Spain had a guardianship system for females until 1985. Girls and women -- all females -- had to have a "guardian." Guardians' permission was required for opening a bank account, making a contract, working, and driving. Unsurprisingly guardians' permission was also needed for changing residency or citizenship so females could not move to get away. Pretty terrible. But wait, it gets worse! Legally, a man could kill their ward if the lady had pre-marital sex.

Iron Age Horse Bridle Found In Poland

Some 150 decorative bronze pieces of a 2,500-year-old horse’s bridle were discovered in north-central Poland. The pieces form a nearly-complete bridle with only the bit missing. Reconstructed it is reminiscent those made by the Scythians living to the north at the time suggesting cultural exchange and influence. The bronze pieces had been wrapped in leaves and placed in a leather bag alongside a locally-made axe. The bag was then buried on a sandy hillside by Poland's largest river. It was probably intended to be re-collected then melted down to form something new; luckily for archaeologists the would-be smith never came back for his hoard.

The Supremes were the first musical group made up entirely of women to achieve a number 1 best-selling album on Billboard. It was in 1966 with The Supremes A' Go-Go.

The Skunk Family Tree Extends to Oceania

The only place in the world where member of the skunk family (mephitidae) are found other than the Americas is Indonesia and the Philippines. Just two species remain in a genus: the Palawan stink badger or pantot (M. marchei), and the Sunda stink badger or teledu (M. javanensis).

Let's talk about where those names come from! The Indonesian genus are called "stink badgers" in English because they were previously thought to be in the badger family. More recent genetic analyses have led to their reclassification with skunks. And the skunk family as a whole is called mephitidae after the Latin word Mefitis, a Samnite goddess who personified the poisonous gases emitted from swamps and volcanoes.

In 1915 a non-pornographic film showed a fully-nude woman for the first time in the US. Called "Inspiration" it is about a sculptor trying to find the "perfect model" for his statues. The nudity was confined to showing the model posing for statues -- something the lady playing the model did in real life, to widespread acclaim. The nude scenes passed the National Board of Censorship without a single suggested change. The censors worried that if the scenes did not pass, censors might also have to ban Renaissance paintings.

Oil Production 1900 - 2000

Did you know the United States was the largest producer of oil for most of the 1900s? Or that the USSR surpassed the US in 1973 to become the world's largest producer? Interesting stuff!

The Selling of Stan

The remains of a tyrannosaurus rex, famously nicknamed "Stan" after being excavated by the commercial fossil outfit Black Hills Institute in 1992, has been sold for US$ 31.8 million. Stan went for more than twice the adjusted value of Sue, the most complete T. rex yet found, which sold for over $8.3 million in 1997. Stan's buyer has not been announced.

While Sue ended up in a museum, no one knows where Stan is going -- the lessons he can teach scientists might disappear forever into a private owner's collection. Paleontologists are concerned that Stan is just the most prominent example of a recent trend for fossils going to auction houses instead of scientists. In addition, the simple idea that one can sell such fossils is concerning. Fossils may be morphing from priceless scientific artifacts to tradeable commodities.

Grant was an Anti-Semite

During the American Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant expelled all Jews from the military district he had control over. He wanted to end illegal smuggling and trading of Southern cotton. Such trading, Grant thought -- without any evidence -- was completely controlled by Jews. Get rid of Jews, get rid of the problem. So in 1863 he issues General Order no. 11: Grant required that all the Jews in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, be rounded up and forced to walk to another district. President Abraham Lincoln countermanded the General Order on January 4, 1863.

Brazil's superstar soccer player in the late 1950s, Garrincha, helped lead his team to the 1958 World Cup trophy. But when Brazil beat Sweden 2-1 in the final game to win the cup, Garrincha did not celebrate. He had been under the impression that the World Cup was a round robin with Brazil playing all other teams twice. Garrincha helped his team score its two world-cup-winning goals (including scoring one goal himself) without realizing the game's importance.

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    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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