marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

trivia across time

Women were barred from most events in the ancient Olympics.  But for horse-racing, the owner and trainer of the horses was the winner, and so we have an inscription from Cynisca, a Spartan princess, exulting in her Olympic victory in chariot racing.

When the Minoan palace was excavated, the archaeologists carefully noted exactly where every one of the unreadable clay tablets was position.  Later on, someone discovered how to read them.  Then someone else deduced he could figure out the Minoan filing system from their positions.

Shortly after Pearl Harbor, a radio station announced it was changing its broadcast Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, from The Mikado to HMS Pinafore.

A couple of centuries ago, newspaper layouts were harder to construct.  They would just lay out the news as they got it and not fiddle around with it much.  So a paper could have, half way down the page, the news about the Battle of Waterloo, or the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Ancient Romans would shear their German or Gaulish slaves' hair, because blond hair was valuable for wigs.

Wellington refused command of the War of 1812, because the British public would then think he would bring the United States to sue for peace, and he didn't think he could pull it off, there would have to be a negotiated peace.

After the California was sunk at Pearl Harbor, all the members of its band were sent into Naval Intelligence, where they worked on the code-breaking that made Midway such a smashing American victory.

A Russian noblewoman once had a river on her estate diverted to a new bed, because the waterfall was keeping her awake.

Admiral Farragut refused to consider himself old until he could not do a handstand on his birthday.

Early in the Battle of Guadalcanal, some Japanese forces heard a scream of "Hikoki!" -- "Planes!"  They were all set to scatter where a parrot called and flew off.

Peasants in nineteenth century France conducted the "War of the Demoiselles" trying to scare off those in charge of enforcing the Forest Code on them.
Tags: historical tidbits

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