Page 2 - History Facts

Benjamin Franklin wasn't trusted to write the Declaration of Independence! The reason why is surprising


The Declaration of Independence is without a doubt one of the most famous documents in American history. Though it's known that Thomas Jefferson is the one who penned it, Benjamin Franklin was originally supposed to be its writer!

Why wasn't he? Benjamin Franklin was well-known for putting a lot of subtle humor in his papers. Knowing that many nations would read as a important a document as the Declaration of Independence, it was decided that Thomas Jefferson should write it instead.

However, Benjamin Franklin did help draft it, and he was the oldest person to sign the document at 70 years old!

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American troops ordered mortar rounds during a battle in the Korean War. They got Tootsie Rolls instead! Why?


The chocolate candy Tootsie Roll has been around since 1896. It was invented by an Austrian immigrant to the United States named Leo Hirshfield, and was the first penny candy to be individually wrapped. Hirshfield named the candy after the nickname of his daughter.

During WWII, Tootsie Rolls became a standard part of American soldiers' field rations due to the hardiness of the candy under a variety of environmental conditions. This wasn't the only time when Tootsie Rolls met war, however.

During the Korean War's Battle of Chosin Reservoir in 1950, "Tootsie Rolls" was a term used to refer to mortar rounds. At one point during the battle, US troops were pinned down and running low on ammunition, including mortar rounds. They called for more but the area was too dangerous to get any to them.

After a few days, the troops were completely out or rounds so the risk was taken. When the soldiers went to get their supplies from the airdropped crates, however, what they found was candy. Tootsie Rolls to be exact. Evidently a supply specialist overheard them asking for more tootsie rolls and didn't know it was a code name.

"So when they did the parachute drop, we were like, 'What the hell is this?'" Said Stanley Knot, a veteran who was there that day. "But I survived for two weeks on Tootsie Rolls."

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This serial rapist got away with it by abusing his power. You'll never guess what position he held, and where


Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria was chief of the Soviet security and secret police (NKVD) under Joseph Stalin during World War II. He was a depraved, power hungry man who ruthlessly used his power for his own entertainment.

On warm nights during the war, Beria's driver would drive him slowly through the streets of Moscow in his armored Packard limousine. He would 'shop' around for young women to his liking, point them out and have them detained. They would then be brought to his mansion where he would dine with them.

After dinner, he would take them into his soundproof office and rape them. His bodyguards were ordered to hand them a bouquet of flowers when they left. If they accepted, it was considered consent. If they refused they would be immediately arrested.

He did not only rape young women, he also murdered some of them and had them buried in his wife's rose garden. The bone remains of several young girls buried in the gardens was found during routine work in 1990.

When he was finally sentenced to death, he begged for mercy and cried so uncontrollably that General Batitsky stuffed a rag into his mouth to shut him up before he fatally shot Beria through the forehead.

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A plague took over a town back in 1518 and caused them to dance uncontrolably! The reason why is confusing...


It may sound like a silly parody of the movie "Footloose," but there was once a disease that had hundreds of people dancing for days on end without explanation. It wasn't a case of teenage rebellion or just spontaneous music that filled the people's souls—people just kept dancing for days on end, even causing some to die.

In July of 1518, the town of Strasbourg, Alsace (part of the Holy Roman Empire back in the day) fell victim to some unusual disease. A woman by the name of Frau Troffea began to dance in the streets without regard. After four to six days, she was still going and managed to get 34 other people to join. After a month there were around 400 people dancing maniacally in the streets. Eventually, some of them started dying off due to heart attack, stroke, and exhaustion.

Though there is no explanation for the plague or why they danced, physicians ruled out astrological and supernatural causes, saying that the source for the plague was "hot blood." The cure? Keep dancing! Guildhalls, a grain market, and a stage were constructed for the "sick." Musicians were even brought in to encourage the grooves. They believed the dancers would recover if they continued dancing, and they eventually did, because they died.

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When the US Space Station Skylab crashed over Australia, the US got fined for littering. The amount was so ridiculous they never paid!


In the 1970's, NASA created the first and only United States Space Station Skylab. It featured a workshop, a solar observatory among many other programs. The Skylab orbited the Earth for six years and had several problems during those years.

Over time, several manned missions had to go to the Skylab to fix on-going problems. After six years, NASA decided it was time to return the Skylab back to Earth. NASA was having some trouble with the positioning of where the Skylab would land and warned countries that there may be debris. NASA was originally hoping that the Skylab would come through the Earth's atmosphere so quickly that it would burn up before it hit anything on Earth.

In 1979, NASA launched the re-entry mission in hopes that it would land south of Cape Town, in a non-populated area. Unfortunately, there was a four percent error and the debris was headed southeast of Perth in Western Australia and did not burn up as quickly as NASA had calculated.

The residents were notified of the debris and it instantly became a media frenzy. Radio station started to offer money to people who got hit or brought in pieces of debris. As the Skylab entered the atmosphere, it was reported that you could see what looked like fireworks in the sky. Australian official took note of the debris and charged The United States with a littering fine of $400! Several decades later, America has still not paid the littering fine.

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