25 Strange Facts From History You Probably Didn’t Learn In School

Posted by , Updated on April 8, 2014

From Napoleon being attacked by a pack of wild rabbits to a war that lasted less than 40 minutes, these are 25 strange facts from history you probably didn’t learn in school.

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25

Officially, the longest war in history was between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly, which lasted from 1651 to 1986. There were no casualties.

weird history facts
24

The Anglo-Zanzibar war of 1896 is the shortest war on record lasting an exhausting 38 minutes.

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23

Albert Einstein was offered the role of Israel’s second President in 1952, but declined.

weird history facts
22

John F. Kennedy, Anthony Burgess, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on the same day.

weird history facts
21

Napoleon was once attacked by rabbits.

weird history facts

20

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

weird history facts
19

Kim Jong Il wrote six operas.

weird history facts
18

Princeton researchers successfully turned a live cat into a functioning telephone in 1929.

weird history facts
17

Ronald Reagan was a lifeguard during high school and saved 77 people’s lives.

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16

Lord Byron kept a pet bear in his college dorm room.

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15

In 1912, a Paris orphanage held a raffle to raise money—the prizes were live babies.

weird history facts
14

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

weird history facts
13

The “D” in D-Day stands for “Day”, in other words, “Day-Day”

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12

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

weird history facts
11

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

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10

England’s King George I was actually German.

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9

In 1838, General Antonio López de Santa Anna (President of Mexico) had his leg amputated after his ankle was destroyed by canon-fire. He ordered a full military burial for it.

weird history facts
8

Contrary to popular belief and legend, Daniel Boone not only did not wear a coonskin cap, he detested them. Instead, Boone wore a felt cap.

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7

At the start of World War I, the US Airforce (then a component of the US army) had only 18 pilots and 5 - 12 airplanes.

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6

The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

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5

Arabic numerals (the ones used in English) were not invented by the Arabs at all - they were actually invented by Indian mathematicians.

weird history facts
4

The Parliament of Iceland is the oldest still acting parliament in the world. It was established in 930.

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3

Despite the terrible nature of and damage caused by the 1666 Great Fire of London, only 8 people were killed. This is despite the fire destroying at least 13,500 houses.

weird history facts
2

Soon after building started in 1173, the foundation of the Pisa tower settled unevenly. Construction was stopped, and was continued only a 100 years later. Therefore, the leaning tower was never straight.

weird history facts
1

Ancient Egyptians used slabs of stones as pillows.

weird history facts
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