History has seen many leaders, pioneers, inventors, kings and queens, and many contributors who made the world what it is today. Though the books and our knowledge have immortalized them, they were humans too. And, being human many had their quirks and fancies, while some others had strange things happen to them. So, here are some interesting facts about famous historical figures that we are sure you would enjoy reading about.
1. Franklin D. Roosevelt once accidentally ran into a naked Winston Churchill. When Roosevelt apologized, Churchill said “The Prime Minister of Great Britain has nothing to hide from the President of the United States.”
In December 1941, after the incident of Pearl Harbor, Churchill made a visit to the White House. According to the story, after Roosevelt had an inspiration to call the world bodies he was hoping to organize after the war the “United Nations” he came into Churchill’s room. There he found the Prime Minister just fresh out of his bath, naked and gleaming pink, when Churchill made the statement. However, when asked about it by Roosevelt’s biographer, he denied making such a statement. But then, he had recalled the incident to King George VI while at the Buckingham Palace, in January 1942, saying “Sir, I believe I am the only man in the world to have received the head of a nation naked.”(source)
2. When Ronald Reagan watched the movie Back to the Future the first time, he loved the joke about who the president was in 1985 so much that he told the theater projectionist to rewind the scene and play it again.
After being turned down several times, by the serious producers because it was “too light” and by Disney because it was “too incestuous”, Back to the Future hit the theaters on July 3, 1985 and was an instant box office success. Apparently, even Ronald Reagan loved then movie when he watched it in the White House movie theater. During one of the scenes, when 1955 Doc Brown was shocked to hear that in 1985 Reagan is the president, and exclaims “The actor? Who’s the vice president? Jerry Lewis?”, Reagan laughed so hard that he asked the scene to be run again.(source)
3. Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.
Though very hard to believe, Adolf Hitler was indeed nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 1939 by a member of the Swedish parliament, E.G.C. Brandt. However, Brandt was a dedicated antifascist and made that nomination as a satiric criticism of the then political debate in Sweden. The Secretary General of Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, was nominated for the award in 1945 and 1948 for his efforts to end the Second World War. Benito Mussolini was nominated for the award in 1935 by German professors from University of Glessen and another professor from Paris, possibly because they felt the Mussolini’s Italy in 1930s was successful and he had made a reconciliation agreement with the Pope getting Italian economy into good shape.(1, 2)
4. In 1856, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech so captivating that every single reporter forgot to take notes. There is no transcript of the speech in existence and the content could only be guessed at. The speech is known as “Lincoln’s Lost Speech”.
On May 29, 1856, at the Bloomington Convention Lincoln gave a speech at the since demolished building, known as Major’s Hall, at the corner of East and Front Streets in Bloomington, Illinois. It was the speech that led to the founding of the state Republican Party. It is thought that the speech was a strong condemnation of slavery, and it was said that the reporters laid down their pencils and didn’t take any notes as if hypnotized. It is also possible that the text was deliberately lost because of the subject the speech dealt with.(source)
5. Nikola Tesla was a lifelong bachelor. He believed that being chaste helped his scientific abilities.
In his earlier years, Nikola Tesla believed that he was never worthy or deserving of a woman in his life, because he felt they were superior in every way. Later in his life, that opinion began to change and he felt that women were trying to outdo men and become more dominant. He stated that the gentle soft voiced woman he worshiped has become someone who thinks her success lies in making herself as much as possible like man, in dress, voice, actions, in sports and achievements of any kind. However, in his later years, he said that he sometimes felt that the sacrifice he made by not marrying was too great, though he never chose to pursue any relationships, finding stimulation he needed in his work.(source)