In the early 20th century, trains in the US were destroyed in staged head-on collisions in front of live audiences for entertainment. This ended in the 1930s as it was seen to be wasteful of old but otherwise useful locomotives at the height of the Great Depression.
The last person to be convicted of blasphemy in the United States was an Arkansas man who in 1928 put a sign in his storefront reading, “Evolution Is True. The Bible’s a Lie. God’s a Ghost.” He spent 3 months in jail.
Caroline Shawk, the inventor of modern butter sculpture, couldn’t afford marble, so she started making butter sculptures to raise money at local fairs. Her butter sculpture became a runaway hit at Centennial exhibition, which allowed her to open her own studio and work with marble.
The creator of The Sims, Will Wright, was inspired to make the game after losing his home and most of his material possessions in a fire in 1997. Thinking about the value of material needs as he rebuilt his life gave him the idea of a game where players managed the life of a suburban household.
In 2013, Australian blogger Belle Gibson claimed to have beaten brain cancer using ‘natural remedies’ — selling a cookbook to cancer patients with all her ‘secrets’. It was later revealed she never even had cancer, and was fined $410,000 by the Australian government for her deceptive practices.
Prior to the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, UK officials considered building a new city in Northern Ireland, and resettling the entire population of Hong Kong on the Magilligan Peninsula near Coleraine.
Little Caesars’ founder Mike Illitch’s family received $340 million in taxpayer dollars from the City of Detroit to redevelop a 50-block neighborhood, but instead broke their promises, built 29 surface parking lots, and demolished or abandoned 27 historic buildings.
The oldest continuously operating Chinese restaurant in the US is not in New York or San Francisco, but Butte, Montana. Pekin Noodle Parlor opened in 1911 and is still open today.
In 1970, a pilot engaging in mock combat in an F-106 lost control in a dive, ejected, and then the plane righted itself, continued to fly, landed softly in a snowy field, then was later recovered with minimal damage and returned to service.
Gilbert Seltzer, a WW2 veteran, lead a secret platoon of men within a unit dubbed the ‘Ghost Army’. Made up of artists, creatives & engineers, their job was creating deception about the enemy. From inflatable tanks to scripted bar conversations, this unit’s work led to big US wins.