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”.
In the 1300s, some fellows from Modena stole a bucket from Bologna (both in Italy), resulting in a great deal of humiliation for the Bolognese. They declared war, had a battle with around 2,000 casualties (split between both sides), and failed to reclaim the bucket.
A former Spanish slave named Yanga, led a group of slaves into the highlands in what is now Mexico and continuously fought of the Spanish for more than 30 years until they came to an agreement to establish the first true free town in the Americas in 1618.
Machu Picchu was built in 1450, making it far younger than Oxford University, York Minster, The Divine Comedy by Dante and the printing press.
The first streaming music service started in 1897. Users in New York could pick up their phones and connect to the Telharmonium, a central hub that would pipe music being played live by two musicians playing 24 hours a day.
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.