Important Historical Facts Everyone Should Know
Important Historical Facts Part 1
1. During the Second World War, one out of every 250 Americans worked on the Manhattan Project.
That’s the first astonishing fact about what they were working on. As Dr. Paul Langford, one of those Americans, once put it, “We made something go bang!”
The Manhattan Project was a massive undertaking that took place during World War II and saw the participation of over 130 plants and universities in 20 states. The project studied everything from nuclear physics to chemistry to engineering as well as other sciences related to bombs and weapons–in short, anything that could help us be successful in defeating our enemies: Germany and Japan.
2. In 1906, local man Joe Munch was arrested. However, the local judge was lenient with the law, and Munch was given only one minute in jail for his crime.
However, the local judge was lenient with the law, and Munch was given only one minute in jail for his crime. The following day, the judge was quoted as saying “I just couldn’t believe that the law would let a man go to jail for such a tiny crime” and Joe Munch’s sentence was revoked.
3. Einstein had citizenship in 5 countries: the USA, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Kingdom of Württemberg.
His trip to the US (on a ship called the Kungsholm) is well documented. But when he sailed to Europe in 1905, no one knows where he came ashore. He could have landed almost anywhere: England, France, Belgium, Holland or Germany.
4. Miners once used canaries as gas detectors.
These miners carried canaries with them in their mines. The gas would get trapped in the bird’s sensitive respiratory system and kill it before it could escape to kill the miners.
Because of this, we now use canaries to test for certain gases that are used in a factory such as combustible liquids or solvents. The birds’ behaviour is observed and the signs of distress are studied if they’re affected by the gas. This enables us to halt any leaks from occurring within a factory which might cause harm on human beings nearby.
5. The original minimum wage was 25 cents and was established in the US in 1938.
For many decades, the minimum wage was more of a benchmark and less about providing a livable income. In 2019, that is not the case.
The minimum wage varies by state and locality, with the US federal rate at $7.25 per hour in most states and territories but reaching $14 per hour or higher in places like Massachusetts and Seattle.
It’s essential to learn what you are entitled to if you’re being paid below minimum wage based on your work location or classification as well as how to file an employment complaint when illegal wages are still being paid.
6. A variety of cultures invented writing independently all over the world. The Egyptians, Sumerians, Chinese, and Mayans all developed their own language systems.
Some cultures learned how to write from other cultures, but the end result is an astounding diversity of writing systems. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting ones!
– The Egyptian hieroglyphs are a largely pictorial language.
– Invented in 2200 BC, they were first used to record economic transactions before evolving into a full system for writing out names and phrases. – Around 1600 BC, Sumerian cuneiform became the world’s first known writing system that was not based on pictures or symbols. It consisted entirely of signs representing syllables for words and could be used to write many languages from Semitic languages like Akkadian right through to Eastern European languages like Polish.
7. During World War II, Hershey chocolate bars were used as currency in many countries.
In the winter of 1944, 5 chocolate bars could be exchanged for a US dollar in Allied-occupied Germany. The Hershey Company provided the Allies with millions of bars to help stabilize the currency.
In 1900, Milton Hershey started The Lancaster Caramel Company. After the successful invention of hard candy in 1907, he began to expand his company by purchasing chocolate companies within the United States. He also purchased a cocoa plantation in Trinidad for future production.
Hershey’s chocolate was first sold outside of North America in 1907 when he supplied King Edward VII with 1,000 bars of milk chocolate. During World War I, Milton Hershey helped to provide relief for Allied soldiers by providing food and clothing. In 1922, he purchased the rights to the Hershey Chocolate Company and moved his US production facilities to Pennsylvania. In 1929, Milton Hershey passed away leaving behind a large fortune for his foundation.
8. King George I of England was born in Germany.
When he died, his son George II became the next King. It is from these two kings that the current royal house of England descends.
The House of Hanover (or House of Brunswick) has played a major role in shaping history because it was one of the first families to unite three separate kingdoms (England, Scotland and Ireland) into one unified Great Britain under one crown. The lineage also includes the German states and a small country off the coast of Denmark called Schleswig-Holstein which was part of its heritage too. They even had connections through marriage with France’s Bourbon monarchy. George I was born in Osnabrück, Germany on May 28, 1660. He was the second son of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Princess Sophia of the Palatinate. At age 14, he went to the University of Leiden to study civil and canon law where he excelled in his studies. While he was there, King Charles II of England died and his brother James II of England took over.
The people did not like James’ Roman Catholicism so they overthrew him in what is now known as The Glorious Revolution (or Bloodless Revolution).
9. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Starry Night” is considered Van Gogh’s most famous painting. It was painted in the Saint-Remy mental hospital near Paris during his stay there between May 1889 and May 1890.
It is one of the first paintings in which he used the pointillism technique that made his later work so recognizable and popular.
In mid-1889, Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint-Paul asylum in St. Remy, near Arles, France. He was staying at a parsonage there, painting The Potato Eaters (F567). After the completion of this painting, one of his uncles arranged for Van Gogh to be admitted to the nearby mental hospital at Saint-Remy. The physician in charge was Dr. Félix Rey (1859—1928).
10. While prohibition was in effect, Al Capone made $60 million a year by supplying alcohol.
This was a crazy amount of money at the time and he also financed other crimes like prostitution. In 1932, Al Capone was sentenced to prison for 11 years for tax evasion, not any criminal acts.
In conclusion, prohibition made Al Capone rich and it did absolutely nothing to cut back on crime or alcoholism in America.
11. The symbol of peace and honour has been used for thousands of years by Hindus and Buddhists. The Swastika is still used today by Buddhists, particularly in Nepal.
The Buddhist swastika is often rotated clockwise by 90 degrees when compared to the German Nazi party’s usage of it.
The word “Swastika” is derived from the Sanskrit svastika, meaning “good fortune” or “well-being.” And while there are different theories about its origins, this symbol has been used for centuries and continues to be used today as a sign of good fortune.
12. Ota Benga, a 23-year-old boy from Congo was exhibited in the Bronx zoo, New York, in a monkey house.
The orangutan that was supposed to be there was not so he was put there. This simply because the zookeepers did not think he looked more like a man than a monkey. He stayed there for six months and they were even considering giving him an African name.
Important Historical Facts Part 2
13. In 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the moon.
In 1971, Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the moon. He utilized one of the six-iron golf clubs that were originally flown to and used on the moon by astronaut Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, who had landed Apollo 13 on Earth’s satellite ten days prior. Shepard enjoyed a successful career as a NASA astronaut, logging more than 238 hours in space. This is his most well-known accomplishment.
The first golf ball was hit on the moon during Neil Armstrong’s historic walk in 1969, but it was shanked off into oblivion with no witnesses other than Buzz Aldrin. The second successful hole-in-one occurred during Apollo 14 in 1971 with Alan Shepard taking a full swing from an estimated 65 feet away (although without any witnesses).
14. The U.S. president who wrote the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, is said to have fathered two children with his slave, Sally Hemings.
The U.S. president who wrote the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, is said to have fathered two children with his slave, Sally Hemings. In researching for this article, we found that, as with many stories of the colonial era, this one can’t be absolutely proven. However, there are many intriguing pieces of evidence that Jefferson might have had a relationship with Hemings and even taken her as his wife because he had promised to free all of his slaves at the end of his teens.
Only time will tell if historians can find any more information on whether or not Jefferson really did father Hemings’ children. What do you think?
15. In World War II, Joan Pujol Garcia, a Spanish double agent, received the highest honor from the Axis and Allies.
Joan Pujol Garcia was born on January 24, 1912 in Barcelona, Spain. He was a Spanish citizen living in France when World War II began. He later became a double agent for Nazi Germany and the Allies. This man risked his life to be an agent for both the Germans and the Allies during WWII to help bring down Hitler’s evil empire.
16. In 1958, an atomic bomb was dropped off the coast of Georgia. It has not yet been found.
Nobody is sure what happened to it. It could have sunken into the seafloor, or even been swept out to sea by strong currents. Or it could still be buried deep beneath the waves, resting somewhere on the ocean floor more than one hundred meters below us and waiting to be discovered.
To this day, nobody knows for certain and it remains one of the most hidden secrets of our century. Fifty years after that fateful day in September 1958, people are still searching for where this bomb went down…
17. After his death in 1826, Jefferson’s library became the basis for the Library of Congress. In total he donated 6,487 volumes.
The typical library in Jefferson’s day consisted of only a few thousand volumes; the sheer number of books at his estate is the reason why he became America’s first major bibliophile.
Among topics covered in his personal library were architecture, geography, science, vernacular buildings and picturesque scenery. His love for architecture was such that he had many copies made of architectural drawings that he made during his sojourns in Europe and put them on display at Monticello for visitors to study.
In addition to collecting books, Jefferson also collected manuscripts and other types of works from all over the world.
18. Buzz Aldrin is the first man to pee on the moon! He stepped off Apollo 11 and was the first to urinate there.
Aldrin was in space for eight days and more than twenty-two hours before he took his famous “pisstake” on the moon on July 21, 1969.
19. The remains of King Richard III were found buried under a parking lot in London in 2013.
It was a rediscovery that had been predicted for centuries, but archeologists found it through a bit of luck.
King Richard III is infamous for being the last monarch in England to be killed in battle, but his body languished undiscovered until now. The fact that he’s only just been found after all these years speaks volumes about the importance of preserving our own history.
The bones were analyzed and confirmed as belonging to King Richard III. The discovery also tells us something about how King Richard died, and what disappeared with him when he did: power, wealth and might.
20. In 1942, the Nazis in Germany put a 5,000-dollar bounty on Albert Einstein’s head.
Einstein was Jewish, and their fascist regime wanted to stop any of the scientist’s work which might have served to assist the Allies. They wanted Einstein dead.
But he had escaped from Germany long before that point, and lived in Princeton – where he continued his research on nuclear energy. It was through that project that scientists were able to discover atomic power, for which they awarded him a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.
21. Abraham Lincoln was the third cousin, four generations removed, of Tom Hanks. Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States, while Hanks is a respected movie star who won an Academy Award for his role in Philadelphia.
22. Long before Italy was a country, Tiffany’s was founded. It is a luxury jewellery store.
The company was founded in 1837 when Charles Lewis Tiffany purchased the then floundering business from a bankrupt salesman and rebranded it as “Tiffany & Co.”. It is now one of the world’s most recognizable luxury brands, known for its high quality and craftsmanship.
It has stores in major cities all around the world, including Buenos Aires, London, Tokyo and Dubai.
23. Goodnight, sleep tight. The origin of the saying traces back to Shakespeare’s time. At that time, mattresses were secured to bed frames by ropes. If you pulled on the ropes, they would tighten, making the bed firmer and more comfortable to sleep on.
24. In the Southern United States as well as in Britain, ‘Mountain Dew’ used to be a slang term for moonshine — homemade whiskey.
Many moons ago, before Prohibition (1919 – 1933) and during Prohibition, Al Capone and his mob of bootleggers made great fortunes selling illicit liquors across the country. They did this by setting up so-called “speakeasies” all over the States. One term given to these illegal drinking dens was a “Mountain Dew Joint.” It turns out that it wasn’t until 1940 when Mountain Dew was introduced to the USA as a soft drink that the name began to refer exclusively to a caffeine-filled beverage.
25. An orphanage in Paris held a raffle in 1912 to raise money. Winners of the raffle, however, were given live babies as prizes.
Some rules set by the orphanage included excluding anyone who had already adopted a baby previously and having to have a minimum height requirement. The winning ticket was drawn December 2nd, 1912 at 1:00 pm and was won by a woman who can only be identified as Madame Crainquebille for anonymity’s sake.
Later on in life, after Madame Crainquebille passed away in 1951, her granddaughter found out that she would always talk about how she won “the big prize” as called back then.