The ancient Etruscans painted women white and men red in the wall paintings they used to decorate tombs.
When Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco into England in the early 1600's, King James I wrote a booklet against it. I guess that makes King James the founding father of the "Just Say No" campaign.
The dirt road that General Washington and his soldiers took to fight off General Clinton during the Battle of Monmouth was called the Burlington Path.
All of the officers in the Confederate army were given copies of Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo, to carry with them at all times. Robert E. Lee, among others, believed that the book symbolized their cause. Both revolts were defeated.
Marco Polo was born on the Croatian island of Korcula (pronounced Kor-Chu-La).
Karl Marx was targeted for assassination when he met with two Prussian officers in his house in Cologne in 1848. Marx had friends among the German labor unions, and he was considered a threat to the autocrats. Dressed in his bathrobe, he forced the officers out at the point of a revolver, which, it turned out, was not loaded.
The right arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty crossed the Atlantic Ocean three times. It first crossed for display at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition and in New York, where money was raised for the foundation and pedestal. It was returned to Paris in 1882 to be reunited with the rest of the statue, which was then shipped back to the U.S.
In 1878 Wanamaker's of Philadelphia was the first U.S. department store to install electric lighting.
Playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII. If captured, they could be soaked in water and unfolded to reveal a map for escape.
The first telephone book ever issued contained only fifty names. It was published in New Haven, Connecticut, by the New Haven District Telephone Company in February, 1878.
The first time an enormous amount of clothing was needed all at once was during the Civil War, when the Union needed hundreds of thousands of uniforms for its troops. Out of this need came the ready-made clothing industry.
Traffic engineering was not developed in London, New York or Paris, but rather in ancient Rome. The Romans, of course, were noted road builders. The Appian Way, for example, stretched 350 miles from the Eternal City to Brundisium. In Rome itself there were actually stop signs and even alternate-side-of-the-street parking.
Until the 19th century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia.
"John has a long mustache" was the coded-signal used by the French Resistance in WWII to mobilize their forces once the Allies had landed on the Normandy beaches.
The State of Nevada first legalized gambling in 1931. At that same time, the Hoover Dam was being built and the federal government did not want its workers (who earned 50 cents an hour) to be involved with such diversions, so they built the town of Boulder City to house the dam workers. To this day, Boulder City is the only city in Nevada where gambling is illegal. Hoover Dam is 726 feet tall and 660 feet thick at its base. Enough rock was excavated in its construction to build the Great Wall of China. Contrary to old wives' tales, no workers were buried in the dam's cement.
Unfortunately Gaius grew up and became emperor, incongruously retaining his boyhood diminutive. "Little boots" in Latin is "Caligula." As you may know, he was a bloodthirsty, sadistic fiend.
Before winning the election in 1860, Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections for various offices.
Houses were first numbered in Paris in 1463. In Britain, numbering did not appear until 1708, on a street in London's Whitechapel area.
In ancient Greece, courtesans wore sandals with nails studded into the sole so that their footprints would leave the message "Follow me".
In 1937 the emergency 999 telephone service was established in London. More than 13,000 genuine calls were made in the first month.
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