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History Trivia

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In 1974 there were 90 tornadoes in the U.S. in one day.

Satirist Jonathan Swift suggested in his essay "A Modest Proposal" that the children of the poor be sold as food to feed the rich. This shocking essay is one of the best examples of satire you'll find.

Akhbar the Great Mughal routed the Hindus under Hemu by turning their elephants against them at the battle of Panipat in the Hindu revolt.

When the first U.S. Congress set the president's pay at $25,000 per year they established the vice president's salary of $5,000.

At the outbreak of World War I, the American air force consisted of only fifty men.

Before all-porcelain false teeth were perfected in the mid-19th century, dentures were commonly made with teeth pulled from the mouths of dead soldiers following a battle. Teeth extracted from U.S. Civil War soldier cadavers were shipped to England by the barrel to dentists.

King Charles VII, who was assassinated in 1167, was the first Swedish king with the name of Charles. Charles I, II, III, IV, V, never existed. No one knows why. To add to the mystery, almost 300 years went by before there was a Charles VIII (1448-57).

Lafayette was a major general in the United States at the age of 19. Lafayette's whole name takes up an entire line on a page: Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette.

Many hundreds of years ago when the well-known style of Irish dancing began in the country side of Ireland, most houses of the poor - and that means most houses - only had a dirt floor which was not a lot of use for dancing on if you were holding a ceildh (pronounced kay-lee and meaning party - more or less). So in order to make the dancing easier the owners of the house which was holding the party would take the doors off their hinges and lay them on the floor. There was just enough room on each door for two people to dance, providing they did not fling their arms about - hence the original name for Irish dancing - Door Dancing.

In a tradition dating to the beginning of the Westminster system of government, the bench in the middle of a Westminster parliament is two and a half sword lengths long. This was so the government and opposition couldn't have a go at each other if it all got a bit heated.

In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the first minimum wage in the United States. The new law, considered controversial at the time, established at.25 cents per hour minimum wage and a maximum 44 hour work week for minors.

In Britain, the law was changed in 1789 to make the method of execution hanging. Prior to that, burning was the modus operandi. The last female to be executed by burning in England was Christian Bowman. Her crime was making counterfeit coins.

A painting of the Madonna in Fiorano Castle, Italy, escaped without even being scorched when invading soldiers set the castle afire, yet all the rest of the building was destroyed.

U.S. Army doctor D.W. Bliss had the unique role of attending to two U.S. presidents after they were shot by assassins. In 1865 he was one of 16 doctors who tried to save Abraham Lincoln, and in 1881 he supervised the care of James Garfield.

King Tut's tomb contained FOUR coffins. The third coffin was made from 2,500 pounds of gold. And in today's market is worth approximately $13,000,000.

The very first enclosed shopping mall was and is Valley Faire in Appleton, Wisconsin. Not in Minnesota as most people believe. Appleton is also famous for being the birth place of Harry Houdini and the first city in America to use Hydro-electric power in homes.

It is a well known trivial fact that Neil Armstrong was the first man to step onto the moon. However, many do not know that he stepped onto the moon with his left foot.

Until 1796, there was a state in the United States called Franklin. Today it is known as Tennessee.

While Theodore Roosevelt was campaigning in Milwaukee in 1912, a would-be assassin fired a bullet into the right side of his chest. Much of the force of the slug was absorbed by the President's eyeglasses case and by the 50 page speech he was carrying double-folded in his breast pocket. Nevertheless, the bullet lodged itself just short of his lung, and, dripping in blood, Roosevelt pulled himself up to the podium. He asked the crowd to please "...be very quiet and excuse me from making a long speech. I'll do the best I can, but there's a bullet in my body... I have a message to deliver, and I will deliver it as long as there is life in my body." He spoke for 90 minutes, but was unable to refer to his text due to the gaping hole which the bullet had torn through it.

In the 15th century, scholars in China compiled a set of encyclopedia that contained 11,095 volumes.

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