51 Ridiculously Amazing Historical Facts You Never Heard Before

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Amazing Historical facts

The past is full of curious stories, and the past is what we have at all. These curious stories are what we call facts, and these are what make history truly interesting.

The Facts listed here might surprise you a bit, or they might not convince you enough to believe, but still, it’s our past, and if you turn over the pages, you will find the truth. You might not prefer to believe some of these. BUT, I am pretty sure you would love to read through. Maybe, these 41 facts might not make you feel like a historian, but these are tiny little surprising bits of history, and perhaps the most fun part of our past.

If You are low on time, at least you could check the table of contents or Our slider with really awesome facts below, and If it interests you, bookmark the site and read it later. I promise you will learn a lot of new things. Make sure to comment on which historical fact astounded you the most.

Contents

Here are our picks for the 41 Astonishing Historical Facts that Might completely Surprise You…..

Click on ARROW for Next Quick Fact

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The First Ever “Selfie” : One Among the Top Historical Image

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The above image is officially the world first ever taken selfy. He literally stood in one position for nearly 10-15 minutes to take this image. His name was Robert Cornelius. It was taken in 1839. Now it takes barely a millisecond to capture a selify. Evolution

1.
The most successful pirate in history was a Chinese Lady.

Most sucessful pirate 1

She is Ching Shih, A Chinese woman and the most successful pirate of all time. During the Peak of her power, She commanded over 1,800 pirate ships and an estimated 80,000 men. She is also famous as The Pirate Queen. Who thought the most successful pirate was a Lady. She is the only Pirate I know about, except our captain Jack Sparrow.

2.
There were female Gladiators.

Gladiator

Rare, of course. But it’s true there used to be female Gladiators in Ancient Rome and they were Known as gladiatrices (gladiatrix). I wish someday, maybe we will get to know more about them, perhaps a movie.

3.
Alexander the Great was buried alive.

alexendra

Alexander the great suffered a rare disease that left him paralyzed for six days. His muscles were so paralyzed that the doctors couldn’t figure breathings and announced him dead. So there is a very strong possibility of him being buried alive, accidentally.

4.
The University of Oxford is older than the Aztec Empire.

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The Aztec Empire was established in 1428 whereas the University of Oxford was established as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

5.
Give Us Our Eleven Days!! Britisher

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Britain skipped 11 days of September 1752, when Britain changed over from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar(today’s international calendar), bringing it into line with most of Europe.

Before 1752, Britain and colonies followed the Julian calendar, implemented by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. However, this calendar had a small error of 1 day every 128 years, due to a miscalculation of the solar year by 11 minutes and over millennia it turned out to be 11 days. It isn’t bad though. A day in 128 years, that’s the pretty accurate calculation of that time.

It was caused due to leap years. We add a day every 4 years because the earth takes 365 days, 5 hours, 59 minutes and 16 sec to revolve around the sun. So, to maintain these 6 hours we have a Feb 29 every 4 Year.

If you noticed, we are adding 44 extra seconds to our calendar and that is what caused the addition of a day every 128 years which had to be removed and that’s why we skip 3 leap years every 400 years.

6.
Jewish slaves didn’t build the Pyramids.

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The newly discovered tombs of people who worked on the Great Pyramids of Giza evidence that the pyramids were built by workers, not slaves. As it’s less likely for slaves to get buried in a proper and respectable way.

7.
Vikings didn’t wear horned helmets.

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It’s was the outcome of peoples imagination and the result of some fascinating historical transposition rather than a true fact.

There is no archaeological evidence that proves Vikings wore horned helmets. The helmets were used in order to protect the head from impact during the battle, but having a pair of horns doesn’t make sense in any way. Horned helmets, rather decrease the strength of helmets.

8.
Before dentures were invented, The teeth of the dead were used as dentures.

dentures

In the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, the teeth of dead soldiers were pulled out and sold to dentists where they boil them, cut off their roots, mix with gold and shape them into dentures.

9.
Christopher Columbus didn’t discover America.

columbus

Columbus explored the Central and South American coasts but he never reached North America Native Americans. It is believed Leif Eriksson, a Viking made to North America Nearly 500 years before the birth of Christopher Columbus.

10.
“Fox Tossing” was once a popular sport.

fox tossing

Fox Tossing was a competitive blood sport that gained popularity in many parts of Europe especially Germany in the 17th and 18th centuries. It involved throwing live foxes and other animals high into the air.

11.
Napoleon Bonaparte known as The Little Corporal wasn’t short

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According to wiki Napoleon Bonaparte who led many successful battles during the French revolution and gained popularity as Little Corporal was 1.68 meters long which is equivalent to 5 foot 6 inch which is indeed the average height of men.

12.
Albert Einstein didn’t fail Math.

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Most people believe that Einstein failed in maths during his school days, but the records show that he was an extraordinary student (with good marks in Math and physics).

There are a few of his grade sheets still available across the internet which represents he might be weak in the non-scientific subjects but good at math (I couldn’t verify available grade sheets and the source so I haven’t attached them).

13.
Rasputin survived being poisoned and being shot.

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Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man. He was stabbed in the stomach, shot in the chest, Poisoned beat, and finally murdered on December 16th, 1916. When the shooting failed to kill Rasputin, so they beat him, tied up his body, and threw it into the freezing waters of the Neva River. Pretty hard to kill huh!!

14.
During World War I, the French built a “fake Paris”.

fake paris

During the First word War, France decided to build a replica Paris outside the city  15 miles north of Paris to fool German bombers.

Also Read: Battle of Nalapani- An epic battle fought by 600 Gurkhas

15.
Turkeys were once worshiped as Gods.

wild turkey

During 300 BC Mayan culture was a height and it was their tradition to worship Turkeys and it was part of most sacred rituals.

16.
The owners of the Titanic insist that They said it was unsinkable ship.

Titanic

It was never said that the Titanic was an unsinkable ship as per the ship oners. They claim that the ‘unsinkable’ myth was the result of people’s interpretations which grew after the disaster.

17.
Thomas Edison Didn’t Invent the Light Bulb.

light bulb

There were already different versions of light bulbs when Thomas Edison started working on Bulbs but they were somewhat different forms. More than 20 scientists had already worked on the light bulb before Edison with their own patents.

Related: 13 Least Known Facts about Buddha You May Love to Know

18.
Roman Emperor Caligula made one of his favorite horses a senator.

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According to the ancient historian Suetonius, the Roman emperor known as Caligula loved one of his horses, Incitatus, so much that he made him a senator.

19.
The shortest war being fought lasted for only 38 minutes.

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It was the Anglo-Zanzibar War fought between Zanzibar Sultanate and Great Britain on 27 August 1896. The military conflict lasted between 38 to 45 minutes, marking it as the shortest recorded war ever fought in history.

20.
Women Were Once Banned from Smoking in Public.

smoking

In 1908, a so-called law is known as the ‘Sullivan Ordinance‘ was passed in New York City and it was declared that it will be illegal for a woman to smoke in public places. The rule only lasted for two weeks.

21.
Abraham Lincoln was a champion wrestler.

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Abraham Lincoln was a skilled wrestler who lost only a single match throughout his carrier of approximately 300 matches. He is enshrined in the Wrestling Hall of Fame.

22.
Foot Binding was considered to be attractive in ancient China

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Chinese women used to bind their feet to about 10 centimetres in size to display social status and was considered beautiful. Mostly rich Chinese girls were used to follow such tradition.

Related: China Nepal War- An Invasion of Tibet by Gurkhas

Some Informative Historical Facts You May Love to Read

23.
The Greatest Gathering of Knowledge Ever – The iconic Photo

solvay conference

This iconic photograph was taken at the Fifth Solvay Conference in October 1927. All the greatest scientists of the 20th century together in one picture- isn’t that amazing.

24.It is believed Ancient Greece was the starting point of democracy

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The term ‘Democracy‘ itself is a Greek word. The first Democracy was established in 508-507 BC by Athenians. Athenians were led by Cleisthenes therefore he is referred to as “the father of Athenian democracy.”

26.
Paper was initially used for packing and protection rather than writing

paper

Paper was invented during the 2nd century BC by the Chinese and they used it for packaging, protection, and even as toilet paper. Later on, people started to use it for writing purposes.

27.
The Roman Empire lasted for more than 1,000 years.

Roman Empire

 The Roman Empire was founded by Augustus Caesar in 31 BC and lasted till 476 AD marking the longest empire that lasted for more than 14 centuries. “ We have been getting a lot of comments wondering how 31 BC and 476 AD sums up to 1400 years. After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476AD, the Eastern Empire, known as the Byzantine Empire lasted until around 1453 A.D. “

28.
Hundreds of millions of people across Europe and Asia died due to the Black Death.

black death

The Black Death, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis was the deadliest disease ever recorded by mankind. The Black Death resulted in the deaths of up to 75–200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.

29.
A war lasted 335 years with Zero causalities and no deaths.

the 335 year war

The war between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ( rather an alleged state of war ) was fought for 335 years due to a lack of peace treaty. The hypothetical war finally came to end with peace declared in 1986.

30.
The longest war fought continued till 781 years.

longest war

The Iberian Religious War with The conflict, known as the “Reconquista,” was fought between the Catholic Spanish Empire and the Moors living in present-day Morocco and Algeria from 711–1492.

Some Ridiculously Weird Historical Facts

31.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived both the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and then later Nagasaki.

Atomic bombing of Japan

Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a Japanese marine engineer who luckily did survive both atomic bombings.

He was leaving Hiroshima when the first bombing was made and got few injuries. He came to Nagasaki and limped to the hospital. When the other bomb hit Nagasaki he was in a meeting giving a description of the Hiroshima bombing. Here is an article by History.com on him.

32.
The well-Known rum brand Captain Morgan was a real Guy.

captian morgon

Yeah, It’s real. The cartooned captain like person appearing on bottles of popular rum turns out to be based on a real person. His full name was Sir Henry Morgan, and he was born in Wales in 1635 and was in the British Royal Navy while England was at war with Spain.

33.
It was common to attach Bells to coffins.

bells to coffins

It had been common to be buried alive in the Victorian era so they came up with the idea to attach bells to coffins. Over the period of time, these safety coffins have saved many peoples buried alive.

Read About: Battle Of Nalapani – An Epic Battle Fought By 600 Gurkhas

34.
In Victorian England, people used to take pictures of their dead relatives in lifelike positions to keep as Mementos.

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This historic tradition is what they used to call Post-mortem photography. Although Various cultures have followed this tradition but were mostly practised in Europe and America.

35.
A jockey won a Race despite being Dead.

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Frank Hayes is the only man to ever win a race despite being dead. On June 4, 1923, jockey Frank Hayes suffered a fatal heart attack in the middle of the race at Belmont Park. Hayes somehow remained in the saddle enough to win the race.

36.
In Ancient Rome, urine was used as a Mouthwash.

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It was common to use urine as a mouthwash in Ancient Rome due to its good cleansing property. Both Human and Animal urine contains ammonia which acts as a cleansing agent, therefore, is capable of whitening teeth.

37.
Heroin was once a perfectly acceptable medicine. Doctors prescribed it for everything from coughs to headaches.

heroin

A century ago, Heroin was widely used against coughs caused by serious and some common diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, but soon doctors discovered side effects.

The patients required more and more doses and soon become dependent on it. Therefore it was declared a drug problem.

38.
Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

hitler

In 1939, Adolf Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was recommended by Erik Gottfrid Christian Brandt(A Member of national assemblies who can nominate candidates for the Peace Prize).

It was only three months before he led invaded Poland and started World War II. This wasn’t intended to be taken seriously as this nomination was meant as a joke.

You May Like: Why Britain never succeeded in Colonizing Nepal?

39.
In Renaissance France, a woman could take her husband to court if he was impotent.

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In 16th century France, divorce was a rarity, reserved only for the well-to-do and possible only in exceptional cases. Back then erectile dysfunction was the only way in order to have a divorce

40.
The Government of US Poisoned Alcohol during 19’s.

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In 1926 the government of the US decided to poison alcohol When people continued to consume alcohol despite its banning. Statistics show that more than ten thousand people died due to the consumption of such alcohol.

41.
Researchers once turned a living cat completely to a working Telephone.

cat into telephone

It was 1922 when Professor Ernest Glen Wever and his research assistant Charles William Bray at Princeton University turned a living but unconscious cat into a working telephone. The purpose of the experiment was to test how sound is perceived by the auditory nerve.

42.
Albert Einstein was offered the Presidency of Israel.

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Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952 but he rejected it saying he lacked “the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people

#Bonus Stuff

43.

This Man Is Great!

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The Maharaja of Jamnagar took in and agreed to look after more than 1000 orphaned polish, Jews and Catholics. I think that is the greatest thing a king could do in times of crisis and people fighting in the name of religion.

44.

One thing that makes a Scientist Great.

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Even Nobel Prize is less for Him. What do you think? Only a few risk their lives to save others. These people deserve fame and all that. This was the most shocking historical fact (on the science community) for me and I am proud that I am sharing this.

45.
The Picnic Battle of American Civil War!

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The First of American civil war, the Battle of Bull Run (also known as the Battle of First Manassas) was called “The Picnic Battle” because many wealthy elites and Washington’s civilians, including congressmen and their families, went on picnics on the sidelines and watched the battle.

46.
The great Wall of china is Sadly Called the Longest Cemetery in the World

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The Great Wall of China is actually a graveyard with lakhs of men buried inside when they died carrying the huge boulders to build the wall. scary tragic and typical of the Chinese cold-bloodedness. It was an exceptional punishment for convicted criminals.

47.
Compassion and Love of the Woman for her Father

amazing history facts

This painting of a young woman with her child breastfeeding an old man in a prison cell was sold for 30 million euros. It may look perverse but the story behind is indescribable.

The poor man was sentenced to “death by starvation” for stealing a loaf of bread during the reign of Louis XIV in France. The woman was his only daughter and the only visitor to his cell. She was allowed to visit him daily but was not allowed to take food in.

Even after 4 months, the man was still alive, no weight loss, nothing. The authorities now started spying on her in the cell and to their utter astonishment found her to breastfeed her father to the fullest sharing her baby’s milk. The judges realizing the compassion and love of the woman for her father, let off her father and set him free.

48.
It’s Missing for Now, Suggest Us!

I left it empty so that we could know how much care about history. Share some of your facts and we will Place that here if it’s amazing. Comment Down at the End. Let see who wins?

Read Further: Why did Britain Never succeed in Colonizing Nepal?

Did you enjoy these Historical Facts?

Hope you are still here and enjoying the content till the end. If you have come so far then, You must have something to say about the listing which you are totally free to describe in the comment section. If you want to inform your friends about these tiny bits of history then go ahead and use that share button. Also, There are a lot of articles on each and every fact listed below you can check for further readings and more information.

Further Readings
More In Facts

Comment!!!

Leave me a comment (Your thoughts or whatever) please but not “how the hell 500 years add up to 14 centuries“, There have been a lot of discussions on that, check comments!!! , And most importantly leave me your thoughts.


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93 thoughts on “51 Ridiculously Amazing Historical Facts You Never Heard Before”

  1. Hi
    Impressed with some of the surprising events of the past.

    For the Roman Empire to have lasted for about 14 centuries. it would seem incredible but there must be something that keeps them going for so long. Present Italy however is not in good shape – and they need to rise again and not just in football

    About 75-200 million deaths savaged the world during the “Black Death” Oh! how they coped – We can learn some lessons not just technical stuff but things like faith, patience, perseverance etc

    Love some of the other details like urine was consumed in Ancient Rome – thought this was happening only in India. This seems like a validation and if could be proven safe with modern technology it could be used to help shortage of water .

    Thanks

    Reply
      • Correction: urine that is collected via a sterile urinary catheter using sterile technique is considered sterile. Once urine touches the body parts during urination, it is no longer sterile.

        Reply
        • But urine while coming out of body, no track of it is exposed to out side atmosphere, where it can get contaminated, then how come urine is not sterile? How about sperm, which is collected for medical test is as live and even counted as it’s directly ejaculated into womb! Where does logic fail?-MRRAO.

          Reply
        • What you described is a clean catch, not contaminated by outside sources. Urine itself is not sterile. It can contain bacteria. It is one of the body’s waste products.

          Reply
    • Nineteenth Century historian John Fiske observed that the continuous authority that constituted the essence of the Roman Empire, extended to any country in the chain of authority that named its ruler “Caesar” or “Czar.” In that line of thinking, the last vestiges of the Roman Empire didn’t end until the murder of Czar Nicholas and his family in 1919, as part of the Russian Revolution.

      Reply
  2. for the author of this article very strange sense of humour if he considers that to outlive two nuclear bombardments is funny. Did not he want will have fun so with the children?

    Reply
  3. I wonder if my math is a bit wonky. Rome lasted over 14 centuries? From 31 B.C. to 476 A.D.? So a ‘century’ is about 36 years, 2 months and 20 days long?

    Reply
      • There was a Roman Republic before the Empire which started in about 27 B.C. The Roman Empire did end in 476 A.D., though the Eastern Empire, known as the Byzantine Empire lasted until around 1453 A.D. If you combine the two, you do get about 1400 years.

        Reply
      • my computer screen even says — somewhere — 14000 years. you would do well to use a native american-english-speaking editorial assistant-proofreader.

        Reply
          • With all due respect, your English grammar and choice of vocabulary needs a lot of work. Keep practising and accept criticism.

          • You don’t know did not mean it to say exactly what he wrote! What are you, some kind of magical superhuman clairvoyant mind reader!?! He most likely did not misspell a damn thing and wanted it to be exactly as he wrote it! Tell us all WonderOracle Diviner-Soothsayer, oh do tell us all what I did and thought about from 8:15 pm to 11:07 pm on the 22nd of August 2021? Surely YOU MUST KNOW!

      • If as some historians do, include THE REPUBLIC AND THE eastern BYZANTINE EMPIRE as merely a continuation IN EITHER DIRECTION, THEN THE ROMAN EMPIRE LASTED FOR APPROXIMATELY, (NOW REMEMBER THE EMPIRE was split into 2 halves) the western empire collapsed in the wake of the tribal disturbances, you could argue that the ROMAN empire last for 1700 years….

        Reply
    • Obviously, he meant to include the Eastern Roman Empire, which survived until 1453 (not to mention the Roman Kingdom/Republic, which had its mythical origin in 753BC).

      Reply
  4. Caligula never made Incitatus a senator; he merely threatened to make his horse a consul (which is different than a senator) to illustrate his perceived ineptitude toward the Senate.

    And I’m sorry, while it’s a good list there are a lot of spelling and grammatical errors in it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Reply
  5. Thank you very much… but the Roman Empire is generally considered to have lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD. Which gives it a lifetime of 503 years. Even if you used the year 31 BC it still lasted 507 years but not over 1000 years as you state in this article.
    If you on the other hand choose to consider the fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD as the end of the Roman Empire you can safely say it lasted almost a millennium and a half.

    Reply
  6. Lots of things up for debate, I think especially the post about the greatest gathering of intelligence. I shall resume this topic at a later date. With notes and what not, but I think it’s pretty clear that the greatest gathering of intelligence lacks diversity justifiably. Asian countries are not represented whatsoever. Unless an argument is made that asian countries were not as intelligent as their counterparts, that is provable, then I think the post is just silly.

    Reply
    • If the Asians are missing then it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be greatest gathering. I believe Asian countries are equally intelligence but what makes this gathering greatest among all is the presence of highest number of greatest scientist of the century. The gathering would have been much more beautiful if more scientist would have been there but still such high level of gathering has never been repeated in history and that’s what it makes greatest.

      Reply
      • I would refer to it as “The greatest gathering of knowledge” as knowledge does not mean intelligence, I have known many people with great knowledge but no intelligence & I have known people with no academic qualifications but very intelligent on a practical level.

        Reply
  7. You can say the Roman Republic/Empire lasted nearly 2000 years! The Roman Republic began in 500 BC after overthrowing an Etruscan Kingdom. Unfortunately, the assassination in 44 BC of Julius Caesar, an autocratic Roman general and counsel who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire under the leadership of Augustus, the first emperor.

    Reply
  8. You can say the Roman Republic/Empire lasted nearly 2000 years! The Roman Republic began in 500 BC after overthrowing an Etruscan Kingdom. Unfortunately, the assassination in 44 BC of Julius Caesar, an autocratic Roman general and counsel who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire under the leadership of Augustus, the first emperor.

    Reply
  9. Glad to know that Adolph Hitler’s nomination was meant as a joke! Hopefully the one for Donald Trump was also meant as a joke

    Reply
  10. Mark Lin’s comment is interesting and I have two thoughts on the subject:

    First, JFK, hosting a hundred or so Nobel Prize Winners at the White House in the early 1960’s, told his guests that they represented the greatest assembly of genius since Thomas Jefferson once dined there alone.

    Second– The photo in 1927 only claims to be a collection of the greatest scientists of that period or century. And it lacked “Diversity” because most of the world’s people were living in oppressed nations and never had a chance to explore new ideas. In the early 20th C and throughout the 19th C, almost all scientific advances in the world were made by Americans and Western Europeans because only they were free to think and act constructively. In the 20th C as more people around the world gained a degree of freedom they joined the scientific advance–think of Japan. S. Korea, Singapore, Israel. And the greatest collection of scientists may have been in ancient Greece when Aristotle, Archimedes, Socrates, and Pythagorus were charting new knowledge for mankind. Diversity is over-rated. And there are few racial inequalities in intelligence. Talent and knowledge is key in science! All races are roughly equal but they need an accumulated body of know-how and the freedom the learn it and use it.

    Also, governments have to allow for genius to be freely developed. One of the “facts” tells us that under Prohibition, “In 1926 the government of the US decided to poison alcohol When people continued to consume alcohol despite its banning. Stat’s show that more than ten thousand peoples died due to the consumption of such alcohol.”

    That fact underscores the need for freedom–without oppressive government mandates. In America today, the government is returning to such mandates–as if the elites in Washington are wise enough to impose such ludicrous rules on our people, We should be laying down the rules for our elites–not the other way around!

    Reply
  11. great fun reading these 41 facts.
    You would do well to enlist the help of an american-english-speaking proofreader/editorial assistant.
    [hundreds of small errors]
    regards — Mo

    Reply
  12. It’s amazing that Roman Empire, headquartered in such a small country, ruled the world for such a long period of time.

    It’s interesting to learn that the most successful pirate was a Chinese female (Ching Shih), commanding 1,800 ships and a crew of 80,000 people. Thanks

    Reply
  13. Adolf Hitler was NOT nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
    He was recommended by Erik Gottfrid Christian Brandt(A Member of national assemblies who can nominate candidates for the Peace Prize), who argued later that it was sarcasm, but still underwent total condemnation.

    Reply

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