"Many a long dispute among divines may be thus abridged: It is so; it is not so; it is so; it is not so."

Benjamin Franklin, who apparently did not think highly of religious disagreements.

Why Did New Guinea Warriors Prefer Daggers Made With Human Bone?

The indigenous people of Papua New Guinea did not develop metalworking before modern contact. Instead, they fought with sharpened bone daggers. Here there was a choice: fight with daggers crafted from human thighbones or daggers crafted from cassowary thighbones -- giant, flightless, dinosaur-like birds. The preferred weapon in Papua New Guinea was human bone daggers.     And a new study suggests why: the dagger fashioned from human bone is stronger than the giant bird's thighbone, largely because of the way the warriors of New Guinea carved the weapons. The human bone daggers retained more of the natural curves of the bone, making them stronger than the flatter, less curved cassowary bone daggers. Given that cassowary daggers are easier to replace than human-bone daggers, it makes sense that the human daggers were carved with greater care to make them stronger.

An Italian Bank Is Older Than Italy

Founded in Italy in 1472 and originally a pawnshop, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is the world's oldest surviving bank. It existed when Leonardo da Vinci was still alive!

Charles Carroll, of Maryland, died on November 14th, 1832, at the age of 95. Why does this matter? He was the last living person who had signed the Declaration of Independence, in 1776.

Rioting Over Sports Is A Proud Tradition!

In 1314, King Edward II of England banned football (soccer) because two rival villages were physically brawling each other over their football games. But football survived. And so did hooliganism. Today, many English clubs have a proud tradition of throwing stones, beer bottles, and whatever else is handy at opposing teams as they visit for games. Some English clubs are even known to be better or worse to visit, because of their fans!

The English are not the only ones, of course. Anyone remember when Vancouver won hockey’s Stanley Cup in 2011 and the whole city rioted? Or this year, when Philadelphia’s football team (the other kind of football) won the 2018 Super Bowl and the whole city took to the streets?

The First Cavalry Corps From North America?

The first Canadian horse-mounted unit -- and perhaps the first horse-mounted unit from North America -- was raised in 1759. Named the Corps de Cavalerie, it was created from 200 local Quebec volunteers by the French leader Montcalm, to help repel the British invasion of Quebec during the Seven Years War.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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