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.
Edith Margaret Garrud trained British suffragettes in Japanese martial arts so that they could evade capture by the police.
The kilt was banned in 1746, forcing the Scots to wear “the unmanly dress of the Lowlander.”
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.
In Germany, by law, all public and private companies with more than 2,000 employees must have half of their board of directors elected by those employees.
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.
Pierre Boulle won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Bridge on the River Kwai. He did not write the screenplay, did not accept the award in person, and in fact did not even speak English.
Tents appear outside a town in early 20th century rural United States. It’s not the circus, it’s the circuit chautauqua: teachers, preachers, musicians, and orators, ready to bring education and religion to the masses.
The campaign for women’s voting rights was not smooth: by 1913 suffragettes in Britain were setting fire to houses, cricket pavilions, and Westminster Abbey.
The corpses of Eva Perón, the first lady of Argentina, and Pedro Eugenio Aramburu, one of the generals who overthrew her husband’s government, became the centrepieces of a bitter dispute more than twenty years after Evita’s death.