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10 of the Most Weirdly Entertaining Historical Facts

entertaining historical facts

According to the old saying, people who don’t know history are vulnerable to repeating it. Yes, being aware of your history is crucial, and not only the popular names but every detail about the era they lived in. However, some bits of history are so surprising that they become the most fun bits of history, and they can’t be repeated even if people try. Here are the 10 weirdly entertaining historical facts that will leave you astounded.   

1. In 1927, the general elections held in Liberia were termed as “the most rigged ever” by Francis Johnson-Morris. These fraudulent elections made it to the Guinness Book of World Records since only 15,000 people were eligible to vote but Charles D. B. King received 243,000 and won the elections. 

Charles de King
Charles D B king (Image to the left), Frances Johnson-Morris. Image credits: Harris and Ewing/Library of Congress via Wikimedia, voanews

In 1927, the result of the most fraudulent of the Liberian presidential elections was the victory of Charles D. B. King who fought against Thomas J. Faulkner.

Charles D. B. King was the leader of the Tue Wing party and earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records due to the strangest of reasons. He received 243,000 votes as compared to Faulker’s 9,000. However, only 15,000 people were eligible to vote in the country at that time. 

Due to this reason, a modern head of the country’s National Election Commission, Francis Johnson-Morris, referred to these elections as “the most rigged ever.” Charles D.B. King ruled the country for 10 years, from 1920 to 1930. (1, 2, 3)

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2. Sober Sue was a girl who never laughed or even smiled. In 1907, the Hammerstein Victorian Theatre in New York offered $1,000 to anyone who could make her smile. Big comedians were attracted and crowds came out to watch, but everyone failed. Later, it was revealed that Sober Sue had facial paralysis.

Sober sue
Image is used for representational purposes only. Image credit: Shutterstock

In 1907, a performer named Susan Kelly started appearing at the Hammerstein Victorian Theatre in New York. The girl was nicknamed “Sober Sue” since she never laughed or even smiled. The theatre offered $1,000 to anyone who would make Sober Sue laugh.

Big comedians would appear on the show to make her laugh, but each time they failed. Even laymen would appear on the stage and tell the funniest stories to get her to laugh. The biggest stars tried their best, but everyone failed. 

Each time Sober Sue went on the stage, a big crowd used to gather. No one was interested in the show, but all were curious to know if anyone could make her smile. The offer was extended from summer to fall, but as winter approached, they ended the offer. 

Later, it was revealed that no one could ever make her smile since Sober Sue suffered from facial paralysis. It was all a scam to gather crowds and get big comedians and stars to the show for free. (1, 2, 3

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3. In 1989, Pepsi was ranked as the sixth-largest military in the world. Russians loved Pepsi so much that they gave them an arsenal of submarines and other military equipment because Russian money wasn’t accepted throughout the world.  

Loved pepsi
Image credit: Shutterstock

In 1959, President Dwight Eisenhower was willing to introduce American culture to the people of the Soviet Union and make them aware of the benefits of capitalism. The American National Exhibition was arranged in Moscow to exhibit the ideologies of America. Vice President Richard Nixon was sent to attend the opening.  

There, Nixon and Soviet Union leader Khrushchev had a serious argument on capitalism versus communism. Their argument got so bad that the vice president of Pepsi intervened and gave Khrushchev a cup of Pepsi which he drank.

After a few years, the people of the Soviet Union wanted to permanently bring Pepsi products to their country. However, they couldn’t pay for the beverage since their money wasn’t accepted throughout the world. When every other thing failed, Russia offered 17 submarines, a frigate, a cruiser, and a destroyer to get that sweet soda into their country. 

The entire trade was worth three billion dollars. This exchange made Pepsi the sixth-largest military in the world for the moment. However, they later sold that fleet to a Swedish company to recycle for scrap. (Source)

4. During the Austro-Prussian war in 1866, Liechtenstein sent their army of 80 men, but there were 81 when they returned. The army suffered no casualties and made an Austrian soldier their friend and brought him to Vaduz. 

Austro-Prussian War
Image credit: Benutzer:Wolpertinger via Wikimedia

In 1866, Liechtenstein sent their army of 80 men to guard the Brenner Pass between Italy and Austria during the Austro-Prussian War.

Also, a reserve of 20 men stayed behind. Although the army went to protect the territory from any attack from the Prussian-allied Italians, they said there was nothing to do but enjoy the beautiful mountains, drink beer, and smoke a pipe. 

The war lasted for one month and eight days and ended with the Prussian victory. The Liechtenstein Army then marched home and had one extra man, making them now 81.

According to the World at War, an Austrian liaison officer came with them. Lonely Planet named the newcomer an “Italian Friend,” Several other sources proposed that he was a defector. (1, 2)

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5. In 1904, the Olympics marathon had many strange events. Some runners never took part in the marathon. There was someone who drove to the finish and pretended to win the race. One runner was being chased by aggressive dogs. Only 14 out of 32 participants could finish the race. 

Olympics Marathon
The runners set off from the stadium at 3:03pm on a hot summer day in 1904 for the men’s marathon. Image credit: Missouri History Museum via Wikimedia

The marathon race of the 1904 Olympics started during the hottest of the days on an unpaved course that had clusters of dust and polluted air as well. It became difficult for the athletes to breathe. Moreover, there was only one water stop in the entire race which was at the 12-mile mark. Thirty-two athletes started running but only 14 of them could reach the finish line, making it the lowest number in Olympic history. 

The first athlete to reach the finish line was Fred Lorz, and when he was about to be presented with the gold medal, Alice Roosevelt, the daughter of the president, revealed that Lorz was an imposter. Later, the world knew that Lorz suffered from cramps at nine miles and got in a car to cover the remaining 11 miles. 

Another runner, Cuba’s Félix Carvajal, was running at a reasonable pace when he felt hungry. He stopped at an orchard to eat some apples but found that they were rotten. He suffered from stomach cramps that made him lie prostrate by the side of the road and take a nap. However, he still managed to finish fourth. 

South Africa’s Taunyane was a great runner but was chased by some wild dogs. Still, he finished ninth. William Garcia from California gulped down so much dust that he suffered from a near-fatal stomach hemorrhage. 

However, the race was won by USA’s Thomas Hicks in three hours, 28 minutes, and 53 seconds – the time slowest in Olympic history. (1, 2)

Also read: 10 of the Most Ruthless Acts Throughout History

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