Page 5 - History Facts

While Benjamin Franklin proposed Daylight Savings, he meant it as a joke!

Daylight Savings can be perplexing. Why do we lose an hour or gain an hour all of a sudden? Is it in our best interest to even have Daylight Savings. The initial idea for this manipulation of time came from Ben Franklin.

It was published in the Journal de Paris in April 1784. Franklin was living out his last years in Paris at the time at the age of 78. He described how he noticed that Parisians often slept very late, wasting precious daylight hours. They then would have to spend money to light their residences with candles while they stayed up after the sun went down.

Franklin proposed a number of ideas for controlling when people went to bed, including taxing those with shutters on their windows that didn't allow the light in. Looking at this list though, it is fairly obvious that Franklin is joking. Looks like someone took his idea a little too seriously.


Thomas Edison proposed to his second wife via Morse Code!

Thomas Edison is without a doubt one of the most famous inventors in history. In his lifetime, he had 1,093 patents to his name and contributed to new inventions such as telephones, lightbulbs, and X-rays. Amusingly, Edison got frustrated with his first wife Mary at times because she couldn’t invent, and would often express this in his diary!

After Mary died, Edison soon became smitten with a woman named Mina Miller. He taught her Morse Code so that when her family was around, they could communicate by tapping into each other’s hands. One day, he tapped out the rather long message of, “Will you marry me?” Into her hand.

Mina’s reply? “Yes,” of course!


An Irish Army was attacked while at church, when they were low on weapons. They radioed for more whiskey!

In 1961, shortly after the state of Katanga broke away from newly dependent, Republic of Congo-Leopoldville in Africa, Irish troops were sent by the United Nations to the city of Jadotville in Katanga.

Their mission was to protect the Belgian Colonists, but due to a turn in events, the Belgians along with local tribesmen and other European mercenaries attacked the Irish troops while they were attending mass.

They knew they wouldn't be heavily armed while sitting through service. The mercenaries and their help stormed the church in what is now known as The Siege of Jadotville.

Since the Irish state had been established, this was the first time the Irish Army was called to another nation to battle a dispute. It may have been the lack of experience, the fact that they were lightly armed and failing, but during a time of panic, the Irish radioed headquarters stating that, "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"

Unfortunately, those remaining bullets did not help them. After five days of battle, the Irish surrendered to the Katangans and were held captive for an entire month. By 1963, Katanga was defeated with the help of UN and its troops.


Some awesome lists!

This solider single-handedly captured 93 Nazis during WWII—all while partially blind! The way he did it is crazy!

Private Leo Major was a Canadian solider eager to fight for his country during World War II. When his Canadian infantry landed on Normandy, they didn't know what to expect. During his first week in Normandy, Major succeeded in taking on eight Nazi soldiers by himself.

Unfortunately, before the last one died, he had time to throw a phosphorus grenade in Major's face causing him to lose all vision in his right eye. Major was known for his dedication to his country and refused to go on medical leave after losing his sight.

When his vehicle drove over a landmine, shortly after, Major broke his back in several places. Again, he refused to go home and continued fighting.

Private Major, along with his best friend, Willy, set out on their next mission, which was to recover Canadian infantry that never returned from a recon mission in the quiet Dutch town of Zwolle. Willy was instantly killed by SS Soldiers. In order to avenge his friend's death, Major strapped himself with an arsenal of weapons and charged the town killing everyone in sight.

He found the missing infantry, brought them back to base and took 93 prisoners of war with him, all by himself. After the battle, the remaining Nazis retreated and the Dutch got possession of Zwolle back.

Private Leo Major was awarded the 2nd highest award for bravery by the Royal Government, The Distinguished Conduct Medal, and passed away in 2008.


Before hops was used in beer recipes, beer could make you hallucinate or even kill you. Read more here:

The earliest mention of beer in history was in the year 974. Today, hops is the main flavoring agent used in beer, but that wasn’t always the case. Before the 11th century, a compound called gruit was where beer got its flavoring. Gruit is made of several different plants, including Hyoscyamus Niger, commonly known as “Stinking Nightshade”.

When Stinking Nightshade is consumed by humans and most animals, it releases chemical to the brain as natural defense system. Side effects from ingesting the plant include hallucinations, dilated pupils, the sensation of flight, extreme energy, flushed skin, and in some cases death. This plant was also used in conjunction with other plants as a remedy for pain.

During the 11th to 16th centuries, beer recipes began to call for hops instead of gruit (along with Stinking Nightshade). Due to the deaths of Stinking Nightshade, a law was set in place. In 1516, The Bavarian Purity Law, also known as the German Purity Law went into effect. It stated, that beer was only allowed to be made using four ingredients: barley, hops, yeast and water. This is the common recipe still used today.



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