Category Archives: History

That Time the British Developed a Chicken Heated Nuclear Bomb

grenade-egg

Imagine it’s 1957 and you’re a high-ranking official with the British Army, responsible for keeping the West free from Soviet aggression. At your disposal you have a great arsenal, both conventional and nuclear, as well as teams of brilliant scientists at the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment constantly proposing ideas for new, more effective weapons. One of your areas of […]

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Dustbin of History: The Lincoln Highway

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The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Like us, you probably can’t remember a world without highways—a time before there were gas stations, fast-food places, or shopping centers. Well, it all had to start somewhere…and this is where. WHERE’S THE HORSE? The 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago was in full swing when a gentleman walked up to […]

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Why Determining Easter’s Date is So Confusing

easter-date

Kim M. asks: How do they decide when Easter is? The holiday of Easter is celebrated by over two billion Christians globally. Marking the day that Jesus rose from the dead, it’s always commemorated on a Sunday in the spring. Despite this, the exact date has consistently changed throughout the many centuries the holiday has been recognized. Additionally, various sects […]

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From a Handmade Present for the Creator’s Daughter to a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry- The Story of the Troll Doll

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Thomas Dam was first and foremost a father, striving to financially provide for his family in the Danish town of Gjøl. His work experience ranged from such things as baker to fisherman to bricklayer before he finally became a woodworker. Despite his best efforts, his family spent their early years living in poverty. All that changed when he surprised his […]

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Changing the World Twice- The Story of Eli Whitney

cotton-gin

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader When you hear the name Eli Whitney, you probably think of his invention, the cotton gin. But you may not realize how profoundly it (and his other inventions) changed the world. Here’s the history they never taught you in school. LOOKING FOR WORK In 1792 a 27-year-old Massachusetts Yankee named […]

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Who Started the Red Carpet Tradition?

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David asks: When did the tradition of rolling out a red carpet for celebrities start? Throughout history, red carpets have led luminaries to momentous events, both good and bad. Aeschylus (525 BC – 455 BC), the “father of tragedy,” wrote various plays where his heroes fell from grace due to a combination of unwinnable circumstances, arrogance and/or simply stepping on […]

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Dustbin of History: Aero-Nuts

crossing-the-channel

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader From our “Dustbin of History” files, here’s the harrowing tale of a little-known milestone in aviation history. LOADED It was January 7, 1785, and two men were preparing for the first ever balloon crossing of the English Channel. The one who financed the adventure was John Jeffries, a well-to-do American […]

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A Historic Defecation: The Curious Case of the Lloyds Bank Turd

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The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader It may sound gross, but it’s real and it’s considered a national “treasure.” And although we might wish we did, we didn’t make up the name—that’s really what it’s called. Get ready to learn about bathroom archaeology. BEAUTY, SKIN DEEP If you’ve ever been to the English city of York, […]

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That Time Sweden Changed Its Traffic Direction in a Single Day- Dagen H

Kungsgatan_1967

Meaning literally, “right traffic day,” Dagen Högertrafik, or “Dagen H” (H day), was the day in 1967 that the country of Sweden managed to successfully switch from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right. Not a spur of the moment decision, the Högertrafikomläggningen (“The right hand traffic diversion”) had been planned for years prior to implementation, […]

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