40 Interesting Facts From History You Never Knew

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26Robert Liston

Robert Liston is the only surgeon in history to have performed an operation with a 300% mortality rate, losing his patient to infection, accidentally amputating his assistant's fingers, who also died of infection, and slashing a spectator who died from shock.


27. One of the most inaccurately named men in history was Charles Coward. While in German captivity, he traded clothes with a Jewish inmate so he could report to the British on what was happening in Auschwitz. He later testified in Nuremberg.


28. For most of history, smiling in a painting or photo was considered radical, and even Mark Twain once wrote, "A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever"


29. Isaac Newton studied alchemy, tried to put all the world's religious histories together into one timeline, thought Atlantis was real, associated with secret societies like the Freemasons, and predicted the end of the world in 2060.


30. Subotai was the primary General of Genghis Khan during the Mongolian conquest of Asia. He directed more than twenty campaigns in which he conquered 32 nations and won 65 pitched battles, during which he conquered or overran more territory than any other commander in history.


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31North Carolina Coup

The only coup in US history occurred in North Carolina in 1898. A mob of white supremacists armed with rifles and pistols marched on City Hall in Wilmington and overthrew the local government, forcing both black and white officials to resign. The leader of the mob was later elected as mayor.


32. On January 23, 1902, 210 Japanese soldiers got caught in a blizzard on the Hakkoda Mountains in Aomori prefecture. A total of 199 of them died during the ascent making it the most lethal disaster in the history of mountaineering.


33. Voltaire's joke that the Holy Roman Empire (HRE) was "neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire" was mostly true. The center of the Church at the time was actually the Vatican, the HRE's people were mostly Germanic and not Roman, and the nation was never truly unified at any point in its history.


34. Mir Osman Ali Khan, the fifth richest man in the history of mankind - donated 5 tons gold to the National Defence Funds of India and was using the Jacob Diamond as a paperweight.


35. After Pearl Harbor was bombed FDR gave his “Day of Infamy” speech, one of the most famous speeches in American history. FDR was paralyzed from the waist down due to polio, so he walked to the podium for his speech with the help of steel leg braces, a cane, and his son.


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36Baghdad Sacking

When the Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258, they threw all books from the house of wisdom in the river, doing so erased much of the information that was discovered during the Arabic golden age. The river is said to have turned black from all the ink after first being red with blood.


37. The worst record in MLB history belongs to the 1899 Cleveland Spiders, for losses (134) and winning percentage (.130). They were so bad that opponents refused to visit their park, forcing Cleveland to play 112 of 154 games on the road, leading to an impossible-to-break record of 101 road losses.


38. The Battle of Leyte Gulf was, by some criteria, the largest naval battle in history, with over 200,000 naval personnel involved. The Japanese lost 1 fleet carrier, 3 light carriers, 3 battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 4 light cruisers, 11 destroyers, 300 aircraft, & 12,500 killed


39. The oldest known song in human history, “Hurrian Hymn no. 6”, dating back to a 1400 B.C. Sumerian clay tablet.


40. Sobhuza II was the king of Swaziland (now Eswatini) for over 82 years (the longest verifiable reign of any monarch in history). He married 70 wives and had 210 children over a 50-year period. He had more than 1000 grandchildren at the time of his death. He was known by the honorific "Bull of Swazi."

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