Page 194 - History Facts

The Danish pastry did not originate in Denmark


Because of the name of the popular pastry, the Danish is frequently assumed to originate in Denmark. In fact, the Danish actually originated from Austria. So why isn't the "Danish" called the "Austrian" instead?

In 1850, bakers in Denmark went on strike over wages, so the bakery owners were forced to hire foreign workers who specialize in baking, particularly Austrian Bakers. The Austrian Bakers were unfamiliar with Danish baking methods, so instead they baked their classic pastries from Austria to the public.

The Pastries the Austrians baked quickly became popular among the Danish people. Even when the Bakers' strike ended there was a massive demand for Austrian Pastries. It was because of the pastry's massive popularity in Denmark that it was called the "Danish."

Today, the Danish remains one of the most popular goods sold at Bakeries. In Denmark, the word for pastry is "wienerbrød," or "Viennese Bread."

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The reason Kyoto wasn't nuclear bombed in WWII was because the US Secretary of War had fond memories of his honeymoon there!


The U.S. government planned to drop more than just two atomic bombs in Japan during World War II. Groves, the U.S. Secretary of War planned on dropping one on August 19th, three more during September, and another three in October. That is a lot of powerful bombs falling on such a small island.

Groves sent Marshall a memo on August 10th saying to drop another bomb when the weather was clear sometime after the 17th or 18th of August. Marshall replied back that he wasn’t to drop another bomb on the island of Japan without express authority from the President. One of the extra atomic bombs would have been dropped over Kyoto, Japan.

However, the U.S. Secretary of War had his honeymoon there. He had such good memories of the experience that he didn’t allow them to drop a bomb on the city. What a nostalgic man.

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JFK bought 1200 Cuban cigars hours before he made them illegal!


As you may or may not know, the US has had a trade embargo with Cuba for over fifty years. To this day, Cuban cigars are illegal. According to a man who worked for John F Kennedy, Kennedy liked to smoke Petit Upmann Cuban cigars.

In 1961, following the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the embargo was put in place. But just before then, JFK decided to try and get his hands on as many Cuban cigars as he could. He didn’t quite feel like giving them up.

He reportedly asked for a thousand Petit Upmanns within 24 hours. The next day, he received 1,200. Immediately following the news that he’d received the cigars, he pulled out the trade embargo banning all Cuban products from the US and signed it.

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Some awesome lists!

Fifteen people were killed in 1929 when firefighters attempted to show off their skills and purposefully set a building on fire.


It has come to be known as the Gillingham Fair fire disaster. On 11 July, 1929, firefighters in Gillingham, Kent, England attempted to demonstrate their abilities by setting a building with nine boys and six firemen on fire and then rescuing them. Unfortunately, it went badly wrong. In the 1920’s, a fair was organized in Gillingham every year to raise funds for a local hospital and a house was constructed of wood and canvas forty feet high for a fire demonstration.

It was staged as a wedding reception, in which two firemen would dress as a bride and groom when the building caught on fire. Their “guests” were other firemen and boys recruited from local naval cadets who waited to be rescued. Usually, the fire was not formally started until the building was completely evacuated, but in 1929, everything went badly wrong.

Fifteen people, nine boys and six men, entered the wooden structure in the anticipation of being rescued, however instead of the false fire that began the show starting, the actual fire was triggered. To this day the reasons why the fire started are unknown, but what is known is that flames took hold of the building and spread extremely quickly, trapping all occupants inside.

The spectators did not realize anything had gone wrong and continued to watch eagerly and even applauded because it looked so real. The fire was extinguished within a few minutes, but had been so intense thirteen people died at the scene. Two victims were initially rescued, but later died from injuries.

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A Japanese politician was stabbed to death during a televised debate!


This bizarre incident happened on October 12, 1960. Japanese politician Inejiro Asanuma, a leader of the Japan Socialist Party was participating in a televised debate for the coming elections for the House of Representatives. The man was a highly controversial figure for an incident in 1959 when he went to China and called the United States "the shared enemy of China and Japan." He came back to Japan wearing a Mao suit, which got him criticism even from the Socialist leader. 

During the debate, a 17-year-old right-wing extremist jumped on stage and stabbed Asanuma with his samurai sword. The entire incident was broadcast live on television. The video was kept and can be found online if you know where to look. The photographer who caught the photo on the right won the pulizer price for it.

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