History Facts

Boys were the first telephone operators, but they were rude and swore. Young women were hired soon after as they didn't swear as much (and were faster).

The telephone was a revolutionary invention.

Within a year of the Alexander Graham Bell introducing his device, 230 phones were installed by Bell, and he had established the Bell Telephone Company. In four years the number of phones was at 60,000!

When the telephone was new, it required switch operators to connect callers. At first they were all male, but that soon changed. Boys earned a reputation for being rude and abusive to each other as well as to the customers.

In response, young women replaced them, and by 1910, New York Telephone had 6,000 women working on its switchboards. The women didn’t swear as much and were faster as well.

These women had to adhere to strict codes for dress and conduct, though. They could only use certain phrases, while customers could say whatever they wanted. This led to the occasional rude customer yelling and swearing at them to which they would reply “thank you.”

Still, this was important because besides teachers, there weren’t many women in the workplace. This was one of the first steps towards equal work opportunities for women.


The Arabic numerals were not invented by Arabs. The system was, in fact, developed in ancient India and is known as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system

What we know in the West as the Arabic numerals, were not invented by the Arabs.

The numeral system was, in fact, developed in ancient India. Historians have traced it back to the Brahmi numerals which were already in use by the 3rd century BC.

Before the rise of the Arab Empire, the numeral system was already moving west and was mentioned by Severus Sebokht in Syria in 662 AD.

French mathematician Pierre Simon Laplace wrote: "It is India that gave us the ingenuous method of expressing all numbers by the means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position, as well as an absolute value; a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit…”

The Arabs adopted the nine numerals from India in the 9th century. It was initially known as the Arabic numerals in the West because it was encountered through the West’s trade with the Arabs and also introduced in Europe through Arabic texts in the tenth century. Europeans therefore contributed it to the Arabs even though the Arabs themselves called it Hindu numerals.

This numeral system is now mostly referred to as the Hindu-Arabic numeral system.


These radio broadcasts have caused mystery and speculation for decades! Where do they come from and what do they mean?

Nobody is really sure if it's conspiracies, aliens, or secret agents secretly communicating with each other from the four corners of the globe.

But whatever the cause, numbers stations have had people tuning in and talking about what the heck is going on for nearly 80 years.

As WWII ended short wave radios started to become commonplace in people's homes as a hobby. They were also used as something a little darker and much more mysterious: a way for unknown individuals to communicate and interact using a strange, vague code—numbers.

They normally consist of a female reading groups of numbers, sometimes letters or sound tones, in a monotone voice and without saying anything else. Intervals could consist of a few minutes to once a day, week, or month.

A common one, known as “The Lincolnshire Poacher” because it used the bars from the English folk song with the same name, showed up at the height of the Cold War in the mid 1970s.

It continued broadcasting until June 29, 2008 when it stopped unexpectedly and without another word. This one in particular was broadcast several times throughout the day, seven days a week.


Some awesome lists!

This guy managed to infiltrate Mecca and translate the Kama Sutra in a single lifetime!

Mecca is the holiest city of Islam. Their entire belief and way of life exists because of what transpired in those walls long, long ago.

If you're not Muslim, but think this sounds like an interesting place to visit, too bad—it's forbidden to infidels.

But that doesn't mean those outside the faith have never seen it. There have been infiltrators, and one in particular has a really strange story to tell.

Richard Francis Burton was an adventurer, scholar and “sexual explorer” that lived from 1821 to 1890. He was adept to learning new languages and managed to learn 24 to 40, including the dialects.

He joined the military after being thrown out of Oxford and was posted to India, where he showed a knack for being a spy.

He made a six month journey to Mecca disguised as an Afghan Muslim in 1853. He kissed the sacred black stone, a religious event most Muslims dream of doing, and explored the city with care, making sure to blend in the whole time.

He survived.

His other claim to fame? He translated the Kama Sutra in all of its sexual glory. He probably didn't even bat an eye at anything it contained.


Hitler wanted to resurrect prehistoric animals so that he and his officers could use them for hunting!

It's known that the Nazis during World War II engaged in numerous scientific experiments, but not all of their projects are known by the public.

One of the lesser known experiments was that Hitler, at one point, was trying to resurrect prehistoric animals so that he and his officers could hunt them for sport.

More specifically, the project revolved around resurrecting the prehistoric animal, wild Auroch cows.

These cows are said to have been seven-foot-tall horned mammals that went extinct nine thousand years ago. Although they are referred to as 'cows,' Aurochs are incredibly hostile and would have been a challenge for any gamesman.

But Hitler didn't want to learn how to resurrect extinct animals JUST for sport. Instead, he wanted to bring back old species that had ties to the ancient Germanic civilization.

Hermann Goering, a man who supervised the project, is thought to have believed that by bringing back animals from Germany's roots, the Nazi party would be seen as something more than a New Order.



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