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Random Historical Facts
Topic Started: May 27 2013, 05:36 PM (964 Views)
CJ
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A very minor case of serious brain damage

Yes, I'm ripping off my own "Random Science Facts" topic, but whatever :P . Just post a random fact from world history.

1) Denmark's national flag has been in continuous use since the year 1219, making it the oldest continuously-used national flag in the world.
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Mechanized
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2) Nitrous Oxide was first discovered in a Carnival by a Clown but was never clarified until later by another Joseph Priestly.

( I did learn this in Highschool.. xD)
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CJ
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3) The Republic of Cospaia became independent in 1440, after its territory (a small strip of land) erroneously went unmentioned in a sale treaty. The state lasted for nearly 400 years, until 1826.
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4) 10 June 1190: During the Third Crusade to the Holy Land a Holy Roman Emperor Frederik I drowned in the Saleph river.
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CJ
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5) The wording for the US Declaration of Independence was approved on 4th July 1776, but it was only signed by two people on that date: John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the other signatories didn't add their signatures until 2nd August.
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Denis Pick
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Dear Leader

6) More Russians (military and civilians) lost their lives during the Siege of Leningrad than did American and British soldiers combined in all of WWII.
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Mechanized
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7) 44BC: Whilst expected to appear at the Senate Julius Caesar's life was taken from him by multiple assassins, the two most known were Servilius Casca and his brother, they were both close to Julius.
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CJ
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8) Damascus steel blades have been found to contain nanowires and carbon nanotubes.
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Mechanized
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9) The tree symbol during Christmas was actually taken from the Pagan belief
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CJ
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10) The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square has been donated by the city of Oslo each year since 1947, in gratitude for our support of Norway during World War II.
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CJ
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11) There is still one person in the USA receiving a federal pension from her fathers' service in the American Civil War:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2296995/Child-Civil-War-veteran-STILL-receiving-soldiers-pension-nearly-150-YEARS-conflict-ended.html
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CJ
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12) All British tanks built since 1945 have been equipped with facilities for making tea.
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CJ
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13) 2013 was only the second year in recorded history in which nobody was executed in Europe. The first year in which this was the case was 2009.
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CJ
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14) The Parthenon was re-purposed as a church in the 5th Century A.D., then as a mosque in the 1460s. It was eventually used to store gunpowder - which blew up when it was hit by a Venetian mortar round in 1687.
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CJ
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15) In June 1941, Winston Churchill wrote a note to the War Office, ordering them that "every man must have a weapon of some kind, be it only a mace or pike".

Unfortunately, the War Office misinterpreted this as a literal instruction, and actually made pikes to issue to the Home Guard!
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deyana
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Interesting. History fascinates us just as does the future.
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CJ
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16) The term 'vandalism' comes from the Vandals (an East Germanic tribe who ruled over parts of Spain and north Africa during the 5th century, and sacked Rome in AD 455). Thanks to this, their name has become associated with the destruction of property - but it's now thought that they weren't any worse for this than other tribes of the era.

(Then again....at least it wasn't the Visigoths who sacked Rome. If it was, perhaps I'd be posting about the origin of the word 'visigothism'....which doesn't exactly roll off the tongue :( !)
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CJ
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17) Staircases in castle towers were usually clockwise going up, and anticlockwise going down. This was so that a right-handed swordsman, defending the tower from the top down, could swing effectively at invaders.

Of course, this all assumes that the swordsman is right-handed....which roughly one in eight people aren't. Therefore, at Conwy Castle, one of the eight towers had a staircase which was anticlockwise going up, which was defended by the left-handed swordsmen!
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Jarkko
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Christian. Exterminator of Spammers.

18) Operation Husky - the invasion of Sicily during World War II - was a three-pronged attack. The smaller Canadian Army was sent through the dangerous hill country to force out the Germans who had taken root in the area, and the original intent was for the Americans and the British to cut them off before they reached the Strait of Messina. But the British got held up on the east coast long enough to foil this initial plan. The Americans took the long way around (west) and took the Canadian Tank Brigade with them. (Did a paper on this in my undergrad. On a personal note, Brig. Robert A. Wyman, who was one of the commanders of the Canadian Tank Brigade, is my great-great-uncle.)
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CJ
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Wow, interesting personal connection there!

19) In 1982, a Danish frigate, the HDMS Peder Skram, accidentally fired a missile, destroying four summer homes and damaging 130 of the surrounding buildings. Fortunately, nobody was injured!
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CJ
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20) For a brief period in 1933, from the death of Calvin Coolidge (on 5th January) to the end of Herbert Hoover's presidency (on 4th March), there were no living ex-presidents of the United States.

(For nearly 20 years thereafter, until Harry Truman's departure from office in 1953, Hoover was the only living ex-president)
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CJ
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21) The Greek monarchy used regnal letters, instead of the more usual regnal numbers.

(For example, King Constantine I was known in Greek was 'Konstantínos Alpha', and King Constantine II was known in Greek as 'Konstantínos Beta')
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Emerald
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
In the 13th century 30,000 children went on what is known as the Children's Crusade. They were convinced God would allow them to take back the Holy Land without incident, but most died on the journey or were sold into slavery.
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CJ
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23) The city of Cádiz (in southern Spain) was founded in 1104 BC by the Phoenicians. This makes it arguably the oldest city still standing in western Europe.
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Jarkko
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Christian. Exterminator of Spammers.

24) San Marino is the oldest continually existing state in the world today, and the oldest republic. It was founded in 301 AD by a Christian stonemason named Marinus, and actually predates the fall of Rome by around a century and a half! It wasn't recognised by the papacy until the 1600s, though.
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CJ
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25) The reign of King Simeon II of Bulgaria began in 1943, when he was six years old, and ended with the abolition of Bulgaria's monarchy in 1946. Later in life, in 2001, he returned to political power, when he was elected Prime Minister of Bulgaria.

Additionally, he's the last living person to have served as a Head of State during World War II (following the recent death of the former King Michael I of Romania).
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Jarkko
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Christian. Exterminator of Spammers.

Being both a hereditary and an elected leader of power? :P Now I've seen everything! :lol:

26) The Treaty of Sèvres made provision for a possible independent Kurdistan after World War I, but the Turkish War of Independence saw the area conquered by Atatürk's forces and renegotiated to be part of Turkey in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which is a fact that Kurds resent Turkey for to this day.
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CJ
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27) Since the emergence of the Democratic Party in its current form (in 1828), Vermont has only ever elected one Democratic senator. That would be Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who first entered the Senate in 1975, and has represented the state for the past 43 years now.

Note that I'm not counting Bernie Sanders (I-VT), since he's technically an independent. Even when he temporarily joined the Democratic Party in 2015-16 for his presidential run, he hadn't been elected to the Senate as a Democrat.

(Amusingly, this means that deep-red Alabama has elected as many Democrats to the US Senate in the past month as deep-blue Vermont has in its entire history :lol: )
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JHG
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28. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind was released on March 11, 1984.
Edited by JHG, Apr 19 2018, 11:55 PM.
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CJ
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Just to put into perspective just how old the Pyramids of Egypt are:

29) Queen Cleopatra lived closer to the Present Day than to the construction of the Pyramids. (She lived a little over 2,000 years ago, while the Pyramids were built about 4,500 years ago)
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