More than just raising the dead

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Sunday, 8 June 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • In 1355, when King Pedro of Portugal was crowned, he dug up his mistress to have her properly honoured as queen. Loyal subjects bowed before the decorated corpse ad had to kiss her hand.
  • After the death of her husband, poet Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) kept his heart wrapped up in silk until she died.
  • President Abraham Lincoln was so distraught over his young son Willie dying, he had his coffin exhumed twice so he could look at him again.
  • Napoleon reportedly killed over 1,000 people with a cough. In 1799, he was deciding whether to release 1,200 Turkish prisoners of war when he coughed and said, "Ma sacre toux!" (my darned cough!) which sounded to officers like "Massacrez tous!" (kill them all!). So they apparently did.
  • Paul Revere was the first person to ever identify a body by dental records. He recognised the dead man because of work he had done joining two teeth together with silver ware.
  • The most expensive funeral was that of Alexander the Great. It would cost more than $600 million in today's money. One of the reasons was the building of a road from Babylon to Alexandria, big enough move a jewel-studded hearse the size of a small building that was pulled by 64 horses.
  • Pope Johan XII died at age 18 after being beaten to death by his lover's husband.
  • Benjamin Franklin's kite-flying experiment was a success. Not so for the next person who attempted the feat. Trying to repeat the sentry-box experiment, Russian physicist G.W. Richman was killed in St. Petersburg in 1753 when a "pallish blue ball of fire, as big as a fist, came out of the rod" and struck him in the head. Richman died instantly from the lightning bolt and became the first martyr to the new age of electricity.
  • Franklin was once considered a traitor. Mobs almost burned down Franklin's house during the Stamp Act crisis. When the hated taxes were first enacted, Franklin, in England on official business, bought tax stamps for his newspaper. When word reached Philadelphia, the citizens were enraged. His wife fortified herself in an upstairs room of their house, which she filled with guns and ammunition.
  • The last words of Thomas Grasso, executed in 1995, were: "I did not get my Spaghetti-O's, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this."
  • King Cambyses of Persia (525 BC) marched 50,000 troops into the desert to attack Amun, on the Libyan border. A sandstorm of epic proportions boiled up and buried them all.
  • Theodore Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) was caught with alcohol in his room when he was a student at Dartmouth College and severely punished. Years later, the college awarded him an honorary doctorate.

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