St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was not Irish.
Many sailors used to wear gold earrings so that they could afford a proper burial when they died.
A South African monkey was once awarded a medal and promoted to the rank of corporal during World War I.
The Toltecs, Seventh-century native Mexicans, went into battle with wooden swords so as not to kill their enemies.
Before it was stopped by the British, it was the not uncommon for women in some areas of India to choose to be burnt alive on their husband's funeral pyre.
An American aircraft in Vietnam shot itself down with one of its own missiles.
The Anglo-Saxons believed Friday to be such an unlucky day that they ritually slaughtered any child unfortunate enough to be born on that day.
The Nobel Prize resulted form a late change in the will of Alfred Nobel, who did not want to be remembered after his death as a propagator of violence - he invented dynamite.
Pogonophobia is the fear of beards.
In 1647 the English Parliament abolished Christmas.
Mao Rse-Tang, the first chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, was born 26 December 1893. Before his rise to power, he occupied the humble position of Assistant Librarian at the University of Peking.
In Ancient Peru, when a woman found an 'ugly' potato, it was the custom for her to push it into the face of the nearest man.
During World War One, the future Pope John XXIII was a sergeant in the Italian Army.
The magic word "Abracadabra" was originally intended for the specific purpose of curing hay fever.
Albert Einstein was once offered the Presidency of Israel. He declined saying he had no head for problems.
Only 1 child in 20 are born on the day predicted by the doctor.
In the 1970's, the Rhode Island Legislature in the US entertained a proposal that there be a $2 tax on every act of sexual intercourse in the State.
The 'Hundred Years War' lasted 116 years.
Native American Indians used to name their children after the first thing they saw as they left their tepees subsequent to the birth. Hence such strange names as Sitting Bull and Running Water.
Queen Elizabeth I passed a law which forced everyone except for the rich to wear a flat cap on Sundays.
Julius Caesar wore a laurel wreath to cover the onset of baldness.
At the age of 12, Martin Luther King became so depressed he tried committing suicide twice, by jumping out of his bedroom window.
It is illegal to be a prostitute in Siena, Italy, if your name is Mary.
Upon the death of F.D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman became the President of America on 12 April 1945. The initial S in the middle of his name doesn't in fact mean anything. Both his grandfathers had names beginning with 'S', and so Truman's mother didn't want to disappoint either of them.
One of Queen Victoria's wedding gifts was a 3 metre diameter, half tonne cheese.
Peter the Great had the head of his wife's lover cut off and put into a jar of preserving alcohol, which he then ordered to be placed by her bed.
On 15 April 1912 the SS Titanic sunk on her maiden voyage and over 1,500 people died. Fourteen years earlier a novel was published by Morgan Robertson which seemed to foretell the disaster. The book described a ship the same size as the Titanic which crashes into an iceberg on its maiden voyage on a misty April night. The name of Robertson's fictional ship was the Titan.
Eau de Cologne was originally marketed as a way of protecting yourself against the plague.
The women of an African tribe make themselves more attractive by permanently scaring their faces.
It is a criminal offence to drive around in a dirty car in Russia.
In 1726, at only 7 years old, Charles Sauson inherited the post of official executioner.
Sir Winston Churchill rationed himself to 15 cigars a day.
The childrens' nursery rhyme 'Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses' actually refers to the Black Death which killed about 30 million people in the fourteenth-century.
During the reign of Elizabeth I, there was a tax put on men's beards.
Some Eskimos have been known to use refrigerators to keep their food from freezing.
The active ingredient in Chinese Bird's nest soup is saliva.
Marie Currie, who twice won the Nobel Prize, and discovered radium, was not allowed to become a member of the prestigious French Academy because she was a woman.
It was quite common for the men of Ancient Greece to exercise in public .. naked.
John Winthrop introduced the fork to the American dinner table for the first time on 25 June 1630.
In 1849, David Atchison became President of the United States for just one day, and he spent most of the day sleeping.
Between the two World War's, France was controlled by forty different governments.
It was the custom in Ancient Rome for the men to place their right hand on their testicles when taking an oath. The modern term 'testimony' is derived from this tradition.
Hindu men believe(d) it to be unluckily to marry a third time. They could avoid misfortune by marrying a tree first. The tree ( his third wife ) was then burnt, freeing him to marry again.
More money is spent each year on alcohol and cigarettes than on Life insurance.
There are no clocks in Las Vegas casinos.
The Russian mystic, Rasputin, was the victim of a series of murder attempts on this day in 1916. The assassins poisoned, shot and stabbed him in quick succession, but they found they were unable to finish him off. Rasputin finally succumbed to the ice-cold waters of a river.
A parthenophobic has a fear of virgins.
There are 240 white dots in a Pacman arcade game.
In 1939 the US political party 'The American Nazi Party' had 200,000 members.
St Nicholas, the original Father Christmas, is the patron saint of thieves, virgins and communist Russia.
Dublin is home of the Fairy Investigation Society.
The two highest IQ's ever recorded (on a standard test) both belong to women.
The Imperial Throne of Japan has been occupied by the same family for the last thirteen hundred years.
Due to staggering inflation in the 1920's, 4,000,000,000,000,000,000 German marks were worth 1 US dollar.
George Washington grew marijuana in his garden.