Dictator Diaries: 69 Lesser-Known Facts About Authoritarian Leaders

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After being shot, kicked, and spat upon, the bodies of Benito Mussolini and his mistress were hung upside down on meathooks from the roof of an Esso gas station. The bodies were then stoned by civilians from below.

2. Benito Mussolini tried to stabilize the Leaning Tower of Pisa by filling the base with concrete, only to have it sag further.

3. Mobster Bugsy Siegel traveled to Italy in 1938 and offered to kill Hermann Goering, Joseph Goebbels, and Benito Mussolini, but was stopped by his anxious mistress.

4. Benito Mussolini drove his secret first wife (Ida Dalser) and son to early deaths in lunatic asylums because they threatened his rise to power. His henchmen then tried to erase all traces of their relationship.

5. After meeting Adolf Hitler for the first time in 1934, Benito Mussolini said to his aide, "I don't like the look of him."

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6Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini would offer £1,271 to couples willing to name their child "Benito". Plus, when you relocated to the sunny Mediterranean, the Italian government would give you £835 in addition to the £1,271 fascist bribe, because not enough Italians were getting pregnant.

7. Benito Mussolini, at age 10, got expelled for stabbing a classmate in the butt.

8. Benito Mussolini survived many assassination attempts on his life. One of them was by a 15-year-old named Anteo Zamboni, who shot at Benito Mussolini, missed, and was subsequently lynched by squadristi. Anteo's father and aunt were arrested shortly after for influencing Zamboni's decision.

9. Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's official title was "His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular."

10. Former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin Dada was previously an undefeated boxer from 1951-1960, winning the Ugandan light-heavyweight boxing championship.

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11Idi's Islam conversion

Idi's Islam conversion

Idi Amin, a convert to Islam who was responsible for the deaths of up to 400,000 people and was accused of cannibalism fled to Saudi Arabia after a coup and was allowed to live there in exile for over 20 years until his death.

12. In 1972, Ugandan President Idi Amin expelled all Hindus and Asians from the country after he said God told him to do in a dream.

13. In 1972, Idi Amin sent a telegram to the UN Secretary General, Yasser Arafat, and Golda Meir to say he "applauded the massacre of the Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich and said Germany was the most appropriate locale for this because it was where Hitler burned more than six million Jews."

14. Fascist dictator Francisco Franco brought back the Spanish Monarchy, but the King of Spain instituted a democracy instead as soon as he came into power.

15. Spanish dictator Francisco Franco ordered many of the same deadly xenophobic/religious "solutions" as Hitler and Mussolini (and was asked to join the Axis during World War 2), but managed to remain neutral enough that Richard Nixon memorialized him as: "loyal friend and ally of the United States"

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16Emperor Hirohito

Emperor Hirohito

Emperor Hirohito of Japan was a huge fan of Mickey Mouse. He was given a Mickey Mouse watch as a gift during his special tour of Disneyland in 1975. For years, even on formal occasions, His Majesty was observed wearing the watch.

17. A 1984 plot by Romanian army generals to kill President Nicolae Ceaușescu failed when the military unit assigned to carry out the plan was sent to harvest maize instead.

18. When Romanian Communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu was shot in 1989 was carrying an Apollo 17 moon rock given to Romania as a gift by the Nixon administration. The rock, worth up to 5 million dollars on the black market, is missing.

19. Russia will spend about $200,000 maintaining Vladimir Lenin's corpse this year. Maintenance includes bathing the body in chemicals and occasionally replacing parts.

20. Operation Nifty Package, a US mission in which American soldiers repeatedly blared rock music such as "I Fought the Law" and "Welcome to the Jungle" as a form of psychological warfare to force dictator Manuel Noriega to come out of his Vatican sanctuary. He surrendered after 10 days.

21Sarah York

Sarah York

Former ruler of Panama Manuel Noriega was pen pals with a 10-year-old girl named Sarah York from the United States, She originally wrote to him because she liked the general's hat. This correspondence developed to the point where Noriega invited her family to visit him in Panama.

22. The U.S. dropped drug trafficking charges against Manuel Noriega after a 50 lb. the stash of 'cocaine' found in his freezer was revealed to be a 50 lb. the stash of tamales. Noriega used the tamales for 'magic binding' rituals against his opponents and people he wanted to control.

23. The Arab League vehemently backs war criminal Omar al-Bashir, who is responsible for the deaths of nearly 500,000.

24. Manuel Noriega, a former dictator of Panama, sued Activision for portraying him as a bad guy in the call of duty black ops series

25. General Ne Win of Myanmar changed the country from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right-hand side, due to fears the nation had moved politically too far left.

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