marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

tidbits cross time

In 1777, during the American Revolution, recruits were ordered to be inoculated against smallpox -- the first military command of any form of immunization.

Queen Victoria wrote a letter of condolence to her aunt shortly after ascending the throne and addressed it to her as "Her Majesty the Queen."  On someone's pointing out it was "Her Majesty the Queen Dowager," she said, "I am quite aware of her  Majesty's altered character; but I will not be the first person to remind her of it."

In colonial times, Increase Mather was distressed by the way that Catholics were much better at converting Indians than the Protestants were but consoled himself that it wasn't really a conversion, to that heresy.

Steamships made immigration easier not only because they were faster, but because they were more reliable.  Instead of having to go to the port, wait for a ship and hope that your money didn't run out while you waited or you didn't catch a disease, you knew when the ship would arrive, and leave.

The first record we have of someone suggesting (outside myths) that different human races have different origins was Julian the Apostate, who held that they sprang from drops of blood of differing gods, and which god it was determined their nature:  warlike ones from Ares, but races both war-like and reasonable from Athena, etc.  About the same time, St. Augustine argued that if such races as monopods and dog-headed men existed, there would be no reason to doubt  their humanity on basis of their appearance, because humans were sometimes born as conjoined twins or with six fingers, and what really counted was whether they were rational mortal beings.

With the Restoration and the revival of playhouse, Shakespeare was revived -- as part of a new practice of putting on mostly old plays, a necessity when no playwright had had any chance to practice.  He wasn't the most popular though -- Beaumont and Fletcher were -- and the critical minds also put Ben Jonson over him.  The troupe that put on Shakespeare had been given the plays because they were inferior to the plays that the troupe that gave them kept for themselves.

In colonial times, German immigrants to the east coast of North America suffered higher mortality than English ones.  Ships  were such that the greater distance of their voyage undoubtedly contributed.

When Napoleon put an end to the Venetian Republic, the puppet government, among its other feats, ordered that all lions in Venice be defaced, as a bloodthirsty killer was an inappropriate symbol for the gentle and peaceful Venetians.  Fortunately, the man who pocketed the money didn't bother to do much about it.  (Unfortunately, many other treasures were destroyed for  their gold and jewels to pay off the French.)

One reason why measles was such a killer in the Americas appears to be a greater genetic homogeneity, and that if you get a case from someone closely related to you, you are more likely to die because it's already adapted to living in someone like you.

The "golden afternoon" -- sunny, cloudless, and hot -- that both Lewis Carroll and Alice recalled as the genesis of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was, according to the weather report, cool and cloudy, with rain.

Slaves in the United States, while shorter on average than whites, were taller on average than Europeans.

The United States not only drafted men during World War II, it gave up accepting volunteers.  The Army complained the other services were getting the intelligent men to volunteer and they were being short-changed.

An "extravaganza" was the actual name of a type of performance in Victorian times.  Burlesque refined and made more elevated -- and spectacular, in the technical sense.  Fairy extravaganzas were popular.  And the transformation scene where the scenery  changed on stage grew in popularity steadily.

In early Christian times, the codex was invented.  Christians loved it.  Pagans preferred the old scroll.  (Heavily.  There are digs that found libraries where 90+% of the Christan works were codices, and 90+% of the pagan, scrolls.)

In France, pre-Revolutionary villages were often proud of the way that no one married outside them.  Some claimed lineal descent from the Romans.
Tags: historical tidbits, world-building: economics, world-building: races, world-building: religion, world-building: social structure
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