How about some fun facts to ponder?

Published 9:07 am Wednesday, August 9, 2023

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1. Ketchup was once sold as a medicine. In the 1830s, it was believed that the condiment could cure almost anything, including indigestion, diarrhea, and even jaundice.
2. Ice pops were accidentally invented by a kid! 1905 when 11-year-old Frank Epperson left water and soda powder outside overnight, the wooden stirrer was still in the cup. When he discovered that the mixture had frozen, the Epsicle was born! Years later, the name was changed to Popsicle.
3. Tug-of-war was once an Olympic sport. Did you know it was an event at the Olympics from 1900 to 1920? It’s a separate sport now, but it used to be included in the track-and-field athletics program!
4. Iceland has the world’s oldest parliament. Established in AD 930, the Althing continues to serve as the acting parliament of the tiny Scandinavian island country.
5. Say “prunes” In the 1840s, instead of saying “Cheese!” people used to say “Prunes!” when having their pictures taken. This was to intentionally keep mouths taut in photographs since big smiles were seen as juvenile.
6. Dunce caps used to be signs of intelligence. It was believed that a pointed hat could spread knowledge from the tip of the brain — at least, that’s what 13th-century philosopher John Duns Scotus thought. About 200 years later, though, they became something of a joke and were used for the exact opposite reason.
7. A horse became a Senator in Ancient Rome. When Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus became the emperor of Rome at just 24 years old, he made his horse a Senator. Unfortunately, he will be remembered as one of the city’s worst rulers.
8. Buzz Aldrin was the first to pee on the moon. When Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” became the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, the urine collection sheath in his spacesuit broke, leaving him no choice but to pee in his pants.
9. More than 75 million Europeans were killed by rats in the Middle Ages. The Black Death, which wiped out over one-third of Europe’s population, was spread by rats.
10. The 3 Musketeers candy bar was named for its flavors. When the original 3 Musketeers candy bar first hit the market in the 1930s, it came in a three-pack featuring vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors. However, they had to cut down to one flavor when World War II made rations too expensive.
11. The Vikings discovered America. Approximately 500 years before Christopher Columbus, the Scandinavian explorer Thorvald, Leif Erikson’s brother, and Erik, the Red’s son, died in battle in modern-day Newfoundland.
12. Easter Island is home to 887 giant head statues. At only 14 miles long, Easter Island (or Rapa Nui as it’s also called) is covered in hundreds and hundreds of giant volcanic rock statues called Moai. Unbelievably, each one of these statues weighs an average of 28,000 pounds.
13. Two U.S. presidents died within hours of each other. Here’s one of the most intriguing and shocking history facts for kids. On the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, two of its central figures, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
14. The sinking of the Titanic was predicted. Who could have predicted the sinking of the Titanic? It turns out that author Morgan Robertson may have! In 1898, he published the novella The Wreck of the Titan, in which a massive British ocean liner, with a lack of lifeboats on board, hits an iceberg and sinks in the North Atlantic Ocean.
15. President Abraham Lincoln’s top hat had a purpose. Ever heard of functional fashion? Abraham Lincoln may have been a pioneer of it! The president’s top hat was more than an accessory—he used it to store important notes and papers. It’s been said that he even wore the hat on April 14, 1865, when he went to Ford’s Theatre.
16. Napoleon Bonaparte was attacked by a horde of bunnies. He may have been a famous conqueror, but Napoleon may have met his match during a rabbit hunt gone wrong. At his request, the rabbits were released from their cages, and instead of fleeing, they went straight at Bonaparte and his men!
17. The Leaning Tower of Pisa never stood up straight. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is famous for leaning more than 4 degrees to the side. Many have assumed that the landmark gradually moved over time, but the truth is that it shifted during construction after the third floor was added. No one could figure out why, so they left it as is, but scientists believe it’s because it was built on soft clay.
18. “Albert Einstein” is an anagram for “ten elite brains.”
19. The Empire State Building has its own zip code. Here’s one of the most surprising historical facts for kids. The Statue of Liberty is a landmark that is so massive that it needs its own postal designation — it’s the exclusive home of the 10118 zip code!
20. The Statue of Liberty used to be a lighthouse. For 16 years, the majestic statue served as a working lighthouse. Lady Liberty was perfect for the job, too — her torch is visible for 24 miles!

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