In 1966 a shrewd beachfront motel owner saw a loophole in Oregons terminology of public beach usage. He started fencing off the beach at his motel and wealthy people around the state with beachfront property quickly followed suit. It generated the largest public response in the states history.
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, was accused of single-handedly ruining France’s finances. Official estimates claim court expenses alone were 7% of France’s total budget but the real figure was a lot higher. She was given the name “Madame Déficit” during the French Revolution.
In mid-18th century France, eating potatoes was considered cruel and unusual punishment: potatoes were thought of as feed for livestock, and they were believed to cause leprosy in humans. The fear was so widespread that the French passed a law banning them in 1748.
Someone born in 55 BC who died in 35 AD (at the age of 90) would have witnessed the rise and fall of Julius Caesar, the reign of Augustus and founding of the Roman Empire, Cleopatra’s whole reign and the fall of Egypt to Rome, and the birth, life, and crucifixion of Jesus.
For a period in the 19th century, walking competitions that lasted for days was a big money spectator sport.
Nostradamus’ predictions were based on past events; he simply believed history would repeat itself. He would pick historical events at random, then use astrological calculations to figure out when they’d happen again. Also, he wrote a cookbook.
In 1695 the English parliament passed a law to tax all bachelors over the age of 25. The Bachelor Tax was later abolished in 1706.
There was a mysterious culture in Eastern Europe between 5,500 to 2,700 BC which constructed sophisticated, organized, densely-populated settlements – only to burn them to the ground every 60-80 years to rebuild the same settlement as before.
In 1648 an angry mob of Parisians once broke into the royal palace, demanding to see the king. They were led into the bedchamber of Louis XIV, who was pretending to be asleep. Satisfied, the mob quietly departed.
Archeological evidence suggests that the earliest and most widespread cereal food eaten in prehistoric societies was the pancake.