Weird History
263 voters

Facts We Just Learned About Albert Einstein That Made Us Say 'Really?'

September 10, 2020 1.7k votes 263 voters 11.1k views15 items

List RulesVote up the Albert Einstein facts you wished you'd have known long ago.

Albert Einstein is well known as one of the greatest minds ever. His scientific discoveries have long been taught in school and have led to a lot of breakthroughs in science. But there is far more to Albert Einstein than those discoveries, like the facts about Einstein's personal affairs, political opinions, and his shortcomings. These weird facts truly highlight the genius' eccentricities and shed light on the many other aspects of his life. 

Vote up the Einstein facts you're glad to know now - even if you'd wished you would have learned them in school.

  • 1

    He Was Passionately Anti-Racist

    From Redditor u/F_D_P:

    TIL: Albert Einstein was a passionate anti-racist who once wrote an essay for The Crisis, the official magazine of the NAACP, at the invitation of famed activist and intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois personally translated the essay, as he had studied abroad in Berlin and was fluent in German.

    Context: Einstein was a proponent of equality for all, and was very verbal of that fact. Being a Jew in Germany as Hitler rose to power, he was faced with a lot of adversity. When W.E.B. Du Bois wrote to him requesting for something to include in the next edition of The Crisis, Einstein wrote a small blurb for the magazine that validated the movement happening in America at the time. He praised the efforts being made to eradicate the inequality between races. 

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  • 2

    He Was Asked To Be President Of Israel

    From Redditor u/kopo27:

    TIL Albert Einstein was asked to be the President of Israel in 1952, but declined the offer

    Context: After the first president of Israel passed away, the Foreign Ministry was appointed to fill the position. In 1952, the Foreign Ministry reached out to offer the position officially - pending a vote - to Albert Einstein. He did respectfully decline the offer in his response by saying that he didn't have the necessary experience to do the job well.

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  • 3

    He Encouraged Women Scientists

    From Redditor u/holyfruits:

    TIL Albert Einstein once received a letter from a girl lamenting that she couldn't be scientist because of her gender. He responded, "I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind. There is no reason for it."

    Context: Einstein wrote back and forth with many young learners. One of those pen pals was a young girl from South Africa, Tyffany. In a letter from Tyffany - seemingly in the middle of the rest of their correspondence - she clarified that she was indeed a girl because she wasn't sure it had been clear. It can be expected that the letters before this, Tyffany had written to Eistein to discuss her love for science and her aspirations, but she worried that being a girl would be a deterrent fro the position. Instead of backing up that issue, his response to her was simply that it didn't bother him, but the real issue was whether or not she believed if she could do it.

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  • 4

    His Brain Was Stolen

    From Redditor u/derawin07:

    TIL: Einstein’s last words were spoken in German to a nurse who didn’t speak German and are lost forever. During Einstein's autopsy, the pathologist stole his brain. He kept it for forty years in a tupperware container, before being convinced to return it to Einstein's relatives.

    Context: When Albert Einstein died, he set up very clear instructions with what he wanted done with his body. These rules were based on the fact that he didn't want to be worshipped for any of his discoveries. But, when the time came, a pathologist Thomas Harvey stole his brain. Days later, he received a light blessing from Einstein's son suggesting study of the brain would be acceptable if it if was done purely in the name of science. When Harvey lost his job, he went to Philadelphia where he cut the brain up and stored it in a couple of jars he kept in his basement. The jars were repeatedly transported with him through every move he made across the US where multiple studies were conducted. There was nothing found that definitively shed any light on Einstein's genius, though.

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