The first American novel was “The Power of Sympathy”, a tragic love story promoting rational thought that was written by William Hill Brown and published in Boston in 1791.
The Hoovers both spoke Mandarin. In the White House they would speak in Mandarin to avoid eavesdroppers. To date, Lou Hoover is the only First Lady to speak an Asian language. They were also well versed in Latin; working together to translate “De Re Metallica” a 16th century mining textbook.
Country music used to be known as “hillbilly” music. Billboard released its first country chart in 1939, called “Hillbilly Hits.” Though that name lost favor as a pejorative, it left its mark. After country artists started using rock techniques, they created Hillbilly rock, or Rockabilly.
The longest palindromic word in the Oxford English Dictionary is the onomatopoeic ‘tattarrattat’, coined by James Joyce in his book Ulysses for a knock on the door. However, the Guinness Book of Records gives the title to ‘detartrated’, stemming from a chemical term meaning to remove tartrates.
Constantine XI Palaiologos was the last Christian Emperor of Constantinople and the Byzantine empire. In 1453, when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks, he was last seen fighting at the city walls, but the actual circumstances of his death have remained surrounded in myth.
The Hypogeum of Ħal Saflieni is a Neolithic subterranean structure dating to the Saflieni phase (3300 – 3000 BC) in Maltese prehistory, located in Paola, Malta. Accidentally discovered in 1902, the hypogeum is believed to predate the pyramids by up to 1000 years according to historians. It housed up to 7000 bodies of an unknown Neolithic civilisation who mysteriously disappeared in 2500 BC without explanation.
In 1954, Ernest Hemingway survived two plane crashes in two days. He was presumed dead almost 24 hours later until he was spotted coming out of the jungle carrying bananas and a bottle of gin. One of the planes was burning on the runway. The door was stuck. So Hemingway headbutted it open. He never fully recovered from the concussion and it’s theorised this may have been the starting point for his cognitive decline.
Shipwreck hunter Tommy G. Thompson is imprisoned and fined 1,000$ per day for not revealing where he hides the gold he found and had promised to split with investors.
Henry Ford once tried to start a colony in the middle of the Brazilian rainforest called “Fordlandia”, in which the locals were forced to live a midwestern American lifestyle until they rebelled and chased their managers into the forest.
The word ‘honeymoon’ is believed to originate as an ancient Babylonian practice that involved drinking mead, a honey-based alcoholic drink, for a lunar month after a marriage. The first literary reference to the word honeymoon was in 1552 in Richard Huloet’s ‘Abecedarium Anglico Latinum’.
Submission by Joseph