Do you remember...?

No? Well, neither does anybody else. So you're in good company.

History has a long list of strange events. Some of which come with the caveat of nobody remembering them whatsoever. It is always fun to dig them up after and recount them for new ears.


u/MassGootz asked:

What's an unusually strange historical event that few people know of?

Here were some of those answers.

1850 to 1864.

The Taiping Rebellion of 1850 to 1864 was the second most deadly singular conflict in history. At 25 million deaths. Only beaten by the Second World War. Baronnolanvonstraya

In 1794. 

In 1794, it rained toads in Lalaine, near a French city called Lille. This event was witnessed by soldiers. TophCookie

Yes I've heard about this!! Think there has also rained fish at some points. Whirldwinds I think? Sahsparris

The Thirty Years War. 

Most Americans don't know about the Thirty Years' War which was an unbelievably complicated clustercrap that killed 20 percent of the German population. LonelyPauper

Germanic states were either catholic or Protestant. They hired mercenaries to attack their rivals when a staunch anti-Protestant pope ruled all the lands had to be Catholic. Surrounding countries fought proxy wars to gain influence. The German people died from war disease and starvation. darrellmarch

Global Syrup. 

Canada has a heist nearly 3,000 tons of maple syrup in 2011/2012. They stole it from a cartel that controls 77% of the global maple syrup supply. thoughtful_human

They specifically stole from the 'strategic reserve' of syrup that's used to price fix the global market. It was millions in syrup that was taken! Absolutely wild. Resentful_in_Dayton

Robert Lincoln. 

Robert Lincoln (Abraham's only surviving son) was pushed into the path of an oncoming train and was subsequently saved by Edwin Booth (John Wilkes', aka Abe's killer, brother). it isn't super significant, just a silly twist of fate. kellirosp

And Robert Lincoln was at or nearby for the assassinations of his father, Garfield and McKinley. Leading him to be so superstitious about it so that he vowed never to meet a president again. Marble_Narwhal

The Great Stork Derby. 

The Great Stork Derby. A Toronto financier left a part of his estate to whatever woman in the city could produce the most children in the decade following his death. grannyluvsdeathgripsT

he court flubbed the rules and definitions of a "child birth" so that the award would not be given to a minority woman. kedipopo

Sybil Ludington....

Sybil Ludington rode 40 miles to her town to gather 400 troops and warn them that the British were coming to attack. This happened in 1777 and she is often overshadowed by Paul Revere. Sybil was a 14 year old girl who was on her horse Star, when she did this in the middle of the night, waking troops by banging a stick on fence posts and other objects. There is currently a sculpture of her in New York, but Paul Revere is often recognized first. MarsBars_SnickersCar

13....

It the late 1800s into the mid 1900, it was common for there to be so much pollution in the Cuyahoga river in Ohio that it would regularly light on fire. 13 times

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyahoga_River

At least 13 fires have been reported on the Cuyahoga River, the first occurring in 1868.[12][18] The largest river fire, in 1952, caused over $1 million in damage[12] to boats, a bridge, and a riverfront office building.[dead link][19]

secondary fun fact from history...

Kodak found out about nuclear detonations by using corn silk to pack their film, which would be messed up due to the radioactive fallout and the gov't used their film... so the US Gov't began telling Kodak when they were detonating nukes, and where, so that they could ensure they did not use radioactive corn silk to pack their film...

they never told the US Public that they were eating irradiated food https://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2013/02/26/not-so-secret-atomic-bomb-tests-why-the-photographic-film-industry-knew Dredly

The Best 'Actually, You're Speaking To The Boss' Experience | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

A B-52....

A B-52 with a payload of thermonuclear bombs broke apart and crashed near Goldsboro, North Carolina in 1961. One of the bombs nearly detonated; three of its four arming mechanisms had activated. TheSanityInspector

The Elephant. 

in 1916 they sentenced an Elephant to death because he killed a Circus worker. They executed this by hanging the Elephant on a crane. shinyPave

The circus worker was a homeless man the circus had hired off the street. Mary the elephant had a bad tooth and the guy started probing the tooth causing Mary a lot of pain, so she crushed him. The sick fools sold tickets to the hanging, but when they tried to hang her the chain broke, Mary fell and broke her hip. Mary died on the second attempt, however. This happened in Irwin, Tennessee. It makes me incredibly sad every time I think about it. jackaro

Noid

In the 1980s, Domino's Pizza introduced a mascot named The Noid. Its main goal: stealing pizzas and making your pizza delivery late. The slogan: "Avoid the Noid."

Unfortunately, there was a man with paranoid schizophrenia named Kenneth Noid who thought this whole campaign was created to mock and persecute him, due to the mascot's name. So one day, Noid entered an Atlanta Domino's location and took two employees hostage.


During the 5-hour standoff, he got hungry. So he ordered the employees to make him some pizzas. Of course, he didn't pay for any of them – thus inadvertently living up to The Noid's tendency to steal pizzas.

He was eventually apprehended and spent some time in a mental institution until his death in 1995. Meanwhile, Domino's retired the mascot due to what had happened and it was never mentioned again.

buckyhermit

Real Tough Pain

I've heard the story, but had to look it up to retell it:

In 1809 Jane Todd Crawford rode on horseback from Greensburg, KY to Danville, KY (60 miles) at the age of 44. She needed an abdominal tumor removed. The surgery was performed on Christmas day by Dr. Ephraim McDowell on his Kitchen Table, without anesthetic. A part of the Fallopian tube (along with 22.5lbs of "stuff" - the tumor) was removed. After 25 days, she returned home (via horseback so the story goes) on the same path. It was considered the first successful intentional opening of the abdominal cavity to remove something. She died at 78.

PhesteringSoars

Drunkenness Out Of Tragedy

I mean this wasn't an "event" per se but it is one of my favorite stories.

When the Titanic was sinking the head chef aboard knew the ship was going down, so he decided to take as much wine as he could and drink it. His logic was it was going to the bottom of the ocean anyway so why not. Anyway so he gets pretty tipsy and continues to eat all the food he can find because lord knows how long they would be out there. The man also filled at least one lifeboat with food and drinks, but decided not to get on yet.

So the boat is starting to do that iconic tilting into the air and the head chef decides to climb onto the railing and walk across it since it was basically a walkway at that point. Gets to the propellers just as the boat breaks in half and he rides it down he gets to the top and spends as much time he can out of the water by riding it down before being submerged into the ocean. He then waited for the lifeboats to come back and was one of the few people who survived while being in the water that night.

AlkalineSoul

A Terrible Tragedy Long Forgotten

On September 16, 1920 there was a terrorist attack on Wall Street. At 12:01, 100 pounds of dynamite exploded in front of the corner at JP Morgan. Within minutes Wall Street looked like a war zone. Hundreds of pounds of metal fragments, which had been concealed inside the wagon that had hidden the bomb, filled the streets with shrapnel. Burned bodies littered the sidewalks and smoke filled the air. No one ever claimed responsibility or was arrested.

migistia

Unusual Tact

On August 6, 1915, undead Russian infantry successfully defended Osowiec Fortress against German forces despite being heavily outnumbered.

I should explain that "undead" bit.

The German forces consisted of (and Imma just quote wiki, because it's a bit of a list) "14 battalions of infantry, one battalion of sappers, 24–30 heavy siege guns, and 30 batteries of artillery equipped with poison gases." Russian forces were less than 1,000, and roughly half were militia, not regular infantry. The Russians were determined to hold the fortress, and did a remarkably good job of it, right up until the Germans flooded the entire structure with chlorine gas. For those of you unaware of what chlorine gas does, basically your eyes, throat, and lungs dissolve in a slurry of blood and disintegrating tissue.


Russian gas masks did not protect against chlorine gas, and the fortress had no defenses that would protect the inhabitants. The Germans waited for the gas to dissipate, and strolled right in.

The Russians counter-charged. A band of men, their skin sloughing away, coughing up pieces of lung, dead on their feet but too stubborn or angry to stop, charged the Germans. The Germans broke at the sight, ran, and were gunned down.

The_First_Viking

Crisis: Averted

When the Mongols at their height of power conquered China, they were still in their phase of killing all the people and burning their cities, to turn it back to pasture for their horses. Huge swaths of Central Asia had already been treated so, laid to waste.

There was one guy, I don't remember what his name was, a northern tribesman who'd fought against the Mongols but been captured and joined them. When they were deciding what to do with China, he convinced the Mongols there was more profit in leaving as it was and levying taxes, with which the Mongols could buy whatever they wanted.

Apparently that hadn't occurred to the Mongols before, but that one guy definitely saved millions of lives.

dxrey65

Vertigris

The legend of the green children of Woolpit concerns two children of unusual skin colour who reportedly appeared in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England, some time in the 12th century, perhaps during the reign of King Stephen. The children, brother and sister, were of generally normal appearance except for the green colour of their skin. They spoke in an unknown language, and would only eat raw broad beans.

Eventually they learned to eat other food and lost their green pallor, but the boy was sickly and died soon after he and his sister were baptised. The girl adjusted to her new life, but she was considered to be "rather loose and wanton in her conduct". After she learned to speak English, the girl explained that she and her brother had come from Saint Martin's Land, a subterranean world inhabited by green people.

chinguetti

Thanks In Kind

The Halifax Explosion.

In 1917 a munitions ship detonated, creating the largest non-nuclear manmade explosion in history.

Thousands died, thousands were injured, and the ship was burning long enough to attract enough attention that the detonation blinded even thousands more.

Boston participated heavily in responding to the disaster. To this day, Nova Scotia donates the Christmas tree that is displayed publicly in Boston every year.

DrunkByDesign

Different Times

there was a span of time where Clocks were already a thing but were too luxurious for the average citizen. But most cities had one on their church or something, and since the day starts a little bit different everywhere, every city had their own time zone. It had to be generalized over the globe because of industrial revolution and Railroads getting more popular but it still took a very long time for every Village to be convinced that it would be better to adapt.

shinyPave

Jokes On Jokes

In 1979 the US space station Skylab was de-orbited. Some of the debris that survived re-entry landed in rural Australia, and they jokingly gave NASA a 400$ fine for littering. The fine was unpaid for 3 decades until a US radio host raised the money.

Delta5-6

Image by tookapic from Pixabay

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They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.

Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.

Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.

Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:

What is the most valuable item that you have seen somebody throw away or have found in the garbage?

And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.

Like Refrigerator Big

just ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy

"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."

"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."

"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr

Immigrants In Action

Dog Brazil GIF Giphy

"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."

"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."

"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas

With A Note

Television Bunny GIF Giphy

"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."

"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf

Life Hack!

studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy

"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"

"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."

"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."

"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."

"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."

"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."

"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow

Literal Gold Treasure

valley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy

"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."

"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."

"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."

"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."

"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch

The Best Day Of My Life

Will Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy

"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."

"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."

"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."

"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."

"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."

"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."

"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief

Who Throws Away Money?

spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy

"A jar full of quarters."

"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."

"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."

"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."

"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980

Filing Fever

Files Workload GIF Giphy

"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."

"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"

"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."

"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."

"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz

This Sucks - In A Good Way!

mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy

"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."

"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."

"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs

Tiffany's Trash

Audrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy

"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."

"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink

Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!