People Share Dark Historical Events That Most People Don't Know About

If we consider only a single year, it's not difficult to see just how many events and news stories will fall through the cracks as time marches on.

Sure, the events that affect many people and the stories that concern influential leaders may persist in our memory, but unfortunately, the experiences of so many common people will simply not make the cut of remembered history.

And that is just a single year.

Now consider hundreds of years of history. Imagine all the events and victims of disaster that you've never even thought of, never conceived existed at all. Truthfully, that describes most of the people who've ever lived.

There are plenty of tragedies that didn't receive much press at the time they occurred, let alone make it into the record of common knowledge.

But never fear, a Reddit thread is here to shed light on at least a few of those catastrophes, be they immoral transgressions or random calamities.

rockingkp asked,

"What are some of dark events happened in history not many people know about?"

The Value of Laws 

"In the early 80's, Bayer knowingly sold millions of dollars worth of HIV and hepatitis tainted medications to Asia and Latin America. These countries didn't have laws to prevent the proliferation of tainted drugs. Thousands of people died as a result."

"It was hardly mentioned on any news platforms."

-- beardcloset

Taxidermy Surprise 

"Once in the seventies, a film crew was filming an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man, and they were shooting at an amusement park fun house kind of thing."

"A stage hand was moving what he thought was a prop wax figure on a noose, only for one arm to fall off, revealing human flesh and bone underneath."

"After an autopsy, it was revealed to be the 60 something year old corpse of an old wild west outlaw that had been taxidermied to an extent."

-- BakedBrotato76

Horrifying Practices 

"The Ideal Maternity Home here in Canada. From the 1920s till the 1940s, they took in babies from unwed mothers and they were selling them especially to desperate Jewish families in New Jersey (adoption was illegal in the US back then)."

"It was later discovered that the people who ran this business would starve the 'unmarketable' babies by feeding them only molasses and water (the babies would last around 2 weeks on this diet). They put the corpses in wooden box often used for butter and that's why the victims are called the Butterbox Babies."

"The boxes were either buried on the property or at sea or burned in the home furnace. The parents who gave their child to this maternity home would go back and see how their child is doing but were told the child has died when in fact it had been sold to adopting parents."

"Between 400 and 600 died in that home and at least a thousand were adopted but sadly, the adopted babies often suffered from diseases because of the unsanitary conditions and lack of care at the home."

-- Pomsan

Totally Ineffective 

"During prohibition the government funded and lead an operation to release barrels of alcohol that they had poisoned to make people sick and shy away from bootleg liquor."

"Lots of people ended up dying but people still drank more than ever."

-- maceman486

A Rough Decade 

"The Halifax Explosion."

"Regarded by many as the biggest man-made explosion prior to the invention of the atomic bomb. A ship laden with explosives collided with another vessel in Halifax Harbour. The resulting explosion flattened much of the city's downtown core, killing roughly 2,000 and injuring 9,000."

"The blast is said to have temporarily displaced the water in the harbour, forming a tsunami that reached up to 15 metres high, surging over the wreckage of the waterfront."

"The following day, Halifax was hit by a blizzard that dumped 40 cm of snow on top of the city, further complicating rescue efforts."

"The city is also home to a cemetery where many victims of the Titanic were laid to rest. It is said that the body identification system developed at the time of the Titanic's sinking in 1912 aided efforts to identify victims of the Halifax explosion in 1917."

-- keoura

Nicer On Paper, Dreadful In Real Life 

"In my family's region in Africa they used to carry out the death penalty by snakebite."

"Just a snakebite to each ankle, and then letting the man spend his remaining time with his family before he died (under supervision)."

"I thought it sounded sort of humane in a way, like our lethal injections, but apparently they say it was one of the most horrific ways that existed."

-- nonodru3

A Week Is Plenty 

"'Khuk Khi Kai,' or the 'Chicken Poop Prison' in Thailand. Used by French forces to hold political prisoners (rebellious Thai people) in the Chanthaburi region."

"The long-standing impacts of this much-feared torture are still felt in the region today - there's a Thai saying for those who buck authority that roughly translates to 'Be careful not to get caught in a chicken poop prison.' I learned about this prison from my parents who learned about it from theirs."

"How it worked, was there was a small, 2-story prison. Bottom floor houses the prisoners, and the top floor is basically a huge chicken coop."

"The grated floor/ceiling ensures that the chicken poop falls onto the prisoners below."

"Apparently, even though the 'maximum sentence' in Khuk Khi Kai was around a week, it was one of the most feared punishments there was."

-- entlp

An Elder to Tell About It 

"The massacre of kalavrita. It is a village in Greece. The Germans entered it and rounded up all the male villagers in a field. They then shot them all with machine guns."

"After that they got the children and women and put them in the church. When everyone was inside, they locked the doors and set fire to the church."

"Around 20 minutes into the burning, a German soldier couldn't take it anymore and opened the doors. Around half of the people escaped the fire but the rest perished. The German soldier was shot for this, and if you go to kalavrita today his name is on the memorial."

"No one was punished for this apart from the leader of the division, who I was told by my grandmother that he died in a gulag. But everyone else got away with it. It is sad that no one knows about this, as things like this happened all over Greece and Russia and Poland."

"I only know about this because my Great grandmother was one who escaped in the church. This massacre was in retaliation for the villagers supporting the local resistance force, which had recently killed about 10 Nazis."

-- Zaffa_07

PPE Problems Have Been Around for Awhile 

"The Radium Girls. In the 1920s, they worked at a watch company painting the hours on the watches using radium, a radioactive element that glows in the dark. They did this with no PPE and weren't told radium is dangerous. Meanwhile, the chemists had full PPE and worked in a sealed environment."

"Worse, they were instructed to lick the tip of the brush to make a very fine point. Some of them would paint their nails or their teeth with it for fun when they went out at night."

"They would develop cancer whenever the paint touched, and many of them had such decay in their jaws that their mandibles had to be held on with bandages."

-- Damn_Dog_Inappropes

Earth's Sudden Changes 

"The Children's Blizzard. It occurred in January 1888 on an unseasonably warm day. The weather was nice and many school-kids were tricked into not wearing coats or jackets to school, some only in short sleeves."

"While the kids were in class, the weather outside changed dramatically from warm and sunny at noon to dark and heavy like a thunderstorm, with heavy winds and visibility at 3 steps by 3 pm."

"Children left school to go home and do their chores (this was in Minnesota) and were expected to milk the cows and do whatever else was involved in the family farm."

"But they got lost in the darkness and snow and the wind and many froze to death in their town, just yards from houses or other sources of refuge. 235 people, mostly children died."

-- floridianreader

Popes on Popes on Popes

"The Cadaver Synod"

"Basically the pope had a previous Pope's corpse exhumed so the corpse could stand trial for something made up. So they dug up his bloated 7 month old corpse and convicted him, retroactively nullifying his papacy."

"Then they dumped his bloated and convicted corpse in a river. The people got pissed and overthrew the pope, who was strangled in prison."

"The next pope came along and had the corpse collected from the river and its papacy posthumously reinstated."

"897 was a crazy year."

-- Intense_as_camping

Sounds Familiar

"The San Francisco Plague of 1900-1904 was a terrible, scary time when the Black Plague was beginning to ravage San Francisco."

"California's governor tried to suppress information about the outbreak and restrict any activities to curtail it because he feared economic damage to the state. He even tried to get the doctor who was warning people about the outbreak fired."

"What information did get out was used against the Chinese residents as it was believed that it was a disease of the 'unclean.'"

"Had it not been for the earthquake in 1906 that devastated the city, the plague outbreak would have probably been more remembered."

-- jthanson

Not to be Forgotten

"There's a surprising amount of people that don't know about the Rwanda genocide that happened pretty recently (like when Bill Clinton was president)."

"Basically there were two 'types' of Rwanda natives: the Hutus and Tutsis. The Hutus believed the Tutsis were invaders of land that was theirs, and after the assassination of the Rwandan leader (who was a Hutu), the Hutus were ordered to 'chop down the tall trees' which meant kill the Tutsis."

"The 'differences' between Hutus and Tutsis were that Hutus were supposedly darker-skinned, shorter in stature, and had shorter faces. That's why the Tutsis were called 'tall trees.'"

"The events that followed killed so many Tutsis, yet the UN was stingy to call it a genocide (they never like using that term because of its association with WWII and the Nazis)."

"It wasn't until very recently that the killings stopped. To this day, Hutus and Tutsis that survived the genocide speak at events side-by-side speaking about how terrible the events were."

-- poptartsinthesky

Battered by Forces Beyond Him

"The sad case of Ota Benga. He was a 'pygmy' boy from the Congo who was essentially captured and brought to the USA to be displayed in freak shows. He had undergone tribal customs such as having his teeth filed into points before his capture."

"He eventually got out of the carnivals and dreamed of returning to Africa, then WWI happened, making the trip impossible for the foreseeable future."

-- Hardcore_EHS

In the Closing Days

"The sinking of the Sultana which occurred in 1865. Legally allowed to carry 375 people, it was carrying over 2,300 recently released Union POWs, civilians and crew when the boiler exploded. About 1,800 people died from steam burns and drowning."

"Why so many people? Greed. The U.S. government would pay $2.75 per enlisted man and $8 per officer to any steamboat captain who would take a group north."

"So the captain took on more and more passengers. Plus the men were desperate to get home as the war had finally ended."

"The Sultana explosion occurred the same month the war ended and Lincoln was assassinated, so it was barely a blip in the news."

-- SylkoZakurra

A Disgusting Curiosity 

"You know Jameson Whiskey? Well a long a** time ago in like the 19th one of their family Heirs fed a little girl to cannibals."

"Like legit went and bought a little girl in the Congo as a slave and brought her up to a cannibal tribe because he wanted to see them."

"Sick fu** drew pictures of it and sh** as it was happening."

"Of course for years the family tried to bury the fact, and the stories and such. Discredit the witnesses."

"But the crazy bastard was happy to document the whole thing, his only rebuttal in case it reflected badly on him was that 'he wanted to see if they would do it.'"

"And his accounts matched up with the evidence witnesses had provided."

-- MurrayMan92

Education System of Torture

"The Inuit people were brought to boarding schools in the mainland of the US. Then, since they lived full time at the schools, the school had some special rights over the kids."

"During the COLD WAR, the US military made these kids drink radioactive stuff for 'experiments' because the schools signed off on it. Obviously this has caused many of them to develop cancer, and many have had no reparations to this day."

-- Abstract-Pi

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