marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

The sinking of troop transports during the evacuation of Dunkirk had one advantage for the Allies: it effectively sabotaged the port for German use.

The shrine at Ise is surrounded by white pebbles. Not the latter gravel that you raked into patterns; the pebbles are too heavy for that. It demarcates sacred space.

Napoleon carefully selected his son's playmates, overlooking blue blood in favor of physical robustness, because his wife's family had people who died of consumption.

During an outbreak of the plague in Venice, the Doge and other officials searched for elderly physicians -- those who had been through the last plague. Frail though they often were, they had the best odds of survival.

Chinese courtesans often refrained from eating crabs because it was said that they would be reborn as crabs.

When Emma of Normandy went to England to marry a king, she had to change her name from the alien Emma to the more familiar Aelfgifu.

During World War II, some German soldiers were heckling a Russian peasant about the size of his stove and why he needed one that large. He asked if they would be there in the winter, they said they might, and he told them they would know then.

The Chinese god of wealth does not receive pork offerings. This is because, owing to the rich traders, he's a Muslim. (He even wears a hat that has been identified as Persian in origin.)

At Prince Albert's suggestion, Queen Victoria adopted the practice of having a couple of cows designated to provide milk for the royal children.

World War I had an interesting pattern on TB deaths in neutral Denmark -- first a rapid increase, then a decline. It appears that the increased demand for meat and milk for export had increased prices until the British blockade cut off the markets and forced it to stay locally, and the nutrition governed it.
Tags: historical tidbits

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