Pilgrims Were Great At Naming

William Brewster, senior clergyman and senior citizen of the Plymouth Colony, named his children Jonathan, Patience, Fear, Love, and Wrestling.


"The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good. Understanding is joyous."

Carl Sagan, American scientist

Uatchitodon, the earliest known venomous reptile, lived about 200 million years ago. Its existence is known only from its surviving teeth.

Don’t Drink And Steal

In 1876, James “Big Jim” Kinealy decided to steal Abraham Lincoln’s corpse to ransom it, in exchange for $200,000 and the freedom of his former partner-in-crime.

Kinealy’s scheme failed because a conspirator got drunk, told a lady friend in Springfield, IL, and rumors got started that someone was out to steal Lincoln’s body. Kinealy fled to Chicago.

He decided to try again, with new co-conspirators, because second time’s the charm, right? Where did Kinealy find his new pals? A tavern. One of the new guys was a paid informant, and once again, the plot was foiled.

The Mayans Had Steam Baths!

It's true! The Mayans liked to get clean, by sweating. And archaeologists may have discovered a new, very old, steam bath. A team of researchers have uncovered a stone structure at Guatemala’s Maya site of Nakum that may have served as the foundation of a steam bath as early as 700 BCE. The excavators first discovered the entrance to a tunnel carved out of rock in an area of the site surrounded by temples, pyramids, and palaces. Like some modern-day Indiana Joneses, they followed the tunnel down a set of stairs, to a second tunnel, which ends in a rectangular room with rock-cut benches. An oval hearth in the wall opposite the entrance to the room is thought to have been used to heat large stones. Just pour on water - and voila! A steam bath! The structure was deliberately and completely sealed with mortar and rubble around 300 BCE. Maybe steam baths went out of fashion?

Geologists Have A Missing Time Problem?

"The Great Unconformity" is the technical term for where layers of rock suddenly jump in time - skipping about a billion years forward. The good news is, researchers may have solved what's going on!

An Important History Fact

On August 8th, 1960, "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" hit #1 on the USA Billboard Top 100.

The "sea swing" apparently used to exist? This 1910s photograph is from Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, so it was actually a swing in a Great Lake (Erie). Still, pretty cool.

The 2nd Most Prolific Serial Killer In History Is Alive Today (And No One Knows Where He Is)

Pedro Lopez is a Colombian serial killer. He was sentenced in 1980 in Ecuador for killing 110 girls, but who claims to have raped and killed more than 300 girls across Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and potentially other countries. That would make him the second most prolific known serial killer in history.

He was released in 1994, rearrested an hour later as an illegal immigrant and handed over to Colombian authorities, who charged him with a 20-year-old murder. Lopez was released by Colombia in 1998 on $50 bail and some conditions. He absconded. At present, Lopez is wanted in connection to a 2002 murder, and his whereabouts are unknown.

Lottery Jackpots Can Get Really Big, Wow

The largest claimed jackpot in U.S. history was worth $1.5 billion in January 2016. The winning tickets were sold in California, Texas, and Florida. A tying $1.5 billion jackpot ticket was sold in 2018, but the winner is still unknown.

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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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