24 Ridiculously Weird Historical Facts That Are Surprisingly True
Not all historical events make it to the headlines. Many stories are swept aside to make way for the bigger ones such as the moon landing and WWII. But as we continue to discover more about our past, we begin to find these then insignificant stories making their way to the front page. And when they do, we learn that the past may be just as weird (and a bit scary) as the present.
1. Heroin was once a perfectly acceptable medicine. Doctors prescribed it for everything from coughs to headaches.
2. Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel on November 17, 1952, following the death of Israel's first President, Chaim Weizman. He declined, saying he lacked "the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people" to do the job.
3. While in power, Pope Gregory IX declared that cats were to be associated with devil worship and had them exterminated. He issued the papal bull, Vox in Rama, which "is the first official church document that condemns the black cat as an incarnation of Satan, and consequently it was the death warrant for the animal."
11. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was never actually straight to begin with, and the design was flawed from the beginning. The foundation, set weak on an unstable soil, began to sink when they started on the second floor.
17. The mysterious 18th-century Shepherd's Monument in Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire, England, bears the inscription “DOUOSVAVVM”, (the eight letters 'OUOSVAVV' is framed by the letters 'DM'). Some believe it was left by the Knights Templar as a means of finding the Holy Grail.