Lake Tahoe at one time was named Lake Bigler in honor of the popular third governor of California. However, once it was revealed that Bigler was a Confederate sympathizer during the US Civil War, his name was removed from the lake and renamed Tahoe.
A mathematician named Nicolas Bourbaki who has made many strides in mathematics, never even was a real person, but was a collective pseudonym for a group of mathematicians who wrote their own textbooks.
Lincoln loved cats so much that he once fed them from the table during a formal White House dinner. When his wife told him that it was “shameful in front of their guests,” he replied “If the gold fork was good enough for former President James Buchanan, I think it is good enough for Tabby.”
Astronaut Jim Lovell was asked if he would go on another spaceflight after an explosion almost killed the crew of Apollo 13 on its way to the Moon. Lovell was about to say yes. Then he saw a hand shoot up from the audience and slowly give the thumbs-down sign. It was his wife, Marilyn.
In 1857, a woman named Hannah Crafts escaped her owner by dressing up as a man and pretending to be white. She later wrote a book called The Bondwoman’s Narrative, but didn’t publish it. It was found years later in a New Jersey attic and was finally authenticated and published in 2002.
J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired to write LOTR by the discovery of a cursed 4th century Roman gold ring that was discovered when he was a professor at Oxford.
Scientists discovered broadcasting the sound of a healthy coral reef on underwater speakers in dead areas along the Great Barrier Reef resulted in life returning and thriving. Twice as many fish visited those areas with speakers compared to spots on the reef without speakers.
A question mark superimposed onto an exclamation mark, often seen as ?!, is called an Interrobang. Martin K. Speckter is credited with inventing the mark in 1962 which made it the first new punctuation mark to have been introduced in 300 years.
David Bowie was turned down by a BBC talent selection group just before his breakthrough, stating “amateur sounding vocalist who sings wrong notes and out of tune”.
All modern penicillin can be traced back to a single moldy cantaloupe from a small grocery store in Peoria, Illinois.