Brief World History Curiosities
(adapted from anonymous authors)
The more ye knowest, the funnier these become. Thou
shalt not employ this page as a study guide
Use the seriously serious chronology to study or cure insomnia.
3050 B.C.- A Sumerian invents the wheel. Within the week, the idea is stolen and duplicated by other Sumerians, thereby establishing the business ethic for all times.
27 GEN. -Jacob steals Esau's birthmark
2900 B.C.-Wondering why the Egyptian mummies call that new thing a Sphinx becomes the first of the world's Seven Great Wonders. Second is, the mountain range of Pyrimids between France and Spain.
1850 B.C.-Britons proclaim Operation Stonehenge a success. They finally got those boulders arranged in a sufficiently meaningless pattern to confuse scientists for centuries.
1785 B.C.-The first calendar, composed of a year with 354 days, is introduced by Babylonian scientists.
1768 B.C.-Babylonians realize something is wrong when winter begins in June.
1720 B.C. -Tennis is first mentioned as Joseph serves in Pharoh's court (Gen. 41)
1000 B.C. - Hebrew King David was skilled at playing the liar until he met Nathan. David's son Solomon had 500 wives and 700 porcupines.
776 B.C.-The world's first known money appears in Persia, immediately causing the world's first known counterfeiter to appear in Persia the next day.
525 B.C.-The first Olympics are held, and prove similar to the modern games, except that the Russians don't try to enter a six-footer with a mustache in the women's shot put. However, the Egyptians do!
One Greek myth (a female moth) said, the mother of Achilles dipped him in the River Stynx until he became intolerable.
The city-state of Athens becomes a democracy as people take the law into their own hands.
410 B.C.-Romans (who never stayed in one place very long) end the practice of throwing debtors into slavery, thus removing the biggest single obstacle to the development of the credit card.
404 B.C.-The Peloponnesian war has been going on for 27 years now because neither side can find a treaty writer who knows how to spell Peloponnesian.
399 B.C. Socrates was killed from an overdose of wedlock and asking too many questions.
214 B.C.-Tens of thousands of Chinese labor for a generation to build the 1,500 mile long Great Wall of China. And after all that, it still doesn't keep the neighbor's mongul dog out.
1 B.C.-Calendar manufacturers find themselves in total disagreement over what to call next year.
29 A.D.- A group of scared disciples steal the body of Jesus away from sleeping Roman soldiers. Not!
79 A.D.- Buying property in Pompeii turns out to have been a lousy real estate investment.
432- St. Patrick introduces Christianity to Ireland, thereby giving the natives something interesting to fight about for the rest of their recorded history.
1000-Leif Ericsson discovers America, but decides it's not worth mentioning.
1043-Lady Godiva finds a means of demonstrating against high taxes that immediately makes everyone forget what she is demonstrating against.
1125-Arabic numerals are introduced to Europe, enabling peasants to solve the most baffling problem that confronts them: How much tax do you owe on MMMDCCCLX Lira when you're in the XXXVI percent bracket?
1215- John signs the Magna Carta so that no free man will be hanged twice for the same offense.
1233-The Inquisition is set up to torture and kill anyone who disagrees with the Law of the Roman Catholic Church. However, the practice is so un-Christian that it is permitted to continue for only 600 years. (3000 executed)
1297-The world's first stock exchange opens, but no one has the foresight to buy IBM or Xerox.
1433- Portugal launches the African slave trade, which just proves what a small, ambitious country can do with a little bit of ingenuity and a whole lot of evil!
1448- Superstion kills millions after people kill cats that they think indentify witches. The plague spreads from the fleas on millions of rejoicing rats.
1456-An English judge reviews Joan of Arc's case and cancels her death sentence. Unfortunately for her, she was already put to death in 1431 for cross dressing. (In 1920 Joan was officially declared a saint.)
1492- Columbus proves how lost he really is by landing in the Bahamas, naming the place San Salvador, and calling the people who live there Indians.
1497-Amerigo Vespucci becomes the 7th or 8th explorer to come to the new world, but the first to think of naming it in honor of himself... the United States of Vespuccia?
1508-Michelangelo finally agrees to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but he still refuses to wash the windows.
1513-Ponce de Leon claims he found the Fountain of youth, but dies of old age trying to remember where it was he found it.
1517- Martin Luther is nailed to the Wittenburg door for sailing indulgences. But that's only the beginning, after standing his ground with worms, in 1521 he was excommunicated by a bull.
1522-Scientists, who know the world is flat, conclude that Magellan's crew made it all the way around by crawling across the bottom. But history proves they curcumsised it with a hundred foot clipper.
1588- England beats up a Spanish Armadillo.
1568-Saddened over the slander of his good name, Ivan the Terrible kills another 100,000 peasants to make them stop calling him Ivan the Terrible.
1607-The Indians laugh themselves silly as the first European tourist to visit Virginia tries to register as "John Smith".
1618-Future Generations are doomed as the English execute Sir Walter Raleigh, but allow his tobacco plants to live.
1642-Nine students receive the first Bachelor of Arts degrees conferred in America, and immediately discover there are no jobs open for a kid with a liberal arts education.
1670-The pilgrims are too busy burning witches to observe the golden anniversary of their winning religious freedom.
1755-Samuel Johnson issues the first English Dictionary, at last providing young children with a book they can look up dirty words in.
1758- New Jersey is chosen as the site of America's first Indian reservation, which should give Indians an idea of the kind of shabby living conditions they can expect from here on out.
1763-The French and Indian War ends. The French and Indians both lost.
1770-The shooting of three people in the Boston Massacre touches off the Revolution. 200 Years later, three shootings in Boston will be considered just about average for a Saturday Night.
1773-Colonists dump tea into Boston Harbor because of the tacks in it. British call the act "barbaric", noting that no one added cream.
1776-Napoleon decides to maintain a position of neutrality in the American Revolution, primarily because he is only seven years old.
1779-John Paul Jones notifies the British, "I have just begun to fight!" and then feels pretty foolish when he discovers that his ship is sinking. (The war over taxis without presentation was won so parcels could be posted without stamps and all men could pursue happiness with the right to keep bare arms.)
1790- Ben Franklin dies after inventing electricity by rubbing cats backwards. He declared, "a horse divided against itself cannot stand."
1793- "Let them eat cake!" becomes the most famous thing Marie Antoinette ever said. Also, the least diplomatic thing she ever said. Also, the last thing she ever said.
1799-Translation of the Rosetta Stone finally enables scholars to learn that Egyptian hieroglyphics don't say anything important. "Dear Ramses, How are you? I am fine."
1805-Robert Fulton invents the torpedo.
1807-Robert Fulton invents the steamship so he has something to blow up with his torpedo.
1811 - The first canned food is preserved so well that it can wait until 1855 for the invention of the can opener.
1815-Post Office policy is established as Andrew Jackson wins the Battle of New Orleans a month after he should have received the letter telling him the War of 1812 is over.
1840-William Henry Harrison is elected president in a landslide, proving that the campaign motto, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" is so meaningless that very few can disagree with it.
1850-Henry Clay announces, "I'd rather be right than president," which gets quite a laugh, coming from a guy who has run for president five times without winning.
1859- Whereas Mohammad taught man (at least Jews) became monkeys, rats, and pigs. Darwin turns monkeys into man. Charles Darwin writes the "Organ of the Species". It has the same general fictional plot as "Planet of the Apes", but fails to gross as much money.
1862 - One year after Alexander II of Russia abolishes Surfing, Abraham Lincoln issues the "Emasculation Proclamation" and signs the 14th admendment which frees all ex-negroes and forces them to be citizens.
1865-Union Soldiers face their greatest challenge of the war: getting General Grant sober enough to accept Lee's surrender.
1894-Thomas Edison displays the first motion picture, and everybody likes it except the movie critics.
1903- The opening of the Trans-Siberian Railway enables passengers from Moscow to reach Vladivostok in eight days, which is a lot sooner than most of them want to get there.
1910- The founding of the Boy Scouts of America comes as bad news to old ladies who would rather cross the street by themselves.
1911-Roald Amundsen discovers the South Pole and confirms what he's suspected all along: It looks a lot like the North Pole!
1912-Passengers with reservations for the second voyage of the "not even God could sink" Titanic get their money back.
1920-The 18th Amendment to the Constitution makes drinking illegal in the U.S. so everyone stops. Except for the 40 million who don't stop!
1924-Hitler is released from prison four years early, after convincing the parole board that he is a changed man who won't cause any more trouble.
1928- Herbert Hoover promises "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage," but he neglects to add that most Americans will soon be without pots and garages.
1930- Pluto is discovered. Not the dog, the planet. The dog wasn't discovered until 1938.
1933-Hitler establishes the Third Reich, and announces that it will last for a thousand years. As matters develop, he is only 988 years off.
1934-As if the Great Depression weren't giving businessmen enough headaches, Ralph Nader is born.
1938-Great Britain and Germany sign a peace treaty, thereby averting all possibility of WWII.
1939 - World's Fair introduces the television set and the show called, "There's Nothing On". It proves to be such a popular replacement for conversation that each new channel produced plays the same show 24 hours a day throughout the world.
1944-Hitler's promise of Volkswagens for all Germans as soon as they've won the war doesn't prove to be as strong an incentive as he had hoped.
1975- The last Japanese soldier quits fighting World War II (true!) at the end of the Vietnam War.