Justin Fashanu (1961–1998) was a British footballer (soccer player). He played from the late 1970s till 1997. Fashanu was the first professional footballer in England to come out as gay and to this day is the only British male professional player to have done so.

How Birds Got (And Kept) Their Beaks

Turtles and some dinosaurs (and platypuses!) have beaks, too. But birds are the biggest beak-having group. Why?

Someone living in Sweden during the Iron Age wore this cloak. Unfortunately, they wore it while they were murdered: forensic analysis found the holes in the cloak match how stabs would have penetrated the folds of the cloak when it was being worn. Dating to 360 to 100 BCE, is also the oldest known example of a houndstooth pattern!

Weird But True

"Egg" as a verb -- e.g. to egg someone on -- has been in the English language longer than "egg" as a noun -- e.g. a chicken's egg.

Megalith Cist Burials Found in Southern India

  Archaeologists have uncovered a total of 250 cairn circles in southern India’s trade and industrial center of Kodumanal, which was inhabited from the 400s through first century B.C.E. The cairn circles were made of giant rocks or megaliths. Most of the cairn circles were around rectangular chambers built of megaliths, which in turn contained burial cists and three or four bowls or pots. The pottery was likely for offerings placed outside the burial cists, showing a belief system that included something after death. An impressive ten pots and bowls were recently unearthed in a larger circle made of boulders and rectangular-shaped cists made of stone slabs, surrounding a three-chambered burial. This larger, more complex burial might have been intended for someone important in the community.


"I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all."

James Baldwin

Where Are The Sheep In Australia?

These two maps are from the 1920s series by George Philip & Son. Note that by this point, no land was in indigenous control.

The Unusual Battle of Texel

In 1795, a French Revolutionary Hussar regiment charged and surrounded a Dutch fleet and forced the fleet to surrender. Yes, you read that correctly! The fourteen Dutch ships were frozen in between the Dutch mainland and the island of Texel. The night of January 23rd, each horse had their hooves wrapped in fabric to muffle their approach. On each horses' back was a hussar and an infantryman of the 15th Line Infantry Regiment. After a careful approach across the frozen water, the hussars and infantrymen launched an assault on the ships. The ice did not break and the Frenchmen were able to board the ships. Neither side had casualties. And the Battle of Texel went down in history as a rare moment when cavalry successfully engaged and beat a fleet.

What do you think this person is doing? If you guessed pooping -- congrats, you guessed wrong! This piece is titled "Sorrowing Adam." He is sitting on something (it is not explained), grieving, after getting kicked out of paradise by God. The panel once decorated the side of a Byzantine casket or box. Ivory, circa 900s - 1000 CE (courtesy of the Walters Art Museum)

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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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