On September 12, 1958 Gov. Faubus closed all Little Rock, Arkansas high schools for a year rather than allowing desegregation to continue. Teachers and administrators were required to fulfill their contractual obligations and appear for work in empty schools.
Marco Polo did not introduce pasta to Italy from China. Italians adopted pasta from the Greeks, first mentioned between 1000-800 BCE and called laganon – the inspiration for what would later become lasagne.
The Paralympic Games were founded by Sir Ludwig Guttmann, A Jewish Neurosurgeon who fled Nazi Germany in 1939 – Sir Ludwig challenged people’s perception of what disability actually is as you focus on the abilities of the athletes competing.
Playboy founder and U.S. Army veteran Hugh Hefner provided his plane, the “Big Bunny,” to transport Vietnamese children to New York during the evacuation of Saigon. Playboy bunnies were the ones who cared for the babies until they reached their destination.
What American businessman and astronomer Percival Lowell mistakenly thought were “spokes” on the surface of Venus were actually shadows of the blood vessels in his eyes cast on his retina, his telescope essentially functioning as a giant ophthalmoscope.
In 1952 Irishman Michael Patrick O’Brien was trapped on a boat between Hong Kong and Macao for 11 months. He didn’t have the papers to get off at either end of the trip and no one would issue them to him.
A women bought one of those robocaller’s “Car Extended Auto Warranties” so she could once and for all figure out who they were. Then she proceeded to file a class action lawsuit against the company for violating Do Not Call lists.
The ceremonial handguns carried by Sentinel NCOs at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are highly unique and customized SIG SAUER M17s of which 4 exist. Made with nods to history such as grips made from wood off the USS Olympia, the ship that transported the original Unknown back in 1921.
Leona Woods was the only woman physicist on the team which built the world’s first nuclear reactor as part of the Manhattan Project. She became a mother during the Project but hid her pregnancy as not to miss work. Afterwards as a professor, she authored >200 papers in physics and astrophysics.
Spending just a few months in Antartica can shrink your brain due to environmental monotony and prolonged isolation.