Category Archives: History

Dustbin of History: Aero-Nuts


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


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


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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A Capital Idea- How a Pile of Unpaid Bills Led to Washington, D.C.

Washington DC Skyline

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader You probably know that the “D.C.” in Washington, D.C., stands for “District of Columbia” and that the district is not part of any state. But do you know why America’s Founding Fathers placed such importance on creating a capital outside of any state? We owe it all to piles of […]

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That One Time a Parachuting Soldier Took Down a Zero Fighter Plane With Nothing But a Handgun


If you take a peek at a list of pilots who were considered flying aces during WW2, you’ll notice that the top of the list is dominated by Luftwaffe pilots, some of whom scored hundreds of aerial victories during the war. While their skill and prowess in the air is undeniable, it’s arguable that the finest display in aerial combat […]

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That Time Christmas was Banned in Boston


From Boston’s earliest days, Christmas was not celebrated. Holiday goodies like pudding and mince pies were banned- December 25th was a mandatory work day, and town criers walked through the streets reminding the populace: “No Christmas! No Christmas! No Christmas!” In fact, in 1620, the Puritans spent their first Christmas in the New World building their first structures. The next […]

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The Corporation


The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader To some people, the word “corporation” has negative connotations, and not without reason—names like Enron and Lehman Brothers come to mind. But it’s also one of the greatest tools for economic growth ever invented. Here’s a brief, fascinating history of the corporation. BACKGROUND Most of us have a simple understanding […]

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That Time Cadets at West Point Rioted Over Eggnog


From the beginning, heavy drinking was fairly commonplace among the cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point (founded in 1802). In an attempt to stem this in 1826, the academy’s strict superintendent and the “Father of West Point,” General Sylvanus Thayer, began a crackdown by prohibiting alcohol on campus. As Christmas approached and the cadets realized that […]

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