Studying history can often seem depressing because there's no shortage of horrible events that have befallen humanity. From wars to famine to human rights abuses on a large scale, why should the average person think there's anything in the historical record worth smiling over?
Believe it or not, history isn't all doom and gloom, and that's what makes it so fascinating. Even the darkest times have borne witness to surprising displays of humanity, as we were so kindly reminded once Redditor SOUNDWAV3_2075 asked the online community, "What are some wholesome historical facts not taught in school?"
In 2006, while the Ivory Coast was in the midst of a civil war, the opposing sides agreed to a ceasefire so that they could all watch the World Cup. The break in fighting paved the way for a peace agreement a year later.
"During the Revolutionary War..."
During the Revolutionary War a British general left his dog behind during a chaotic retreat. When the Continental Army found the lost dog, George Washington had a messenger go under a truce flag to return the dog to its owner.
Abraham Lincoln grew his famous beard because a little girl said he would look better with one.
"During World War II..."
During World War II, a German fighter pilot spotted a damaged American bomber, and rather than shooting it down, he decided to escort it to safety. Decades later, the two pilots found each other and became friends.
"The India-Pakistan border..."
The India-Pakistan border is one of the most disputed ones in the world, giving rise to the world renowned hostilities between India and Pakistan. There was a time once, a prominent Indian singer (namely Lata Mangeshkar) had gone to perform a concert for the soldiers there. As soon as the show began, Pakistani troops started firing rounds in the air, yelled obscenities and said," We want to hear her voice too!!" So Indian forces turned up the speakers and pointed them towards the border. Pakistani forces returned the favour when prominent Pakistani singers came to perform for them.
"Pennsylvania was founded..."
Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers who believed that the "light of God" shined in everyone regardless of ethnicity or religion. They were known for treating the indigenous people relatively well and welcomed the first synagogue in North America in Philadelphia.
"In the late 1930s..."
After Commodore Perry forced the opening of Japan to foreign trade, Japan signed many unequal treaties with Western nations. 1888, Mexico signed another treaty with Japan, but Mexico viewed Japan as an equal. The 1888 Mexican-Japanese treaty was the first time a Western nation treated Japan as an equal.
In the late 1930s, fascism was advancing through the world and no one dared to oppose it. Except for Mexico. Mexico was the only country that openly protested against the Japanese invasive of Manchuria, the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, Italian and German involvement in the Spanish Civil War (along with the USSR), and finally, the German annexation of Austria.
"In the Second World War..."
In the Second World War, British Lieutenant-Commander Gerard Broadmead Roope was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross because a German Admiral who witnessed his gallantry in action wrote to the British and recommended the award.
"He wrote it..."
Horton Hears a Who was written for a Japanese friend of Dr. Seuss immediately following WWII. He wrote it as an allegory about the importance of forgiveness and humanity in a time where much of the world was still bitter at Japan for their role on the war. Horton represents the United States who speaks up for Whoville, the Japanese, to remind them that "a person is a person no matter how small."
Tutankhamun's most prized possession was his meteoritic iron dagger. Museum visitors are impressed by the gold.
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