Sunday, December 1, 2013

Random Facts of History 4

1. Pope Innocent III declared that there should be a waiting period between betrothal and marriage, which led to separate engagement and wedding rings. (Source)

2. Ioannis Kapodistrias, a Greek Prime Minister, introduced the potato to Greece in the 1830's.  Initially, the potato met with indifference to the public, so to cultivate curiosity, he stationed guards around the potatoes as they were being unloaded and told the guards to ignore thefts.  The stolen potatoes then spread around Greece. (Source)

3. George Washington retired as a Lieutenant General, so in theory, he was outranked by later 4 and 5 star generals.  Thinking this unseemly, Congress posthumously promoted him to General of the Armies of the United States and declared that no general would ever outrank him. (Source)

4.  The man who invented to the Super Soaker water gun was also a systems engineer for the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn. (Source)

5.  The Ikh Khorig is an area of land in Mongolia that Genghis Khan declared sacred and was off limits to everyone but the Mongol Royal family and a tribe of elite warriors known as the Darkhads.  The Darkhads guarded Ikh Khorig from 1227 until after the country came under Soviet influence in 1924.  It is thought Genghis Khan's tomb may be there. (Source)

6.  The Bible described Nimrod as a "mighty hunter before the Lord."  The name "Nimrod" has often been used to describe a dolt though.  This is because Bugs Bunny sarcastically referred to Elmer Fudd as a "Nimrod" because Fudd was a hunter.  But he's also a dolt, and a lot people didn't understand the reference, so the name became associated with being a dolt instead. (Source)

7.  There are numerous examples of Medieval artworks depicting knights fighting snails...and no one knows why. (Source)

8.  The buttons on men and women's clothing are typically on opposites sides because for centuries, middle and upper class women who wore elaborate clothing usually were assisted in getting dressed by servants whereas men typically dressed themselves.  Clothiers realized that reversing the buttons on women's clothing made it easier for servants to help them dress. (Source)

9. A man claiming to be the son of Ivan the Terrible ruled Russia from 21 July 1605 until his death on 17 May 1606 under the name of Dimitriy Ioannovich.  It is not known for sure who he really was. (Source)

10. Narwhal tusks were sold as unicorn horns in Medieval times, perpetuating the myth of the unicorn's existence. (Source)

No comments:

Post a Comment