Up until 1902, every fastest car in the world was electric.
Early modern England had some creative property taxes: window, chimney, brick, and wallpaper tax. Early modern England also had some creative methods of tax avoidance: sealed windows, stolen chimneys, larger bricks, and plainer wallpaper.
In World War II, New Zealand wanted a tank, but none of their allies had any to spare. So they made their own, with a tractor, corrugated iron, a mattress, and a postcard.
As part of Argentina’s Dirty War, hundreds of children were taken from their parents and adopted into military families. The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo are trying to get them back.
Princess Anne and Prince Ludwig of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg liked flying and spying, respectively. Both disappeared under mysterious and separate circumstances.
On September 17, 1859, Joshua Abraham Norton proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States. He would reign for 21 years.
According to several accounts, in 1803 a tiny boat with transparent windows washed up on the shores of Japan. Inside, one woman and one big mystery.
King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden really wanted a big ship so he could dominate the Baltic. The Vasa was one of the most heavily armed ships in the world when it launched in 1628. But the same day it launched, it sank.
The Areni-1 cave in southern Armenia is the site of the oldest shoe, and also the oldest winery, in the world.
Around five million years ago, the Strait of Gibraltar closed and the Mediterranean dried up. When it reopened, the sea refilled in less than two years.
From 1913 to 1929, the hobos had their own newspaper.
The Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses III was murdered in a conspiracy formed by one of his harem wives that included magicians, physicians, and butlers.
Within the witch panic of Medieval Europe was a strange subset of trials that accused people of being both witches and werewolves.
The creator of LSD, Albert Hofmann, first purposefully took a dose on April 19, 1943. Unfortunately, he took twelve times too much and then went for a bicycle ride.
In World War I millions of troops sat in trenches for more than three and a half years. It was by turns terrifying and boring. To ignore one feeling and allay the other, they made art.