Unemployment was so high in England in 1634 that Charles I compelled the demolition of a newly erected mechanical sawmill because it threw so many sawyers out of work.
The Americans lost the Battle of Bunker Hill when they ran out of gunpowder and had to retreat.
Uninterruptedly since the sixth century, the Japanese throne has been occupied by a member of the same family. The present-day emperor, Akihito, is the 125th in succession.
The average age at which America's presidents have taken office is 54.
Until 1796, there was a state in the United States called Franklin. Today it is known as Tennessee.
The Aztec Indians of Mexico believed turquoise would protect them from physical harm, and so warriors used these green and blue stones to decorate their battle shields.
The Battle of New Orleans, which made Andrew Jackson a national hero, was fought two weeks after the War of 1812 had ended and more than a month before the news of the war's end had reached Louisiana.
Until the Middle Ages, passports were given only to the privileged well-to-do. In 1215, the Magna Carta established that "All merchants are to be safe and secure in leaving and entering England." One of the earliest U.S. passports on record was issued in France in 1778. It was signed by Benjamin Franklin, Arthur Lee, and John Adams.
Victorian publications never dared show a bed in any of their advertisements. When illustrations of the bedroom were required, the bed itself was hidden by curtains.
Virginia Dare, born in 1587 on Roanoke Island, was the first child born of English parents in the New World.
Visitors to Japan should know that August 13 through 16 is a Buddhist event called o-bon in Japan, one of the most important traditions for the Japanese people. It is the period of praying for the peace of the souls of ancestors. The Japanese believe that their ancestors' spirits come back to their homes to be reunited with their family during o-bon. People clean their houses and offer a variety of food such as vegetables and fruits to the spirits of ancestors in front of a butsudan (Buddhist families altar). The butsudan is decorated with flower and chouchin (paper lanterns). On the 13th, the chouchins are lit inside homes, and people go to their family's ohaka (graves) to call their ancestors' spirits back home.
When a man died in ancient Egypt, the females in his family would smear their heads and faces with mud and wander through the city beating themselves and tearing off their clothes.
When Argentine president Juan Perón died on July 1, 1974, he was succeeded by his wife and vice president, Isabel, who became the first woman president in the Western Hemisphere.
When asked about the unexpected impact she had on the women's liberation movement with her 1970s blockbuster song "I Am Woman," singer Helen Reddy admitted, "I certainly didn't hear it as a hit. I didn't hear it as an anthem."
When Franklin D. Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, Harry Truman became the first U.S. president to take office in the midst of a war.
When officials in one city sought champagne in 1927 to welcome aviator Charles Lindbergh back after his historic transatlantic flight, they were told by a tavern keeper that the sale would be illegal unless medicinal or religious need was shown. After securing vouchers provided by several churches, police officers returned a little later for the champagne.
When Princess Maria Theresa of Spain was betrothed to Louis XIV of France in 1615, she gave her fiancé an engagement gift of chocolate, packaged in an elegantly ornate chest. Their marriage was symbolic of the marriage of chocolate in the Spanish-Franco culture.
"Soldiers disease" is a term for morphine addiction. The Civil War produced over 400,000 morphine addicts.
A 41-gun salute is the traditional salute to announce a royal birth in Great Britain.
A devastating yellow fever epidemic in 1822 left New York City with 16,000 corpses and no readily available space for burial.
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