The little known stories in history are sometimes the most interesting and downright hilarious!
Below are 24 historical events that are, for one reason or another, interesting or funny as heck. Check them out! A source to even more can be found on the last page.
In 1821 Greece was under control by the Turks. In Greece's fight for independence a Turkish garrison was besieged by Greek fighters on the Acropolis. When the Turks were running short on bullets they began to dismantle the marble columns to use the lead within as bullets. The Greeks sent them ammunition with the message: "Here are bullets, don't touch the columns".
The Great Emu War. The day the Australian infantry took on 20,000 wild emus in an attempt to protect farmlands.
The best part: It was declared an emu victory.
At one point in time there were only two cars registered in the entire state of Ohio, and they crashed into each other.
In the late 1700's, a letter appeared in the major London newspaper complaining that England was being forced to take deported French prisoners. The British were furious and wanted it stopped. The French became upset - because the uproar implied that England was too good for French prisoners. Both governments became involved, and they were on the brink of war before it all unraveled as a hoax. The original letter, it was learned years later, had been written by Benjamin Franklin - who was spending 6 months in England as an ambassador - and was simply bored. Just stirring up trouble and sitting back and watching.
During the opium war, the Chinese set monkeys on fire and launched them at British ships in an attempt to cause chaos.
During the French Revolution when members of the Third Estate stormed the Bastille, they freed a grand total of 7 prisoners (they were the only ones in there at the time). And one of them was an Irish guy who had no idea what was going on.
Acoustic Kitty. The CIA spent $20 million training cats to spy on the Soviets during the cold war. During its first mission the CIA released the cat near a Soviet compound and it was hit and killed by a taxi almost immediately.
The first "Mooning" in recorded history was 66 AD, where a Roman solider mooned pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. This caused a riot, an over-response by the Roman military, and the death of thousands.
I read somewhere that shortly after World War II ended, some Japanese villagers that didn't really understand Christmas were attempting to decorate for the US servicemen stationed there and put up a big Santa Claus crucified on a cross.
The 1957 news show broadcast by Panorama about spaghetti trees. It was a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. This was apparently because of an unusually mild winter and the "virtual disappearance of the spaghetti weevil," with video footage of a Swiss family pulling pasta off spaghetti trees and placing it into baskets. The show said: "For those who love this dish, there's nothing like real, home-grown spaghetti." Hundreds of people phoned the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this query the BBC simply said: "Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."
In World War II, two bombing squadrons were sent to the same location to bomb it, except one of them accidentally showed up 5,000 feet lower down than the other one. Neither of them saw each other until they had already started bombing.
Miraculously, none of the lower planes were hit by the higher planes, and the Germans all thought they had come up with an ingenious bombing strategy to bomb an area twice as much. It scared the crap out of them that the Allies had this level of skill.
I cannot find a source for the life of me, but my Grandfather was a pilot in the higher squadron, and told me this story before he passed away. I had a history teacher confirm it a few years ago. If anyone can find it, I'd really appreciate it, I probably got it a little bit wrong, but it's still hilariously lucky.
Former French president Felix Faure died of a stroke while receiving oral pleasure from his mistress in 1899.
Napoleon's true greatest defeat. It was a hunting event that he held for himself and some other people in a position of power. The game: rabbits. Unfortunately, these were domesticated rabbits, so instead of running away, they ran toward him. Sure, Waterloo was bad, but imagine losing to bunnies.
Henry Ziegland thought he had dodged fate. In 1883, he broke off a relationship with his girlfriend who, out of distress, committed suicide. The girl's brother was so enraged that he hunted down Ziegland and shot him. The brother, believing he had killed Ziegland, then turned his gun on himself and took his own life. But Ziegland had not been killed. The bullet, in fact, had only grazed his face and then lodged in a tree. Ziegland surely thought himself a lucky man. Some years later, however, Ziegland decided to cut down the large tree, which still had the bullet in it. The task seemed so formidable that he decided to blow it up with a few sticks of dynamite. The explosion propelled the bullet into Ziegland's head, killing him.
King Pyrrhus of Epirus was killed in 272 BC during a battle in a city when an old woman threw a tile at him which knocked him out and allowed an enemy soldier to finish him.
The direct cause of World War 1 was Archduke Ferdinand of Austria's assassination. What many people don't know is that the initial assassination attempt failed when the bomb blew up the car behind Ferdinand's. The only reason he was assassinated is because one of the terrorists (a Serbian organization called the Black Hand) stopped to buy a sandwich and saw Ferdinand in the store.
Early in the Spanish Civil War, there was a Nationalist garrison under siege. Having local air superiority, the Nationalists decided to airdrop supplies to them. They loaded up the parcels on some planes and headed over, and dropped them right on target.
So far, not very funny.
BUT, the humor comes from their chosen method of making sure the packages got to the ground without being damaged. You would think they would use a parachute, but they didn't.
They strapped a turkey to each package.
It could not carry the load, but it could slow it a bit on the way down. And unlike a parachute, you can eat a turkey.
So, in the middle of a war zone, suddenly you're chucking turkeys out of an airplane. I'm fairly certain this was not covered in training. And what do you think as a recipient. I'm sure "thank you" and "that was delicious" come well after "what the fuck is falling out of the sky?" And what if you're a Republican besieger? Planes previously meant death. Now it means poultry in projectile form?
When I first read this (I believe it was in Beevor's one volume history of the war) I nearly was kicked out of the library due to making a racket with my laughter.
In 1967, a mayoral election in Ecuador was won by a foot powder.
A foot deodorant firm decided to use the slogan: "Vote for any candidate, but if you want well-being and hygiene, vote for Pulvapies." When the votes were counted, the coastal town of Picoaza had elected Pulvapies mayor.
Teddy Roosevelt used to like skinny dipping in the Potomac and, on occasion, would bring his entire cabinet with him.
In 1958 during a tour of Germany, Groucho Marx went to where Hitler's bunker had been, climbed a pile of rubble right above it and performed a two-minute Charleston.
The English God Save The Queen national anthem's origin is not in English. It was composed by the French Duchess of Brinon (Grand Dieu sauve le Roi) to celebrate France's King Louis XIV's healing from anal fistula. At the time the operation was very risky, the operation consisted of opening the infected area (his royal butt) and give it a good cleaning. All this with no anesthesia.
Haendel, the British who offered this hymn the the English crown having heard it in France had no idea why it was written in the first place.
I'm gonna have to say the Dancing Plague of 1518, when about 400 people started dancing and could not stop. Some died of heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.
1988 Democratic convention- Mike Dukakis is announced as candidate, and John Philip Sousa's 'Liberty Bell March' is played.
Most Redditors will recognize 'Liberty Bell March' as the theme from Monty Python's Flying Circus.
I still think there was a Republican mole involved.
During the Word Cup event, Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, received an award from the South African government under the name of "Joseph Sepp Bellend Blatter". A huge embarrassment followed when the French speakers mentioned that bellend is the vulgar for glans. The S.A. government blamed Wikipedia for the nickname. As a matter of fact, Blatter's entry in Wikipedia was vandalized days earlier when someone inserted the nickname. Such sabotage lasted 5 minutes before another user canceled the term. Apparently this was not quick enough, since during that timeframe someone from the South African government accessed the page, probably to check for middle names in preparation of the award.