Page 4 - History Facts

Why did the man who assassinated President Garfield choose a revolver with an Ivory Grip?


President James Garfield was shot in Washington DC on July 2, 1881 at 9:30 AM, less than 4 months into Garfield's term as the 20th president of the US. Although he did not die immediately, he died 11 weeks later of complications resulting from the wound. He was the second of 4 US Presidents to be assassinated, and lived the longest after the shooter, compared to the others.

The culprit was Charles J. Guiteau or Freeport, Illinois. He practiced law in Chicago and started an unsuccessful law firm. He briefly became a preacher before he turned to politics. He wrote a speech in support of candidate Garfield. The speech was delivered at most twice, but Guiteau believed he was responsible for Garfield's victory. He demanded to be made an ambassador, but his requests were rebuffed and eventually told to never return to the Secretary of State.

Angry, he bought a gun. He had the choice between a revolver with a wooden grip or one with an ivory grip. He chose the ivory grip because he wanted it to look nice when it was eventually displayed in a museum.

He then stalked President Garfield until he had a chance one day at a railroad station. Guiteau shot Garfield in the back twice before handing himself to the authorities. He was later executed by hanging.

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In 1944, a German fighter plane landed in a British airfield thinking they were in Germany! It saved 100s of British lives


On the 13th of July 1944, at 04h25 at the airfield of Woodbridge in Suffolk, England, a runway controller flashed the 'clear to land signal' to a twin-engine aircraft. He was under the impression the aircraft circling the field was a Mosquito fighter.

It was, in fact, a much unexpected visitor. This was a very important moment in World War II for Britain, but one seldom remembered. Woodbridge was an emergency landing site. No one would expect anything but a British plane to land there and therefore, when a bus was sent out to the landing strip to pick up the crew, both sides were extremely surprised! All three the crew members were German!

The poor Germans thought that they were landing at a home airbase well within Europe. They had there compass the wrong way around and was flying in the exact opposite direction than what they intended. The landing of the German JU88 aircraft saved thousands of British lives. The British could now study the radar used by the German planes and develop techniques to hone in on it.

The ju88 landing casually on a British airfield was therefore a gift that fell into Britain's lap, without a fight, and gave them the opportunity to study German electronic technology and to find ways to counter it.

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Over 1,000 American airmen were shot down in Serbia during WWII, and both armies helped rescue them. Find out why


In World War II, Americans were sent to a German-occupied area in Serbia to fight. Over 1,000 of these men were shot down by the Germans once over enemy lines. A rescue mission later known as Operation Halyard was created in order to bring these men back home.

The rescue team was organized by Lieutenant George Musulin, along with Master Sergeant Michael Rajacich and Specialist Arthur Jibilian. The rescue team, also known as The Halyard Team, then spent the next month devising rescue plans.

When the rescue team parachuted into the village of Priyani, they noticed that the surviving airmen were spread out into six separate sections. They sought help from a group of Yugoslavian Partisans and Serbian Chetniks, who were known for their conflicting ideologies and were in the middle of a civil war.

This didn't cause a problem because there was no gain that they could receive from turning these Americans over to their German overlords. Their civil war problems were far more important to them, which is why they assisted in the evacuation.

After their careful planning, and avoiding German attacks, the surviving men were evacuated and airlifted to safety. Of the 1,000+ soldiers shot down, 417 were rescued.

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Some awesome lists!

Malcolm X was elected class president by his all-white peers in Lansing, MI. How did it make him feel, though?


In his autobiography co-written with Alex Haley, Malcolm X detailed what it was like growing up in Lansing, MI as the seventh and lightest-skinned child of Earl and Louisa Little. Earl was a Baptist preacher and Louisa was a fair-skinned woman from Grenada whose black mother had been raped by a white man Louisa never knew. Louisa was able to pass as a white house keeper until her employers discovered her blood-line and fired her.

By the time young Malcolm was in middle school, his father had been killed, his mother was in a mental institution, and his brothers and sisters were separated. Malcolm was living in a foster home, attending Mason Junior High in Lansing, Michigan. He was proud when elected class president. But he confesses to feeling like a "pink poodle." That is, he felt more like an oddity than a human being—a mascot to be paraded around proudly while he was still clearly in a subservient position. Although he was performing at the top of his class intellectually, he was discouraged by his teachers, who told him that no black man should have such high aspirations.

He went on to prove them all wrong.

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A man was nominated for the Nobel Prize 81 times and NEVER won!


The amount of physicists that have been nominated for the Nobel Prize is huge. In fact, a lot of the most important physicists in history have never won the prize.

Some of them didn’t get it because they weren’t born after 1895, some because people didn’t believe in their job at first and some because they competed against geniuses.

However, Arnold Sommerfled is the perfect example of irony. Arnold Sommerfield, a theoretical physicist, was doctoral supervisor to 4 physicists who went on to win Nobel Prizes in physics, and academic supervisor to 2 others who also won. He himself was nominated 81 times.

Despite of his hard work, he was never able to achieve the big prize, and hence, died without a Nobel Prize.

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