During the First World War, the punishment for homosexuality in the French army was execution.
In the days of old, any Japanese person who tried to leave the country, was summarily executed. As a further barrier to defection, a decree issued in Japan in the 1630s banned the building of any large sea-worthy ships.
Members of the SS had their blood types tattooed on their armpits.
The tiny Pyrenean state of Andorra found itself fighting two world wars at the same time. Due to an oversight at the end of the First World War, Andorra’s name was omitted from the Treaty of Versailles, meaning that the 11-man national army was still technically at war with Germany. When the Second World War broke out in 1939, it was too much of a strain on the Andorran resources. So the country hastily signed a private treaty with Germany, finally concluding the First World War.
February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
A golden razor removed from Tutankhamen’s tomb over 3000 years after his death was still sharp enough for use.
In ancient Greece an “idiot” was a private citizen or layman.
Louis XIX was King of France from breakfast until tea-time on 2 August 1830, at which point he abdicated.
The punishment for men who committed adultery in ancient Greece was to have a root vegetable inserted where the sun doesn’t shine.
Roman Emperor Caligula was so upset by the death of his sister Drusila that he imposed a year of mourning. During this time, everyone in the empire was forbidden to dine with his family, laugh or take a bath. The penalty for transgression was death.
The armistice which ended the First World War was typed back to front. The French clerk, who was taking the dictation; accidentally out some of the carbon papers in the wrong way round.
The Chinese were using aluminum to make things as early as AD300. Western civilization didn’t rediscover the metal until 1827.
Many men who acted as guards along the Great Wall of China in the Middle Ages spent their whole lives there. They were born there, raised there; they married there, died there, and were even buried within the wall.
Under an old Chinese law, anyone who revealed how to make silk was liable to death by torture.
The first country to abolish capital punishment was Austria, in 1787.