In 1842 Abraham Lincoln was challenged to a duel by political rival, James Shields. Due to his towering height, Lincoln chose broadswords. When the day of the duel arrived Lincoln demonstrated his strength by chopping a nearby tree branch in half, causing Shields to back out and apologize.
Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko started smoking at the age of 9. He died after only 13 months in office, the third Soviet leader to die during Reagan’s presidency. When informed, Reagan remarked, “How am I supposed to get anyplace with the Russians if they keep dying on me?”
In Ancient Thebes there was a fairly successful band of warriors consisting entirely of 150 gay couples. They were chosen based on the idea that “you fight better when trying to impress your lover”.
Samuel Morse invented the telegraph after he received a letter of his wife’s failing health… after she’d died.
Lewis Bradbury asked a $5/week draftsman with no architectural training to design his $500,000 building in 1892. Wyman agreed after consulting his dead brother via Oija board. The Bradbury Building in LA is a National Historic Landmark and appeared in movies such as Blade Runner.
In 1985 two boys from Ireland managed to to sneak on to 2 trains, a ferry and a plane taking them from Dublin Ireland, through Wales and England eventually ending up in New York City.
Ray Bradbury wrote the first draft of “Fahrenheit 451” on a coin-operated typewriter in the basement of the UCLA library. It charged 10¢ for 30 minutes, and he spent $9.80 in total at the machine.
Little league sports were originally organized to keep poor kids off the streets but the Depression caused leagues to close down so poor children from urban areas lost opportunities for competitive athletics. Fee-based groups filled the void but only upper class kids could afford them.
After the assassination of Julius Caesar a large comet hit the Earths atmosphere, it was seen in Rome and China, and may have been brightest daylight comet in recorded history, it led to Caesar being Deified, an Imperial Cult, and the building of the ‘Temple of the Comet Star’.
A Chicago grocery store ran an ad congratulating Michael Jordan on entering the NBA Hall of Fame. Jordan sued and won $8.9 million for using his name.