Random Fact Sheet #221 – 40 Facts That Will Enrich Your Life

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26Harvey Jones

Harvey Jones

In 1947, the Kiwanis Club of Ahoskie, North Carolina held a drawing for a New Cadillac. When a Black Navy Veteran named Harvey Jones won, they announced there had been a mistake, refunded the winner the $1 price of his ticket, and drew again for a white winner.

27. Joseph Stalin was hit by a horse-drawn carriage twice as a child, which led to permanent damage to his left arm. This injury exempted him from fighting in World War 1 where he would have likely died.

28. Haunted house attractions didn't really go mainstream in North America until the Great Depression when parents began organizing haunted houses or trails to keep young men from causing trouble on All Hallow's Eve.

29. Gerbils are illegal as pets in California due to its climate being so similar to the gerbil's natural desert habitat that state officials are concerned that gerbils who escape or are released into the wild could establish feral colonies.

30. After capturing Moscow, Napoleon expected Tsar Alexander to sue for peace. The Tsar procrastinated, then heard that Napoleon's army was suffering from lack of supplies: so the Tsar remained absent, and after a month Napoleon had to retreat through the winter, which destroyed his army.

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31Taichang Emperor

Taichang Emperor

In 1620, a Chinese emperor named Zhu Changluo reigned for just 29 days at the end of which he died. Apparently he fell ill from “excessive sexual indulgence after he was presented with eight maidens.” Shortly after falling ill, he experienced severe diarrhea after taking a laxative which ultimately led to his death.

32. Ketchup started as a Chinese fish-based sauce. Then it was picked up by the British and made into a mushroom-based sauce. Finally, it was picked up by the Americans who made it into a tomato-based sauce.

33. American actor Steve McQueen was demoted to private seven times by the Marines. He then saved the lives of other Marines by pulling them from a sinking tank, after which he was assigned to guard the presidential yacht of US President Harry Truman.

34. The ABC TV show Turn-On debuted in February 1969. The first episode was so bad, one affiliate refused to return to it after the commercial break. Several west coast affiliates refused to air the show at all. Before the first episode had finished playing, the show was canceled.

35. In 1973, a convicted child killer named Lester Eubanks was taken out shopping unescorted as a reward for good behavior. He did not return to his scheduled pick-up location and has been on the run ever since.

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36Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk runs a charity for building good community skateparks in low-income areas.

37. In 2001, the Mongolian Navy consisted of just 7 members, and only one knew how to swim.

38. One of the last grizzly bears in California was captured in 1889 and brought to San Francisco as a publicity stunt. It then spent 22 years on display in a concrete cell in Golden Gate Park. After he died, 1200-lb ‘Monarch’ was stuffed, again put on display, and became the bear depicted on California’s state flag.

39. Fuzzy dice hanging on a rearview mirror is a good luck charm with the origins based on World War 2 pilots keeping gambling trinkets in their airplanes.

40. The Yellow Fleet was the name given to the 15 ships that were stuck in the Suez Canal for eight years from 1967 to 1975 owing to the dispute between Egypt and Israel. In that time, the crews formed a mutual aid association, a yachting club, and a postal service.

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