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History Trivia

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During the Renaissance, fashionable aristocratic Italian women shaved their hair several inches back from their natural hairlines.

During the Spanish American War in 1898 there were 45 stars on the American flag.

During World War II the original copies of the U. S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence was taken from the Library of Congress and kept at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

During World War II, the U.S. Navy had a world champion chess player, Reuben Fine, calculate - on the basis of positional probability - where enemy submarines might surface.

On June 13th 1944, a single Tiger tank headed by Captain Michael Wittman stopped the advance of the entire British 7th armored division (the famous 'desert rats') in the town of Villers Bocage, Normandy. This has been the deadliest single action in the entire war and stopped the British offensive, planned by Montgomery, to break through German lines. Wittman died later in August fighting against 12 Canadian Sherman tanks.

Five members of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer's family were killed at the Battle of little Big Horn. They were Tom and Boston, two half-brothers, Harry Armstrong Reed, a nephew and a brother-in-law, James Calhoun.

In 1865 opium was grown in the state of Virginia and a product was distilled from it that yielded 4 percent morphine. In 1867 it was grown in Tennessee: six years later it was cultivated in Kentucky. During these years opium, marijuana and cocaine could be purchased legally over the counter from any druggist.

The Roman emperor Commodos collected all the dwarfs, cripples, and freaks he could find in the city of Rome and had them brought to the Coliseum, where they were ordered to fight each other to the death with meat cleavers.

High-wire acts have been enjoyed since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Antique medals have been excavated from Greek islands depicting men ascending inclined cords and walking across ropes stretched between cliffs. The Greeks called these high-wire performers neurobates or oribates. In the Roman city of Herculaneum there is a fresco representing an aerialist high on a rope, dancing and playing a flute. Sometimes Roman tightrope walkers stretched cables between the tops of two neighboring hills and performed comic dances and pantomimes while crossing.

John Wilkes Booth's brother once saved the life of Abraham Lincoln's son.

There was a "pony express" in Persia many centuries before Christ. Riders on this ancient circuit, wearing special colored headbands, delivered the mails across the vast stretch of Asia Minor, sometimes riding for hundreds of miles without a break.

It was only after 440 A.D. that December 25 was celebrated as the birth date of Jesus Christ.

The first aerial photograph was taken from a balloon during the U.S. civil war.

Olive oil was used for washing the body in the ancient Mediterranean world.

In 1801, 20 percent of the people in the U.S. were slaves.

Slaves under the last emperors of China wore pigtails so they could be picked out quickly.

Dinner guests during the medieval times in England were expected to bring their own knives to the table.

It is estimated that a few years after Columbus discovered the New World, the Spaniards killed off 1.5 million Indians.

The Fish Bowl was invented by Countess Dubarry, Mistress of King Louis XV (Born 1710 Died 1774)

Leonardo DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa on a piece of pinewood, 77 x 53 cm (30 x 20 7/8 in) in the year 1506.

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