Image from Pxfuel What do lightning rods, kites, bifocal lenses, and turkeys all have in common? Benjamin Franklin, of course. As a predominantly self-taught man, Franklin made impressive feats as an intellectual, scientist, diplomat, inventor, and author. His innovations secured him as a forward-thinker and led him to groundbreaking discoveries that helped shape the world …
History is a fascinating subject that can teach us about the past and how it has shaped the present. With so many events, figures, and facts, there’s always something new and intriguing to learn.
As you continue reading, you’ll discover that even infamous figures like Hitler and Mussolini have unexpected connections to seemingly unrelated events. For instance, while it’s common knowledge that Cinco de Mayo is often celebrated with tacos and margaritas, did you know that there are many interesting facts about Cinco de Mayo that go beyond the festivities?
Egyptians and Pharaohs
The ancient Egyptians were known for their incredible innovations and sophisticated culture. They developed a writing system called hieroglyphics, which allowed them to document their history and pass down knowledge. They also honed their skills in mathematics, astronomy, and architecture. Some of the stunning examples of their architectural prowess are the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx.
Pharaohs were the rulers of ancient Egypt and held almost absolute power. Did you know that some pharaohs were women? Hatshepsut and Cleopatra VII are famous female pharaohs who wielded significant influence during their reigns. Ancient Egyptians believed that pharaohs were the intermediaries between humans and gods, and they would build massive tombs, known as pyramids, to house their bodies after death.
Here are some interesting facts to note about ancient Egypt:
- The Nile River played a crucial role in the development of ancient Egyptian civilization
- Egyptians were famous for their practice of mummification to preserve bodies after death
- Cats were considered sacred in ancient Egyptian society
Greeks and Olympics
The ancient Greeks have made lasting contributions in various fields, such as philosophy, science, mathematics, and literature. One of their most significant achievements was establishing democracy, which continues to influence modern governance systems. The ancient Olympic Games were a religious and athletic festival held every four years in Olympia, in honor of the god Zeus. The first recorded Olympic Games took place in 776 BCE.
Here’s a quick overview of some fascinating aspects of ancient Greek culture:
- The Greeks had a pantheon of gods and goddesses whom they believed controlled various aspects of their lives
- Greek society was divided into city-states, with Athens and Sparta being two of the most famous
- Greek theaters were renowned for plays written by famous playwrights such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides
Presidents and Founding Fathers
When you think of famous leaders, it’s hard not to think of founding fathers like George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. George Washington, the first president of the United States, played a pivotal role in the American Revolution and the nation’s establishment.
Another remarkable founding father is Alexander Hamilton, who overcame significant personal obstacles to become one of the most influential figures in American history. Ulysses S Grant was the 18th president of the United States.
The American Revolution was a political upheaval between 1765 and 1783. It was a period of intense conflict between the thirteen British colonies in North America and the British Empire. The revolution was sparked by a series of events, including the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party, and the Declaration of Independence. The revolutionaries, led by figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, fought for their independence from British rule and the establishment of a new nation based on principles of democracy, liberty, and equality.
The Civil War, which took place between 1861 and 1865, was a conflict between the northern and southern states of the United States. The main cause of the war was the issue of slavery, which had become a contentious issue between the two regions.
The northern states, led by President Abraham Lincoln, were opposed to slavery and sought to abolish it, while the southern states, led by figures such as Jefferson Davis, believed that slavery was essential to their way of life and fought to preserve it.
The Civil War was a brutal and devastating conflict, with over 620,000 soldiers losing their lives. It resulted in the abolition of slavery and the reunification of the United States, but it also left deep scars on the nation that would take many years to heal.
During the Middle Ages, Europe underwent significant changes that shaped history. In France, a particularly influential figure was King Henry VIII, who is known for writing a number of songs like “Pastime With Good Company.” You might be interested in discovering more about this intriguing monarch by exploring 32 Interesting Facts about King Henry VIII.
England and France had a longstanding rivalry, which eventually escalated into the Hundred Years’ War. This was one of the most protracted conflicts in European history, from 1337 to 1453. To learn more about this fascinating period, check out these 18 Thought-Provoking Facts About the Hundred Years’ War.
The Roman Empire, which lasted from 27 BC to 476 AD, significantly impacted Europe, leaving a strong cultural and historical legacy. At its height, the Roman Empire controlled vast territories, encompassing present-day England, France, and parts of Germany.
Moving to another corner of Europe, Spain has a vibrant history filled with colorful traditions and events. To enhance your knowledge of Spain’s past, you can explore 41 Facts About the History of Spain (2023) That’ll Surprise You and interesting facts about the Spanish Civil War.
The French Revolution, a radical, far-reaching social and political upheaval in France (1789-1799), transformed the country’s political landscape and had lasting effects on Europe. During this period, the monarchy was abolished, and France transitioned from an absolute to a constitutional monarchy, eventually leading to the rise of Napoleon.
You may also be interested in reading my article on interesting facts about World War One.
Great Thinkers and Inventors
You may find inspiration in the lives and work of some of history’s greatest thinkers and inventors. For example, Albert Einstein was a renowned physicist who transformed the world of physics. His work on the theory of relativity significantly impacted our understanding of space and time. If you’re curious about Einstein, you can learn 21 interesting facts about Albert Einstein that you might not know.
Another notable figure is Thomas Edison, the ingenious inventor behind the lightbulb, the tin foil phonograph, and advancements in electricity. His creations have undoubtedly shaped the way we live and thanks to Edison, we can enjoy countless modern conveniences.
Moving on to the field of biology, Charles Darwin was a pioneer in developing the theory of evolution through natural selection. His groundbreaking work has contributed significantly to our understanding of how species adapt and evolve. It’s truly fascinating—why not explore 18 interesting facts about Charles Darwin that may surprise you?
Lastly, don’t forget about Isaac Newton, whose brilliant discoveries in mathematics, physics, and astronomy laid the foundation for our modern understanding of the universe. Among other achievements, Newton’s work on his laws of motion and universal gravitation has influenced countless generations of scientists. To dive deeper into his life, here are 38 interesting facts about Isaac Newton you might not know.
World War II
World War II began on September 1, 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland, sparking a conflict that would last until September 2, 1945. As the largest and deadliest conflict in human history, it involved more than 50 nations and happened on land, sea, and air over nearly every part of the world.
Not only did armies march across continents, but technological advancements played a vital role in shaping the outcome of the war. One of the most significant events was the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which marked the first and only time nuclear weapons were used in warfare.
In this war, the scale of human suffering intensified during the Holocaust, where millions of Jews, along with other minorities, were systematically murdered.
Several pivotal battles took place throughout the war, including the largest amphibious invasion in history, D-Day. As the Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, you saw determination and courage that helped turn the tide of the war in Europe.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, the attack on Pearl Harbor catalyzed for the United States to enter the war. This surprise assault by the Japanese led to loss of numerous lives and brought the US into a worldwide conflict, ultimately reshaping America’s role on the global stage.
Since World War Two, multiple conflicts have taken place on the world stage. These have included the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War. Events like Watergate and individuals like Hillary Clinton have shaped our current world.
For ages, the mysterious Aztecs have captured the curiosity and fascination of people worldwide. Also known as the Mexica, they built a flourishing society that thrived in the 14th and 15th centuries. Their hunger for dominance drove them to conquer rivals and forge strategic alliances, expanding their empire across a large part of Mexico. In …
If you didn’t know anything, or perhaps your knowledge is low about the Spanish Civil War, then you’ve come to the right place. There have been over 10,000 wars in the history of mankind. Some are huge and had an everlasting impact on civilization, like World War 2. Simultaneously, some are within the parameters of …
World War 1 was a gripping time of innovation, heroism, and sacrifice, where people from all walks of life came together to navigate the challenges of a global conflict. Also known as the Great War, it not only altered the global political landscape but also transformed societies and forever impacted the lives of millions. While …
Image by Daderot on Wikicommons Years before the start of the most protracted conflict in European history, France and England already had a continuous rivalry. Issues over land, titles, and claims to the throne threw the countries into several battles that coincided with some of the most significant events in History. Near the end of …
Image from Wiki Commons Born out of wedlock and orphaned in his teenage years, Hamilton rose to become one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Famously known as the face on the ten-dollar bill, Alexander Hamilton was a fierce revolutionary who passionately endorsed the Constitution. But that’s not all; this radical statesman wore …
One of the most famous scientists in the world, Charles Darwin, is known for his theories on natural selection and evolution. He unpacked these in his scientific literature, On The Origin of Species, in 1859. This biologist massively helped improve the understanding of the natural world through his studies, so we should be incredibly grateful …
Image from WikiImages on Pixabay Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th president of the United States. He’s remembered as a stoic war hero who helped lead the Union Army to victory in the Civil War, but there is much more to this man than his accomplishments on the battlefield. He might not be as famous …
Most of us get to enjoy the peace and certain freedoms that those who came before us sadly didn’t. This is especially true for our predecessors who went to war, one of which was the Battle of Somme. You wouldn’t be faulted for not knowing that this battle, also known as the Somme Offensive, was …
The Battle of the Alamo, which took place in Texas between 1835 and 1836, is an event that most people have heard of. Many volunteers joined the Texan army due to the Battle of the Alamo, a crucial moment in the Texas Revolution. One of the most well-known in Texas history, it has appeared in …