I love these little lists of oddities and was thrilled when this one was sent in to me. I have to confess that I didn’t know most of the things on this list. The ones that seem the strangest or most unlikely to me, I verified and found they are, indeed, true! So, onwards, let’s learn some odd facts we didn’t already know.


1. Before the Boston Tea Party, the British actually lowered tea taxes, not raised them.

2. England’s King George I was actually German.

3. Abel Tasman “discovered” Tasmania, New Zealand and Fiji, on his first voyage, but managed to completely miss mainland Australia!

4. Ethnic Irishman Bernardo O’Higgins was the first president of the Republic of Chile.

5. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the same day - the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.

Stalin Casket-1

6. When the American Civil War started, Confederate Robert E. Lee owned no slaves. Union general U.S. Grant did.

7. Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas II and George V were all grandchildren of Queen Victoria.

8. Karl Marx was once a correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune.

9. Josef Stalin once studied to be a priest.

10. Henry Kissinger and Yassir Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize. Gandhi never did.

4 Copy3-1

11. The Constitution of the Confederate States of America banned the slave trade.

12. The Finnish capital of Helsinki was founded by a Swedish king in 1550.

13. The “D” in D-Day stands for “Day” - “Day- Day”

14. There was a New Australia in Paraguay in the 1890s.

15. A New Orleans man hired a pirate to rescue Napoleon from his prison on St. Helena.


16. Like Dracula (Vlad Tepes), there really was a King Macbeth. He ruled Scotland from 1040 to 1057.

17. In 1839, the U.S. and Canada fought the bloodless “War of Pork and Beans”.

18. Despite the reputation, Mussolini never made the trains run on time.

19. The world powers officially outlawed war under the 1928 Kellogg- Briand Pact.

20. Ancient Egypt produced at least six types of beer. [See them drinking their lovely beer in the picture above.]


Darwin Aped

21. Charles Darwin married his first cousin.

22. John F. Kennedy, Anthony Burgess, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day.

23. Officially, the longest war in history was between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly, which lasted from 1651 to 1986. There were no casualties.

24. Gay marriage was legally recognized in Rome, and Nero himself married at least two gay couples.

25. Adolf Hitler’s nephew, William Hitler, immigrated to the United States in 1939 and fought against his uncle.


26. Thomas Paine was elected to the first post-revolution French parliament, despite not speaking a word of the language.

27. William Howard Taft is the only US President to come third in his campaign for re-election, losing to eventual winner Woodrow Wilson and fellow Republican Theodore Roosevelt.

28. Technically, Henry VIII had only two wives. Four of his marriages were annulled.

29. King Richard II invented the handkerchief.

30. The Parliament of Iceland is the oldest still acting parliament in the world. It was established in 930.


31. The people who founded the Futurism art movement also founded the first Italian Fascist party in 1918.

32. Albert Einstein was offered the role of Israel’s second President in 1952, but declined.

33. New Zealand was the first country to enfranchise women. It gave them the vote in 1895.

34. The 27th amendment to the US constitution took 202 years to ratify, having been proposed in 1789 and finally ratified in 1992.

35. Until April 2008, the island of Sark remained the last feudal state in Europe.


36. Tomatoes were considered poisonous for many years in Europe and they were grown for ornamental reasons only. In fact, the leaves and stems of tomatoes are poisonous (but they can be used in moderation for food flavoring).

37. Soon after building started in 1173, the foundation of the Pisa tower settled unevenly. Construction was stopped, and was continued only a 100 years later. Therefore, the leaning tower was never straight.

38. Ancient Egyptians used slabs of stones as pillows.

39. People have been wearing glasses for about 700 years.

40. King Charles the Second often rubbed dust from the mummies of pharaohs so he could “absorb their ancient greatness.

Pape Avignon Gregoire11

41. In 1752, there were only 354 days in Great Britain and its colonies. This was because Britain adopted the Gregorian Calendar in place of the Julian calendar. The lost days were September 3 - September 13 inclusive.

42. The Hundred Years’ War (a war to determine who the rightful King of France would be) was actually 116 years long. It was during this war that Saint Joan rose up in France to lead her army to victory.

43. From the year 1309 to 1377, the Roman Catholic Papacy was not based in Rome - it was based in Avignon, France. This was primarily over a dispute with the Holy Roman Empire. In 1378, Pope Gregory XI (pictured above) returned the seat of the Pope to Rome.

44. Arabic numerals (the ones used in English) were not invented by the Arabs at all - they were actually invented by Indian mathematicians. They were modified and transferred to North African Arab mathematicians and transmitted to Europe in the Middle Ages.

45. After the U.S Civil War, about 33% - 50% of all U.S. paper currency in circulation was counterfeit.


46. In 1938, Time Magazine declared Adolf Hitler “Man of the Year”. In the same year he took full and absolute command over the German military, stated that he intended to crush Czechoslovakia, took greater control over Austria by threatening to invade, and expelled 12,000 Jews from Germany.

47. In 1685, playing cards were used as currency in New France (the French territories of North America) because of a coin shortage.

48. In 1892, Italy raised the minimum age for marriage for girls - to 12.

49. The first contraceptives were used in Ancient Egypt. Egyptian women would use vaginal suppositories made of acidic substances and lubricated with honey or oil. (An early form of English contraception is pictured above.)

50. The shortest war on record was fought between Zanzibar and England in 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 45 minutes.

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51. The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

52. “In God We Trust” was not officially the motto of the United States of America until 1956. The Congressional Record of that year reads: “At the present time the United States has no national motto. The committee deems it most appropriate that ‘In God we trust’ be so designated as U.S. national motto.”

53. John Aubrey, the diarist, tells a story about the Earl of Oxford. When the Earl made a low obeisance to the Queen, he happened to let go a fart, at which he was so ashamed that he left the country for 7 years. At his return the Queen welcomed him and said, “My lord, I had forgot the fart”! [Source]

54. Despite the terrible nature of and damage caused by the 1666 Great Fire of London, only 8 people were killed. This is despite the fire destroying at least 13,500 houses.

55. In 74 AD, Emperor Vespasian (pictured above) had run out of money due to a civil war. In order to raise funds, he created the world’s first public pay toilets. When his son Titus criticized him for it, Vespasian pointed out that money (even earnt through urine) did not smell. This gave rise to the common saying “Pecunia non olet” - “money does not smell”.


56. The Bank of America was originally called the Bank of Italy. It was created in 1904 by Amadeo Giannini to cater to immigrants from Italy. After merging in the 1920s with the “Bank of America, Los Angeles”, it officially became “Bank of America”.

57. In the First Liberian War in the 1990s, General Joshua Milton Blahyi (also known as General Butt Naked) would lead his troops naked except for shoes and a gun - he did this at the suggestion of the devil, who Blahyi claims telephoned him at age 11. He believed it would protect him from the bullets (and apparently it did - as he is still alive, though he is now a religious preacher). General Butt Naked is pictured above.

58. At the start of World War I, the US Airforce (then a component of the US army) had only 18 pilots and 5 - 12 airplanes.

59. Contrary to popular belief and legend, Daniel Boone not only did not wear a coonskin cap, he detested them. Instead, Boone wore a felt cap.

60. In 1838, General Antonio López de Santa Anna (President of Mexico) had his leg amputated after his ankle was destroyed by canon-fire. He ordered a full military burial for it.


-- Source: http://listverse.com



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Date: 24 Dec 2008 | Author: mesmerX | Category: News, Pictures | Views: 56759

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Comments: 3

The Meaning of the "D"
Ever since June 6, 1944, people have been asking what the "D" in "D-Day" means. Does it stand for "decision?" The day that 150,000 Allied soldiers landed on the shores of Normandy was certainly decisive. And with ships, landing craft and planes leaving port by the tens of thousands for a hostile shore, it is no wonder that some would call it "disembarkation" or "departed."

There is not much agreement on the issue. But the most ordinary and likely of explanations is the one offered by the U.S. Army in their published manuals. The Army began using the codes "H-hour" and "D-day" during World War I to indicate the time or date of an operation's start. Military planners would write of events planned to occur on "H-hour" or "D-day" -- long before the actual dates and times of the operations would be known, or in order to keep plans secret. And so the "D" may simply refer to the "day" of invasion.

The D is for Day. There was also H-Hour.

..........the 'D' in 'D-DAY' stands for DECISIVE

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