The state flag of Alaska (USA) was invented by a 13-year-old child.
In 2016, the famous economist, Guido Menzio, was ethnically profiled and interrogated for hours in Philadelphia, USA, for… doing math on an American Airlines flight. A fellow passenger misread his differential equations scribbles for Arabic and reported him to the stewardess.
The founder of KFC, Colonel Sanders, practiced law without a law degree and delivered babies without a medical degree.
The actors who voiced Mickey and Minnie Mouse were married.
In early 2015, Dr Michal Kosinski created a computer model that could predict someone’s personality better than their spouse could. The model only needs the background knowledge of this person’s 150 Facebook likes.
In 2016, the clothing brand H&M increased the age diversity of its swimsuit models by hiring a 60-year-old woman, Gillean McLeod.
Spider-Man comics inspired the electronic bracelet.
The famous singer, Elvis Presley, was a natural blond.
An 85-year-old Austrian woman single handedly shredded almost one million euro in banknotes. She wanted to annoy her relatives one more time before dying.
In 2014, Mubarak Bala, a Nigerian atheist, was forced to spend eighteen days in a psychiatric ward. It happened after his Muslim family declared him insane for not believing in their god.
The British royal family are not allowed to play Monopoly at home.
In 2015, a Saudi millionaire was cleared of rape charges after telling a UK court that he accidentally penetrated an 18-year-old girl when he tripped and fell on her.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela became the first black head of state of South Africa in 1994. Before that, he had spent 27 years in prison.
Sean Connery’s character James Bond was the first to say on screen “shaken, not stirred”. Careful readers will notice that in every book, on average, James Bond has a drink every seven pages.
In early 2016, an Italian actor named Raphael Schumacher accidentally hanged himself to death during a theatre performance.
Adolf Hitler was the leader of Nazi Germany. His fascist agenda led to World War II and the deaths of at least 11 million people, including some six million Jews.
Who Was Adolf Hitler?
Adolf Hitler was chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, serving as dictator and leader of the Nazi Party, or National Socialist German Workers Party, for the bulk of his time in power.
Hitler’s fascist policies precipitated World War II and led to the genocide known as the Holocaust, which resulted in the deaths of some six million Jews and another five million noncombatants.
April 20, 1889
April 30, 1945
DID YOU KNOW?
Adolf Hitler wanted to be a painter in his youth, but his applications to obtain proper schooling were rejected.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hitler personally designed the Nazi party banner, appropriating the swastika symbol and placing it in a white circle on a red background.
DID YOU KNOW?
DID YOU KNOW?
Hitler avoided multiple assassination attempts by chance.
PLACE OF BIRTH
Braunau am Inn, Austria
PLACE OF DEATH
In 2012, a Belgian man filed for divorce after 19 years of marriage after finding out that his wife had been born a man.
Jimi Hendrix, Dolly Parton and Cher claimed to be of Cherokee descent.
The famous Italian painter, Caravaggio, committed murder.
The US Army introduced multiple choice tests during WWI.
At the outbreak of World War II, one of the highest-ranking officers in the British Army was the Japanese emperor Hirohito! He held the honorary rank of field marshal.
There are insects named after Robert Redford, Che Guevara, Darth Vader, Kate Winslet, Liv Tyler, Adolf Hitler, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Alan Smithee is the fictional name given to a director who disowns his own movie.
During World War II, a US pilot, Martin James Monti, defected to Nazi Germany with his airplane. Despite this, he was later allowed to reenlist in the US military.
The founder of the automotive company Honda, Soichiro Honda, decided to choose his successor amongst his employees, neglecting his family members – quite a rebellious move against the Japanese traditions at the time.
Entrepreneur Bill Gates founded the world's largest software business, Microsoft, with Paul Allen, and subsequently became one of the richest men in the world.
Who Is Bill Gates?
Entrepreneur and businessman Bill Gates and his business partner Paul Allen founded and built the world's largest software business, Microsoft, through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics. In the process, Gates became one of the richest men in the world. In February 2014, Gates announced that he was stepping down as Microsoft's chairman to focus on charitable work at his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates was born William Henry Gates III on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. Gates grew up in an upper-middle-class family with his older sister, Kristianne, and younger sister, Libby. Their father, William H. Gates Sr., was a promising, if somewhat shy, law student when he met his future wife, Mary Maxwell. She was an athletic, outgoing student at the University of Washington, actively involved in student affairs and leadership.
The Gates family atmosphere was warm and close, and all three children were encouraged to be competitive and strive for excellence. Gates showed early signs of competitiveness when he coordinated family athletic games at their summer house on Puget Sound. He also relished in playing board games (Risk was his favorite) and excelled at Monopoly.
A UK filmmaker shot a movie that shows just a freshly painted wall drying for 14 hours. Why? He had a gripe with the British Film Board, all of whom are obliged by law to watch all films that are to be screened in the UK.
Saint Patrick is the patron of Nigeria since 1961.
Milunka Savic is a Serbian war hero. She took the place of her brother as the army mobilised and fought in the Balkan Wars and WWI. By the time her real gender was discovered, she had already been decorated and promoted to corporal.
The Roman emperor, Nero Claudius Caesar, frequently sent runners into the mountains for snow, which he then flavoured with fruits and juices, thus almost inventing ice cream.
Alexander the Great introduced sugar, bananas, cotton and crucifixion to Europe.
Madison was barely used as a girl’s name before 1985. It however became the second-most-popular name given to baby girls in the USA in 2001. The rise in its popularity is attributed to the movie “Splash” (1984).
In talks with US top envoy Henry Kissinger in 1973, the Chinese leader Mao Zedong proposed to export millions of women to the United States. According to him, China was a “very poor country” and “what we have in excess is women.”
In 1849, Henry Brown, a Virginia slave, successfully shipped himself to freedom. He travelled almost 600 km (370 mi) in a custom-made box (parcel) to Philadelphia, USA.
Bruce Lee was a revered martial artist, actor and filmmaker known for movies like 'Fists of Fury' and 'Enter the Dragon,' and the technique Jeet Kune Do.
Who Was Bruce Lee?
Iconic actor, director and martial arts expert Bruce Lee was a child actor in Hong Kong who later returned to the U.S. and taught martial arts. He starred in the TV series The Green Hornet (1966-67) and became a major box office draw in The Chinese Connection and Fists of Fury. Shortly before the release of his film Enter the Dragon, he died at the age of 32 on July 20, 1973.
Lee was born Lee Jun Fan on November 27, 1940, in San Francisco, California, in both the hour and year of the Dragon. His father, Lee Hoi Chuen, a Hong Kong opera singer, moved with his wife, Grace Ho, and three children to the United States in 1939; Hoi Chuen's fourth child, a son, was born while he was on tour in San Francisco.
Lee received the name "Bruce" from a nurse at his birthing hospital, and his family never used the name during his preschool years. The future star appeared in his first film at the age of 3 months, when he served as the stand-in for an American baby in Golden Gate Girl (1941).
In the early 1940s, the Lees moved back to Hong Kong, then occupied by the Japanese. Apparently a natural in front of the camera, Lee appeared in roughly 20 films as a child actor, beginning in 1946. He also studied dance, winning Hong Kong's cha-cha competition, and would become known for his poetry as well.
November 27, 1940
July 20, 1973
University of Washington
PLACE OF BIRTH
San Francisco, California
PLACE OF DEATH
Hong Kong, China
Li Jun Fan
Bruce Jun Fan Lee
Jun Fan Lee
Jun Fan Li
Lee Jun Fan
During the 1948 US Presidential Election, everyone was so sure Thomas Dewey would be elected the next US President that the Chicago Daily Tribune put a “Dewey Defeats Truman” front-pager before the final results were announced. Truman eventually won and proudly posed with the newspaper.
In 2015, a Disneyland employee, Darreck Enciso, attempted to trade Disneyland tickets for sex with an underage girl in the USA.
In the period 1998-2016, none of the sumo champions was born in Japan.
In 2010, Evan Muncie survived for 27 days trapped in a huge pile of rubble after a massive earthquake struck Haiti.
The Briton, Captain Robert Campbell, was captured by the Germans in August 1914. He was the only WWI prisoner-of-war who was given short leave to see his dying mother in the UK. The officer kept his promise and returned to the camp afterwards.
The last Japanese combatant from WWII, Lt. Hiroo Onada, only surrendered in 1974. He had been hiding in the jungle for 29 years and was unaware that Japan had capitulated.
The pioneer of television, Philo Farnsworth, got inspired when observing rows of vegetables in a field.
Krishna is the name of one of the Hindu gods. According to the legends, he had more than 16,000 wives.
The President of Uganda (from 1971 to 1979) designed his own title: “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada… Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”. He also claimed to be the official uncrowned King of Scotland.
In 1985, Tipper and Al Gore instigated a US Senate hearing, aiming to introduce a system that would label music albums for offensive material. The Gores questioned the morals of Twisted Sister’s frontman, Dee Snider, while he testified. Ironically, the Gores recently divorced while Dee still has a solid marriage and family.
In 2002, the pop star Madonna was unhappy with air traffic noise above her English country estate and tried to buy the adjacent Dorset airport with the sole purpose to shut it down.
The airport in Stuttgart, Germany, was named after the local politician, Manfred Rommel. A little-known fact is that his father was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (aka the Desert Fox): one of the most successful German commanders during World War II.
In early 2017, a French businessman sued Uber for €45 million ($48 million) after his wife received notifications of his trips to his mistress and later filed for divorce.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, starred in a judo DVD.
The middle name of the Hollywood actor, Richard Gere, is Tiffany.
The speed camera was invented by a Dutch racing driver, Maus Gatsonides.
US President Ulysses S. Grant had a plan to buy the Dominican Republic for $1.6 million and to send there all four million freed black people.
The Soviet pilot, Ivan Chisov, survived a fall from an altitude of 7 km (23,000 ft) with no parachute in 1942. He was able to fly again just three months later.
In the USA, if you believe in a god you are twice as probable to end up in prison compared to non-believers. According to the 2014 General Sociological Survey, 21% of the Americans do not identify with a religion. At the same time, just 10.5% of US prison inmates are atheists.
Julius Wagner-Jauregg received a Nobel Prize in 1927 for his discovery that if one had syphilis and then contracted malaria, the high fever would cure the syphilis.
Tom Cruise was the first actor to have five back-to-back hits that grossed more than 100 million dollars each in box office earnings.
Aitabdel Salem spent nearly five months in a US jail — from November 2014 to April 2015 — unaware of the fact that his bail was only 2 dollars.
The former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, appeared in two Hollywood movies in his youth.
Ironically enough, the very same lawyers whom Donald Trump had hired to defend him from the lawsuits by unpaid employees, proceeded to sue him for unpaid bills in 2016.
Elvis Presley’s first TV appearance was on 9 September 1956.
In 2015, top Chinese actress and model Angelababy had her face examined to prove she had not undergone plastic surgery.
Esther de Figueiredo Ferraz became the first female minister in Brazil in 1982.
Mikheil Saakashvili was a politician in two countries. Initially, he was President of Georgia. Then he was granted Ukrainian citizenship (losing his Georgian one) and became Governor of Odessa, Ukraine. Since July 2017, he is stateless as he was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship.
Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake was inspired by the real life story of the Bavarian King Ludwig II.
In 1940, fearing a Nazi invasion, Winston Churchill moved most of the British wealth (in gold and securities) to Canada. It was called Operation Fish.
With his invention, the Gatling gun, Richard Jordan Gatling actually hoped to stop the carnage of the American Civil War. He drew inspiration from a seed planting device he had patented in his youth.
Graça Machel is the only woman so far to have been the first lady of two separate countries. She was the First Lady of Mozambique from 1975 to 1986 and the First Lady of South Africa from 1998 to 1999.
The billionaire and founder of Alibaba Corporation, Jack Ma, is worth almost USD 40 billion (2017 data). Before finding success as an entrepreneur, he unsuccessfully applied ten times to Harvard University, and even was once turned down for a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The inventor of the pacemaker, Wilson Greatbatch, also invented the lithium battery.
The Latvian soldier, Janis Pinups, deserted from the Red Army in 1944. He came out of hiding only in 1995, at the age of 70, and turned himself in to the local police station.
Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States, and the second to be impeached. He oversaw the country's longest peacetime economic expansion.
Who Is Bill Clinton?
Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. In 1978 Clinton became the youngest governor in the country when he was elected governor of Arkansas. Elected U.S. president in 1992 and reelected in 1996, Clinton enacted legislation including the Family and Medical Leave Act and oversaw two terms of economic prosperity. Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives in 1998 following the revelation of his affair with Monica Lewinsky but was acquitted by the Senate in 1999. Since leaving office, Clinton has worked with the Clinton Foundation and campaigned for his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections.
Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. Clinton’s father, William Jefferson Blythe, died in a car crash three months before Clinton was born, leaving him in the care of his mother, Virginia Cassidy Blythe.
To provide for her son, Virginia moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to study anesthesiology, while Clinton stayed with his grandparents, Eldridge and Edith Cassidy. While opposites in many ways — Eldridge was easygoing and Edith the disciplinarian — both lavished attention on the young boy, instilling in him the importance of a good education. "My grandparents had a lot to do with my early commitment to learning," Clinton later recalled. "They taught me to count and read. I was reading little books when I was 3."
Carlos Ghosn is the only CEO to have managed simultaneously two of the Fortune Global 500 companies.
In 1698, the Russian emperor, Peter the Great, imposed a tax on beards in order to modernize the Russian society.
Twelve publishing houses rejected J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter before it got published. William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” was rejected twenty times.
Violet Jessop, dubbed “Miss Unsinkable”, survived the sinking of the sister ships the Titanic and the Britannic, and was also aboard the Olympic when it had a major accident.
Laura Hall became the first person to be banned from drinking in an entire country (actually, in two countries: England and Wales) in 2010.
Steve Jobs co-founded Apple Computers with Steve Wozniak. Under Jobs' guidance, the company pioneered a series of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone and iPad.
Who Was Steve Jobs?
Steven Paul Jobs was an American inventor, designer and entrepreneur who was the co-founder, chief executive and chairman of Apple Computer. Apple's revolutionary products, which include the iPod, iPhone and iPad, are now seen as dictating the evolution of modern technology.
Born in 1955 to two University of Wisconsin graduate students who gave him up for adoption, Jobs was smart but directionless, dropping out of college and experimenting with different pursuits before co-founding Apple with Steve Wozniak in 1976. Jobs left the company in 1985, launching Pixar Animation Studios, then returned to Apple more than a decade later. Jobs died in 2011 following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
February 24, 1955
October 5, 2011
DID YOU KNOW?
Growing up, Steve Jobs had a hard time with formal schooling (due to boredom) and often had to be bribed to do his work.
DID YOU KNOW?
One of Jobs' first jobs was with Atari as a video game designer.
DID YOU KNOW?
If Jobs had not sold his Apple shares in 1985, when he left the company he founded for over a decade, his net worth would have been a staggering $36 billion.
Homestead High School, Reed College
PLACE OF BIRTH
San Francisco, California
PLACE OF DEATH
Palo Alto, California
Steven Paul Jobs
The city of Cincinnati in Ohio, USA, was named after the Roman general Cincinnatus.
A Cherokee Indian, Sequoyah, aka George Guess, invented their written alphabet – the only known case when an illiterate invented a written language.
In 1964, the Soviet spy, Igor Ivanov, became the only person to be released on bail after a US Federal Court jury had sentenced him to 30 years for espionage. He never went to prison.
Charles Dickens coined the word “boredom”.
Pope Benedict IX was elected pope at the tender age of 11.
During her freshman year at Wellesley College in 1965, Hillary Clinton served as the president of the Young Republicans.
Pearl Jam is a US rock band that released 72 live albums in the period 2000 - 2001.
Ramesses II was the most powerful pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. In 1974, his mummy started rapidly deteriorating and was sent for scientific examinations to Paris, France. He was issued an Egyptian passport on which his occupation was listed as “King (deceased)”. He was received at the airport with full military honours, on a red carpet, like any other visiting head of state.
The Cherokee Native Americans refer to themselves as Ani-Yunwiya (meaning “Principal People") and not as “Cherokee”. In their language, the sounds “ch” and “r” simply do not exist.
As a young soldier, Hitler used to have a normal-sized moustache, but he was ordered to trim it down in order to better accommodate a gas mask.
In 2015, Martin Shkreli became the US most hated man for increasing the price of a life-saving medicine (for HIV-positive patients) from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
Deep Purple, the rock band, were inspired to write their hit “Smoke on the Water” by the fire that burnt down the Montreux Casino (Switzerland) in 1971.
In May 2016, a seven-year-old Japanese boy went missing after his parents left him for a while in the woods as punishment. He was found safe and sound a week later.
Thomas Edison, the famous inventor, was considered “addled” by his schoolmaster. Edison’s mother (a teacher by training) took him out of school at age of eight and home-schooled him.
Hillary Clinton won a Grammy Award in 1997. Her audiobook “It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us” won in the category Best Spoken Word or Non-Musical Album.
In 1913, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Leon Trotsky (the founding leader of the Soviet Red Army), Josip Broz Tito (President for Life of Yugoslavia) and Sigmund Freud (the founder of psychoanalysis) all lived within a few kilometres of each other in Vienna, then Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Lew Wallace wrote “Ben Hur”. Did you know that he also served as a governor of the US state of New Mexico and promised to pardon Billy the Kid?
Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. He became the first songwriter to ever win the prestigious award.
In 1930, George Stathakis survived his trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel. After the fall however, the barrel got trapped for almost one day behind a curtain of water and he died of suffocation. His pet turtle went along with him and survived.
The actor, John Cazale, appeared in five movies. They were all nominated for the Oscar Academy Award for Best Picture.
The famous German politician, Konrad Adenauer, invented the soy sausage during WWI. He could not patent it in Germany, but received a British patent after the war.
The film actor, director and producer, Jackie Chan, is also a trained opera singer.
Barbie doll’s full name is Barbara Millicent “Barbie” Roberts.
Star Wars' character Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vader) meets six of the nine diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. Five are enough to make the diagnosis.
In 2013, a white US supremacist and racist, Craig Cobb, agreed to undergo a genetic test and receive the results on live television. He turned out to be genetically 14% Sub-Saharan African.
Romans did not have an equivalent word for “interesting”.
In 1980, Troy Leon Gregg, a convicted murderer in Georgia, USA, escaped from the prison the night before his execution. He was beaten to death in a bar fight later that night.
In early 2016, a UK sexual offender was ordered to give the police 24 hours' notice before he has sex.
Mikhail Gorbachev was the first and only President of the USSR.
Beyoncé Knowles is a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning recording artist who's acclaimed for her thrilling vocals, videos and live shows.
Who Is Beyoncé Knowles?
Beyoncé Knowles first captured the public's eye as lead vocalist of the R&B group Destiny's Child. She later established a solo career with her debut album Dangerously in Love, becoming one of music's top-selling artists with sold-out tours and a slew of awards. Knowles has also starred in several films, including Dream Girls. She married hip-hop recording artist Jay-Z in 2008 and the couple has three children. She also holds the record for most Grammy wins ever by a female artist with 28.
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles was born on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas. She started singing at an early age, competing in local talent shows and winning many of these events by impressing audiences with her singing and dancing abilities.
Teaming up with her cousin Kelly Rowland and two classmates, Knowles formed an all-female singing group. Her father, Matthew Knowles, served as the band's manager. The group went through some name and line-up changes before landing a record deal in 1997 with Columbia Records. Destiny's Child soon became one of the most popular R&B acts, with the release of their first, self-titled album. Gaining momentum, the group scored its first No. 1 single on the pop charts with "Bills, Bills, Bills," off their second album. The recording also featured another smash hit, "Say My Name."
September 4, 1981 (age 39)
DID YOU KNOW?
Beyoncé is the first female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with her first five studio albums.
DID YOU KNOW?
Beyoncé's self-titled fifth studio album was the fastest-selling album distributed in iTunes history, having sold more than 80,000 copies in three hours.
St. Mary's Elementary School, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Parker Elementary School
PLACE OF BIRTH
The famous artist, Salvador Dali, designed the logo of Chupa Chups lollipops.
In the late 1930s, the town of Yaphank, NY (USA) had streets named after Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels.
In May 2016, an Australian senator gave a speech to the Parliament while breastfeeding her child. The little girl became the first baby to be breastfed in the Australian Parliament.
In Japan, 10 October 2006 was declared “Tom Cruise Day”. Tom Cruise has made more trips to Japan than any other Hollywood star and was thus awarded his own day.