Saturday, May 11, 2013

Random Facts from History

I may make this Random Facts from History a series, but I'm not sure yet.  It definitely won't be a weekly series though.

- The famous "I Love NY" logo was created by Milton Glaser for free.  He expected the ad campaign to only last a couple of months, but it has since become a recognized symbol of New York City.  The torn envelope with his original doodle on it now resides in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. (Read more.)

- Honey does not rot or spoil if stored properly.  A jar of honey can remain edible for 1000s of years. (Read more. Also this.)

- William Franklin, son of of American patriot Benjamin Franklin, remained loyal to the British crown throughout the American Revolutionary War.  He and his father never reconciled. (Read more.)

- In the 1960s, the CIA created a cyborg cat that it intended to use as a spy in an operation known as Acoustic Kitty.  Unfortunately, the cat was not very trainable and after being driven to a park to listen in on a conversation between two men as a test, the cat instead wandered into the street and was killed by a taxi.  The project was abandoned after that. (Read more.)

-Famed 19th century wild west show performer Annie Oakley was falsely reported to have been arrested for cocaine use in 1903.  Her "highest ambition" was "to be considered a lady," so she filed 55 lawsuits against newspapers that had libeled her.  She won or settled 54 or the 55 lawsuits. (Read more.)

-The Dutch East India Company is considered to be the most valuable company in history.  In 1637, the company was valued at 78 million Dutch Guilders, which when adjusted to 2012 dollars would be 7.4 trillion dollars.  The company was in business from 1602 to 1800. (Read more.)

-Nineteenth century Texas politician and cattle rancher Samuel A. Maverick refused to brand his cattle and, ironically, his own surname became a term for independent people who refuse to follow the precepts of social order.  (Read more.)

-US President Lyndon Johnson owned an amphibious car known as the Amphicar and enjoyed surprising unsuspecting guests when taking them for a ride in it. (Read more.)

-Spiked dog collars were invented in ancient Greece to protect dogs throats from attacks by wolves. (Read more.)

-The act of performing a "toast" to the health of friends was started in ancient Greece when a host would pour wine from a common pitcher and drink it before his guests, who, when satisfied it was good, would raise his glass to his friends to do likewise.  This showed that the wine was not poisoned.  The Romans later adapted the custom and would also drop a piece of burnt bread into the wine, hence the term "toast." (Read more.)

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