Page 6 - History Facts

In 1943 three young men got on a train and freed 200 Jewish prisoners using only one pistol and some wire cutters!


In 1943 three young men had a plan to save Jewish people from being deported to Auschwitz.

On the night of 19 April 1943, they got on their bicycles and cycled 40 kilometers from their homes in Brussels to Boortmeerbeek in Flanders.

There were 1,600 Jews on a train that was transporting them from Belgium to the infamous Nazi death camp and Robert Maistriau (22), Youra Livchitz(25), and Jean Franklemon (25), were adamant to free them from that horrible fate.

They were armed with one pistol, three pairs of wire cutters, a lantern, a red rag and a lot of courage and determination.

They made an impromptu stop sign by wrapping their lantern in the red rag and laying it on the tracks. They lay in wait and watched as the train actually came to a stop.

Robert then ran to the train and forced a carriage door open with his wire cutters. Seventeen people managed to jump out and run as the guards opened fire.

Livchitz returned fire with the pistol while Maistriau and Franklemon managed to break open another carriage. They told the prisoners to get out and run for their lives.

The guards were coming too close and the brave trio had to jump on their bicycles and flee, racing all the way back to Brussels, but some prisoners still on the train managed to break into the open cars and made their escape as the train started moving again.

The bravery of those three young men saved the lives of 200 of the 1600 Jewish prisoners and it was the only time in occupied Europe that resistance fighters liberated a deportation train.

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The first Native American that met with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony just walked into their encampment and welcomed them in English!


The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony were most astounded when, on February 16, 1622, a Native American named Samoset, chief of the Pemaquids, casually strolled into their encampment.

He was alone and “he was stark naked, only a leather about his waist, with a fringe about a span long, or little more.”

All he carried with him was a bow and two arrows.

What was even more intriguing to them is that he was the first native they came across and yet, he addressed them in English, welcoming them!

They later found out that he learned the language from some English fishermen that came to fish off Monhegan Island. He also knew the names of most of the captains and commanders.

They were very nervous of him being in their camp at first, but he was very bold and talkative and supplied the Pilgrims with valuable information about the country.

He could also inform them of the location of other tribes, the names of their chiefs and their numbers.

At some point he asked them for some beer, but in stead they gave him “strong water and biscuit, and butter, and cheese, and pudding, and a piece of mallard, all which he liked well.”

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A pilot once ejected from his plane into a thunder cloud and had to hold his breath to keep from drowning!


Lt Colonel William Rankin, an experienced and veteran pilot of both World War II and Korea, was flying his F-8 Crusader on a routine flight with his wing-man Lt. Herbert Nolan. They were avoiding the turbulent weather below at an altitude of 47,000 feet and were just minutes away from the start of their descent when trouble forced Rankin to eject from the plane.

He knew ejecting into the -50°C temperature without a pressure suit at such an altitude would be incredibly discomforting, and quite possibly fatal. The sudden decompression caused his stomach to swell, his ears, nose and mouth to bleed, and the only thing keeping him conscious was his O2 canister attached to his helmet.

As the cockpit hatch blew open, the immense forces involved with ejecting tore his left glove from his hand, leaving it exposed to the brutally cold air. His skin immediately froze resulting in numbness and severe frostbite. He was being suspended by the powerful thunderstorm updraft, much like a hailstone. The updraft filled his parachute like a sail and rocketed him vertically thousands of feet at a velocity of nearly 100 mph.

During his ascent, he could see hail stones forming around him. The rain would pelt him from all directions, and at times was so intense that he had to hold his breath for fear of drowning. He finally landed in a field and found his way to a dirt road where someone finally picked him up and took him to town to call an ambulance.

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The way that Roman woman did their hair is pretty absurd! Learn more


In modern times we know surprisingly little about hair dressing in Ancient Roman society. It is not a subject that has received a large amount of scholarly attention. With that being said, there are some things that we can know, according to Janet Stephens.

Contrary to popular belief, hairstyles worn by many women in this place and time were not wigs, but were actually natural hair held in place by needles and thread, which came as a big surprise to historians.

Around the first century of the Common Era, Roman women would have servants or slaves dressing their hair. Using such a technique was an ingenious way to create intricate hairstyles.

So what evidence is there for this practice? By studying Roman busts of women, we can get a pretty accurate idea of fashion from that era, and hair styles from that period are actually quite easy to recreate using the needle and thread method. Furthermore, in Roman portraits of women, hair fasteners are absent despite elaborate hair styles.

One of the benefits of sewing hair is that it stays firmly in place because of the thread. Additionally, the thread can easily be hidden from sight within the hair. Apparently, it was not necessary to be rich and famous in order to afford a wig and have beautiful hair in Rome.

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Thomas Jefferson went ahead with the Louisiana Purchase despite the fact that his opposition said it was unconstitutional


The purchase of Louisiana from France for $11,250,000 was an important moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. He faced opposition from his countrymen because it was considered to be unconstitutional.

Thomas Jefferson did not help to write the U.S. Constitution and he believed a county’s constitution should be reviewed every 19 years.

Zachary Elkins, a professor of political science at Illinois, explain Jefferson’s view: “Jefferson thought the dead should not rule the living, thus constitutions should expire frequently, but the fact is that the U.S. Constitution quickly became enshrined by the public and is the oldest constitution in the world.”

Jefferson, however, felt that the U.S. Constitution did not contain any provisions regarding acquiring property. He decided to go ahead with the purchase despite the opposition because the idea of France and Spain having the power to potentially block America’s trade access to the port of New Orleans made him very uneasy,

After the agreement was completed, Napoleon Bonaparte said: "This accession of territory affirms forever the power of the United States, and I have given England a maritime rival who sooner or later will humble her pride."

Looking back it could be said that the purchase of the Louisiana territory is possibly the greatest contribution Thomas Jefferson made to the United States.

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