The Spanish Flu was named that because it’s effects on countries involved in WW1 were censored for morale. Spain was neutral and thus papers reported on the flu hitting Spain, making people believe Spain was hit especially hard.
In 1847 during the Irish potato famine, the Choctaw Nation of Native Americans donated $147 to assist with famine relief. The Irish have just completed a monument of appreciation.
In 1911, eleven and seven year old brothers rode on horseback from NYC to San Francisco in 62 days.
In England until the early 20th century, a man wishing to separate from his wife could lead her to market by a halter and sell her to the highest bidder.
In 1818, an Englishman accused of murder demanded a trial by combat. Surprisingly, the law that allowed for trial by combat was still valid, and the man was acquitted when his accuser declined the offer of battle. Trial by combat was abolished the following year.
In 1848, to begin construction on the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, engineers needed to secure a line across the 800-foot chasm. The lead engineer held a kite-flying contest and eventually paid a local boy $5 for securing the first line over the river.
Southern sweet tea was originally used to show wealth, as tea, ice, and sugar were all very expensive at the time.
During the first battle of the American Civil War, hundreds of civilians from Washington DC brought picnic baskets and came to watch the battle, sure the Union would easily win. The Union lost, and the civilians were caught in the retreat of the Northern army.