After a woman died, a multimillion dollar painting she owned was re-assessed at $0 due to it containing part of a bald eagle. In America, it is illegal to buy or sell them without a permit. The IRS disagreed and put a $65M tax on it. But her heirs cannot sell the painting due to the eagle.
In 2019, a Portugal man hated his neighbors listening to loud music so he launched a done attack on them with fireworks.
“Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wants to convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time.” E.M. FORSTER
Ian Fleming named his character “Goldfinger” after the stern architect Ernő Goldfinger, whom he despised. When Ernő filed a suit over the name, Fleming threatened to rename the character “Goldprick”. Ernő dropped the suit in exchange for legal fees and six copies of the book.
In 1959, police were called to a segregated library in S. Carolina when a 9yr-old black boy refused to leave. He later got a PhD in Physics from MIT, and died in 1986, one of the astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger. The library that refused to lend him books is now named after him.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government was worried Japan would invade Hawaii and seize all the U.S. currency there. As a precaution, the U.S. burned $200 million in cash circulating on the islands, and replaced them with freshly printed bills with “Hawaii” stamped on them.
The process of dry cleaning was invented in 1821 by an African American business owner named Thomas Jennings. He was one of the first African Americans to be granted a patent. He had to use the proceeds from his invention to buy his wife and children out of slavery.
People in Japan are renting cars, but not to drive them anywhere. Car rental companies looked into it and discovered that people were using them to take naps, eat lunch, do work, change clothes, recharge cell phones, and store things (when storage lockers at train stations weren’t available).
While in the USSR, Neil Armstrong collected a handful of soil from outside a Ukrainian man’s house in Siberia to acknowledge that man’s contribution to Apollo-11 Moon Mission. The gravitational trajectory adopted by Apollo-11 program to reach the Moon is named after that man – ‘The Kondratyuk Rout’.