Category Archives: History

How Did the Practice of Women Jumping Out of Giant Cakes Start?

Diane F. asks: Who started the tradition of girls jumping out of cakes? Almost everyone has seen depicted the bizarre bachelor party tradition of a scantily-clad woman jumping out of a giant cake. It turns up most often in decades-old films, TV shows, and comics, but it still persists today at lavish Vegas shindigs—though the cakes are now usually made […]

Read more

The Curious Case of Giant Concrete Arrows That Stretched from New York to California

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader DAY TRIPPERS When the U.S. Post Office introduced airmail service in 1920, the mail could only be flown during daylight hours, when pilots could see where they were going. In an age before sophisticated navigation systems, flying after dark was just too dangerous. The pilots who transported the mail navigated […]

Read more

Why Does the New Year Begin on January First in Many Countries?

Jamie asks: Why is New Year’s day January 1st? Because Julius Caesar said so. Early Roman Calendar Since long before Caesar’s time, date keeping was dicey. In fact, the 355-day Roman calendar that immediately preceded Caesar’s Julian, worked on a four year cycle where every other year, an additional month was inserted between February (Februarius), the last month of that […]

Read more

The British Plan to Cover Germany with Anthrax- Operation Vegetarian

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader How deadly could a secret program code-named “Operation Vegetarian” be? So deadly that had it ever been implemented, millions would have died and thousands of square miles of European soil might still be unoccupied today. ALONE On September 1, 1939, Adolf Hitler set World War II in motion when he […]

Read more

The Many Myths Surrounding the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

Myth: Pilgrims wore black and white clothing with buckled top hats. The myth that they dressed like this stems from a popular clothing style in England in the late 17th century, which carried over to 18th and 19th century artist depictions of Pilgrims. In fact, historical records of Pilgrims’ clothing, such as the passenger list of the Mayflower, wills, which […]

Read more

Did People in the Middle Ages Really Throw Fecal Matter Out of Their Windows?

Aaron H. asks: Before sewer systems, did people in England really toss their poop into the streets? Although Medieval Britons weren’t exactly the cleanest lot by modern standards (though contrary to popular belief, despite some well-known exceptions, they did, in general, bathe in some form or another relatively regularly), the idea of them just dropping trou and dumping half a […]

Read more

The Fascinating Family Feud that Led to Adidas and Puma, and Allowed Nike to Dominate the Market

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Here’s the strange story of a family-owned business so dysfunctional that business schools teach it as a lesson in how not to run a company. FOOT SOLDIER Not long after the end of World War I in 1918, an 18-year-old German soldier named Adolf Dassler returned to his hometown of […]

Read more

That Time Teddy Roosevelt Got Shot in the Chest But Gave a 90 Minute Speech Anyway

To most of the approximately 10,000 people packed into Milwaukee Auditorium on October 14, 1912, nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the moments before Teddy Roosevelt was scheduled to give what was supposed to be a simple campaign speech. The former President of the United States was running for a near unprecedented third term, this time as the Progressive […]

Read more

The First Joke

David N. asks: What is the first joke ever told? Born from cultures we can only read about and making fun of customs we don’t always understand, many of the world’s oldest jokes, to a modern audience, simply aren’t that funny. That said, humans being humans, with the oldest joke that has survived through today, it would appear little has […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 28