Page 2 - History Facts

MLK Jr. commended a special group for being a beacon of desegregation—the Girl Scouts. It will warm your heart when you learn why!

When you think of great leaders in African American rights, chances are the Girl Scouts aren't high on the list. How could a group of cookie-toting, sash-wearing young ladies bring the two races together? By being one of the first organizations to promote desegregation.

The Girl Scouts were founded in 1912 by Julietter Gordon Low. She declared that Girl Scouts were "something for the girls of America and all the world"—and she absolutely meant it. The first African American troop was formed in 1917 with an effort to desegregate by the 1950s.

The positive influence even managed to catch the attention of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. He described them as "a force for desegregation," something he wouldn't say lightly.

The racial barriers were knocked down even further when a Native American troop formed in 1921, closely followed by a Mexican American troop. The first African American vice president of the Girl Scouts was Dorothy B. Ferebee in 1969, and the first African American president, Dr. Gloria Scott, came around in 1975.

Currently there are close to 300,000 African American girls earning badges and selling those criminally addictive cookies.


The first photo with humans was taken by accident. You'll never guess how long the film was exposed for!

In a time where "selfies" are way too commonplace, it's hard to believe a photo of a person would be such a big deal. However, the first photo with an actual person in it happened completely by accident, taken way back in 1838 in Paris, France.

The name of the photo is "Boulevard du Temple" by Louis Daguerre and is the first photograph known to include humans. The photo had an exposure time of at least 10 minutes, so nearly nobody was around long enough to be captured—except a shoe shiner and his customer in the lower left hand of the photo.

The photo was actually a "Daguerreotype," which is a very complicated plate that is exposed to a silver-plated copper sheet to the vapour made by iodine crystals. The image was both reversed and had to be lit at a certain angle so you could see the smooth parts reflected something dark. This process was used regularly until the 1860s when it was replaced by newer forms of photography.


A Japanese soldier didn't know WWII had ended and hid in the jungle for 28 years! Here's his story:

Shōichi Yokoi was a sergeant in the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII, and in 1943 he was transferred to the island of Guam. When Allied forces took the island the next year, Yokoi and ten of his fellow soldiers went into hiding. Over time his ten companions either left or died and Yokoi ended up spending the last eight years alone.

On January 24th, 1972, 27 years after the end of the war, Yokoi was discovered by two local men who were out checking their shrimp traps. Yokoi, who thought the war was still going, saw them as a threat and attacked them. Luckily they were able to subdue him without major injury. Yokoi had been living in an underground cave and used native plants to make clothes and bedding while getting his food by hunting at night. He had seen leaflets declaring the end of the war but believed them to be Allied propaganda.

Being able to survive that way for so long is a testament to his character. The only two Japanese soldiers to hold out longer than Yokoi were Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda and Private Teruo Nakamura.

Yokoi was so loyal to his country that after returning to Japan and visiting the Imperial Palace, Yokoi said "Your Majesties, I have returned home ... I deeply regret that I could not serve you well. The world has certainly changed, but my determination to serve you will never change." He never actually met the emperor.


Some awesome lists!

The man who grounded 4,000 planes on 9/11 was on first day of his job

On September 11, 2001, four commercial planes were hijacked by foreign terrorists. All other commercial flights were grounded that day, which ended up being a great and potentially life-saving decision. No other planes were able to be hijacked.

Amazingly, the man who ordered the grounding of over 4,000 commercial flights in the United States was on his first day on the job when he made the call. Ben Sliney, the Federal Aviation Administration's National Operations Manager made this unprecedented call. He had no input from the President of the United States or the bureaucracy above him.

However, it's not like Sliney was totally new to the profession. Before signing on as the FAA's National Operations Manager, he held a leadership position at New York's TRACON, which was responsible for all the air traffic in the New York City area. His call was still a heroic one though. So much so that he was asked to portray himself in Universal Pictures' film "United 93."


Dashboards were originally just to protect drivers from horse poop!

Carriages and buggies had a "dash" board that were made of drop cloth or leather. The board kept the horses feet from slinging up mud or poop as they dashed along through puddles and muck keeping the driver and passengers clean.

When motorized vehicles were introduced, the dash board adapted and was used as the instrument panel. Trunks were derived from carriages and buggies, too. At the back of them, trunks, or suitcases, were strapped on for traveling.

Therefore, when the motorized vehicles came around, they added a back area to store things and kept the name trunk, since it is what had been used previously. It was very logical at the time. Several parts of the car are named after practical parts of the carriage and buggy system.



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