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History Trivia

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Once upon a time, in the little state of Rhode Island, they were electing a state legislature. There was a thrifty Federalist farmer who started for the polls late in the afternoon and, on the way, heard the squealing of a pig. He looked around to see the pig with its head caught in the mesh of an old wire fence. Hogs often will kill and eat a trapped pig. So the farmer stopped to rescue the porker and was too late at the polls. Now, wait a minute. The Federalist farmer was too late to vote, and, the election was decided by a one-vote margin in favor of the Democrats. If the farmer had been at the voting place in time, the Democrat would not have been elected. One vote. At the following session of the legislature (these were the days when the legislatures elected our Senators) a Democrat was sent to the Senate from Rhode Island by a one-vote margin in the legislature. Try to keep up with this. The legislator was elected by one vote and his one vote elected a Senator. And in the United States Senate the vote that we should go to war with England was carried by the one Democrat margin. So the Revolutionary War was fought because, a Rhode Island pig got caught in a fence. One vote. A vote was taken on which would be the national language - English or German. English by one vote. Dr. George Benson of Harding College traced this sequence: One morning in 1844 a grain miller in De Kalb County, Indiana, was walking toward his mill. It was election day, but he had work to do and did not intend to vote. Before he reached the mill, however, he was stopped by friends who persuaded him to go to the polls. As it happened the candidate for whom he voted won a seat in the state legislature, by a margin of one vote. When the Indiana Legislature convened, the man elected from De Kalb cast the deciding vote that sent Edward Allen Hannegan to the United States Senate. Then, in the United States Senate the question of statehood for the great state of Texas came up, the result was a tie vote. But Senator Hannegan, presiding as President pro tempore, cast the deciding vote from the chair. So the Lone Star state of Texas was admitted to the Union because a miller in De Kalb County, Indiana, went ten minutes out of his way to cast his one vote, just one vote. Thomas Jefferson was elected President by one vote in the Electoral College. So was John Quincy Adams. And so was Rutherford B. Hayes, elected President, by one vote. One vote gave statehood to California, Idaho, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. All those people in all those states are Americans because of somebody's one vote. Kentucky came into the Union as a slave state, by the casting of one majority vote in the Constitutional Convention. Had it not been for the one vote, Kentucky would have entered the Union a free state. If it had, Missouri, largely settled by Kentuckians, would have done likewise. In that event there probably never would have been a war between the states. And closer to home the Draft Act of World War II, passed in the House of Representatives, by just one vote. One vote. In St. Johns, Michigan, the race for City Council (two seats, four candidates) was a one-vote wonder. The top three candidates were separated by one vote each. Election results showed Bates with 27%, Hanover with 27% and Huard with 27%. Mark Bates had one more vote than Heather Hanover, who had one more vote than Roland Huard.

The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.

Civil War General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson has two separate burial sites. His left arm, which was amputated after the battle of Chancellorsville was buried on a nearby farm. A week later, Jackson died and was buried in Lexington, Virginia.

The first advertisement printed in English in 1477 offered a prayer book. The ad was published by William Caxton on his press in Westminster Abbey. No price was mentioned, only that the book was "good chepe."

Czar Paul 1 banished soldiers to Siberia for marching out of step.

Time magazine's "Man of the Year" for 1938 was Adolf Hitler.

Louis XIV had forty personal wigmakers and almost 1000 wigs.

Before 1863, postal service in the United States was free.

The practice of exchanging presents at Christmas originated with the Romans.

New York was the first state to require the licensing of motor vehicles. The law was adopted in 1901.

Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the first American to have plumbing installed in his house, in 1840.

Seating on the first scheduled inter-city commuter airplane flight consisted of moveable wicker chairs. There were 11 of them on the first Ford Tri-Motors. After several years, Ford replaced them with aluminum framed leather chairs.

President George Washington oversaw construction of the White House, but he never lived there. It was our second President, John Adams, elected in 1796, who first lived in the White House. His term was almost over by the time he moved in, and only six rooms had been finished.

Queen Supayalat of Burma ordered about 100 of her husband's relatives clubbed to death. She did this to ensure the throne to her husband.

Suspension of the construction of the Washington Monument, at the 153 foot level, was forced by the anti-Catholic Know-Nothing movement, which was offended by Pope Pius IX's gift of a block of marble from Rome's Temple of Concord. The suspension lasted 26 years. Work resumed in 1880 and the monument was completed in 1888.

The 1,340-foot-long wall that gave New York's Wall Street its name was only 12 feet tall and erected in 1653 by Dutch colonists to protect against their enemies.

Pope Paul IV, who was elected on 23 May 1555, was so outraged when he saw the naked bodies on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel that he ordered Michelangelo to paint on to them.

American astronomer, mathematician, clock-maker, surveyor and almanac editor Benjamin Banneker has been called the "first black man of science." Banneker took part in the original survey of Washington, DC. His almanac was published 1792 to 1797.

The Aztec Indians in Central America used animal blood mixed with cement as a mortar for their buildings, many of which still remain standing today.

While performing her duties as queen, Cleopatra sometimes wore a fake beard.

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