6 History Facts We Wish We’d Learned Sooner

1. Dogs Saved Lives During WWI

Dogs have long performed a variety of functions in wartime, including sniffing out explosives and delivering messages. In WWI alone, about 30,000 dogs were in service.

One category of canine workers was directly in the business of saving lives during that horrific conflict: casualty dogs. Trained to seek out wounded soldiers, they brought medical supplies and sustenance to men trapped in no man’s land.

Casualty dogs also brought psychological comfort. If they sensed that a soldier would soon succumb to his wounds, they would remain at his side so he wouldn’t pass alone.

2.University Students Broke Into Westminster Abbey And Smuggled Out Scotland’s Coronation Stone In 1950

London’s Westminster Abbey is a religious site, a royal site, and one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the United Kingdom. But even the highest-profile buildings can be vulnerable to theft.

Among the building’s many treasures was the 336-pound Stone of Scone, an important relic in Scottish coronation rituals before the 13th century. In 1296, King Edward I stole the stone as part of his wars against Scotland and installed it in his coronation chair. Edward’s move was a symbol of English dominance over Scotland. In the subsequent centuries, the stone remained in the chair, which in turn remained at Westminster Abbey.

In 1950, a group of Glasgow students and Scottish nationalists – Ian Hamilton, Kay Matheson, Gavin Vernon, and Alan Stuart – thought it was high time the legendary Stone of Scone come home. So, on Christmas Day 1950, they stole it back; they broke into Westminster Abbey, dislodged the stone from the coronation chair, and smuggled it back to Scotland.

It took officials four months to track down the object.

3.New England Puritans Saw No Reason To Celebrate Christmas

Puritans settled on Indigenous land in New England in the mid-17th century. Though they are revered as early Americans, they actually disdained a holiday that many 21st-century Americans look forward to celebrating every year: Christmas.

Puritans were nothing if not purists – they lived out their religion with conviction. That meant rejecting any rituals that appeared to be over-indulgent or pathways to sin and vice. Christmas’s connections to paganism were also strikes against the holiday. Massachusetts, a colony brimming with Puritans, actually banned Christmas festivities between 1659 and 1681.

It’s important to note that Puritans did not make up all of the colonists in North America. Colonists who were not Puritan celebrated Christmas in their own ways.

4. Agatha Christie Was At The Center Of Her Own Mystery When She Disappeared For Nearly Two Weeks In 1926

Mystery writer Agatha Christie remains “the best-selling author of all time.” But there’s one chapter of her life that is just as mysterious as her popular books: She went off the grid for 11 days in 1926.

Her disappearance came on the heels of several tragedies in her life, including the passing of her mother and the knowledge that her husband was having an extramarital affair.

No one knew what happened to her, and the mystery darkened when officials discovered her abandoned car, which had apparently slid down a hill. Press reports whipped the public into a frenzy over Christie’s disappearance, and people began to theorize what had happened to her.

Officials finally tracked her down. She had been staying at a hotel the whole time – she had even deployed a pseudonym for her stay, since she checked in with the name of the woman with whom her husband was having an affair.

What prompted the disappearance? Was it real or a hoax? The Christies claimed that an unexpected case of amnesia was to blame, though some continue to have their doubts.

5. St. Patrick – The Patron Saint Of Ireland – Wasn’t From Ireland

He may be the patron saint of Ireland, but St. Patrick wasn’t from Ireland; he was actually an immigrant.

Born in the fourth or fifth century in what is today England, Patrick was Romano-British. When he was a teenager, Patrick was taken from his wealthy family’s home and forced into slavery in Ireland. After escaping from slavery several years later, he committed himself to converting the Irish to Christianity.

6. Mt. Everest Is Named After A Man Who Didn’t Want The Peak Named After Him

Mt. Everest is the world’s most storied, highest peak. But it turns out that the mountain’s namesake didn’t want his name associated with it.

The mountain is named after Sir George Everest, who was surveyor-general in British-occupied India. After the peak was determined to be the highest in the world, it was suggested that the mountain should be named in Everest’s honor – even though it already had Tibetan and Nepalese names associated with it.

Reportedly, Everest wanted nothing to do with the renaming of the peak. According to scholar Jade Furness, naming the peak after a British official was “an act of colonial possession”:

Everest disagreed with their choice because it could not be written in Hindi, nor pronounced by the local people. He favoured an indigenous name, but the Society, which obviously wielded a great deal of power and influence, argued that there were a number of local names that were not official and therefore not legitimate and, in 1865, adopted the name still recognised worldwide today, an enduring legacy of colonial rule. Source: https://www.ranker.com

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