Aug 27, 2014

Weird History: Unbelievable Tales

Here are some samples of weird true stories from history …
Bat Bomb: During World War II, a dentist who was friends with Eleanor Roosevelt, provided a plan for the government to use hundreds of bats to drop small incendiary bombs into different buildings in cities in Japan before detonation, causing massive fire damage. It was approved by the government to end a seemingly endless war with Imperial Japan, but never took place because the Manhattan Project  bombs were thought to be more effective and practical.

Attack of the Killer Molasses: On January 15, 1919, in Boston, Massachusetts, a large molasses storage tank at the Purity Distilling Company burst and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated speed of 35 mph, killing 21 and injuring 150. Several horses were also killed, crushed and drowned. Molasses in nearby streets were waist deep, humans and animals struggled, but just got deeper in the sticky mess. Local folklore of local residents claimed that on hot days they could still smell molasses decades later. The harbor was brown with molasses until summer of that year.

Mismatch: The founder of the popular internet dating website,, Greg Kremen, lost his girlfriend to a man she met using his website. Kremen had other problems as well. In 1996, Stephen Cohen contacted Network Solutions and fraudulently had the Krenen's first website, (before being named domain transferred to his name turning it into a pornography site. Kremen took the issue to court, trying to get back his invention and his reputation. Meanwhile, Cohen made vast profits. Kremen won the law suit, but before the court could collect the judgment of $65 million, Cohen fled to Mexico and moved his ill-gotten money offshore. Kremen was then awarded Cohen's Rancho Santa Fe mansion, where Kremen relocated. Kremen also won litigation against Network Solutions for transferring his domain name. Kremen sold in 2006 for $15 million in cash and stock and sold for $454,500 in the same year. Cohen was arrested in Mexico in 2005, turned over to Mexican authorities.
Quirk of History: Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Lincoln, nearly fell off a train platform, but Edwin Booth pulled him to safety. Later, Edwin's brother, John Wilkes Booth, would assassinate Robert's father one and a half years later.
Soccer War: Because of a soccer game between Honduras and El Salvador, along with tensions broiling already, a riot during the soccer game ended up in war between the countries that lasted 100 hours, from July 14 through July 18, 1969. 
Vanishing Navy: When one hears about Mongolia, one thinks about a hot dry desert climate, a nation who certainly would not have a navy because it is landlocked. In the 13th century, the Mongolian Navy was the largest in the world. In the 1930s, its navy completely vanished. When Mongolia came under the rule of the Soviet Union, the Russians gave the Mongolian people one boat for its navy, which sank. Another was built and provided, called Sukhbaatar II, it also sank. Mongolia still has only one naval boat, Sukhbaatar III, manned by seven sailors – only one of them knowing how to swim. The boat provides income by hauling freight across the Lake Hovsgal. 
American Flag: Robert G. Heft (1941-2009), born in Saginaw, Michigan, was the designer of the current 50-star American flag, part of a high school project in 1958. He received a B- for the project. The teacher told him that if the flag was accepted by the US Congress, and when it did and was adopted in 1959, Heft's teacher changed his grade to an A.

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