Historical Nonfiction

fun facts, quotes, and pictures from history
Meet Simon, the world’s first smartphone. Released in 1994 by IBM, Simon had a touchscreen (though if you prefered, a stylus worked too). He had apps loaded via external memory drive. He could predict your next characters as you typed. Simon cost $899 and IBM sold 50,000 units.

Meet Simon, the world’s first smartphone. Released in 1994 by IBM, Simon had a touchscreen (though if you prefered, a stylus worked too). He had apps loaded via external memory drive. He could predict your next characters as you typed. Simon cost $899 and IBM sold 50,000 units.

Until 1976, Mormons could be legally shot on sight in Missouri

(Source: deseretnews.com)

A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning than to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever.

—Mark Twain, agreeing with the general sentiment held for most of history that smiling in portraits and photographs was odd and slightly indecent 

(Source: blog.triblive.com)

This Is How A Successful Dictator Dies

  • Priest: Do you forgive your enemies?
  • dying Gen. Blanco y Erenas: No. I don't have any enemies. I've had them all shot.
The venus flytrap, though usually pictured in an exotic tropical jungle, is actually native to a 75-mile radius around Wilmington, North Carolina.

The venus flytrap, though usually pictured in an exotic tropical jungle, is actually native to a 75-mile radius around Wilmington, North Carolina.

Several of Aristotle’s writings have survived only by a fortunate chance. Around 80 B.C., the men of a Roman army invading Asia Minor found a number of manuscripts of Aristotle’s works in a pit and brought them to their general, Sulla. It turned out that no other copies of many of them existed, and Sulla had them taken to Rome and recopied

(Source: allfunandgames.ca)

“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.” — Horace Walpole

“The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.” — Horace Walpole

statues in ancient Greece and ancient Rome were usually brightly painted — but by the time they get dug up the paint has eroded leaving the white marble ancient statues are known for today

statues in ancient Greece and ancient Rome were usually brightly painted — but by the time they get dug up the paint has eroded leaving the white marble ancient statues are known for today

British Museum to display Robben Island copy of Shakespeare's works

A copy of the Complete Works of Shakespeare, known as the Robben Island Bible, was used by apartheid-era ANC prisoners including Nelson Mandela. It was passed from cell to cell and read in secret. The books owner originally passed it around to collect signatures, to remember his time in prison. He asked all the leading prisoners to sign next to their favorite passages.

Beside the passage in Julius Caesar beginning, “Cowards die many times before their deaths” is Mandela’s signature and the date, December 16 1977.

Alexander the Great had heterochromia — one of his eyes was blue, one was brown.

(Source: Wikipedia)

In 1976, a Soviet pilor named Viktor Belenko defected by flying his flying his MiG-25 “Foxbat” jet fighter to Hakodate, Japan. The USSR demanded the plane back. Japan complied but only after letting American engineers examine and test-run it. Japan then took it apart, shipped it back piece by piece, and billed the USSR $40,000 for shipping and labor costs!

In 1976, a Soviet pilor named Viktor Belenko defected by flying his flying his MiG-25 “Foxbat” jet fighter to Hakodate, Japan. The USSR demanded the plane back. Japan complied but only after letting American engineers examine and test-run it. Japan then took it apart, shipped it back piece by piece, and billed the USSR $40,000 for shipping and labor costs!

This is the now-extinct American Lion. She had a large range — Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, and northern South America. She hunted large mammals including bison and horses, so it was good she was 25% larger than the African Lion. Unfortunately the American Lion’s only predator — us humans of course — helped her into extinction by about 13,000 years ago.

This is the now-extinct American Lion. She had a large range — Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, and northern South America. She hunted large mammals including bison and horses, so it was good she was 25% larger than the African Lion. Unfortunately the American Lion’s only predator — us humans of course — helped her into extinction by about 13,000 years ago.

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.

Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626) an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, juror, orator, essayist, and author who was both the Lord Chancellor and Attorney General of England. Perhaps his most lasting contributiont to the world was the “Baconian method” or more commonly known as the “scientific method”

(Source: futilitycloset.com)

That Poor, Poor Woman

According to a Time Magazine article published in 1945, the longest pregnancy on record is 375 days (as opposed to the usual 280 days). Amazingly, the delivered baby was only 6 pounds, 15 ounces.

(Source: facts.randomhistory.com)