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elwood
Mar 28, 2001



YES, WE KNOW THE STORY OF THE loving POLISH WWII BEAR

Thank you.


-----------------------------------



I love history, I love random facts, I love just sperging through wikipedia. You know what it's like to read stuff on wikipedia though, you start with an interesting topic and a few hours and numerous clicks later you end up at a weird article that you think is totally made up. Take for example the article about the franco-prussian war of 1870, wich brought me to Strasbourg which brought me to this article:

Dancing_Plague_of_1518

Yes, you didn't misread that, the dancing plague of 1518.

quote:

The Dancing Plague (or Dance Epidemic) of 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, France (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) in July 1518. Numerous people took to dancing for days without rest, and, over the period of about one month, some of the people died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.

Now, I don't know about you, but I've never heard of that before and at first I thought this has to be made up, but it looks legit.

What other strange but true historical events have you found through wikipedia or whatever that you couldn't believe really happened?

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Dolphin
Dec 5, 2008
I SNIFF BUTTS

I'M A MANNNIIACC MAAAANNNIAAAC ON THE FLOOOOR, AND I'M DANCIN LIKE I'VE NEVER DANCED BEFORE


edit: i'm sure that's how it started.

I Wish I Was
Dec 11, 2006

I saw this at the bookshop and thought of you.


One of my favorites is the molasses flood in Boston.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster

Can you imagine molasses moving through a major city at 35 MPH? Enough molasses to kill 21 people? I can't even conceive of what that much molasses would look like. That's crazy, and if I hadn't seen it sourced in multiple reputable histories of Boston I'd never have believed it. I haven't used the expression "slow as molasses" in years because of reading about that.

Thikskul
Apr 26, 2002

Hooray for 1


Huh? Hasn't everyone heard of the boogie woogie fever?

Pre-K Bikini Carwash
Sep 3, 2007


I always like to remind people of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_Air_Flight_655

Just occasionally acknowledging the fact that, yes, the United States did just happen to shoot down a civilian (Iranian) airliner back in the late 80's, but hey, no big deal or anything.

Herv
Mar 24, 2005


elwood posted:

I love history, I love random facts, I love just sperging through wikipedia. You know what it's like to read stuff on wikipedia though, you start with an interesting topic and a few hours and numerous clicks later you end up at a weird article that you think is totally made up. Take for example the article about the franco-prussian war of 1870, wich brought me to Strasbourg which brought me to this article:

Dancing_Plague_of_1518

Yes, you didn't misread that, the dancing plague of 1518.


Now, I don't know about you, but I've never heard of that before and at first I thought this has to be made up, but it looks legit.

What other strange but true historical events have you found through wikipedia or whatever that you couldn't believe really happened?

That would be the first known case of doping the local well with a half ton of e.

Polonium
Jul 17, 2007
That KILLS me.

Great idea for a thread

It doesn't fit in perfectly, but one thing I always found strange and remarkable is the phantom time hypothesis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_time_hypothesis

While some of us are amazed by the Dancing Plague or other events like that, there are a few that claim all that is made up and 300 years of human history actually never occured.

Dolphin
Dec 5, 2008
I SNIFF BUTTS

I Wish I Was posted:

One of my favorites is the molasses flood in Boston.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Molasses_Disaster

Can you imagine molasses moving through a major city at 35 MPH? Enough molasses to kill 21 people? I can't even conceive of what that much molasses would look like. That's crazy, and if I hadn't seen it sourced in multiple reputable histories of Boston I'd never have believed it. I haven't used the expression "slow as molasses" in years because of reading about that.
Similarly:

quote:

The London Beer Flood occurred on October 17, 1814 in the parish of St. Giles, London, England. At the Meux and Company Brewery[1] on Tottenham Court Road,[1][2] a huge vat containing over 135,000 imperial gallons (610,000 L) of beer ruptured, causing other vats in the same building to succumb in a domino effect. As a result, more than 323,000 imperial gallons (1,470,000 L) of beer burst out and gushed into the streets. The wave of beer destroyed two homes and crumbled the wall of the Tavistock Arms Pub, trapping teenaged employee Eleanor Cooper under the rubble.[3]
The brewery was located among the poor houses and tenements of the St Giles Rookery, where whole families lived in basement rooms that quickly filled with beer. Eight people drowned in the flood.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Beer_Flood

Blistex
Oct 30, 2003

"When I see someone tilting my tables, I shoot the Bastard. That's my policy!"


Christmas truce of 1914 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

During the Great War in the days leading up to and including Christamas troops from both sides on the Western Front started easing hostilities and conversing from the trenches. There were christmas carols being sung, some people started venturing out into "No man's land" and there were joint burials. Gifts were even exchanged and there were rumours that football games even took place. After news broke in the papers the higher-up gave strict order that this sort of behaviour was treason and it was stopped.

British and German troops hanging out.


Pretty crazy when you think about it. Must have taken some serious balls or a lot of liquor ration to be the first guy to get out of the trench and say hi.

Von Bek
May 4, 2006



I'm currently working through fifteenth-century legal cases in the cantonal archive at Zurich, and today I came across a case in which a man was executed for drowning for (among other things) making GBS threads in streams near the city

Mr.Pibbleton
Feb 3, 2006

Aleuts Rock!


The US government actually put some Native Alaskans into internment camps, in the 1940's. http://www.ww2f.com/war-pacific/240...estitution.html

elwood
Mar 28, 2001



In the same vein as the dancing plague:


Tanganyika laughter epidemic


The Tanganyika laughter epidemic of 1962 was an outbreak of mass hysteria, or Mass Psychogenic Illness (MPI), rumored to have occurred in or near the village of Kashasha on the western coast of Lake Victoria in the modern nation of Tanzania (formerly Tanganyika) near the border of Kenya.

The laughter epidemic began on January 30, 1962, at a mission-run boarding school for girls in Kashasha. The laughter started with three girls and spread haphazardly throughout the school, affecting 95 of the 159 pupils, aged 12–18. Symptoms lasted from a few hours to 16 days in those affected.

Clanpot Shake
Aug 10, 2006
shake shake!

Blistex posted:

Christmas truce of 1914 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

During the Great War in the days leading up to and including Christamas troops from both sides on the Western Front started easing hostilities and conversing from the trenches. There were christmas carols being sung, some people started venturing out into "No man's land" and there were joint burials. Gifts were even exchanged and there were rumours that football games even took place. After news broke in the papers the higher-up gave strict order that this sort of behaviour was treason and it was stopped.

British and German troops hanging out.


Pretty crazy when you think about it. Must have taken some serious balls or a lot of liquor ration to be the first guy to get out of the trench and say hi.
There's a really good movie about this called Joyeux Noel.

Crows Turn Off
Jan 7, 2008

turn in your old, worn-out for the war effort

elwood posted:

In the same vein as the dancing plague:

Tanganyika laughter epidemic

The Tanganyika laughter epidemic of 1962...

The Wikipedia Article posted:

The teaching staff were not affected but reported that students were unable to concentrate on their lessons. The school was forced to close down on March 18, 1962.
Sounds like the kids found a way to get out of school for a little while.

elwood
Mar 28, 2001



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_Synod

The Cadaver Synod is the name commonly given to the posthumous ecclesiastical trial of Catholic Pope Formosus, held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome during January of 897.

Before the proceedings the body of Formosus was exhumed and, according to some sources, seated on a throne while his successor, Pope Stephen (VI) VII, read the charges against him (of which Formosus was found guilty) and conducted the trial.


Click here for the full 702x531 image.

Fil5000
Jun 23, 2003

HOLD ON GUYS I'M POSTING ABOUT INTERNET ROBOTS


elwood posted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_Synod

The Cadaver Synod is the name commonly given to the posthumous ecclesiastical trial of Catholic Pope Formosus, held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome during January of 897.

Before the proceedings the body of Formosus was exhumed and, according to some sources, seated on a throne while his successor, Pope Stephen (VI) VII, read the charges against him (of which Formosus was found guilty) and conducted the trial.


Click here for the full 702x531 image.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver...umous_execution

Similar thing happened to Oliver Cromwell - after he died and his son failed utterly to continue his legacy he was dug up, hung in chains, decapitated and thrown into a pit. Apparently this was the best way of saying "Do not gently caress with the King" back then.

Cross_
Aug 22, 2008


elwood posted:

[url]Before the proceedings the body of Formosus was exhumed and, according to some sources, seated on a throne while his successor, Pope Stephen (VI) VII, read the charges against him (of which Formosus was found guilty) and conducted the trial.

That was a close call, they only cut off his fingers. I was afraid he would get the death sentence

CJSwiss
Mar 15, 2008


I really love Byzantine history and I think it's a shame that so few people in the West know about it. When I first saw images of the Paris Psalter, it blew my mind that this sort of art was being made in the 10th century.



Also the Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602-628 has the awesome appellation "The Last War of Antiquity".

InterceptorV8
Mar 9, 2004

Would have been a shame to blow it up.


quote:

On November 27, 1941, a group of young men gained national media attention when, brandishing hunting rifles for dramatic effect, they stopped traffic on U.S. Route 99 south of Yreka, and handed out copies of a Proclamation of Independence, stating that the state of Jefferson was in "patriotic rebellion against the States of California and Oregon" and would continue to "secede every Thursday until further notice."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Jefferson

quote:

Downieville was vying to become the state capital of California along with fifteen other California communities in 1853 before the capital was moved to Benicia, and then shortly thereafter its current location in Sacramento. In July 1851 Downieville gained a distinction it may not have wanted when a mob lynched a Mexican woman, known as Juanita, for the murder of a white miner. It remains the only lynching of a female in California history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downieville,_California

Rumor has it, she wasn't "Mexican" but from Spain. Then again, there are so many rumors, myth and folklore in Downieville, it's hard to figure out what was what. My family only goes back 100 years in the area, so we don't know the real truth.

Sombrerotron
Aug 1, 2004

Release my children! My hat is truly great and mighty.

The mortgage crisis? The Internet bubble? The 1929 Wall Street crash? Pfff, that's nothing compared to TULIP MANIA.

AcetylCoA!
Dec 25, 2010



Thomas Granger - hanged for " "buggery with a mare, a cowe, two goats, divers sheepe, two calves, and a turkey". First person hanged by the Pilgrims
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Granger>

Pointe
Jul 24, 2010

V-W-P


Operation Paul Bunyan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axe_murder_incident

Tensions rise between the two Koreas after a NK lieutenant flips the gently caress out over the trimming of one of Kim Il-Sung's trees; killing two American soldiers. America and South Korea decide to calm things down a bit with a massive show of force.

quote:

Pak again demanded that the tree trimming stop, and when Capt. Bonifas again turned his back on him, Pak removed his watch, carefully wrapped it in a handkerchief, placed it in his pocket, and then shouted "Kill them!" as he swung a karate chop to the back of Capt. Bonifas' neck.

quote:

In addition, a 64-man ROK special forces company accompanied them, armed with clubs and trained in Tae Kwon Do, supposedly without firearms. However, once they parked their trucks near the Bridge of No Return, they started throwing out the sandbags that lined the truck bottoms, and handing out M-16 rifles and M-79 grenade launchers that had been concealed below. Several of the special forces men also had Claymore mines strapped to their chests with the firing mechanism in their hands, and were shouting at the North Koreans to cross the bridge.

Madkal
Feb 11, 2008

The most interesting plant in the world

elwood posted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_Synod

The Cadaver Synod is the name commonly given to the posthumous ecclesiastical trial of Catholic Pope Formosus, held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome during January of 897.

Before the proceedings the body of Formosus was exhumed and, according to some sources, seated on a throne while his successor, Pope Stephen (VI) VII, read the charges against him (of which Formosus was found guilty) and conducted the trial.


Click here for the full 702x531 image.


While on the case of weird papal stuff, the Banquet of Chestnuts is really pretty cool in the old Roman time orgy kind of way.

Wikipedia posted:


The banquet was given in Cesare's apartments in the Palazzo Apostolico. Fifty prostitutes or courtesans were in attendance for the entertainment of the banquet guests. After the food was eaten, lamp stands holding lighted candles were placed on the floor and chestnuts strewn about. The clothes of the courtesans were auctioned; then the prostitutes and the guests crawled naked among the lamp stands to pick up the chestnuts. Immediately following the spectacle, members of the clergy and other party guests together engaged with the prostitutes in sexual activity.[2] According to Burchard, "prizes were offered--silken doublets, pairs of shoes, hats and other garments--for those men who were most successful with the prostitutes".[3]

According to William Manchester, "Servants kept score of each man's orgasms, for the pope greatly admired virility and measured a man's machismo by his ejaculative capacity."[4] Another source[5] states that Pope Alexander VI was actually there and himself suggested the scorekeeping method. Manchester also refers to the use of sex toys; Burchard, however, makes no reference to this in his account of the banquet.[6]

Bolding mine for effect.

FreudianSlippers
Apr 12, 2010

SMG Macklemore Fanclub


Battle of Karánsebes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kar%C3%A1nsebes
An Austrian army lost a battle against itself all because of an argument over alcohol and language barriers.

derriere demons
Aug 16, 2008




I didn't know such delicious things were so dangerous in such a strange way. Imagine drowning in beer. "I said I wanted a cold one, but this is ridiculous!"


Also, I thought it was Bear flood for a moment. I pictured a flood of bears roaring and mauling it's way through London.

Pope Mobile
Nov 12, 2006

CANNOT STOP SHITPOSTING FOR FIVE MINUTES


A Dance Epidemic, you say?

The Zombie Guy
Oct 25, 2008


Mr.Pibbleton posted:

The US government actually put some Native Alaskans into internment camps, in the 1940's. http://www.ww2f.com/war-pacific/240...estitution.html

Along the same lines, Japanese Canadians were rounded up and put into internment camps during WWII as well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japane...dian_internment

VoidAltoid
Sep 27, 2005


This whole thread should be full of "I know I said I wanted [X], but this is ridiculous!"

Slaughterhouse-Ive
Sep 6, 2010

Listen: Sir Jony Ive has come unstuck in time.



I've always been a fan of the War of Jenkins' Ear. Dude comes into Parliament with his severed ear (well that's not 100%) saying that the Spanish cut it off and Britain goes to war with Spain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_Jenkins%27_Ear

hermand
Oct 3, 2004

V-Dubbin


drat, one of those threads where I'm gutted that it ends here.

elwood
Mar 28, 2001



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_War

The Pig War was a confrontation in 1859 between the United States and the British Empire over the boundary between the US and British North America. The specific area in dispute was the San Juan Islands, which lie between Vancouver Island and the North American mainland. The Pig War, so called because it was triggered by the shooting of a pig, is also called the Pig Episode, the Pig and Potato War, the San Juan Boundary Dispute or the Northwestern Boundary Dispute. The pig was the only casualty of the war, making the dispute otherwise bloodless.

Ace Oliveira
Dec 27, 2009

"I wonder if there is beer on the sun."


FreudianSlippers posted:

Battle of Karánsebes
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kar%C3%A1nsebes
An Austrian army lost a battle against itself all because of an argument over alcohol and language barriers.

Hahahah, holy poo poo, this is like something out of a comedy. I mean, Austrian troops freaking out and shooting friendly Austrian soldiers because they thought they were Turkish soldiers, then the entire army reatreating from an non-existant enemy? An enemy that wasn't even there? Jesus H. Christ!

Flavor Bear
Jan 13, 2008

Bear Love is Best Love

Not wacky and nowhere near as obscure as most of these, but the Wikipedia list of attacks on North America in WWII is always a fun read, just because you hardly ever hear about them.

Hoover Dam
Jun 17, 2003

red white and blue forever


The incident that made me major in US History in college, based on just how goofy history can be. Ever wonder how the Panama Canal came to be? Via an uprising, (US-funded, of course) that killed a Chinese guy and his donkey. That was it for casualties.

Rotten Cookies
Nov 11, 2008

"Everybody relax. I'm here."


Flavor Bear posted:

Not wacky and nowhere near as obscure as most of these, but the Wikipedia list of attacks on North America in WWII is always a fun read, just because you hardly ever hear about them.

Germans land on Long Island with some bombs to blow some stuff up...
"Dasch instead turned himself in to the FBI, providing them with a complete account of the planned mission, which led to the arrest of the entire team."

You would think you'd send soldiers who felt a little more strongly about what they were doing.

Troubled Joe
Dec 12, 2008

Ah may be hungry but ah sure aint weird.


Fantastic, Elwood!!

I've been dying for someone to make a good, interesting history thread. I would have done so myself but I was a little... erm... frightened.

Soon as I've cooked and eaten my Pizza, I'm going to get stuck into this thread! I hope I have a few things to add that might just interest and entertain some of you.

Nice one, Elwood, you're a star, mate!

Duey
Sep 5, 2004

A little C4, knockin' at your door

The Soccer War: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soccer_War . El Salvador and Honduras go to war in 1969 over a soccer game. I mean, they had other reasons too, but the timing is great.

tolerabletariff
Jul 3, 2009

Do you think I'm spooky?


Sombrerotron posted:

The mortgage crisis? The Internet bubble? The 1929 Wall Street crash? Pfff, that's nothing compared to TULIP MANIA.

I remember this from a history of finance course. It's funny how similar the circumstances are...

But who could forget the Defenestration of Prague? Protestant mob chucks some unpopular Catholic nobles (and their secretary) out of a 70-foot window. They survive the encounter because they landed in a pile of poo poo.

The secretary is later made a noble by the Holy Roman Emperor, with the title "Baron of Highfall."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenestrations_of_Prague (the second one)

I'm also pretty sure "defenestrate" comes from the German word for window, fenster. De-window-ate.

Rotten Cookies
Nov 11, 2008

"Everybody relax. I'm here."


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/203137.stm

Recent history is still history, right?
I did not believe that this happened when I saw it on Wikipedia's "List of unusual deaths"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_deaths
Link because you know you want it.

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enginedriver
Jul 16, 2010


Thikskul posted:

Huh? Hasn't everyone heard of the boogie woogie fever?

I believe it happened some time around the 1600's. Here's an historically accurate portrayal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7Nb4voFm30

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