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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

History Trivia

More than 75 million people are estimated to have been killed by earthquakes in the history of our planet.

Anthropologists believe that people have been making and wearing shoes for more than 8,000 years.

More than 5,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered how to make silk from silkworm cocoons. For about 3,000 years, the Chinese kept this discovery a secret. Because poor people could not afford real silk, they tried to make other cloth look silky. Women would beat on cotton with sticks to soften the fibers. Then they rubbed it against a big stone to make it shiny. The shiny cotton was called "chintz." Because chintz was a cheaper copy of silk, calling something "chintzy" means it is cheap and not of good quality.

The Aztec Indians in Central America used animal blood mixed with cement as a mortar for their buildings, many of which still remain standing today.

The Egyptians wore sandals woven from papyrus leaves.

The pyramids in Egypt contain enough stone and mortar to construct a wall 10 feet high and 5 feet wide running from New York City to Los Angeles.

In ancient Greece, courtesans wore sandals with nails studded into the sole so that their footprints would leave the message "Follow me."

Herodus Atticus, a private citizen of Greece, personally financed the first system of Social Security. He willed an annual pension equivalent to $525 to every Athenian citizen for life. The annual cost to his estate was $21,000,000, which today would amount to $2,100,000,000 a year.

King Ptolemy II, who ruled Egypt from 285 B.C. to 246 B.C., is historically called "Philadephus," which means "lover of his brothers." He killed two of his brothers.

King Ptolemy IV, who ruled Egypt from 221 B.C. to 203 B.C. was called "Philopator," which means "lover of his father." He killed his father.

The Colosseum received its name not for its size, but for a colossal statue of Nero that stood close by, placed there after the destruction of his palace.

In ancient times, any Japanese who tried to leave his homeland was summarily put to death.

During the Crimean War, the British Army lost ten times more troops to dysentery than to battle wounds.

Dating back to the 1600s, thermometers were filled with Brandy instead of mercury.

In the 1630s, a decree in Japan forbade the building of any large ocean-worthy ships to deter defection.

The Cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow, Russia, was built with 8 cupolas to commemorate the 8 days Ivan the Terrible fought to capture the city of Kazan. To make certain that its architects, Barna and Postnik, ever again built so magnificent a structure, Ivan deprived them of their eyes, arms, and tongues.

The flag of the U.K. is properly known as the Union Flag. It is only called the Union Jack when it is flown from the jack mast of a ship.

The term "ace" was first used during World War I for a pilot who had brought down at least five enemy aircraft. The German equivalent was Oberkanone, which meant "top gun."

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

The first proven case of sabotage in the history of commercial aviation occurred in Chesterton, Indiana on October 10th, 1933. A United Air Lines Boeing 247 was destroyed by an explosive device using nitroglycerin.

The brass family of instruments include the trumpet, trombone, tuba, cornet, flŸgelhorn, French horn, saxhorn, and sousaphone. While they are usually made of brass today, in the past they were made of wood, horn, and glass.

The rock group Jethro Tull is named after the eighteenth-century English inventor of the seed drill.

The Corinthian columns in the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, are among the tallest in the world at 75 feet high, 8 feet in diameter, 25 feet in circumference, each built of 70,000 bricks.

"Happy Birthday" was the first song to be performed in outer space, sung by the Apollo IX astronauts on March 8, 1969.

The first video game was Pong, introduced in 1972 by Noel Bushnell, who then created Atari.

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