds of the French" in the Patriotic War of 1812. She has two streets, a village and a train station named after her, plus a stamp and a mention in War and Peace.โ€ฆ
Today I learned of the Judgment of Paris. Before 1976, American wine had a terrible reputation internationally until an event where Stag's Leap, an American winery, won first place against French wines. In 2006 the same vintages were re-tasted and Stagโ€™s Leap beat all French wines and took 2nd place.โ€ฆ
, one of the main attractions at Madame Tussaud's original museum were death masks of victims of the French Revolution.โ€ฆ
The quirks in the French numerical system ("four-twenty-ten-nine") are a legacy of the base 20 numerical system used by the Celtics. The hybridization with the base 10 system came with the Roman conquest of the Gaul.โ€ฆ
The word Turquoise actually comes from the French "turquois" meaning "Turkish", as the stones were traditionally imported from Turkey.โ€ฆ
Syphilis was known as the "French disease" in Europe as is rumored to have been conceived in the 15th century after the French army was celebrating a victory in Naples, Italyโ€ฆ
The French philosophy on emergency medical care is to provide a higher level of care at the scene of the incident, and so every ambulance is staffed with a Doctor who arrives on site.โ€ฆ
Today I learned about the Elvis sandwich: peanut butter, jelly, and bacon on french breadโ€ฆ
Brigitte Boisselier is a French chemist and Raรซlian religious leader best known for her claim to have overseen the creation of the first human clone at a secret laboratory in the United Statesโ€ฆ
Alain Mabanckou is among the best known and most successful writers in the French language and one of the best known African writers in France. He is also controversial, and criticized by some African and diaspora writers for stating Africans bear responsibility for their own misfortuneโ€ฆ

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