In 1859, an American farmer in the San Juan Islands shot a pig who was eating his potatoes, but the pig happened to belong to a British colonist. In the ensuing confrontation, 461 Americans and 14 artillery faced 5 British warships with 70 cannons and 2140 men. The only casualty was the pig.
In the 18th century many prominent voices were concerned by an ‘epidemic’ affecting young people whereby they were spending too much time reading books. It was diagnosed as ‘a dangerous disease’ called ‘reading rage, reading fever, reading mania or reading lust.’
Since the Han Dynasty in 200 BC, the Chinese have drilled for natural gas which was transported in bamboo pipelines to be burned in stoves.
Soon after the American revolution, the leader of the Continental Congress asked the Prince of Prussia to become King of the United States.
In 1965, a Ukrainian farmer dug up the lower jawbone of a mammoth. Further excavations revealed the presence of 4 huts, made up of a total of 149 mammoth bones. These dwellings, dating back some 15,000 years, were determined to have been some of the oldest shelters ever built.
In 1910, Congress nearly passed “the American Hippo Bill”, which would have released hippos in Louisiana bayous in order to eat invasive plants while solving America’s meat shortage. Newspapers of the time praised hippo meat as “lake cow bacon”.
In 1924, when Standard Oil was researching tetraethyl lead as a gasoline additive, 32 of 49 workers had to be hospitalized due to lead poisoning, and 5 of them died. A federal panel made entirely of industry scientists later concluded that there “no danger” from tetraethyl lead.
In 1936, 30 Toronto men were arrested for removing the tops from their bathing suits and showing their nipples.
It became illegal to sell ice-cream sodas on a Sunday in the American town of Evanston during the late 19th century. To get around the problem some traders replaced the soda with syrup and called the dessert an “Ice Cream Sunday.” Today, we cherish them as “Sundaes”.