Tales of the rich, the famous and the infamous

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Billionaire recluse Howard Hughes' original fortune originated from his father's invention of an oil drill bit capable of boring thru subterranean rock.
  • The three largest land-owners in England are the Queen, the Church of England and Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • The German Kaiser Wilhelm II had a withered arm and often hid the fact by posing with his hand resting on a sword, or by holding gloves.
  • A golden razor removed from King Tut's Tomb was still sharp enough to be used.
  • One of the patron saints of Dublin, St. Kevin, was known as a hermit during the 6th century.
  • Mata Hari, who was executed by firing squad in France in October 1917, is probably the most famous spy of all time. Yet in fact she was not Oriental, or even a spy. Mata Hari was the stage name adopted by a plump, middle-aged Dutch divorcee named Margaretha McLeod who had left her alcoholic Scottish husband and opted to become a dancer in Europe. The evidence of her alleged espionage on behalf of the German Kaiser was based merely on her being mistaken for a known German agent, Clara Benedix, by the British in 1916.
  • Stalin was only 162 cm tall.
  • Stalin's left foot had webbed toes, and his left arm was noticeably shorter than his right.
  • Louis IV of France had a stomach the size of two regular stomachs.
  • Artist Constantino Brumidi fell from the dome of the U.S. Capitol while painting a mural around the rim. He died four months later.
  • A person from the country of Nauru is called a Nauruan; this is the only palindromic nationality.
  • The first woman executed by the federal U.S. government was Mary Surratt. She was hanged 7 July 1865 for conspiracy in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
  • Martha Jane Canary, aka. Calamity Jane, had 12 husbands.
  • Swedish confectionery salesman Roland Ohisson was buried in a coffin made entirely of chocolate.
  • The cruel (and somewhat Mad) Roman Emperor Caligula once made his horse a senator.
  • Henry Ford was obsessed with soybeans. He once wore a suit and tie made from soy-based material, served a 16-course meal made entirely from soybeans, and ordered many Ford auto-parts to be made from soy-derived plastic.
  • When Thomas Edison died in 1941, Henry Ford captured his dying breath in a bottle.
  • The first known doctor was Imhotep, an Ancient Egyptian who lived 4,600 years ago. After his death, Imhotep was made a god.
  • Eric II, king of Denmark, died in 1104. He was known as Eric the Memorable. No one remembers why.
  • English naval hero Viscount Horatio Nelson chose to be buried in St Paul's Church in London rather than in the national shrine of Westminster Abbey because he had heard that Westminster was sinking into the Thames River.
  • Famed British writer Ben Johnson (1573-1637) was buried upright in Westminster Abbey's Poet's Corner because he died in debt and could not afford a proper grave site.
  • The youngest pope was 11 years old.
  • More than 20 popes and more than 80 saints have been named John.
  • Moses was 120 years old when he died, according to the Bible.
  • Catholic Popes who died during sex: Leo VII (936-9) died of a heart attack, John VII (955-64) was bludgeoned to death by the husband of the woman he was with at the time, John XIII (965-72) was also murdered by a jealous husband, Pope Paul II (1467-71) allegedly died while being sodomised by a page boy.

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