The world’s first mental health hospital was built in Baghdad, Iraq in 705 AD. While mental health patients were being condemned, punished, and even burned in Europe, 8th and 9th century mental health patients in Iraq, Egypt, and Syria were given more proper hospitalization and treatment.
During WWII, a Nazi spy stationed in New York tried to turn himself into the FBI. The FBI didn’t believe him. The FBI finally listened when he showed up at FBI headquarters and offered proof that he really was a Nazi spy. He was imprisoned for 6 years and deported to Germany.
One of the most powerful unions in New York City in the 1960’s was the Bagel Bakers Local 338. They made far more money than engineers, policemen, and teachers at the time. If they went on strike, bagels simply weren’t available since the process hadn’t been automated yet.
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.