Top 25 Interesting History Facts – History Fun Facts
Interesting History Facts 1 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa has straightened by 1.5 inches since 2001, according to engineers.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has been straightening out ever since engineers installed a number of steel cables and anchors between 1990 and 2001. The Italian landmark used to lean at an 8-degree angle in the year 2000, but it has since corrected back to 5.5 degrees due to the installation of these cables and anchors.
Interesting History Facts 2 – The Bank of America was founded as the Bank of Italy.
Founded in 1904 in San Francisco, California as a small bank for local Italian language speakers, it was renamed Bank of America in 1930. The company grew rapidly and by the 1970s was the nation’s largest commercial bank.
With more than 8,600 retail branches and nearly 32 million customers worldwide, Bank of America is second only to Citigroup among U.S. banks by assets.
Interesting History Facts 3 – The war between Zanzibar and Britain was the shortest in recorded history, lasting 38 minutes.
The war, nicknamed the Zanzibar Revolution, was a turning point in history because it marked the end of colonialism in East Africa.
Moreover, this war was unique because it is the only war since WWII to be fought between two countries with no British involvement whatsoever.
Interesting History Facts 4 – In ancient Egypt, people used stone slabs as pillows.
The Egyptians discovered that by using a stone slab as a pillow, it would stay cool and absorb the heat from your head. The ancient Egyptians believed that sleep was an essential part of life, so this made perfect sense.
Interesting History Facts 5 – The Mayans were known for sacrificing beating hearts pulled from victims’ chests.
They would cut their chest open and pull out the heart. The victim would be expected to be upright and conscious during the process. Sometimes these hearts were thrown into fires for religious sacrifice. They started as a small civilization in Mexico, but they conquered much of Central America and parts of South America as well. They built great pyramids like ‘El Castillo’ or ‘Temple of Kukulkan’ that still stand today.
Interesting History Facts 6 – The current version of the American flag was designed by a student in high school. He earned a B- for his design but went back to his teacher after the flag was adopted by the government and was given an A.
The origins of the American flag are hotly debated. Millions of Americans know that Betsy Ross designed and sewed the first American flag, but history has largely forgotten Francis Hopkinson’s role in this process. Some people argue that it is only natural for Betsy Ross to be credited because her story is more well known than Hopkinson’s. But history has not been overlooked — rather, it has simply become distorted through neglect and lack of recorded evidence.
Interesting History Facts 7 – Before he became pope in 1458, Pius II wrote the popular and sexually explicit book The Tale of Two Lovers.
Before he became pope in 1458, Pius II wrote the popular and sexually explicit book The Tale of Two Lovers. He has also written a book called The Minor Works. Apart from these two works, Pius II has written several other books about political theory, theology and philosophy. His work comes down to around twenty-eight works in total.
Pius II was born into the aristocratic family of Francesco della Rovere on October 18th, 1405. he married the French noblewoman Isabella Colonna who died in 1468 but they had no children together. He aided Emperor Sigismund’s efforts to unite the Christian Church and later became a cardinal when he was still very young (aged 20).
Interesting History Facts 8 – Contrary to popular belief, Vikings did not wear helmets with horns attached to them — in fact, only one such helmet has been found.
A bronze helmet from around the year 800 was found in York in 1982, and it features two tubular horns on either side of a comb-like crest. This find is the only example of its kind, and museum experts have made suggestions that it might not even have belonged to a Viking — such helmets were mostly used by Europeans living near the Roman Empire. Furthermore, this single horned helmet is the only Viking artifact with any decoration from England.
This leads our best guess to believe that this was an artistic flourish meant to differentiate between Viking helmets and those of their opponents: European enemies who may have worn similar kinds of helmets at different times during history.
Interesting History Facts 9 – If you flew on Concorde, you could get from London to New York before you left.
You might be wondering how this is possible. The thing is that because of Concorde’s speed, it would take less time for the entire trip than it would have taken for someone on the ground to drive across a body of water in their car (without stopping). You can’t do this with any other vehicle on earth today because it would take too much fuel or too much time or both.
Interesting History Facts 10 – Before Calculus was discovered, Harvard University was founded.
The Harvard University is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was founded in 1636. The university is one of the oldest universities in the United States. The Harvard University is the first university to accept international students and women as students. The university is also the first to have a botanical garden open to the public.
Interesting History Facts 11 – The book Alice in Wonderland was banned in 1931. The reason? Animals should not use human language, according to 1931’s China.
The book Alice in Wonderland was published in 1865, and the first edition didn’t have any censorship. The British Government wasn’t against the book at all. It was not until someone from China translated it into Mandarin that the book was banned. In 1931, during a meeting about China’s Next Five Years Plan, former Premier and Chairman of Kuomintang Chiang Kai-shek commented on how he wanted to ban the use of vernacular Chinese characters on signs because he thought it would make young children think animals could speak like humans.
Interesting History Facts 12 – John Tyler, President from 1841-1845, is the great-grandfather of two people alive today.
His son, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, fathered Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. on Feb. 25, 1924. His grandson Harrison Ruffin Tyler was born on May 3, 1936 and lives in North Carolina with his wife Anne Cherry Wilkinson-Tyler and their four children: Harrison Ruffin III (born July 24, 1962), Patrick Henry (born April 27, 1966), Elizabeth Blair (born Nov. 10, 1967) and James Temple (born Sept. 9, 1970).
Interesting History Facts 13 – It has long been believed that in Ancient Rome, up to 40 percent of children were left outside to die of exposure.
Some recent research about mortality rates in ancient Rome has suggested that these estimates are too high. There is also evidence suggesting that the figure was closer to five percent, with one in five children dying before they reached adulthood. These new findings may offer some explanations for the discrepancy between older estimates and new numbers. Hopefully, further research will help us better understand what life was like for Roman children and whether or not it was more common for parents to expose their children on purpose.
Interesting History Facts 14 – Pointing a laser at an aircraft could result in a 20-year prison sentence in the USA.
According to the FBI, FBI Director James Comey stated that “lasing aircraft resulted in some hazardous situations for pilots and passengers” during a news conference held on December 8th, 2016.
Director Comey also elaborated on laser pointers and their common uses, explaining that they are often used as part of presentations or training tools. He went on to say that lasing aircraft is not a prank but rather a federal crime with serious consequences.
Lasers can cause temporary blindness for pilots if pointed in their direction and significant eye damage if shone directly into the cockpit at night. The FAA has issued an advisory for pilots to report any incidents involving lasers.
Interesting History Facts 15 – The longest war in recorded history was between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly. It lasted from 1651-1986, and there were no casualties.
The Isles of Scilly are a group of islands off the southwest coast of England. For about two centuries, they tried to remain neutral and uninvolved in England’s conflicts with countries like France and Spain, but by the 1600s they were being raided by pirates. The Dutch navy was commissioned to protect them as an important part of their trading empire.
In 1651 the Dutch West India Company signed a treaty with England that allowed for trade between Netherland colonies and the Isles of Scilly. They also agreed that in return for trading privileges, Dutch warships would keep pirates from attacking Scilly shipping routes.
Interesting History Facts 16 – The longest spacewalk is nine hours long.
On March 24th, 2018, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough stepped outside of the International Space Station for NASA’s first spacewalk in support of commercial crew operations.
Thomas Pesquet was the extravehicular activity (EVA) team lead. Shane Kimbrough conducted an EVA to replace a space suit failed to grow a leak check valve installed during a previous spacewalk.
The EVA was planned for 10 hours but lasted nine hours and 38 minutes as they were unable to complete all tasks within their timeline due to challenging work conditions that prevented them from removing all bolts on the failed pump module during their first attempt at repairs.
Interesting History Facts 17 – When Neil Armstrong and his team returned from the moon, they had to go through US Customs.
Funny, you’d never know it from the excellent documentary Moonwalkers (a must-watch for any space enthusiast) but they brought back more than just moon rocks.
The team (along with their samples, film and equipment) were met by customs representatives and NASA officials. They were then escorted to Houston where they received a hero’s welcome. From day one, there was a “no earthly article” clause in the Outer Space Treaty that said astronauts cannot bring anything back from space that was not on Earth prior to their flight – but the US decided to waive this instead of subjecting astronauts to scientific quarantine.
Interesting History Facts 18 – In 1929, Princeton scientists turned a cat into a phone that could actually function.
In what could be one of the weirdest human-animal partnerships, these scientists did what many people say is impossible. They took a wireless phone from the early 20th century and attached it to a living cat for an experiment that would lead to major scientific advancements in modern medicine.
The researchers wired up a cat’s head with electrodes, then ran them down the feline’s back where they attached them to additional wires that led into an old-timey telephone receiver. The cat was fitted with a headset that enabled it to walk freely around as long as it wore the contraption.
This was all part of an experiment done by Dr. Harold S.
Interesting History Facts 19 – In 1977, the same year of the first Star Wars movie, France still used the guillotine.
The French guillotine is a well-known execution device that consisted of two pieces: a heavy, rectangular blade with a curved upper edge and a movable wooden block. These blocks had different angles to ensure the sharp blade would slide under the victim’s neck cleanly. The condemned was attached at the hands and feet, tipping their head back to expose their throat for slaughtering.
Interesting History Facts 20 – Anciently in the year 2560 B.C., Egyptians began to construct what is today known as the Great Pyramid of Giza. Even though it is said to have four sides, there are actually eight sides on the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The pyramid is the only one of its kind in the world and has stood for over 4000 years. There are many different theories as to why the pyramid is in such a strange shape. Some people believe that it was created by aliens, others believe that it was used to store bodies, and a few even believed that it was built as a tomb for King Khufu. None of these may be entirely true or false however there were still other theories about why the pyramid was built. Some believed that the pyramids were used as burial chambers for Egyptian pharaohs, while others believed that they were used for astronomical purposes.
Interesting History Facts 21 – Today, metal rivets are just for show, but they were originally used to protect your jeans from ripping at weak spots. They were most important in the history of denim as they were most often worn by the working class population.
In the mid-19th century, rivets were added to denim jeans for the first time because corners of fabric would tear. Metal rivets were used due to their durability and resistance to tearing. They were then used as a form of decoration, but were first invented at a time where fashion was often a result of necessity.
Interesting History Facts 22 – Cocaine was once used as a medicine to cure sore throats, headaches, colds and sleeplessness in the 1880s.
In 1884, a German doctor named Sigmund Freud – who later developed the cocaine toothache drops – published a paper arguing that cocaine could be used as an effective painkiller for children during painful medical procedures. And this is not all that long ago!
But after its medical use quickly became popular, a number of side-effects were discovered and many people died from overdosing on cocaine. It wasn’t until 1914 that the US banned it in medicine altogether.
Interesting History Facts 23 – The word ‘music’ comes from the Muses, nine Greek goddesses who inspired artists to create beautiful art.
The Muses were the nine sister goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus in ancient Greece. They were considered to be the patron goddesses of the arts, and their names would inspire artists to create great works.
So why do they have such an important name? It’s because they did that! The Muse helped poets, actors, dancers and musicians create their work by giving them ideas for what to sing about or act out. That is why artistic inspiration comes from your inner self or your imagination – that was what the Muses did for people back then.
Interesting History Facts 24 – The reason why perfumes are often displayed at the front of department stores is because the overpowering scent of horse manure used to waft in and upset customers before they had cars. Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of London’s famous department store, is said to have thought this up.
Interesting History Facts 25 – One of the first bombs dropped on Berlin during World War II only killed one thing — an elephant in the zoo.
On March 3, 1943, the Royal Air Force dropped a 10-tonne bomb on Berlin that landed in the city’s Tegeler See just after midnight. One of the bombs’ incendiary devices had failed to explode and hit something hard — which turned out to be an elephant. The animal was so badly mutilated that it had to be killed with a rifle.
The only other damage from this historic bombing raid was four small fires which were quickly extinguished by firefighters.
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