Weird History
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Facts About Historical Figures We Learned In 2020 That Made Us Say 'Really?'

December 10, 2020 11.5k votes 1.5k voters 116.0k views19 items

List RulesVote up the facts about historical figures you think are most awesome.

As students, we spend so much time in school learning about the people who helped shape history that it's a real wonder we don't learn pretty much everything there is to know about them. Especially for figures like Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, and Neil Armstrong.But the honest truth is that there are still so many wild facts about important historical figures we can learn every day. And sometimes it's these previously unknown facts that blow our minds more than the ones we learned in our textbooks. 

Vote up the new facts we learned about historical figures in 2020 that you're most happy to have learned.

  • Nikola Tesla Predicted Smart Phones With Extreme Accuracy Nearly 100 Years Before Their Inception
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    In an interview with John B. Kennedy in 1926, Nikola Tesla said:

    When wireless is perfectly applied the whole Earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.

    This is eerily accurate to today's world with the advent of smart phones and HDTV.

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    Richard Rowland Kirkland, A Confederate Soldier, Made Both Sides Cease Fire So He Could Help All Of The Injured Soldiers

    At the end of the Battle of Fredericksburg, Confederate soldier Richard Rowland Kirkland heard many Union soldiers laying wounded and dying, asking for water. The young soldier couldn't handle it, so he told his General he needed to step in and bring them water. His General conceded, and Kirkland gathered up canteens and walked onto the battlefield. However, the surviving Union soldiers thought he was out to hurt their fallen soldiers and began shooting. When they realized he was only trying to help, they ceased fire, and Kirkland was seen as a hero on both sides.

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  • Genghis Khan Was Highly Progressive
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    After Genghis Khan united about 1 million people under his rule, he made some changes in the society's rules. One of those rule changes was that no one was allowed to capture or sell women. Genghis Khan also banned enslavement and allowed religious freedom.

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  • While at war, soldiers who lit lanterns to read orders and letters at night were often targeted. To combat this, Napoleon wanted to come up with a way to communicate in the dark without giving up their location. A member of his army, Charles Barbier, came up with a raised dot system that communicated general words or sounds so the soldiers could effectively communicate necessities at night. That system was later refined to make what we know today as braille.

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