marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

tidbits cross time

Helen Dortch Longstreet, having married the Confederate general James Longstreet, lived long enough to work as a riveter in a World War II aircraft plant.

British folklore held that adopting a black cat would protect a fisherman from storms.

The Russian word for "bear" means "honey-eater." Then the English one means "brown" -- one wants to call so dangerous an animal by euphemism.

In the Applachains, one tests moonshine by setting it on fire. The clear corn liquid will burn yellow, but if it burns red, it has too much lead and will make you dead (convenient for a rhyme).

Under Irish law, it was not a violation of hospitality to refuse someone who came with a legally excessive retinue.

Robespierre fuliminated in a speech about the officials who, under the aegis of a law promoting virtue, jailed some drunkards at a public festivity. Virtue meant, of course, public virtue, support of the republic, there being no private virtue in its absence-- and its presence being enough to ensure private virtue.

In the Balkans, watermelons and pumpkins left out under the full moon are thought to become vampires.

British royalty have to time their meals very carefully, because when they put down their forks, the meal is over, however little the guests have had to eat.

A gold-fringed flag in an American courtroom indicates that cases there are heard under Admirality or martial law.

After many misfortunes, including deaths, were blamed on the vengeful ghost of the exiled Michizane, the Emperor Suzaku was raised in a castle in which windows were not opened for three years after his birth, to keep off the ghost.

After the conquistodors arrived, bringing plants, Argentina had a lot of trouble with feral spinach growing wild like kudzu.

When John Scanlan was being brought to Gallows Green in County Clare, the horses shied at the bridge. They ended up having to have him walk to his execution.

The French revolutionaries were endlessly complaining about lack of "public virtue" -- a fact not assisted by the way they insisted that any large revolutionary society showed that the members lack zeal.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, it is explicitly illegal in Britain to use a machine gun to kill a hedgehog.
Tags: historical tidbits
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