Before the Trend: 50 Peculiar Facts ‘Prior To’ Our Time

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26Christmas Changes in England

Christmas Changes in England

In England before the mid-17th century, Christmas was a 12-day festival involving the burning of the Yule log and playing traditional games. The Cromwellian Revolt abolished Christmas, and the Industrial Revolution eroded the customs in communities that tried to hold onto them.


27. New Mexico was the original Sunshine State, unofficially using the slogan before statehood in 1912 and eventually adding it to their state license plates in 1932. However, they never made it official, and Florida managed to adopt an official resolution and claim the slogan in 1970.


28. Before the first nuclear bomb detonation in July 1945, isotopes such as strontium-90 and cesium-137 simply did not exist in nature. Pieces of art and bottles of wine created before 1945 can be tested for cesium, and if they contain traces of cesium, they would almost certainly be fake.


29. Certain medical equipment requires steel produced before the first atomic bomb tests due to atmospheric radiation, usually from ships sunk before World War II.


30. Before 1987, babies underwent major surgery, such as open-heart surgery, entirely without anesthesia and post-operative pain management. It was honestly believed that infants couldn't feel pain.


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31Seminole Tribe's Formation

Seminole Tribe's Formation

The Seminole Tribe did not exist prior to the 1700s. Members of other tribes who had fled the English colonies to settle in Spanish Florida formed it. Florida's original indigenous population had become extinct by then due to diseases and enslavement brought by the Spanish.


32. Before the 1990s, Super Bowl halftime shows consisted mostly of marching bands and show choir performances.


33. Indigenous South Americans had advanced metallurgy and worked with platinum using the sintering method prior to contact with European settlers. Platinum, with a melting point of 3218°F, was beyond the capability of Europeans until the 19th century.


34. Ordering and eating food in courses is called Russian service, or Service à la Russe. The Russian ambassador introduced it to France in 1810. Prior to this, 'French service' was the norm in most countries, with all food placed on the table and diners serving themselves.


35. Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball effectively created syndication and reruns in the TV industry. Prior to "I LOVE LUCY," TV shows were broadcast live and recorded on low-quality kinescopes. Desi and Lucy produced the show, recorded it on 35mm film, and were able to sell the show nationally through syndication.


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36Alcohol Taxes and Prohibition

Alcohol Taxes and Prohibition

Prior to the income tax being enacted in 1913, the U.S. government received up to 40% of its revenue from alcohol taxes. Without the income tax in place, it's unlikely that the Senate would have proposed the Prohibition Amendment in 1917.


37. The orange carrot was first cultivated in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Before this, all carrots known to the world were of the white, yellow, and purple varieties.


38. The standard 8-hour workday used to be ten hours, and before that, twelve hours. In 1886, workers in Chicago went on a general strike to advocate for an 8-hour day. Later, it evolved into International Workers' Day, celebrated worldwide-except in the US.


39. From the 1960s to the 1980s, American TV stations would often have a bumper saying "Do you know where your children are?" prior to their 10 PM or 11 PM late newscasts, reflecting the time at which the nightly curfew for minors took effect.


40. Before water fountains were used for people to drink water freely in public, individuals used something called the "common cup," a publicly shared and very unhygienic cup or ladle-type spoon attached by a string.


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41Halloween: Turnips, Not Pumpkins

Halloween: Turnips, Not Pumpkins

Halloween originated from an Irish pagan festival, and people used to carve faces in turnips, not pumpkins.


42. The city of Baltimore used flogging as a punishment until 1938. People were sent to the whipping post for one crime only: wife beating. This punishment was employed because wife beaters often escaped conviction, as their wives simply couldn't afford to send the husband/breadwinner to jail.


43. In the past, people used to feed opium to calm down crying babies.


44. The West Coast of the USA, known for its ancient sequoias, had pioneers living in tree stumps in the late 19th century due to the booming lumber industry. These giant trees became homes, dance floors, and hotels as an inventive response to the vast number of beheaded trees left by the industry. Stumps, carved into various structures, even became roadside attractions.


45. People used to gamble on the outcomes of battles. In 1691, over £200,000 (£40,000,000 in modern money) was bet on the outcome of the Siege of Limerick alone.


46Thicker Beer Cans of the Past

Thicker Beer Cans of the Past

Beer cans used to be 40% thicker, made out of steel, and way stronger. This is why we see people crushing beer cans as a display of strength in older movies.


47. Preflight checklists were introduced after the 1935 crash of a prototype B-17, which resulted in the deaths of both pilots. The investigation found that the pilots forgot to disengage the gust locks before takeoff.


48. Before the invention of hot-water bottles, people would use other people or animals to keep warm. Families and visitors would all sleep in the same bed. Barn animals were popular, and lap dogs were popular with the wealthy.


49. People used to download computer video games over the radio in the 1980s. Radio Belgrade broadcasted about 150 games.


50. In the mid-19th century, Americans were so accustomed to yellow milk, tinted with lead chromate to disguise the bluishness of watered-down dairy, that people refused to purchase white milk, thinking it had been colored.

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