Thursday, December 2, 2021

SOME ANECDOTES FROM HISTORY

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There are two versions of how the Mongols killed the Caliph al-Mutasim when they sacked Baghdad. One is that he was rolled into a carpet and trampled to death by the horde. The other is that he was locked in his treasury with all his jewels and baubles with no food or water and left to die reflecting on how he should have spent his gold on an army rather than wasting it on his own vanity and greed.

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The Mongols were very original at killing powerful people. To prevent Mongol power from eroding itself by warring Khans they had a de facto honour law that made "spilling the blood" of any other Khan taboo. They solved that by killing their captured feuding Khans by slowly boiling them alive in hot water. No blood was spilled.

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Alexander the Great was in Corinth and all the great men of the city came to pay him tribute. When he didn't see Diogenes among them, he went out to find him, and met the philosopher sun bathing next to the barrel on which he lived. Alexander, conqueror of half the known world, greeted him and asked if there was anything he could do as a favour to the famous thinker.

Diogenes answered, "Yes, move over a little. You're standing in my sun."


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One that I have posted previously . . .

Sourced from John Aubrey's Brief Lives; the Earl of Oxford bowed down in front of Queen Elizabeth I and farted. He was so embarrassed that he travelled around Europe for years. On the day he returned to court the Queen saw him and said, "My lord, we had quite forgot the fart".

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Also posted in the past . . .

President and Mrs. Coolidge were being shown [separately] around an experimental government farm. When Mrs. Coolidge came to the chicken yard she noticed that a rooster was mating very frequently. She asked the attendant how often that happened and was told, "Dozens of times each day." Mrs. Coolidge said, "Tell that to the President when he comes by."

Upon being told, President asked, "Same hen every time?"

The reply was, "Oh, no, Mr. President, a different hen every time."

President: "Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge."

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Haydn and Mozart were cohorts,,

Haydn being something of a jokester and Mozart being...well, Mozart, they one day made a bet that they could write a piece of music that the other couldn't play.

So the day of the competition came. Mozart played Haydn's piece without incident.

When it was Haydn's turn to play, he starts strong...but stops halfway though and claims that no one can play this song, because it calls for middle C when one hand is on the lowest octave, and the other on the highest.

Mozart then said that he could do it. If you have ever seen a picture of Wolfgang Amadeus, you can see that he had a pretty big schnoz.

When the "impossible" part came, Mozart leaned in and hit middle C with his nose, and finished the impossible song, thus winning the bet.


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December 23rd, 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge.

As a tank destroyer from the 7th Armoured Division moved west from Salmchateau on the highway toward Fraiture, the commander spotted a lone trooper from the 325th digging a fox hole for an outpost near the road.

The commander stopped the vehicle and asked him if this was the frontline.

The trooper, PFC Vernon Haught, with Company F, 325th GIR, looked up and said, "Are you looking for a safe place?" The tank destroyer commander answered, "Yeah."

Haught then said, "Well, buddy, just pull your vehicle behind me. I'm the 82nd Airborne Division, and this is as far as the bastards are going."

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