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20 Historical Oddities You Probably Don’t Know

by Tequila Mockingbird
fact checked by dickensgirl

I love these little lists of oddities and was thrilled when this one was sent in to me. I have to confess that I didn’t know most of the things on this list. The ones that seem the strangest or most unlikely to me, I verified and found they are, indeed, true! So, onwards, let’s learn some odd facts we didn’t already know.


Oddities 1 – 5


1. Before the Boston Tea Party, the British actually lowered tea taxes, not raised them.

2. England’s King George I was actually German.

3. Abel Tasman “discovered” Tasmania, New Zealand and Fiji, on his first voyage, but managed to completely miss mainland Australia!

4. Ethnic Irishman Bernardo O’Higgins was the first president of the Republic of Chile.

5. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on the same day – the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.


Oddities 6 – 10

Stalin Casket-1

6. When the American Civil War started, Confederate Robert E. Lee owned no slaves. Union general U.S. Grant did.

7. Kaiser Wilhelm II, Tsar Nicholas II and George V were all grandchildren of Queen Victoria.

8. Karl Marx was once a correspondent for the New York Daily Tribune.

9. Josef Stalin once studied to be a priest.

10. Henry Kissinger and Yassir Arafat won the Nobel Peace Prize. Gandhi never did.


Oddities 11 – 15

4 Copy3-1

11. The Constitution of the Confederate States of America banned the slave trade.

12. The Finnish capital of Helsinki was founded by a Swedish king in 1550.

13. The “D” in D-Day stands for “Day” – “Day-Day”

14. There was a New Australia in Paraguay in the 1890s.

15. A New Orleans man hired a pirate to rescue Napoleon from his prison on St. Helena.


Oddities 16 – 20


16. Like Dracula (Vlad Tepes), there really was a King Macbeth. He ruled Scotland from 1040 to 1057.

17. In 1839, the U.S. and Canada fought the bloodless “War of Pork and Beans”.

18. Despite the reputation, Mussolini never made the trains run on time.

19. The world powers officially outlawed war under the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact.

20. Ancient Egypt produced at least six types of beer. [See them drinking their lovely beer in the picture above.]

Contributor: Tequila Mockingbird

fact checked by dickensgirl