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

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?

A Useless History Fact

In 2005, British comedian Tim Fitzhigham became the first person in recorded history to row across the English Channel in a bathtub.

This Dagger Has A Near-Impossible Sheath

Seriously, how do you put this dagger away without scrapping the edges, wearing down the sharpness each time? Despite its impractical sheath, this is a truly beautiful piece of art. Bali, Indonesia, early 1700s. Made with iron-nickel alloy, silver, gold, and wood.

Huge Cache Of 1700s-Era Rockets Found In India

More than a 1,000 were discovered, unexploded, from an abandoned well at a fort in the Karnataka state in southern India. They ranged in size from 12 to 14 inches long. And they were all filled with potassium nitrate, charcoal, and magnesium powder. From their make and their contents, archaeologists identified the rockets as Mysore rockets, the first iron-cased rockets to be used successfully in military combat.

The rockets are believed to have belonged to the Muslim warrior king Tipu Sultan, who ruled over Karnataka’s Shivamogga district at the time. He was also a resolute opponent of the British East India Company. He fought four wars against the British company, ultimately dying in the fourth.

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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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