How do politicians court the violent fringe? Dog whistles and scripted violence.
The Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896 lasted around forty-five minutes, making it the shortest war in history.
The Vatican City has the shortest national railway line in the world, but it almost had none at all.
In 1862, between a third and half of the entire population of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) were kidnapped by Peruvian slavers.
In 1980 three men placed a bomb packed with 450kg of dynamite in a Nevada hotel, hoping to collect a three million dollar ransom.
In 1946 Simeon II, the last person to bear the title “tsar,” was deposed and exiled from Bulgaria. Fifty years later, he returned and was elected prime minister.
In 1917 a 2,200-strong posse kidnapped 1,300 striking miners from Bisbee in Arizona, loaded them into trains, and sent them to New Mexico. The sheriff then sealed off all the entrances to Bisbee and began purging the town.
Three people can lay claim to being the first person born in Antarctica: the first born in Antarctic waters, the first born on an Antarctic island, and the first born on the Antarctic mainland.
When he arrived in London in 1850, Obaysch was the first hippopotamus in Europe for more than a millennium.
Edith Margaret Garrud trained British suffragettes in Japanese martial arts so that they could evade capture by the police.
In 1971, Mongolia’s Minister of Culture decided that the country needed its own rock band, and so Soyol Erdene was born.
From 1864 to 1904, a vast underground network smuggled illegal books into Russian-controlled Lithuania.
Zeppelins, U-boats, the Titanic, Dunkirk, the Klondike Gold Rush, the Great Smog, castaways, cowboys, and hobos all had one thing in common: Charles Lightoller.
Although probably apocryphal, the greatest newspaper headline I’ve heard of was supposedly written for the occasion that the English politician Michael Foot was appointed to a nuclear disarmament committee.
In the United States, prisoners used to be chained to trees. In Australia, prisoners used to be put inside trees.