We love knowing little-known details about famous people. Magazines, social media, documentaries – all of these sources give us information concerning our favorite personalities. But sometimes, online news platforms can miss out on certain special facts from their life, possibly because of a lack of media attention. To uncover secrets, events, and facts about our favorite celebrities, scientists, and politicians, we need to dig a little deeper into history. You don’t have to go anywhere else for that because below we have listed 10 lesser-known facts about famous people that will surprise you.
1. In 1952, Charlie Chaplin was accused by the FBI and banned from the United States for speaking against capitalism, weapons, and attending meetings hosted by Soviet officials. In 1972, when Chaplin reluctantly returned to the US after 20 years to receive his honorary academy award, he received a 12-minute standing ovation at the gala event.
The British-born actor was loved by millions of people around the globe. He was one of the most adored silent film stars among the American population. Despite his legendary career, and living in the states for forty years, the FBI had issues with him, which led to his ban from entering the United States.
Since 1947, Chaplin had been on the FBI’s radar for attending some social gatherings organized by Soviet diplomats, and voicing his support towards better relations between the U.S and the Soviet Union. The FBI waited for five long years to take action against Chaplin.
In 1952, while sailing to Europe to promote his movie, Limelight, the legendary actor got the news that the attorney general of the United States had banned his reentry to US soil.
Furious with the decision of the attorney general, he never returned to the US until1972 to get his honorary Oscar award. During the event, Charlie Chaplin received the still longest standing ovation – 12 minutes straight. (source)
2. In 1902, former US President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot at a bear tied to a tree by the trip guide during a bear-hunting trip in Mississippi. The incident became popular, and to honor his act, a Brooklyn shopkeeper made a stuffed, fabric bear, and named it “Teddy’s Bear.”
Ever wondered how the “teddy bear” got its cute name? Surprisingly, one of the most famous and loved toys among kids and adults got its name from an incident that includes former US President Theodore Roosevelt.
The 26th US President went bear hunting in November 1902 in Mississippi. While he was looking for a bear, guides of the trip invited him to shoot at a bear tied to a tree. Roosevelt, an avid hunter, didn’t like the idea and refused to shoot at the helpless animal. He considered the act of killing a tied animal “unsportsmanlike.”
The incident quickly became popular and inspired Clifford Berryman to present the event to people as a cartoon.
A Brooklyn couple, Morris Michtom and his wife Rose were inspired by the cartoon, and decided to honor the head of the country by making a stuffed fabric bear with the name “Teddy’s bear.” The new toy displayed in Morris’s shop attracted lots of customers.
Later, the Michtoms started their own Teddy bear company, after they received permission from the president to use his name for their toy. (source)
3. Stalin hired photo editors to remove the people from photographs who were killed by his order, to erase all the existing records of his enemies during the mid-1930s Soviet era.
Joseph Stalin, one of the most feared men of the 20th century, who was responsible for capturing large parts of Europe and for fueling international nuclear war, was one of the most notorious figures in history. The Soviet leader was known for not only making his enemy vanish in real life but made them disappear from pictures.
When Stalin came to power in 1929, he started a campaign, known as the “Great Purge,” to wipe out his enemies in the party. Thousands of people died, and millions of others were banished between 1936 and 1938.
To make sure there are no records available of his dead enemies, the brutal dictator asked his photo retouchers to erase them all from the old photographs. The long list of edited photographs includes many of his party officials and trusted people who were in pictures standing next to him with smiling faces.
It is believed that Stalin’s obsession with censoring images led to the emergence of mini-industry in the USSR. (source)
4. At a time when Saudi women weren’t allowed to drive, Queen Elizabeth II, who is an avid driver, took the then crown prince Abdullah on a ride around her Balmoral estate. She drove the royal Land Rover so fast that the prince implored his interpreter to tell her to slow down and concentrate on the road.
Queen Elizabeth’s life can be counted as one of the most fascinating ones among world leaders, and monarchs. She met numerous country leaders and celebrities during her lifetime. But, in one of her meetings with a foreign monarch, she proved that the queen of England can do anything.
In 2003, when the former king of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, visited the queen at Balmoral, the queen’s castle in Scotland, he was shown Queen Elizabeth’s driving skills.
According to reports, after the Royals finished their lunch, the queen offered to take the monarch for a ride around the castle. Abdullah agreed and took the front seat of the Land Rover, which was ready for the historic ride.
Moments later, Abdullah was surprised to see the queen of England in the driver’s seat. She turned on the vehicle and drove off in the Land Rover for the castle tour. As a king of a country where women are not even allowed to drive, that must have been a real shock for him.
But motor vehicle terms were nothing new to the queen. In fact, she received abundant training as a mechanic during World War II. (source)
5. In 1996, Mother Teresa underwent an exorcism at a hospital bed before her death, after her friend Henry D’Souza, an archbishop, witnessed strange behavior by her and believed that she was possessed by the Devil.
In 2001, a shocking revelation was made in regards to Mother Teresa’s last days in the hospital. The Archbishop of Calcutta Henry D’Souza announced that the Noble Peace Prize-winning saint underwent an exorcism before she took her last breath.
When Mr. D’Souza, a close friend of the nun, visited her in the hospital in 1996, he was worried about her weird behavior.
Archbishop D’Souza mentioned, “She was restless. The doctor could not understand it. She was pulling all of her wires out.”
He asked the priest Rosario Stroscio to come over to perform exorcism rituals on her, as he suspected that the then 87-year-old nun was possessed by the Devil. According to him, Mother Teresa had a peaceful sleep the night after the exorcism, which lasted for half an hour.
“Mother was such a holy person she was more likely to be troubled by evil spirits, especially in her condition. It could happen that the Devil decided to worry her,” he mentioned.
Also read: 10 Very Ugly Facts About Famous People