34 Historical Facts We Bet Were Never In Your History Books

1Mohamed Bouazizi

Mohamed Bouazizi was a Tunisian street vendor who had his wares confiscated in 2010. Unable to combat the police, he goes to the local governor to ask for his wares back but is refused even a meeting. In response, Bouazizi sets himself on fire in public. His death was not the sole reason, but certainly, the catalyst for the Arab Spring, which brought forth civil war in many countries, leaders being ousted and in cases like Gaddafi, executed. It saw the rise in ISIS, terrorist acts in the western world, and other conflicts that remain active to this day (as of 2019), all because the police wouldn't give Bouazizi his weighing scales back.


2Horse's A*s

Rome made the roads and the roads grew ruts in them. Ruts created by the standard roman war chariot had a width of 4 feet 8 1/2 inches. The Roman chariots were designed to fit the wheels in such a way that two horses could pull the chariots and wagons abreast to each other and the wheels don't sit directly in the horse’s hoof prints. As Europe grew it continued to use the old roads with the old ruts and to keep their wagons from breaking they were designed to fit the old roman ruts. So a 4 foot 8 1/2 inch axle. When rail lines were developed in Europe they were made to match the original axle size of the wagons, as the tools to make this size wagon already existed and it was only a matter of changing the wheel itself to make a basic rail car. When trolleys and simple rail came to the US, it was originally designed by experienced European craftsmen, so it too was designed with the standard 4 foot 8 1/2 inch axle. As the US rail system grew it passed through mountains which had tunnels cut through them to fit the trains that ran on the rails as they passed and turned. So that brings us to the Solid Rocket Boosters and the Space Shuttle. The Solid Rocket Boosters were designed by a company called Thiokol and built in a factory in Utah, then shipped by rail to Florida. This meant the Solid Rocket Boosters’ width had to be planned to fit through these tunnels that the rails passed through the mountains, which were designed to match the European rail line standards, which were based on carts that had to match the old Roman roads, which were rutted by chariots that were designed to fit the width of a horse’s a*s and that is the connection between the width of an old Roman horse’s a*s and the US Space program.


3Operation Paul Bunyan

USA and North Korea almost went to war once over a tree. The US forces wanted to chop down a few branches because they could not see the DPRK guard post. The US chopped some branches and angered the North Koreans. The North Korean guards killed two US soldiers. In retaliation, the USA launched Operation Paul Bunyan and its mission was to chop down the tree. As few US soldiers were sent to the tree to chop it down and a U.S. infantry company of 20 utility helicopters and seven Cobra attack helicopters circled behind them. Behind these helicopters, B-52 Stratofortresses came from Guam escorted by U.S. F-4 Phantom IIs from Kunsan Air Base and South Korean F-5 and F-86 fighters were visible flying across the sky at high altitude. At Taegu Air Base, F-111 bombers of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing out of Mountain Home Air Force Base were stationed, and F-4C and -D Phantoms from the 18th TFW Kadena Air Base and Clark Air Base were also deployed. The aircraft carrier USS Midway task force had also been moved to a station just offshore. In addition, a 64-man task force of the South Korean Special Forces accompanied them, armed with clubs and trained in taekwondo, supposedly without firearms. However, once they parked their trucks near the Bridge of No Return, they started throwing out the sandbags that lined the truck bottoms and handing out M16 rifles and M79 grenade launchers that had been concealed below. Several of the commandos also had M18 Claymore mines strapped to their chests with the firing mechanism in their hands and were shouting at the North Koreans to cross the bridge. The mission was a success.


4Ice Cream Ships

During World War 2, the Japanese were struggling and failing, to produce enough of anything. But, they still felt they had a chance to win if they could just get a single large victory. One commander remarked that he lost faith in this when he discovered that the US had 2 specially designed “Ice Cream Ships.” These were boats that were formally designed to make concrete on the move and use that for building ports and airstrips in the Pacific. We made too many, however, so the US Brass decided to convert two of them to make ice cream to be served to US troops fighting in the pacific where they had few tastes of home. The Japanese naval officer was aghast that we had so many products that we could afford to waste money, fuel, food, and sailors on ships that had no purpose (or armaments) aside from giving our soldiers a luxury like ice cream, in the tropics, during a war that he, until then, thought his side was winning. According to his recollections, his men were short of food, clothing, boots, ammunition, fuel, ships, guns, aircraft, training, and everything but the US had so much we could waste it on ice cream. Add to the fact that these ships were chosen because the giant concrete mixers came on each ship in sets of three allowing the GIs and sailors to choose between Vanilla, Chocolate, and whatever fruit was available (often frozen strawberries) was another nail in the coffin of his opinion.


5Louis XIV's Filthy Court

Louis XIV's court at Versailles had very few toilets despite accommodating thousands of people. As a result, many courtiers would relieve themselves in corners and corridors during parties and leave it for the servants to clear up. Often richer guests bribed servants to bring them chamber-pots, but there simply weren't enough. Combine this with a large number of pets who weren't house-trained it's no surprise that foreign dignitaries considered Versailles the 'filthiest palace in the world'. Eventually, the problem became acute enough that Louis ordered the servants to clean the corridors of feces ‘at least once a week.’


6Phryne

Phryne was once the richest woman in the world. She was an Ancient Greek prostitute. Apparently she had a very odd complexion, making her green-yellow. She was so rich, she offered to pay to rebuild the walls of Thebes, provided they installed a plaque that read: “Destroyed by Alexander, restored by Phryne the courtesan.” The Thebans turned her down. As was the style in those days, Phryne eventually got taken to court for impiety, a capital offense. If you lose a trial in Ancient Greece for a capital offense, they make you drink hemlock, a deadly poison. Her trial wasn't going well, she was pretty impious after all, but she had an ace up her sleeve. Well, it was definitely somewhere in her shirt. Phryne ripped off her robe and bore her breasts to the jury. It is said that the jury was so moved by her green-yellow breasts, they declared that she was a prophet of Aphrodite, and acquitted her.


7Aircraft Production

More planes were destroyed during World War 2 than what currently exists on earth today. US made about 30,000 heavy bombers in WWII with 15,000 being made in 1944 alone and the USA manufactured about 200,000 combat aircraft in total during the war. At one point, a B-25 bomber was rolling off the line every 25 minutes. Not just America, during the Battle of Britain the UK was producing more aircraft than Germany despite suffering from constant bombing. This, coupled with the fact that British pilots who were shot down over the UK could return to action instead of spending the war in a POW camp, meant that Germany could not win a war of attrition.


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8H.L. Hunley

The first ship ever sunk in war by a submarine was during the American civil war. No one in the submarine survived though. H.L. Hunley was a fully functional naval submarine used by the Confederacy in the Civil War. Powered by hand cranks and armed with buoyant torpedos, it was the first submersible vessel in history to successfully sink an enemy ship. The first time a submersible was ever used in combat was during the American Revolution in 1776. It was named Turtle.


9Spherical Earth

It was well known among educated people in the 15th century that the earth was not flat. There are writings older than Aristotle that mention earth as a sphere, and these writings were relatively common during Columbus's period. What Columbus was trying to prove was that the earth was small enough for a voyage from Europe to India to be possible.


10George Washington

Even 60 years after his death, George Washington was such a popular American president that when freed and given the opportunity to choose their surnames, more African-American slaves chose the last name of Washington than Lincoln.

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