Posted: 1/22/2012 1:28 AM
History is full of outrageous characters, and stories that would make Hollywood script writers roll their eyes. This is a thread to post some of the most unbelievable outlandish historical facts you know.I'll start the thread with the story of Private Wojtek. For those who have never heard of him Private Wojtek was one of the many heroic soldiers who served in WW2. He was a celebrated and decorated war hero, who stood out not only for his devotion, loyalty, and bravery, but also because he happened to be a bear.From Wiki In 1942, a local boy found a bear cub near Hamadan, Iran. He sold it to the soldiers of the Polish Army stationed nearby for a couple of canned meat tins. As the bear was less than a year old, he initially had problems swallowing and was fed with condensed milk from an emptied vodka bottle. The bear was fed with fruits, marmalade, honey and syrup, and was often rewarded with beer, which became his favorite drink. He also enjoyed smoking and eating cigarettes. He enjoyed wrestling and was taught to salute when greeted. The bear became quite an attraction for soldiers and civilians alike, and soon became an unofficial mascot of all units stationed nearby. With the company he moved to Iraq and then through Syria, Palestine and Egypt.To get him on a British transport ship when the unit sailed from Egypt to fight with the British 8th Army in the Italian campaign, he was officially drafted into the Polish Army as a private and was listed among the soldiers of the 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. Henryk Zacharewicz and Dymitr Szawlugo were assigned as his caretakers.As one of the officially enlisted "soldiers" of the company, he lived with the other men in their tents or in a special wooden crate, which was transported by truck. According to numerous accounts, during the Battle of Monte Cassino, Wojtek helped his friends by transporting ammunition – never dropping a single crate. In recognition of the bear's popularity, the HQ approved an effigy of a bear holding an artillery shell as the official emblem of the 22nd Company (by then renamed to 22nd Transport Company.Following the end of World War II in 1945, the bear was transported to Berwickshire in Scotland, along with parts of the II Corps. Stationed in the village of Hutton, near Duns, Wojtek soon became popular among local civilians and the press. The Polish-Scottish Association made Wojtek one of its honorary members. Following demobilization on November 15, 1947, Wojtek was given to the Edinburgh Zoo. There Wojtek spent the rest of his days, often visited by journalists and former Polish soldiers, some of whom would toss him cigarettes, which he then proceeded to smoke. Wojtek died in December 1963, at the age of 22.
Posted: 1/22/2012 3:41 PM
Posted: 1/23/2012 7:26 AM
Posted: 1/24/2012 8:49 AM
i presume that coca wine was, indeed, an “invigorator,” though i don’t know how effective it would be at treating sleeplessness:
on this promotional paperweight, a german company boasts of being the “largest makers in the world of quinine and cocaine”:
this alcohol and opium concoction was for treating asthma:
cocaine drops for the kids:
this product, made up of 46% alcohol mixed with opium, was for all ages; on the back it includes dosages for as young as five days:
new! (feb. ’10): after seeing the post, louise sent in a recipe from her great-grandma’s cookbook. her great-grandmother was a cook at a country house in england. the recipe is dated 1891 and calls for “tincture of opium”:
The recipe from the lower half of the right-hand page (with original spellings):
Hethys recipe for cough mixture1 pennyworth of eachAntimonial WineAcetic AcidTincture of opiumOil of aniseedEssence of peppermint1/2lb best treacleWell mix and make up to Pint with water.
Hethys recipe for cough mixture
1 pennyworth of eachAntimonial WineAcetic AcidTincture of opiumOil of aniseedEssence of peppermint1/2lb best treacle
Well mix and make up to Pint with water.
"Its always easier to sell them some sh.it than it is to tell them the truth"Baba Fats
Posted: 1/24/2012 5:25 PM
Last edited 1/24/2012 5:27 PM by BernieBrown
Posted: 1/24/2012 8:31 PM
Millerites were disciples of William Miller. Miller, a farmer from New York, claimed to have discovered when Jesus Christ would return to Earth as stated in the Bible. Miller reached this belief in the 1820s but did not begin to share it with other people until the 1830s. By the early 1840s, approximately one million people had attended camp meetings and heard Miller's message. Perhaps ten percent of those people actually believed Miller.Miller predicted that Christ's second coming would occur in April 1843 and that all worthy people would ascend to heaven on October 23, 1844. Thousands of people across the United States, including in Ohio, eagerly anticipated the event. Numerous people forsook their original religious beliefs and adopted Millerism, hoping that Jesus Christ would find no fault with them upon his return to Earth. Millerites consisted of all types of people. Many working-class people hoped that Christ's arrival would end their laborious lives. Other Americans believed that many people were sinners and that only the true believers, the Millerites, would escape punishment. God wanted the deserving to assist their unworthy neighbors through various reform movements, such as the temperance and abolition movements. Other people believed that citizens of the United States were God's chosen people and that Jesus Christ's arrival would prove this point.As October 23, 1844 approached, many Millerites sold all of their earthly possessions. Many sources claim that the Millerites, dressed in white robes, climbed the highest mountains and hills that they could find so that they would be closer to heaven. Unfortunately for these people, they did not ascend to heaven on the appointed day. Miller claimed to have made an error and quickly issued a new date for the second coming, approximately six months later. Once again, this day came and went. In most cases, Miller's followers abandoned him. In 1845, some of Miller's followers joined the Adventist Church, which Miller helped establish. Adventists believe in the second coming of Christ, but they do not specify a day when this event will occur.
Thousands of Cincinnatians camped out in 1844 to witness what they believed was going to be the world’s greatest – and final – fireworks display.They weren’t celebrating the Fourth of July. They were waiting for the end of the world.These happy campers were the followers of a 19th-century version of the Rev. Harold Camping, the Rapture predictor.The views of the Rapture reverend, broadcast over his multi-million-dollar radio, TV, satellite and website empire, would move those Cincinnatians to say: Been there. Done that.They knew what it was like to fall under the spell of a well-heeled, charismatic preacher. As with Camping, their hells fire and brimstone pastor – the Rev. William Miller – used the latest mass media to gain worldwide attention for his prediction that the world was going to come to an end.Before the end came, predicted Miller, Jesus Christ would return. He would be accompanied by the sound of trumpets and in the company of winged steeds pulling chariots. At the stroke of midnight, all of the preacher’s true believers would ascend to heaven. After that, the world turn be consumed by a giant fireball. The End.Cue the fireworks.The only trouble was, they’re weren’t any fireworks. Not even a spark.Worldwide campaignMiller had started peddling his prediction – based on a series of elaborate charts – in the 1820s. By the 1840s, the War of 1812 veteran was spreading the word world-wide.“What happened this May with Harold Camping,” noted Rhys Williams, Sociology Department chairman at Loyola University Chicago, “was small potatoes compared to what went on with William Miller in 1844.”Estimated to be 500,000 strong, Miller’s believers carried out his game plan. He used the social networking of his day, speeches, sermons, billboards, posters, tent meetings, books, newsletters and newspapers, to deliver his message. Millerites by the thousands lived in Cincinnati.On the morning of the appointed day – Oct. 22, 1844 – 2,000 Millerites trekked from downtown Cincinnati. Another 2,500 Millerites stayed behind to pack a temporary tabernacle near where Centennial Plaza stands today in City Hall’s shadow.The tabernacle, naturally, was not made to last. The world was going to come to an end, the Millerites reasoned. No sense putting up something permanent.The 2,000 faithful followed the path of what is now Central Parkway. At Ravine Street, the Millerites turned right to climb the steep hill.Near the summit, they stopped at the site of present-day Fairview Park. Known then and now for its scenic overlooks, the greenspace gave them what they thought would be their last look at a bustling Cincinnati, on the verge of becoming the sixth largest city in America.Some were dressed for the occasion. They wore white ascension robes designed to climb that stairway to heaven.The Enquirer, then in its third year of existence, reported that some Millerites had quit their jobs. Many got rid of their possessions. They felt the end was near.At the overlook, some of the chosen ones plopped into adjoining wash tubs, a la the side-by-side bathtubs in the modern-day Cialis ads. Some prayed. Some partied.They waited for the end. And for Jesus.Neither arrived. So, Oct. 22, 1844, came to be known as the Great Disappointment.At dawn, the Millerites retraced their route. Along the way, they were openly ridiculed. The Enquirer called them “deluded fanatics of this most ridiculous humbug.”Miller – based in upstate New York – said: Whoops! My bad. Faulty calculations. (Camping used the same excuse when his Rapture failed to materialize.)Follower picked dateTo be fair, Miller never picked an exact date for his rapture. He hedged his bets by citing a range of dates. A follower selected Oct. 22, 1844. And, Miller didn’t object.Miller – as Camping would 167 years later – became a punchline. Then, as now, the question was asked: Why do people believe this stuff?“The 1840s were a time of great economic instability, high immigration – people were mad about immigrants taking their jobs – and tumult in religion,” said Williams, a former University of Cincinnati professor whose work examines how politics, religion and social movements effect American culture.“Couple that unsettled world,” he added, “with a milieu where people were just influenced by their social circle and the belief in supernatural events does not seem that far-fetched.”Williams paused before adding: “Those conditions sound a lot like today.”Then as now, Americans dealt with these “repent, the end is near” movements with a sense of humor.As the Great Disappointment dawned near Boston, a trumpet could be heard. The faithful cried: “Hallelujah!”That was no angel blowing his horn. It was a prankster.After his second blast on the horn, he called out:“Go back to your work. Gabriel ain’t a-coming.”
Last edited 1/24/2012 8:32 PM by T-Dog
Posted: 1/25/2012 4:19 AM
The Shakers are another great whacked out religious sect. They got their name from a combination of shaking and Quakers because of the ecstatic nature of their worship services. Started in 1747, they were one of the few movements that looked to women for leadership. Ann Lee was one of their early leaders. Devastated by the loss of four children in infancy she claimed that God came to her and told her that people needed to give up their worldly goods and take up the cross of celibacy. Basically if you wanted to join the Shakers no more sex for you. Shakers lived in communes and developed written covenants with their members. Those who signed the covenant had to confess their sins, consecrate their property and their labor to the society, and live celibate. If they were married before joining the society, their marriages essentially ended when they joined. A few less-committed Believers lived in "noncommunal orders" as Shaker sympathizers who preferred to remain with their families. The Shakers never forbade marriage for such individuals, but considered it less perfect than the celibate state. Unsurprisingly Turnover was really high with many people leaving the religion especially young people. The group reached maximum size of about 6,000 full members in 1840, but as of 2009 only three members are left. The Shakers are mostly known today for their amazing craftsmanship in wood working, quilting and other handy crafts. If you find any genuine Shaker furniture it can fetch quite a good price at auction. Really its no wonder they were so good at things like wood working and knitting. I can just see the men in their workshops lathing and repressing, carving and repressing, sanding and repressing. Honestly I have no idea how they lasted as long as they did.
Last edited 1/25/2012 7:25 AM by BernieBrown
Posted: 1/25/2012 12:50 PM
BernieBrown wrote: I've always loved the fact that most of those so called "cures" were being legally sold over the counter while the temperance unions were going nuts trying to ban booze. "Good photo shoot ladies. Now everyone have a safe trip home, and don't forget to take some heroin tonight. Its cold season you know."BTW I don't think these fine specimens of womanhood are making a very compelling case for a life of sobriety.
Posted: 1/26/2012 2:48 PM
Saddle up boys, lock and load.
Posted: 1/27/2012 11:37 PM
37179 wrote: John Tyler was born in 1790, and he was the 10th president of the United States in 1841. Believe it or not, he has two living grandchildren. For perspective consider this: When Tyler was born, George Washington was giving his State of the Union address. When Tyler became president, the civil war was still 20 years away! But how is this possible? Here's some math for you: Tyler had 15 children, and in 1853 he was 63 when his son Lyon Gardiner Tyler was born. Lyon had six children, with two of them, Harrison Ruffin Tyler and Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., born when he was in his 70s in 1924 and 1928 respectively. Both men, now in their 80s, still live in Virginia.via RCLink
Posted: 1/28/2012 6:17 PM
Posted: 1/30/2012 11:14 AM
Posted: 1/30/2012 11:47 AM
The solution came with the invention of devices that could be used in the home to add radon to drinking water. In this country, the first and most popular was the Revigator, based on a patent taken out in 1912. Although its inventor, R.W. Thomas, was not related to Thomas Edison, he was claimed to be of equal genius, at least in the sales brochures of the Revigator Company. This company, headquartered in San Francisco, was large enough to maintain numerous branch offices across the country. Revigator sales reached several hundred thousand, a remarkable record in view of its relatively high price, $29.50 (in 1929).The Revigator itself was a "radioactive water crock." A jar made of radium-containing ore, it held several gallons of water, came with its own spigot, and had the following instructions on the side: "Fill jar every night. Drink freely . . . when thirsty and upon arising and retiring, average six or more glasses daily." The radon produced by the radium in the ore would dissolve overnight in the water. In effect, it served as a "perpetual health spring in the home."
Last edited 2/1/2012 5:34 PM by T-Dog
Posted: 2/1/2012 5:30 PM
Posted: 2/4/2012 2:39 AM
The Story Of Michael MalloyIn New York in 1933, five guys devise a get-rich-quick scheme, where they would take out three life insurance policies on a homeless drunk, and then get him to drink himself to death. They settled on Mickey Malloy. One of the conspirators owned a speakeasy, and gave Mickey unlimited credit, assuming the drunk would simply drink and drink until he died. He did drink and drink and drink and drink, but he didn't die. So the conspirators started serving him antifreeze. Mickey didn't notice, or didn't care, but he'd drink antifreeze all day, pass out, not die, and wake up and ask for more.So they started serving him turpentine, which didn't work, neither did horse liniment or even rat poison. They served him a banquet of raw oysters soaked in pure ethanol, again, Mickey enjoyed their hospitality without any ill effects. So they served him a delicious sandwich, made with spoiled sardines and carpet tacks. But he just ate it and thanked them. Frustrated with Mickey's unhuman resistance to poison and metal, the conspirators resorted to more direct measures. They waited until Mickey passed out from his usual all-night binge on turpentine and rat poison cocktails, drug him out into a frigid New York night, threw him in snow drift, stripped him naked and poured a bucket of water on him. However Mickey showed up in the bar the next day, thirsty for more horse liniment. So they hit him with a car. This put him in the hospital, but he survived. Fed up, the five men got him passed-out drunk again, took him to his room, stuck a gas jet hose in his mouth, and successfully suffocated him. Mickey was pronounced dead from pneumonia, and the five guys would've gotten away with it, but they talked too much and ended up all being convicted of Mickey's murder.
Posted: 2/4/2012 9:04 AM
Posted: 2/6/2012 12:32 PM
Mozart really loved poop jokes.A canon written in 1782 was attributed for a long time to Mozart. This wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary, but the title of it is Leck mich im Arsch, which translates to Lick me in the rear end, or Kiss my rear end. Recent evidence suggests that the Austrian physician Wenzel Trnka wrote the original music and lyrics, with Mozart writing new lyrics for his friends at parties.After he died his widow sent the music and Mozart's lyrics to music publishers, who wouldn't publish it under that name or with the lyrics. It was instead published under the title Laßt froh uns sein (Let us be glad).The original lyrics were rediscovered in 1991, consisting of these lines over and over:
Posted: 2/8/2012 8:07 AM
Posted: 1/21/2013 7:39 PM
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