39 Dramatic Random Facts We Doublechecked | Random List #261

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1Thurgood Marshall

American lawyer Thurgood Marshall was almost lynched in Tennessee after winning the acquittals of 23 Black men. He was saved only because his co-counsel decided to follow Marshall and the police and intervene, instead of following orders to leave town.


2. The Offspring's Album 'Smash' had a small budget of $20,000, which limited studio time. The last four songs recorded for the album were worked through in just two nights. 'Smash' went on to be the best-selling album released by an independent record label with over 11 million sales.


3. Abraham Lincoln's son Robert Todd Lincoln was either present or nearby during the assassinations of three U.S presidents. After the third assassination, he vowed to never accept another presidential invite.


4. Elephant tusks are starting to get smaller and in the future, more Elephants will be without tusks because poachers have killed most elephants with big tusks and have removed them from the gene pool.


5. Millennials in the ages between 18-34 are more likely to live with their parents instead of a spouse/partner. This has occurred for the first time since record-keeping began in the 1880s.


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6Harbinger zip codes

Researchers have recently noticed the existence of “harbinger zip codes”. Households in these zip codes tend to buy unpopular products that fail and tend to choose losing political candidates. Their home values also rise slower than surrounding zip codes. This is a yet to be explained phenomena where people are “out of sync” with the rest.


7. During The Great Depression, crop prices dropped so much some farm families burnt corn instead of coal in their stoves because corn was cheaper. Sometimes the countryside smelled like popcorn from all the corn burning in the kitchen stoves.


8. The Tongan Castaways was the nickname given to six boys who stole a boat and were stranded on a deserted island in 1965, staying there for 15 months before rescue. They were called a real-life Lord of the Flies. They built a “commune” with a garden, permanent fire, gym, and a badminton court.


9. After a bad date, a 16-year-old teen named Daniel LaPlante, dug a burrow into the crawl space of the girl’s home and terrorized her for months as the spirit of her late mother. He was discovered dressed as a bride, wielding a hatchet by her dad, before he was arrested.


10. Prominent Soviet scientist Nikolai Vavilov was obsessed with ending famine. He ended up created the world’s largest collection of plant seeds, advancing the genetic study of cultivated plants. He faced anti-Mendelian forces during the Stalin era, leading to arrest in 1940. Ironically, he died in captivity, by starvation.


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11Bhagat Singh Thind

Bhagat Singh Thind, the first Sikh member of the US Army gained US citizenship in 1918 and was stripped of it 4 days later for being Indian. The Supreme Court ruled against him in his second attempt. He succeeded in his third attempt.


12. William Atherton who plays the lawyer Walter Peck in Ghostbusters was so hated that after the movie came out he was harassed on the street and challenged to fights in bars.


13. During the Vietnam War, USA tried to weaponize the religious beliefs of the Vietnamese. They believed anyone improperly buried would wander the earth in agony. So the US army played horrifying sounds of a wailing Vietnamese man over the jungle at night as part of a Psychological operations campaign.


14. During the Bosnian War, a former Danish Special Forces officer named Helge Meyer used his 1979 Camaro to go through the front lines during the Bosnian War to deliver humanitarian aid. The US Air Force helped modify the Camaro by adding kevlar panels, reconnaissance and stealth tech.


15. In 2004, Trinity Southern University in Texas was sued for allegedly selling fake degrees after investigators were able to obtain a fake college degree for their cat.


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16George Clooney

American actor George Clooney is one of the closest living relatives of American president Abraham Lincoln.


17. Despite making up less than 0.1% of the prison population, The Aryan Brotherhood is responsible for between 18-25% of all murders in the US federal prison system.


18. Napoleon Bonaparte had a healthy obsession with Australia his whole life. Had he won at Waterloo he intended to name part of Australia “Terre Napoléon” (Napoleon Land) and brought back more than 200 species of Australian flora and fauna to France, making Josephiné the first person in history to breed black swans.


19. In old Nokia phones, the notification tone for an SMS was simply 'SMS' in Morse.


20. After Attila the Hun died, his soldiers plucked out the hair of their heads and made their faces hideous with deep wounds, so that the great warrior should not be mourned by effeminate wailings and tears, but by the blood of men.


21Mount Rushmore

During the carving of Mount Rushmore, there were zero fatalities as a result of accidents. That is 14 years (1927-1941) of carving and dynamite blasts without a death.


22. The Eiffel Tower grows in summer. When it gets hot, the iron expands due to the heat and shrinks again in the winter. It grows by 6 inches each summer. 


23. Veery, a small bird in the Thrush family, is better at predicting upcoming Atlantic hurricane seasons than our best meteorological models.


24. The orbit of Mercury follows a unique pattern different from other planets which remained unexplained until Einstein’s theory of bending space-time due to large nearby gravitation. Previous theory was there was another planet between mercury and the sun, Vulcan.


25. Tom Cruise was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 6 and he graduated high school as a functional illiterate, relying on his sister for help with schoolwork. He was in movies like Taps and Risky Business before learning to read in 1986 when he became a Scientologist, the year Top Gun was released.

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