50 Little Known Facts about Politicians From Around the World

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26Hans Steininger

A 16th century small town German Mayor named Hans Steininger died by tripping on his beard. It was over 4.5 feet long and he usually kept it tucked away in a pocket, but during a town fire he forgot to put it in and tripped on in it in the chaos, breaking his neck.


27. In 1994, United States Senator Howell Heflin accidentally wiped his nose with his wife's panties in front of reporters.


28. Sir Isaac Newton was a member of parliament in the UK, but his only contribution to the debates was to request the window to be closed because of a cold draught.


29. US Senator Daniel Webster turned down two offers to be vice president by William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor because he thought the office was a dead-end position. Both these presidents then died in office.


30. Dan White, the killer of Harvey Milk and the mayor of San Francisco, was charged with Voluntary Manslaughter rather than murder. The Defense had argued that White's mental state was impaired by depression, as proven by him recently eating sugary foods. This became known as the "Twinkie Defense."


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31Dennis Wardlow

In 1982, Dennis Wardlow, the mayor of Key West, Florida declared war against the United States, surrendered after one minute, and applied for one billion dollars in foreign aid.


32. Senator John Ashcroft is the only Senator to lose re-election to a dead person. His opponent died in a plane crash 2 weeks before the vote and his name was unable to be taken off the ballot.


33. Draco was an Ancient Greek legislator who wrote the first code of law in Athens. Over time his laws were seen as increasingly harsh and punitive, which is why we say a law is “draconian” when the punishment is too extreme for the crime.


34. Edward Dickinson Baker was serving as a U.S. Senator when the U.S. Civil War broke out, so re-joined the Army as a colonel. He was killed in battle and he remains the only sitting U.S. senator ever to have been killed in a military engagement.


35. Lithuanian politician Artūras Zuokas won an IG Nobel prize in 2011, for “demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with a tank”. Zuokas had used an armored vehicle to run over an illegally parked car in a Vilnius bike lane.


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36Brian Zimmerman

An 11-year-old boy named Brian Zimmerman was elected as the mayor of Crabb, Texas on the platform that he would work to incorporate the town even though it meant he would lose his seat. He was quoted as saying that “the mayor isn’t there to sit and worry about keeping his job. He’s there to do what’s best for the people."


37. Senator Strom Thurmond holds the record for the longest Filibuster by a lone senator. He stayed on the Senate floor speaking for 24 hours and 18 minutes nonstop in opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1957.


38. Otto von Bismarck once challenged a rival politician to a duel but backed out after learning that his opponent chose to fight with two pork sausages, one infected with roundworm.


39. After Congressman John Rankin refused to sit next to Adam Clayton Powell Jr. because of the color of his skin, Powell found every opportunity possible to sit close to the Mississippi Congressman. On one occasion Powell followed him from seat to seat until Rankin had moved five times.


40. On July 10, 1947, Senator Glen Taylor said: “I almost wish that the flying saucers would turn out to be space ships from another planet because the possibility of hostility would unify the people of the earth as nothing else could.”


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41Duncan Scott

In 1995, a New Mexico state senator named Duncan Scott introduced an amendment that psychologists were required to wear a wizard's hat when they testify in court.


42. A German politician named Peter Gloystein was forced to resign after publicly pouring champagne over a homeless man's head.


43. Between 1952-54, Felisa Rincón de Gautier, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico had snow delivered by plane to the city so that the children who had never seen or played in the snow, would be able to do so.


44. Former Alabama state Senator Steve Windom didn't leave his chair during a 12-hour dispute, notably urinating in a jug, because he was afraid the Democrats would steal it.


45. Carty Finkbeiner, a former mayor of Toledo once suggested selling houses near the airport to deaf people.


46John Scott Harrison

The stolen body of U.S. politician John Scott Harrison was discovered at the Ohio Medical College by his son and nephew, who were there looking for the body of their cousin whose grave robbery had been discovered in the cemetery the day before... at John Scott Harrison's burial.


47. A Louisiana senator named Robert F. Broussard proposed the "American Hippo Bill" which would have brought Hippos from Africa to get rid of an invasive species and solve a meat shortage in the United States. The bill nearly passed.


48. Senator Patrick Leahy is a huge fan of the Batman comics, and has appeared in all but one Batman movie since 'Batman Forever', as well as an episode of 'Batman: The Animated Series.'


49. Senator Jake Garn, who flew in the Space Shuttle in 1985, experienced the worst case of space sickness on record. Because of this, NASA jokingly uses a "Garn Scale" to measure reactions to space sickness, where "1.0 Garn" is the worst.


50. A Californian politician named Michael D. Duvall accidentally left his microphone on during a meeting break and was caught graphically boasting about two different affairs he was having. He resigned less than 15 hours after the story broke.

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