Where Does "Vegan" Come From?

It was made up by Donald Watson, who founded the first organization for those seeking a lifestyle free from animal products in 1944 in London. Watson and his friends -- correctly -- thought that 'non-dairy vegetarians' was a bit too long a term. So they agreed to create a new word, something shorter and easier to say.

Many options were considered, including vitans, dairybans, benevores, and allvegans. They eventually decided on "vegan" as it took the beginning and the end of the word "vegetarian." It may also have been influenced by the fact that a popular London vegetarian restaurant was named "Vega."

Weird Thing To Put In Your Constitution

Greece has a ban on privately-owned universities in its constitution. It is the only country in the world (aside from Cuba) with no privately-owned universities. The constitution was adopted in 1974, for those interested, after the fall of the Greek military junta and the start of the current Third Hellenic Republic.

Easter Island, called Rapa Nui by its inhabitants, is famous for its megalithic statues. A recent analysis in PLOS One of the statues’ distribution across the island suggests they were placed away from living areas and near freshwater sources. Water is a very limited resource on Rapa Nui. The analysis only tells of the connection between the statues and freswater sources. The reason why, the deeper meaning behind why the statues were placed near freshwater, can only be hypothetical now because it has been so long since the culture that created them vanished.

Operation Match: The Earliest OkCupid

In 1965, Harvard students used a dating questionnaire and an IBM 1401—an early version of the computer—to match co-eds seeking love. Students would fill out a questionnaire. It would be copied onto punch cards, and fed into the computer, and within seconds 5 potential partners would be spit out. Workers would then mail the results back to the student. The service was called “Operation Match,” and it cost about $3 per person (or about $22 today).

A Massive Nomenclature Coincidence

Denmark has a "Louisiana Museum of Modern Art" which has no connection to the US state of the same name. It just so happened that the property's former owner, Alexander Brun, named his villa after his wives. He had three, and they were all named "Louise."

Today, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is quite important in Denmark, and is the most-visited art museum in the country!


"Democracy is not static. It is a living force. Every new idea, every new invention offers opportunity for both good and evil."

Herbert Hoover (1874 - 1964), an American engineer, businessman, and eventual president.

On March 13th, 1781, from his home in Bath, England, the astronomer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus. It is the third-largest planet in the solar system and visible to the naked eye! Yet it was not understood to be a planet, until the modern era, due to its dimness and its slow orbit around the sun.

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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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