Fun Facts about History

The first losing candidate in a US presidential election was Thomas Jefferson. He lost to John Adams. George Washington had been unopposed.
The first modern Olympiad was held in Athens in 1896. 484 contestants from 13 nations participated.
The first US Marines wore high leather collars to protect their necks from sabres, hence the name "leathernecks."
The first-known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians in 2000 BC.
The House of Lancaster, symbolized by the red rose, won England's 'War of the Roses.'
The Hundred Year War actually lasted 116 years (1337 to 1453).
The longest reigning monarch in history was Pepi II, who ruled Egypt for 90 years; 2566 to 2476 BC. The second longest was France's Louis XIV, who ruled for 72 years, 1643 to 1715.
The Miss America Contest was created in Atlantic City in 1921 with the purpose of extending the tourist season beyond Labor Day.
The name of the first airplane flown at Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers, on December 17, 1903, was Bird of Prey.
The only repealed amendment to the US Constitution deals with the prohibition of alcohol.
The peace symbol was created in 1958 as a nuclear disarmament symbol by the Direct Action Committee, and was first shown that year at peace marches in England. The symbol is a composite of the semaphore signals N and D, representing nuclear disarmament.
The Republic of Israel was established April 23, 1948.
The seven wonders of the ancient world were:
  1. 1. Egyptian Pyramids at Giza
  2. 2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. 3. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  4. 4. Colossus of Rhodes - huge bronze statue at the Harbor of Rhodes that honored the sun god Helios
  5. 5. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  6. 6. Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
  7. 7. Lighthouse at Alexandria.
The shortest war on record was fought between Zanzibar and England in 1896. Zanzibar surrendered after 38 minutes.
The supersonic Concorde jet made its first trial flight on January 1, 1969.
The Titanic was the first ship to use the SOS signal. It was adopted as the international signal for distress in 1912, and the Titanic struck the iceberg in April of that year.
The total number of Americans killed in the Civil War is greater than the combined total of Americans killed in all other wars.
The Union ironclad, Monitor, was the first U.S. ship to have a flush toilet.
The USSR set off the largest nuclear explosion in history, detonating a 50 megaton bomb (2600 times the Hiroshima bomb) in an atmospheric test over the Novaya Zemla Islands, October 30 1961.
The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.
The White House, in Washington DC, was originally gray, the color of the sandstone it was built out of. After the War of 1812, during which it had been burned by Canadian troops, the outside walls were painted white to hide the smoke stains.
The worldwide "Spanish Flu" epidemic which broke out in 1918 killed more than 30 million people in less than a year's time.
There are more statues of Sacajawea, Lewis & Clark's female Indian guide, in the United States than any other person.
Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5 p.m. All traffic stopped as people switched sides. This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize 'this' was the day of the changeover.
Vermont, admitted as the 14th state in 1791, was the 1st addition to the original 13 colonies.
Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote.
Yellowstone is the world's 1st national park. It was dedicated in 1872.