TIL Mohammed Salameh, rented a van that he exploded in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He then tried 3 times to get his deposit back on the van. This led to his arrest.
comments | todayilearned | 41 mins ago
TIL Until 2007, Russian astronauts were issued a sawed off shotgun and machete to fight off Siberian bears and other wildlife upon landing back on Earth. They are now issued a semi-automatic pistol.
comments | todayilearned | 1 hrs ago
TIL Congressman Leo Ryan is the only US member of Congress to ever be killed in the line of duty. He was assasinated while investigating the Jonestown cult.
comments | todayilearned | 5 hrs ago
TIL former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas claimed that people acting on the orders of President Richard Nixon were trying to plant marijuana in his yard so that they could stage a televised raid and force him to retire from the court, with his replacement appointed by Nixon.
comments | todayilearned | 6 hrs ago
TIL looking for publicity for his television, John Logie Baird went to the Daily Express to promote it. The editor was so terrified by his invention he said, "Get rid of a lunatic who's down there. He says he's got a machine for seeing by wireless! Watch him — he may have a razor on him."
comments | todayilearned | 6 hrs ago
TIL that in Denmark, they assess fines for drunk driving as follows: (blood alchohol percentage) x 10 x (monthly salary).
comments | todayilearned | 7 hrs ago
TIL that in Victorian London, mail was delivered to homes 12 times a day. "Return of post" was a commonly used phrase for requesting an immediate response to be mailed at the next scheduled delivery. It was quite common for people to complain if a letter didn't arrive within a few hours.
comments | todayilearned | 8 hrs ago
TIL that a number of private US universities (including Harvard, Cornell, Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Yale) had quotas on the maximum number of Jews to be admitted. In 1935, Yale's Med School Dean stated: "Never admit more than five Jews, take only two Italian Catholics, and take no blacks at all."
comments | todayilearned | 9 hrs ago
TIL when American troops were sent to capture Guam in the Spanish-American War, the Spanish officers rowed out to meet the Navy after being fired at. The Spanish had no clue a war broke out and thought the attack was a salute.
comments | todayilearned | 9 hrs ago
TIL that descendants of slaves continued to pay, via their taxes, for the freedom of their ancestors until 2015, when the British government finally paid off the 1833 loan that was used to buy freedom for all slaves in the British Empire.
comments | todayilearned | 10 hrs ago
TIL that according to Article XI of the 1781 Articles of Confederation, if Canada wants to join they will automatically become a part of the U.S.
comments | todayilearned | 10 hrs ago
TIL that pencils historically never had lead in them, they in fact always had graphite. When graphite was discovered, it was thought to be a form of lead, hence calling it "lead" in the pencil.
comments | todayilearned | 10 hrs ago
TIL that FDR made an agreement with the press that they wouldn't take photos of him walking, or getting in and out of cars, so as to avoid publicising his disability due to polio.
permalink | original | comments | todayilearned | 10 hrs ago
TIL according to Icelandic folklore, the monstrous Yule Cat will eat you if you don't receive any clothing for Christmas
comments | todayilearned | 11 hrs ago
TIL that in 1965, a Quaker named Norman Morrison set himself on fire in the parking lot of the Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. Robert McNamara watched him burn to death from his office.
comments | todayilearned | 11 hrs ago
TIL that President Jimmy Carter installed solar panels on the White House. Then, Reagan took them down. Now, one is in China.
comments | todayilearned | 12 hrs ago
TIL In WW2, a B17 called Old 666 had all its guns upgraded to .50 calibre and single handedly fought off a group of Japanese zeroes during a mission. 2 crew members received the Medal of Honor
comments | todayilearned | 12 hrs ago
TIL Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates at 22. During his capture he demanded the kidnappers more than double his ransom. Once released, he captured the pirates and had them imprisoned and crucified as he had promised to them during his captivity.
comments | todayilearned | 13 hrs ago
TIL in Latin America (mainly Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil) lost children in public places are lifted on shoulders and people begin to clap to get everyone's attention to eventually reunite the child with their parents/guardians.
permalink | original | comments | todayilearned | 13 hrs ago
TIL that before the adoption of artificial light in the 18th and 19th centuries, there's historical evidence for "first sleep" and "second sleep"—that is, an interrupted pattern of sleep in two shifts of slumber roughly four hours each, with a period of wakefulness in between.
comments | todayilearned | 13 hrs ago
TIL that the moon is 1/400th the size of the sun but also 1/400th the distance from Earth which results in the moon and the sun being the same size in the sky, a coincidence not shared by any other known planet-moon combination.
comments | todayilearned | 14 hrs ago
TIL about Luz Long, the Nazi Olympian Long Jumper who befriended Jesse Owens during the 1936 Olympics, and was such good friends that Owens was Long's son's best man at his wedding after WWII.
comments | todayilearned | 14 hrs ago
TIL that when someone is poor from spending their money on luxuries instead of necessities, they are living in "secondary poverty".
comments | todayilearned | 15 hrs ago
TIL The FBI kept a file on Stanley Kubrick because Admiral Arleigh Burke accused Dr. Strangelove of being "detrimental to the Nation"
comments | todayilearned | 15 hrs ago
TIL the IRS has a line for you to declare money you made illegally. "Ill-gotten gains" are as taxable as any other income...except the IRS will totally rat you out after taking their cut.
comments | todayilearned | 15 hrs ago
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